Being a Bostonian is pretty amazing. They don’t call it the hub of the universe for nothing, right? There is a whole bucket list of fun things to do in Boston, but sometimes you just need to get away. Here are my picks for the top seven classic day trips I like to take with my family while avoiding the whole packing-and-unpacking overnight thing. Maybe I’ll see you there?
1. Newport, Rhode Island
A short trip in the car and you have yourself a fabulous day! Many kids will love to see the mansions, but probably your best bet is to run around the yard for a bit, grab lunch and picnic, then pop the little ones in the stroller and wander along the Cliff Walk. Ask your kids which house they would choose! If they’re older, try the fantastic audio tours offered at the mansions; if they’re little, stay outside!
2. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Start the day by driving up nice and early so you can have breakfast at The Friendly Toast and enjoy the amazing decor and fantastic food. Then head over to one of the fabulous places you think your kids will be into — a park with a submarine, a shopping adventure at a neat toy store, a little reading fun, or the amazing Prescott Park Arts Festival.
3. Provincetown, Massachusetts
Take the lonngggg drive down, or save yourself some time and grab a ferry to P-town. Once you’re there, walk down Commercial Street and check out some fabulous stores, like Puzzle Me This, and then grab lunch at Spiritus Pizza. When you’re done, check out the bocce ball court in the back. Next, find some ice cream or a fudge shop, and treat yo’ self.
4. Amherst/Northampton, Massachusetts
Head out to Western Mass and get the famous popovers at Judy’s or a slice at Antonio’s (then you can tell your UMass alumni friends you know what’s up). Then choose between the Eric Carle Museum or the Basketball Hall of Fame — or hit both!
5. Newburyport, Massachusetts
Head out on a Sunday and you’ll be able to enjoy a great farmers market and grab some goodies. Then make your way over to the boardwalk for a nice walk. Depending on the day, you might even stumble upon a yoga class for your kiddo at Roots to Wings. Newburyport offers lots of awesome places to go for a hike, or you can check out a whale watch. Or, just walk around and shop at the Tannery — so many choices!
6. Boston Harbor Islands
Do you want to feel like you’re far away but still be in Boston? The Harbor Islands are for you! The ferry is a treat itself, and and they make it so easy by providing food options onsite so you don’t need to pack a picnic if you don’t want to! There are tours, hiking, and lots of educational opportunities you and your kids will love.
7. Rockport/Gloucester, Massachusetts
This area is my favorite! I recommend grabbing lunch at Latitude 43. Besides the obvious beaches, you could also check out a real castle or head over to Rockport for some art gallery walking, amazing ice cream, and incredible views!
Did we miss any spots you love?