There is barely another city in the United States that holds as much history as the capital of Massachusetts, Boston. Filled with memoirs of the colonial and the Revolutionary war era, the fascinating city is almost a pilgrimage to history lovers. The Freedom Trail, one of the topmost prominent attractions here, is a good introduction to today’s Boston, connecting or passing through some of the city’s most prominent tourist attractions. Home to two of the most prestigious American universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, the city offers many other popular attractions such as the Faneuil Hall, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Boston National Historic Park.
If you are in the city to spend your holiday and would like to explore what the city’s surroundings have to offer, here are the top 7 weekend getaways from Boston:
The largest town in Maine, Portland is a beautiful city set on the southern coast along Casco Bay. Once a major fishing and trade port, the city today allows you to gently stroll around its cobbled streets that take you around the Old Port area, the wharf that is still brimming with many activities, and the Arts District which houses numerous cultural attractions, including but not limited to museums, galleries, antique shops, and entertainment centers.
Best Time to Visit: The most preferred time to visit Portland is between June and August. Although summer is a peak season for tourists, the season’s cool temperatures are highly favorable.
How to Reach: There are direct flights, buses, and trains to go from Boston to Portland, Maine. At $18 to $35, buses are the cheapest option and take slightly over two hours. Alternatively, a flight takes around three hours and costs between $124to $417.
Just seven miles off of the coast of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is the largest island on the Massachusetts coast as well as the most idyllic one to spend a splendid weekend getaway from Boston. The Gingerbread houses at Oak Bluff look like a scene right out of a fairy tale are the perfect photo opportunity for all shutterbugs. Built in 1876, the Flying Horse Carousel is not only the longest continually running carousel in the country but also a historic landmark. For fitness enthusiasts and adventure lovers, renting a bike to explore the vicinity.
Best Time to Visit: The most suggested time to visit Martha’s Vineyards is from May till September when the Atlantic Ocean ensures a pleasant climate all around.
How to Reach: The only direct mode of transportation between Boston and Martha’s Vineyards is a flight. Otherwise, you can take a train from South Station to Buzzards Bay and take a taxi to 227 Clinton St., Falmouth, to get on a ferry to Martha’s Vineyards. Or, you could take a bus to Woods Hole to get on a ferry.
The Berkshires in western Massachusetts is popular for their outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports, as well as cultural experiences. Home to several performance centers, including Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow, the region offers a variety of events and happenings throughout the year. Additionally, there are also numerous museums such as the Norman Rockwell Museum and “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville’s Arrowhead Home that fascinate history buffs and art lovers. Other significant points of attraction in the Berkshires include but aren’t limited to the Monument Mountain, Mount Greylock, and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Berkshires is from June to August when warm weather and vibrant flora offer great conditions for adventure activities such as hiking, water sports, and berry picking.
How to Reach: The easiest way to travel between the two locations is to take a train from Boston South Station to Pittsfield Amtrak Station and get a taxi to the Berkshires.
The capital city of Rhode Island, Providence is a wonderfully compact, vibrant, and eccentric city that attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists from all over the country. Tourists who love architecture will be delighted in Providence, whose old downtown, also known as ‘Downcity’, is filled with peerless period architecture. The Arcade, built in 1828, was the first shopping mall in America. Apart from its history and culture, the city also offers top sights such as the Roger Williams Park Zoo, Waterfire, RISD Museum of Art, and Rhode Island State Capital.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit here is between the months of June and August and from September to November.
How to Reach: The cheapest and the fastest way to get to Providence is via train that takes less than an hour and costs between $7 to $70. Instead, you can take a bus from South Station to the Convention Center in Providence. The latter will take around an hour and cost around $12 to $21.
From a former shipbuilding port to the yachting capital of America, Newport’s affair with the sea is timeless. Rumor has it that the majestic stone tower that stands atop the hill on the harbor was perhaps built by the Vikings. While it may or may not be true, the town definitely has an eccentric charm that attracts everyone. Home to several colonial-era buildings that were constructed before 1700, Newport proudly houses the Breakers – the iconic Gilded Age mansion built by Cornelius Vanderbilt and his wife.
Best Time to Visit: The months between March to May and September to November are the most suggested time to visit Newport.
How to Reach: The most preferred ways to get to Newport from Boson are to either take a train or a bus from South Station to Providence and then walk over to Kennedy Plaza to take a bus to Newport.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Once an unassuming town that was only known as a supplier of mast trees to the King’s Navy, Portsmouth is one of the most fascinating for tourists interested in American history. It is perhaps one of the only cities that can claim so many Colonial and Federal homes in original condition that are open to the public. The 10-acre Strawberry Banke Museum is an entire neighborhood of preserved homes and businesses. Another popular attraction here is the Market Square is filled with boutiques, art galleries, and shopping avenues.
Best Time to Visit: Summer is the most recommended time to visit the city.
How to Reach: The cheapest and the most convenient way to travel from Boston to Portsmouth is by a direct bus that leaves every hour and takes around a couple of hours. Fares range from $13 to $19.
A haven for all kinds of artists, Provincetown is the epitome of quirkiness and flamboyance. Popularly called Ptown, the place is a spectacular weekend getaway from Boston that is also extremely known for being one of the most LGBTQ-friendly places in the country. Other than off-roading across dunes and whale-watching, the most remarkable activities here include shopping along the bustling Commercial Street, enjoying a tasty bite at a café, and spending time admiring the many art galleries. Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, MacMillan Pier, and Herring Cove Beach are some other popular attractions here.
Best Time to Visit: Although summer is the most popular time to visit here, and many of the town’s businesses operate only from May to October, it’s a pleasing destination throughout the year, particularly during the less crowded but still mild spring and fall seasons.
How to Reach: Though you could take a direct flight to Provincetown, the most interesting and adventurous way to travel here from Boston would be to take a ferry which takes an hour and a half and costs between $40 to $85.
As one of the most spectacular cities in the United States, Boston offers a mix of culture, history, heritage, and a lot more. Likewise, the popular weekend getaways from Boston are equally captivating which makes your weekend not only adventurous and fun-filled but also a great time to disconnect from everyday chaos and recharge your batteries. All you need to do is pack a bag and head over to the city for the time of your life.