Day Trips from Boston, Mass.

Cape Cod, Salem, Plymouth, Concord, Lexington, Lowell

Massachusetts offers visitors varied attractions. Beaches, outlet malls, museums, and historical sites like Plymouth, Quincy, and Lexington are an hour’s drive from Boston.

Downtown Boston offers ample shopping and sightseeing opportunities, but for anyone fancying a day away from the city here are 10 ideas for days out within easy reach.

Cape Cod

Explore the coastline of this popular peninsula. “The Cape”, as it affectionately is known is famous for its wonderful beaches and fresh seafood. An hour’s drive south of Boston down Highway 3 brings you the Sagamore Bridge, the gateway to Cape Cod. The area is very popular in the summer months and traffic congestion can be a problem.

Cape Cod Road Trip
Cape Cod Road Trip

The ideal itinerary begins with a leisurely drive down Route 6 from Boston, with plenty of charming turns off for sightseeing and scenic stops along the way. Begin at the tip of the cape in Provincetown, an LGBT-friendly mecca known for its abundant seafood restaurants, art galleries, and buzzing nightlife. Explore the town’s laneways and shops, or take a seasonal whale-watching tour to get up close to nature.

The picturesque beach town of Wellfleet is next, where you can sample the freshest seafood that New England has to offer. The rugged cliffs of Truro offer stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean before you make your way to Chatham. Here, spend some time browsing antique stores, bookstores, and independent boutiques as you soak up the coastal charm.

Gloucester and Rockport

Just over 30 miles northeast of Boston, at the tip of Cape Ann, lie two small fishing villages with a wealth of history. First settled as early as 1623 the area was the inspiration for The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.

Hammond Castle Museum
Hammond Castle by RachelC.Photography

For those who want to see as much of this area as possible, start in Gloucester. Visit Hammond Castle Museum or take a harbor cruise to truly appreciate the city’s beauty. Next, make your way to Rockport for a stroll along Bearskin Neck or Halibut Point State Park to take in the rugged coastline view. Be sure to visit Redfish Blue Fish restaurant for some delicious seafood and ice cream for dessert.

Lexington and Concord

Trace the route taken by Paul Revere to the Revolutionary battlegrounds of Lexington and Concord. Visit the Old North Bridge in Concord and the Minute Man National Park, in Lexington. Lexington and Concord are roughly 20 miles northwest of Boston on Route 2.

Minute Man National Historical Park
Minute Man National Historical Park by Jasperdo

Starting in Lexington, Massachusetts, this route takes you through one of the most historic sites in the United States: the battlefields of the American Revolution. You’ll have the chance to explore old-growth forests, scenic rivers, and crucial historical sites such as the Old North Bridge. The town of Concord is especially worth a visit – here, visitors can stroll through Revolutionary War-era buildings and museums.

Along the way, you can take in the natural bounty of New England by visiting many of its gorgeous state parks. The Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Walden Pond State Reservation are not to be missed – both offer breathtaking views of wildlife and ponds. Additionally, the towns of Weston and Lincoln are great places to stop and enjoy classic small-town charm.

Of course, no journey to Lexington and Concord would be complete without taking time to visit some of the Revolutionary War monuments that dot the landscape. From Bunker Hill to Minute Man National Historic Park, these monuments are reminders of a momentous period and an important part of America’s history.


The Lowell National Historic Park is a series of historic buildings, in downtown Lowell, with trolleys and canal boats providing transport between them. Lowell is within easy reach of Boston via the I93 and I495. Rail passengers can take the Lowell Line, a commuter rail train, from North Station.

Lowell National Historic Park
Lowell National Historic Park by Tresvainas

Spend the morning wandering the Centralville and Belvidere neighborhoods, exploring the galleries and gardens of The Pollard Memorial Library, or take a ride on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Train. Once the sun sets, be sure to check out one of the several bars and restaurants in Downtown Lowell for a night of live music and delicious local cuisine.

Old Sturbridge Village

The largest living history museum in New England recreates village life in 1830. Watch master craftsmen at work, see a nineteenth-century school classroom, or visit a colonial-style garden. Old Sturbridge Village is 60 miles west of Boston down the Mass Turnpike (I90). Old Sturbridge Village features more than 40 original buildings, including a blacksmith’s shop, schoolhouse, general store, meeting house, and much more.

Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

In addition to exploring the period architecture and exhibits at Old Sturbridge Village, visitors can interact with costumed interpreters who explain how people lived during the early 19th century. Through educational programming and hands-on activities, visitors can learn about life in a rural New England town, such as what people ate, how they spent their leisure time, and what kind of clothing they wore. In addition, there are a variety of special events throughout the year that bring the past to life including a holiday open hearth cooking event, a Fourth of July celebration, and a historic trades fair.


The lives of the Pilgrim Fathers still dominate Plymouth today. A replica of the Mayflower stands proudly in Plymouth Harbor and, two miles up the road, the Founding Fathers’ and Native Americans’ lives are recreated by role players at Plymouth Plantation. Plymouth is a 40-mile drive from Boston via Highway 3. A commuter rail service to Plymouth/Kingston runs from South Station.

Plymouth Beach


“The Birthplace of the American Dream” is just 5 miles south of Boston. Visit the birthplaces of two presidents on the trolley tour to the Adams family residences. To get to Quincy from Boston take the I93, commuter rail from South Station, or the Red Line subway.

Founded in 1792, Quincy Road has been an integral part of American history. It’s the birthplace of Senator John Quincy Adams, who famously declared that ‘America must go forward!’ His words still echo through generations as a reminder to never stop striving for the impossible.

Over the years, Quincy Road has been home to many iconic figures. From Abraham Lincoln to Harriet Beecher Stowe, pioneers of progress have graced this hallowed ground. Celebrate their legacy with a walk along the original cobblestone streets, past sprawling mansions and quaint shops.


Famous for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, various museums and exhibitions recreate these events. 25 miles northeast of Boston, Salem is reached via I93 and Route 128 or by the Rockport or Newburyport commuter rail line from North Station.

Tour Salem Witch house

Begin your voyage by touring some of the city’s iconic attractions, such as the Salem Witch Museum and the House of Seven Gables. For those seeking an interactive experience, the Witch Dungeon Museum offers guided tours in which visitors are immersed in the trials and tribulations of 1600s Salem. After immersing yourself in history, explore some of the city’s renowned shops and restaurants. Family-friendly spots like Spooky World serve up delicious food and thrilling activities, while adults can find a wealth of eclectic boutiques and eateries dotting the downtown district.

Whale Watching

Do you fancy something completely different? Take a Whale Watching trip from either Boston Harbor or Gloucester. A camera and warm clothing are necessities as you watch whales in their natural environment. Trips leave daily between May and September.

At Boston Harbor, humpback whales, minke whales, harbor porpoises, and dolphins can often be seen in the waters near Georges Island. The island also serves as home to a variety of shorebirds and seabirds, giving onlookers an additional wildlife experience. Gloucester is considered one of the best spots in the world for whale watching; common sightings include minkes, humpbacks, fins, and pilots. Marine mammals such as seals and harbor porpoises can also be spotted in the area.


After months of being cooped up at home, many people are itching to get out for an adventure. And what better way to stretch your legs than a road trip? Wrentham, Massachusetts is the perfect destination to satisfy your wanderlust with plenty of sights and attractions to explore.

Wrentham, Massachusetts
Wrentham, Massachusetts by Dougtone

If you want a bit more retail therapy, take a trip to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlet. Over 170 outlet stores offer designer goods at discounted prices, including Barneys New York, Burberry, and Saks Fifth Avenue. If you time it right, you can also take in a football or soccer game at the nearby Gillette Stadium. Wrentham is on route 1A at the intersection with the I495.

Your journey begins on Route 1 where you’ll drive past bustling seaside towns and lighthouses, providing plenty of photo opportunities. As you head further south, you’ll be met with sprawling meadows and rolling hills, making for perfect stops away from the hustle and bustle of main roads. Once in Wrentham, a plethora of attractions await. There’s Lake Pearl for watersports enthusiasts, hiking trails for nature lovers, and world-class shopping experiences for those in search of a retail fix. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or want to stay overnight, there is something for everyone in Wrentham.

These are just a few of the many attractions that the area has to offer, The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism can provide more details.

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