Daytrips from Boston

January 5, 2007 at 3:22 pm 4 comments

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, A typical New England church in town.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 In Old Sturbridge Villageoriginal 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. The Country Curtains store in Sturbridge.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.

What value is a girlfriends’ getaway? Getaway in Baltimore? Definitely!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rhea  |  January 5, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I am a big daytripper and I live in Boston. There are so many great places to see within an hour or less! Good post.

  • 2. tish  |  January 5, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Rhea — Thanks for your comment. Can you offer up some other ideas for fun trips in and around Boston? I’ll explore them on my next trip out there.


  • 3. margalit  |  January 6, 2007 at 2:48 am

    My favorite day trip from Boston is to Newburyport. NBPT is an old whaling/fishing city (the smallest in MA, with a popluation in the 25K range) that has been dramitically restored over the past 25 years. It is the birthplace of the US Coastguard, has a wonderful Maritime Museum, gorgeous federalist houses, a lovely brick downtown with quaint shoppes and restaurants, and best of all, it is the mouth of the Merrimac River, which leads up to the spectacular 7 mile Natural SeaShore called Plum Island. A bird sanctuary, only a very limited number of cars are allowed on the reservation, meaning that the beaches are almost deserted. You can walk through the dunes, find a pirvate spot to relax at the beach, and watch the thousands of birds that call Plum Island home.

  • 4. tish  |  January 6, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Margalit — Newburyport sounds lovely. Will have to look it up on a map. Could be a great little trip.
    Thanks for sharing.



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