1. Doane’s Falls (Royalston)
About two hours from Boston lies Doane’s Falls. This impressive, cascading waterfall is 175 feet high. A half-mile long trail allows you to walk alongside the Lawrence Brook as it tumbles over the rocks in three sections. If you’re in the mood to marvel at nature, a visit to Doane’s Falls Reservation is the way to go – it’s stunning at any time of year. Doane Falls is on Athol Road and it’s free to visit.
2. Roger Williams Park (Providence, Rhode Island)
Discover the natural beauty of Roger Williams Park, which is just an hour from Boston (or 52 miles away) in Providence. There’s a little something for everyone here. If you have kids in tow, the zoo, carousel, and zip line might appeal. Looking for a more peaceful experience? Then stroll through the grounds, where you’ll find lakes and a lovely Japanese Garden.
3. Plane Jane’s Place (Plymouth)
So you’ve already been to the Plimoth Plantation and seen Plymouth Rock. But that doesn’t mean you’ve seen all this town has to offer. Try some destination dining at
Plane Jane’s Place
. This restaurant is definitely a one-of-a-kind place. If you eat on the deck, you can watch planes taking off and landing right in front of you at Plymouth Municipal Airport. (Address: 246 S Meadow Road). Afterwards, stick around to explore Brewster Gardens or Ellisville Harbor State Park.
4. Brimfield Antique Show (Brimfield)
Three times a year Brimfield, which is 65 miles or a little over an hour from Boston, transforms into a shopper’s paradise. You can find antiques and collectibles galore here! Whether you’re seeking furniture or a miniature Statue of Liberty for your living room, Brimfield can deliver! In 2018, these events start on May 8, July 10, and September 4.
5. Horse Neck Beach State Reservation (Westport)
One of the top beaches in the state is less than an hour and a half from Boston. If you fancy swimming, fishing, birding, or boating on a gorgeous a two-mile long beach, then head to 5 John Reed Road in Westport. You may love it so much you don’t want to leave… and that’s okay, for a few nights, anyway, because camping is allowed.
6. Manchester (New Hampshire)
When Bay Staters head to New Hampshire, we tend to gravitate towards the beach. But if you’re looking for a day trip destination that’s a winner year round, try hitting Manchester instead. After making the 55-mile journey (it takes an hour in light traffic), wander through the Currier Art Museum, a cultural gem that is very manageable in terms of size. With Manchester's burgeoning foodie scene and natural beauty – check out Lake Massabesic or Livingston Park – there’s plenty of entertainment options.
7. Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge)
You may only have to drive a little over an hour to reach Sturbridge, but a trip to this living history museum transports you to the 1830s. Period costumes, 40 original buildings, and stagecoach rides make this a day trip to remember. The museum is located at 29 Stallion Hill Road in Sturbridge.
8. Newport Mansions (Newport, Rhode Island)
Mansions lifted right out of a fairytale await a 68-mile (or hour and a half) ride away in
Newport, Rhode Island
. Admire the exteriors as you make your way along the cliff walk, then take a tour of the one that most appeals to you. The Breakers, the Elms, the Marble House… they’re all impressive.
Seaside villages often spring to mind when we’re thinking of places with small town charm. However, don’t rule out a trip inland. Hudson lies 40 miles west of Boston, and this cute town is slowly being discovered. Its population hovers at around 19,000, yet you’ll find an unexpectedly diverse assortment of restaurants along with attractive architecture here. Embrace a slower pace of life as you browse stores, stop into the Hudson Creamery for ice cream, and wander through the Silas Felton Historic District.
10. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst)
Show of hands: who wants a break from adulting? Next time life feels overwhelming, escape to
Amherst, which is only two hours or 95 miles away, to see the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Actual kids, and kids at heart, will love this whimsical spot. The museum can be found at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst.
Clearly, Boston lives up to its reputation as the gateway to New England. Have you been to any of these places or taken any other unique day trips lately?