In America, the family road trip is oft romanticized by movies like National Lampoon?s Vacation. However, making it happen without a hitch usually takes some planning. This article caters to residents of the Boston metropolitan area for close-to-home day trips that are fit for the whole family.
The greater Boston city area offers a little bit of everything from scenic coastlines, to state parks, and bustling cities. Families from Boston don?t have to travel too far to feel like they?ve strayed from their normal routine and into an enjoyable family outing. Before the journey, travelers should consider the following list regarding the best day trips for families.
Day Trips from Boston to Excite the Whole Family
1. Wompatuck State Park, Massachusetts
The Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA is the perfect family getaway from the city to nature. Found just 30 minutes outside Boston, this state park spans over 3,000 acres of forest, streams, and ponds. Families usually choose to make a day trip to the park for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, boating, hunting, and more. For weekend getaways, the park offers 250 campsites for overnight tent or RV camping. Visitors can learn about Native American history as the park is named after Josiah Wompatuck, who was an Indian chief that bestowed the land to English settlers in 1665.
2. Rockport, Massachusetts
Just about an hour Northeast of Boston lies the small town of Rockport. When headed to the beach, most MA residents might think about Cape Cod or Martha?s Vineyard. But this seaside town is situated on the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula, which is also known for famous places like Gloucester and Manchester-by-the-Sea. The town of Rockport is known for its unique shops and delicious seafood restaurants. What?s more, the area is adjacent to Halibut Point State Park where the whole family can hike the rocky coast. Traverse the hiking trails and stand atop the scenic overlooks for an awesome outdoor experience on this unique Atlantic coastline.
3. Newport, Rhode Island
The town of Newport hosts some of the most elegant mansions in New England. (Who needs art galleries when one can tour castles like The Breakers?) During the 20th century, New York?s most wealthy adopted this shore city as their home away from home. Today, historic mansions tower along the coastline providing scenic backdrops and lessons in beautiful architecture. Visiting families should follow Bellevue Avenue to the famous Cliff Walk to see these mansions from the shore. Don?t leave Newport without feasting on a juicy lobster roll and maybe some chicken fingers for the kids.
Just 90 minutes South of Boston, Newport has everything from large castle-like homes to vibrant beaches, and college campuses like Salve Regina University.
4. Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts
The downtown areas of Lexington and Concord are historic sites that do not require more than a 30-minute drive from Boston. These small towns are rich in American history as they were arenas for the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. Families headed to Lexington should check out Minute Man National Historical Park to ride or walk along the battle road between Lexington Green and Concord?s Old North Bridge. What?s more, the Concord Museum showcases the town?s revolutionary, literary, and Native American history through war exhibits and displays regarding 19th-century American writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Walden Pond is located near town?families can see the site where Thoreau lived and worked in solitude.
Searching for something close by with similar history? Travelers should add Salem to the list. Families can learn about 17th century history of the early pilgrims, as well as the later Salem witch trials.
5. The Southern Coast of Maine
The Southern Coast of Maine is home to some beautiful, coastal towns like York, Ogunquit, and Kennebunkport. Traveling families? first and/or last stop should be at the top of Mount Agamenticus in York. Compared to mountains worldwide, this is more of a hill. However, at nearly 700 feet above sea level, one can see the Boston skyline on a nice, clear day?not to mention it is the perfect spot for sunset. Ogunquit is another great place to post up for the day. This town is home to a beautiful, sandy beach and fresh seafood just steps away. With a Northbound drive, Kennebunkport is accessible and is often favorited by families that want to boat, fish, or head out on a whale watching excursion.
Just in Massachusetts, there are many options for full day family-friendly trips to get out of the city. Other areas of interest in New England often include surrounding states like Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. When traveling to these close by destinations, any family from the Boston metro area is liable to have the best day with their loved ones. Looking for more ideas? Traveling families should also look into places like Plymouth, Provincetown, Portsmouth, or Providence. Enjoy the USA!
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