Daytrips from Boston
If you’re visiting Boston, be sure to take a drive to some of the quaint little New England towns that surround it. The countryside is beautiful, filled with typical New England eye candy — old stone fences made of rocks that were piled upon each other eons ago, little stone houses, expansive barns that connect to old farm homes, historic buildings, and in spring, dazzling blooming hedges of azaleas and rhododendrons.
Sturbridge. My friend, Sandy, and I drove to the town of Sturbridge, about an hour west from Boston, along the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). Within that town is Old Sturbridge Village — a living history museum centralized around a rural New England village from the 1830s. All the buildings were brought from their original New England locations and assembled into the village. The staff members wear traditional period clothing and “live” their role in the village as they would have 170+ years ago. You’ll find a number of skill and craft demonstrations throughout the village. If you are interested in heirloom gardening, then you’ll want to learn more about the village’s farming and gardening practices. In fact, workshops are sometimes offered. Check the Web site for a schedule.
We stayed at a charming old inn called The Publick House , a registered historic landmark, and thoroughly enjoyed the accommodations as well as the food, including coffee and homemade muffins just outside your door in the morning. They had a great little bakery that made wonderfully tempting baked goods. We dined in the Inn’s restaurant for dinner and I enjoyed turkey with all the trimmings — as good or better than a Thanksgiving meal at home.
The town of Sturbridge had a number of small and interesting shops, not the least of which was a Crabtree & Evelyn outlet. A small shop with all the luxurious C&E products at a significant discount. Well worth stopping in.
Sturbridge lies in beautiful country, hilly and as picturesque as you can imagine any New England town. Just a bit further west and you’d be in the Berkshire Mountains.
Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Shows. Just 5 miles west of Sturbridge on Route 20 is Brimfield, MA — home 3 times a year to the Brimfield Flea Markets. In operation more than 50 years, the markets host 4,500 antique and collectible dealers — 20 separate shows at one time. We missed the last show of the year, but in 2007, the shows will be held May 8-13, July 10-15 and September 4-9. If you are only interested in the Brimfield shows, you can also fly a Midwest Connect jet into Hartford, a bit closer to the Brimfield antique action.
Other Destinations Outside Boston. Once you arrive in Boston, you have a number of choices for daytripping. Salem — to the north about an hour, is filled with the history of a dubious witch-burning past and a maritime economy. We really enjoyed Salem. If you prefer, you can catch a train to Salem from Boston. A short drive north of that and you’re in Maine — with nice little towns along the Maine coast.
Heading southeast out of Boston, you’ll find Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation along the coast. Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum village dating back to the Pilgrims. Mayflower II is a full scale replica of the original and its crew “live” the role they would have had back in the day. Fascinating places to visit, especially meaningful in the fall as we approach Thanksgiving. I’ve never cared too much about Plymouth Rock — it’s just a large rock along the shore.
And if you continue past Plimoth Plantation southeast — about 1 to 1-1/2 hours outside of Boston, you arrive at Cape Cod — and that’s a destination in itself. Perhaps 15 little towns, islands, the Cape Cod National Seashore. A wonderful, though expensive, place to visit.
TIP: Boston is the place to start to see New England. The city itself can keep you busy for days. But the daytrips are well worth your time. If you want to see the Brimfield antiques and western Massachusets, fly into Hartford, CT. Midwest Airlines serves both cities with nonstop flights.
Entry filed under: Boston.