Anyone who lives in, or has visited, Boston, Massachusetts knows it is a dynamic city with much to see and do. There are many places not too far from the city that also have something unique to offer. If you are in Boston for an extended length of time, consider taking a day trip to some other nearby New England location. Here are some excursions from Boston that can easily be made in a day.
Cape Cod - from Hyannis, to Chatham, to Provincetown (all the way out on the tip), there are many great New England villages worth seeing on the Cape. If you have a car, just drive out as far as you would like before returning to Boston. Or you can take a ferry from the city to Provincetown.
Whale watching - There are various companies that offer whale watching tours. You can take ferries from Boston itself or depart from one of the villages on the Cape. Many of the companies offer some sort of guarantee on whale sightings. (Be sure to check for details before purchasing tickets.)
Salem, MA - This historic town is famous for the Salem Witch Trials. You can visit the Salem Museum to learn more about this time of hysteria. You can also tour the House of Seven Gables from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic book.
Walden Pond - Escape the big city and get back to nature in Walden. Massachusetts’ deepest body of fresh water, Walden Pond, was made famous by Henry David Thorough. Hiking, swimming, canoeing, and cross-country skiing are just some of the outdoor activities that can be enjoyed at this state reserve. Visitors can also tour a replica of Thorough’s simple abode and its surroundings that inspired his novel, Walden.
Wrentham Outlets - If you need a fix for some discount shopping, head to the Wrentham Outlets just outside of town. You can take a commuter line on the MBTA, but the trip would be quicker with a car (plus a car would give you a place to store all the bargains you score).
Portsmouth, NH - Head north and cross the state lines into New Hampshire. Naval buffs can tour the USS Albacore, the precursor to today’s modern submarines at the Albacore Museum. For a view of New England in the 1600s, visit the Strawberry Banke Museum. Or take a tour of one of the many local breweries.
Newport, RI - Alternatively, you could head south from Boston and cross the state line into Rhode Island. Visit the quaint and elegant village of Newport where many elite New York families built opulent summer mansions during the Gilded Age. You must tour The Breakers (Vanderbilt mansion) to get a taste of what extreme wealth could get you during the late 1800s, and tour the Cliff Walk so you can experience the beautiful Rhode Island coast for yourself. (You can see photos of our family's recent visit to the Breakers on my personal blog at Spark and Pook dot com.)
This is by no means an exhaustive list of places that are just a short jaunt from Boston, but they are great excursions to start with. Keep exploring!