Boston September 22, 2017
9 Slow-Paced Small Towns Near Boston Where Life Is Still Simple
Sometimes we all want to step back from the hectic pace of life and visit a place where time seems to move a little slower. These small towns are within easy driving distance of Boston, but each has an atmosphere so different from the city that you’ll feel like you’ve traveled much further. So next time the world feels overwhelming, head to these nine Massachusetts towns where you can switch from a stride to a slow mosey and savor each moment.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
This quaint town offers a Mossing Museum and the whimsical Lawson Tower. But you may be tempted to do little more than order a coffee or bite to eat at the laid-back Lucky Finn Café while you soak in the peaceful harbor views.
Even if you’ve never been here, Rockport is the place that comes to mind when you daydream about coastal New England villages. Charming buildings, beaches, coves, a harbor, and plenty of history can all be found in this gorgeous spot. The year round population is 6,952, but plenty of people visit in summer, lured to Rockport by the simple pleasures of strolling along Bear Skin Neck, an area lined with picturesque shops and plenty of ice cream stores!
A scant 2,265 folks live in Dover, a dinky place with more than its share of green spaces, perfect for immersing yourself in nature. Take a walk through
where you’ll discover a series of ponds and the remains of an old mill.
For many, childhood was a simpler time. Relive yours in Sharon with a visit to The Penny Candy Store. Just hand over your credit card to your inner seven-year-old and go wild! While you’re exploring Sharon, check out Ward’s Berry Farm, and the lovely Massapoag Lake.
Admittedly, Concord isn’t all that small with a population of over 17,000 people, but its main streets retain a charming, small town vibe. While major events played out here centuries ago, now you can absorb the natural beauty of Walden Pond, take a walk up to Author’s Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery or, if you’re so inclined, join the tourists at Minute Man National Historical Park.
Duxbury Beach Park is beautiful any time of year but, if it’s peace you’re after, visit in the off-season – preferably at low tide. Also, Island Creek has its oyster farm out here; if you sign up for a tour you can spend a serene afternoon on the water, learning about the oyster industry.
The 13,175 people who live in Ipswich are fortunate. After all, they’re surrounded by stunning and varied scenery, from the sandy expanse of Crane Beach to bucolic places like Russell Orchards. If you prefer liquid relaxation, head to Ipswich Ale Brewery or the 1634 Meadery for artisan honey wine!
Hopkinton, population 14,925, is where you’ll find a forested state park that centers around a large, spring-fed lake, dotted with islands. The lesser-known Whitehall State Park provides more recreational opportunities. When you’re ready to come inside, amble along the town’s Main Street and refuel at one of the excellent restaurants here.
Hingham is another town that perfectly balances outdoor activities with indoor amenities. Get away from it all with a hike at
go off-grid and camp at Wompatuck State Park, or unwind at Hingham Bathing Beach. Foodies will rejoice upon entering Bloomy Rind - a cheese lover’s paradise – and it's always relaxing to browse through the town’s quaint stores.
How many of these charming spots have you visited? What’s your favorite small town near Boston?