There’s always a lot going on when you live in a city, and generally, the hustle and bustle is exactly what made us want to live there in the first place. Sometimes, though, the constant clamor and being surrounded by buildings, cars, and other people, can be too much.
Other times we’re just ready for a change of pace, for something new. In a city, it’s really easy to get caught up in a routine of living your whole life within a two-block radius, and we have to remind ourselves to branch out a little bit.
Whether you’re looking for an escape or an adventure, there’s plenty of great places around Boston that are perfect for a day trip. If you’re ready to change things up, read on to see 8 easy and close places to visit outside of Boston.
1. Blue Hills Reservation
As much as I love living in the city, when I’m here for too long I really start to miss being in nature. Finding out how close I actually am to some great hiking spots has been life-changing, and Blue Hills is my favorite.
About a 25 minute Uber from Boston, Blue Hills Reservation makes a perfect trip for a day hike. The travel time isn’t long at all, and the plethora of trails and hiking options makes the journey well worth it.
Grabbing a map from the welcome center is a must before starting your hike, and when you do you’ll see that there are paths for every experience and challenge level.
There are some quick and easy thirty minute hikes that are little more than a walk in the woods, but to get the most out of your trip I’d recommend one of the longer routes. There are plenty of 2-3 hour excursions that anyone could do, and others that pose a challenge even to experienced outdoor enthusiasts.
These longer hikes culminate in a beautiful 360-degree view where you can see the Boston skyline in one direction, open water in another, and if you keep turning, there’s a gorgeous outline of tree-filled hills.
The hike is fun and refreshing (and free!), but if nothing else, the view is well worth venturing out of the city for.
2. The Arnold Arboretum
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University- while located nowhere near Harvard- is an easy, beautiful, and cheap destination to reach.
Located at the end of the orange line (take it outbound towards Forest Hills), the arboretum is only a few minutes’ walk away from the station.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature without having to work up the sweat of a hike, the arboretum is for you.
Another free excursion, the arboretum is a huge space dedicated to simply allowing people to be among plants. The trees and other plants are labeled, so you can learn as you make your way through, and there are some great exhibits as well, such as the bonsai tree garden.
Filled with creeks and rocks, in addition to the trees, the arboretum provides a breathtaking view. If you’re willing to branch off from the paved path and onto a dirt one leading into the woods, you’ll be rewarded with the best view the space has to offer.
The Arnold Arboretum is a Massachusetts staple that you can’t miss, especially considering how close it is to the city and its easy T access.
Salem is known for its spooky history, so it’s always a prime destination during the Halloween months. However, this town makes a fun mini getaway at any time of year.
Considering it’s a whole separate city, Salem is surprisingly close to Boston and easy to get to. It takes a little bit of comfort with public transport, but all things considered, the trip is well worth the effort.
To get there, take the green line inbound to North Station, then transfer to the commuter rail and get off at Salem. It takes less than an hour to get there, and round trip, the journey only costs about $15.
Salem is a quaint town with a lot of history, so there’s plenty of local shops and unique restaurants. There’s also a public gallery of street art that the city has made an effort to preserve and showcase for passerby. All in all, Salem is a perfect spot for a day trip out of Boston.
4. Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is another city that took me by surprise at it’s proximity to Boston. While a little bit farther than Salem, taking the T and switching to the commuter rail will still keep it an affordable trip.
Plus, the trip is half the fun as riding on the commuter rail feels like a real train ride, especially compared to the T. The seats are comfortable and the view out the window is sure to hold your attention.
Once you get there, you’ll have plenty of options for things to do depending on what kind of break from Boston you’re looking for. There’s plenty of fun restaurants, parks, museums, and theaters, so you certainly won’t be bored.
5. Revere Beach
Boston is often crazy windy, which can be frustrating but it also serves as a reminder of how close we are to the ocean. Revere Beach is a mere 20-minute drive (or Uber) away, and still less than an hour by T.
Winter hits hard in Boston, but it still gets plenty warm during the milder months, and nice weather should be taken advantage of while it’s here.
However, the beach is a gorgeous view and fun change of pace regardless of the weather, so nothing is keeping you from getting bundled up and going for a walk by the ocean at any time of year.
6. Cape Cod
While many of these locations make for great day trips, Cape Cod is an ideal spot for a weekend away. It takes a little while to get there- about two hours via bus or train- and once you get there you won’t want to leave quite yet.
A picturesque and relaxing getaway, Cape Cod is a favorite for any beach or seafood fanatic. Filled with quaint restaurants, towns, and lighthouses, this peninsula is perfect for when you simply want to get away and take in the sights.
It’s also a prime vacation destination across the country, so living in Boston is a perfect excuse to visit it and take advantage of its closeness.
7. Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard, located just south of Cape Cod, is another great location for a long weekend out of the city.
Accessible only by boat or plane, the island isn’t the cheapest vacation. Nonetheless, if a historic and scenic, albeit boujee, stay on an island sounds like fun, Martha’s Vineyard may be worth saving up for.
The island also has a wide variety of sights and activities, which make it great for a friend group getaway. With beaches, restaurants, shops, and open farmland, Martha’s Vineyard is bound to have something for everyone.
8. Glendale Falls
Glendale Falls is home to one of the longest waterfalls in the state of Massachusetts. The preserve, protected by the Trustees of Reservations, is open year-round during daylight hours.
Inaccessible by T and about a two-hour drive away, the trip to see this Massachusetts landmark is a great excuse for a road trip.
Beyond simply taking in the sights of the falls, the preserve also offers a beautiful forest with some more mild and casual hiking opportunities.
Where are your favorite places to visit outside of Boston? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image via @casey_duby on Instagram
Casey is a junior at Emerson College majoring in screenwriting. She's extremely passionate about petting dogs, writing, and being outside, but if she's not doing one of those things, she's probably napping!