The best thing about visiting Boston — besides the amazing food and charming cobblestone streets — are all the day trips you can take to other New England states in just about an hour or more. Whether you’re keen to explore the historic and haunting past of Salem, Massachusetts, or to visit the beautiful beaches of the Kennebunks, there are so many small towns waiting to be explored. Just jump in a car, buckle up, and hit the open highway north on I-95, away from the beautiful Boston skyline.
Tiptoe through history as you wander around Salem, visiting the graves of those burned as witches, the tombstone of a Mayflower passenger, and the burial site of famous New England architect Samuel McIntire. Visit the Corwin House, the only remaining house tied to the witch trials in the city. But Salem is much more than the famous witch hunts — don’t miss the beaches in Salem Willows Park, or pop by for their summer music series!
From Prescott Park to the Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth is a not-to-miss spot on the New Hampshire coast. Start your day off by eating pastries and sipping coffee in downtown Market Square before wandering around the cute shops and exquisite art galleries brimming with local artists. During the weekends, markets fill the streets with live music, fresh food, and handmade crafts. Join locals and visitors at Prescott Park throughout the summer months for theatre productions (such as Peter Pan!), and concerts in the park with performers from Trombone Shorty to Dr. John!
(The) Kennebunk(s), ME
The sister towns are favorites in Maine and for all New Englanders alike. Kennebunkport, the quaint fishing village, serves up a range of local cuisine. Feed in to your craving for nationally famous fried seafood from the Clam Shack, or savor the flavors at organic hotspot Bandaloop, featuring many vegetarian and vegan meals. On the other side of the river is Kennebunk, home to the famous beaches that bring tourists flocking to the coastal towns. From white, sandy coves to pebbly dunes, be sure to arrive early to claim your spot. Parking fills up quickly, as do the spots on the sand.
Vermont’s oldest town, Brattleboro, is nestled into the valley along the West River. This small, peaceful town calls to artists, nature lovers, and adventure-seekers alike. Brattleboro is a place known for its First Friday Artwalks featuring local artists, street performers, and craftspeople. Many trails, perfect for families, are easily accessed from the town center. Spend the day in the mountains, explore the riverside, or plan your trip for one of their special events, including the film festival, brewers’ festival, or winter carnival.
No matter where you venture for a day during your stay in Boston, there are many wonderful small towns to enjoy outside the bustling city. From a day on the beach to one spent in the mountains, New England offers everything for nature enthusiasts and foodies alike.
Image by Native of the North