Weekend Getaways

by Chloë Hudson

Photography by Angela Wang

As much as a Terrier loves the BU Beach, sometimes you just need the real deal. With spring hitting and temperatures rising, now is the perfect time of year to take a trip to one of Massachusetts’ countless coastal towns. So, head on out to see the picture-perfect New England view for yourself.

The high season in these New England areas runs from May to October and coincides with the end of the spring semester. A spontaneous trip in late April might easily snag the last off-season deals. On the other hand, planning a road trip for early May when classes end might be slightly busier, but still feasible. What better last hurrah than a beach adventure during study period to take your mind away from finals?

Cape Cod

This hook-shaped peninsula is 70 miles from Boston and renowned for its maritime history. The whaling industry originated in New England and was well established in Cape Cod. Today, tourists can still catch sightings of whales, including Humpbacks, Finbacks and Minke whales. In fact, Cape Cod is ranked as one of the top 10 whale watching destinations in the world. To see the great mammals yourself, hop on board a Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruise, starting on April 19 for just 49 dollars. The sighting rate is 99 percent.

If whale watching isn’t your thing, you can also cycle along Cape Cod’s 10.7-mile-long Shining Sea Bikeway. The scenic ride is paved with asphalt and suitable for all types of bikes. If you don’t have your own bike there are plenty of bike rental stores, like Bike Zone Hyannis, with prices as low as 20 dollars per day.

How to Get There:

Use Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co. and take the train from either South Station or Logan Airport to the Hyannis Transportation Center. One adult round-trip fare is 36 dollars from South Station and 47 dollars from Logan Airport.

Provincetown, located at the very tip of the Cape, is a must for anyone who is interested in artistic venues and funky vibes. Shops, art galleries and restaurants line the streets, providing visitors with a lot of things to do.

Nantucket

This small island located off Cape Cod is 106 miles from Boston. Whale-lovers can learn even more about the industry at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. The museum is renowned for its suspended 46-foot skeleton of a Sperm whale, the largest of the toothed whales. Admission is 17 dollars for adults.

Also stop by The Juice Bar (@nantucketjuicebar) for a scoop of homemade ice cream, rated the best in Nantucket. The ice cream is made daily from fresh ingredients, and it comes in a warm, baked waffle cone. The dessert is definitely worth the inevitable wait in line.

How to Get There:

Use Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co. and take the train from either South Station or Logan Airport to the Hyannis Transportation Center. A complimentary Hy-Line Cruise shuttle will take you from the Hyannis Transportation Center to the docks, where you will board the Ferry to Nantucket. A standard adult fare is about 38 dollars each way on the Ferry.

Martha’s Vineyard

This island is just 90 miles from Boston and accessible only by boat or air. It was also the backdrop of the 1975 blockbuster film Jaws. Today, great white sharks are occasionally spotted in the waters during the summer, but travelers should not be concerned because shark attacks are rare. There are also plenty of other sites to see and activities to get involved in.

Learn more about the diverse heritage of Martha’s Vineyard at the Edgartown Lighthouse. The two-story wooden lighthouse was built in 1828 in Edgartown and is one Martha’s Vineyard’s five lighthouses. It was recently renovated to allow visitors access to the lantern room, led upstairs by a lighthouse keeper. Admission is 5 dollars for adults.

How to Get There:

Use Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co. and take the train from either South Station or Logan Airport to the Hyannis Transportation Center. Then take the complimentary Hy-Line Cruise shuttle from the Hyannis Transportation Center to the docks, and board the Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. A standard adult fare is about 29 dollars each way on the Ferry. The Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) buses can take you to Edgartown for less than 5 dollars and it is just a 5-to-10-minute walk to the lighthouse from the bus stop on Church Street.