Weekend Getaways from Boston
Though Boston is filled with fascinating attractions, excellent bars, and delicious restaurants, sometimes it’s nice to get a break from the city and explore other areas. If you’re planning your escape, take a look at the top destinations for weekend getaways from the city for families, singles, couples, and those without a car.
For families: Provincetown
Located about 2 hours from Boston, Provincetown is a year-round destination for a family weekend getaway. It’s found on the tip of Cape Cod and offers child-friendly, pristine beaches with calm waters for the little ones to swim in, as well as tours for the older kids to enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, and other water sports. Many attractions with educational opportunities can be found in Provincetown, such as the landmark Pilgrim Monument, Pilgrims’ First Landing Park, and the Race Point Lighthouse, a historic lighthouse with stunning views of the ocean and coast. Kids will also like the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, and the Provincetown Museum, which is home to artifacts of regional maritime history. If you’re looking for unique and memorable experiences, you can try a whale-watching tour, explore the artifacts from a pirate ship in the Expedition Whydah Museum, or see fascinating marine life at the SEA SPACE Marine Discovery Center. You could also explore the larger Cape Cod National Seashore area on your weekend getaway, which is home to dune beaches, woodlands, salt marshes, and charming seaside communities with shops, restaurants, cafés, and other amusements for kids to enjoy, such as the Kennedy Legacy Trail and the John F. Kennedy Museum.
For couples: Martha’s Vineyard
Accessible by car or ferry within a few hours of Boston, Martha’s Vineyard is a popular island vacation destination for well-to-do visitors, making it a great choice for a romantic getaway. There’s an array of things to do for couples, such as strolling or biking throughout the island to see the charming coastal communities. Aquinnah Cliffs is one of the top spots for hikers, and you can trek to the summit to take in spectacular sunrise or sunset views of the Elizabeth Islands and Gay Head Light. Martha’s Vineyard also has beautiful beaches with a laid-back atmosphere, which are perfect for some intimate couple’s time to relax and recharge. If you want to experience some of the attractions of the island, you can tour Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge or explore the local history artifacts at Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Another romantic experience is visiting Mytoi Japanese Garden, a traditional Japanese garden preserve with a tranquil atmosphere and walking paths that take you through elaborate landscaping with Japanese sculptures and water features. You’ll find art galleries and museums as well, such as the North Water Gallery and the Eisenhauer Gallery, where you can see local and global artwork. Plenty of accommodation options are available for couples, all within reach of local restaurants, bars, and shops.
For singles: Providence
Just an hour’s drive from Boston, Providence is a prime destination for singles on weekend getaways. The small city has an abundance of culture and history, such as the heritage homes on Benefit Street and the State House, which boasts a stunning marble dome that’s one of the largest self-supporting marble domes in the world. You can stroll through the streets to check out historic sites like the Sprague Mansion, the State Arsenal, the Touro Synagogue, and the Nightingale-Brown House. If you’re looking for socializing and activities for singles, Providence has numerous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs for a fun night out, as well as performing-arts centers to take in a show. In warm seasons, Waterplace Park offers festivals and art events. You’ll find an array of art galleries and museums throughout the city, such as the RISD Museum, the Providence Art Club, and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. For a little fresh air, you can spend some time at parklands like India Point Park, Prospect Terrace, and the Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy. Many accommodation options for singles are available in Providence, giving you access to the city’s best shopping, dining, and attractions so you can make the most of the trip.
To get outdoors: Berkshires
Located in the western part of Massachusetts, about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Boston, the Berkshires is a verdant landscape with all types of outdoor activities. The Berkshires are part of the Appalachian Mountains and boast numerous trails, including a section of the Appalachian Trail, that travel through peaks, hills, and wilderness with waterfalls in places like Beartown State Forest, the Monument Mountain Reservation, and Tolland State Forest. The area is home to many natural attractions, such as the Berkshire Botanical Garden and Bash Bish Falls. You can find plenty of accommodation options in the Berkshires to get in touch with nature, all within reach of the outdoors. You can hike, bike, climb, go whitewater rafting, or ride a zip line through the forest for a rejuvenating retreat. If you want to experience some indoor fun in the quaint communities, you can visit places like Historic Deerfield, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. There are some unique attractions as well, such as the Shelburne Falls Trolly Museum. In winter, the Berkshires ski resorts like Ski Butternut and Otis Ridge are popular destinations for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
For the carless: Salem
Boston and Salem are connected by commuter rail, making Salem a great place to visit if you don’t have a car. The trip takes about 30 minutes, making it one of the easiest weekend getaways from Boston. You could also take the Salem Ferry and enjoy scenic water views of the city on an hourlong trip. Once you arrive, you’ll find that Salem is highly walkable and boasts an extensive public transportation network. You can use the Salem Harbour Shuttle to travel through the city, rent a bike, or simply walk to different destinations from your Salem hotel. The city has a range of exciting attractions for families with kids, singles on a sightseeing trip, and couples looking for romantic retreats. You could visit the Salem Witch Museum and the Witch House at Salem to learn about the city’s famous witch trials, then head to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. The House of the Seven Gables, a famous historic mansion and gardens, is also a popular attraction. If you’re looking for things to do with the kids, you can tour the re-created Salem Pioneer Village or the Salem Wax Museum, or go on a high-seas adventure at the New England Pirate Museum. In warm weather, Salem also has parks and beaches for some time outdoors.
Plan your weekend getaway
Whether you want to get lost in nature or you’re looking for an opportunity to make memories with the family, plenty of destinations around Boston offer all you need for a fun getaway. When it comes time to plan, take a look at options for Providence hotels, Salem hotels, and Berkshires hotels to get ready for the trip!