Easy Weekend Trips from Boston
by Abby Balter
With New England fall in full swing and the mid-semester blues kicking in, a brief trip out of the city may be the perfect way to enjoy the fall season and find an escape from the chaos of campus life. Although the ability to travel has been extremely limited this year, there are still some great, easy travel destinations that are only a car or train ride away from Boston and can provide some much-needed relaxation.
Only a thirty-minute drive or hour and a half train ride from Boston, Salem, Massachusetts makes for the perfect fall getaway, especially as Halloween approaches. Get into the spooky spirit with a visit to the famously haunted Salem Witch House and museum for further insight into the history of the Salem Witch Trials. While you’re there, join a Candlelit Ghost Tour for more eerie stories. While booking an Airbnb may be the most cost effective option for accommodations, Salem is home to some charming and cozy housing options such as the Salem Inn and the Northey Street House Bed & Breakfast.
Another great college city, and a quick trip on the MBTA commuter rail, Providence, Rhode Island is a fun and easy destination for a weekend trip with friends. Visit the Riverwalk through downtown Providence for a charming view of the city and an array of shopping and dining options, or catch the bonfires at WaterFire, an exhibition put on twice a month that turns the city into “a festival of arts and music...as young and old alike enjoy their city's revitalization and cultural vibrancy”. The Roger Williams Park and Zoo is another great activity with a lot of history behind it, as it is one of the oldest zoos in the country (and, it’s primarily cage free).
In the charming heart of Portland, Maine, is the Old Port—home to one of the most important exporting locations in the country and a range of shops, restaurants and bars that make the area beloved. The Portland Museum of Art is another must-see for art and history lovers, as many of the exhibitions thematically bring the town’s folklore and history to life. If you’re wanting a break from the city and to spend time in nature, use Maine Trail Finder to locate nearby hiking trails that provide picturesque views of the city or lead to waterfalls and other natural attractions.
The quaint coastal town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is full of open greenspaces and historic sites that make for a relaxing weekend trip. Prescott Park may be the most notable location in Portsmouth: a ten-acre park and garden that borders the Piscataqua River and has multiple public-access piers and picnic spaces. Just a few blocks from Prescott is Market Square, the town’s downtown and main commercial area, which includes art galleries, shops, restaurants and historic architecture. The Strawbery Banke Museum is another noteworthy outdoor museum that tells the story of the area from the 1600s onward through tours of the restored houses and gardens led by “costumed role-players” (very Colonial Williamsburg-esque).