Cape Cod, Salem, Plymouth, Concord, Lexington, Lowell
Massachusetts offers visitors varied attractions. Beaches, outlet malls, museums, and historical sites like Plymouth, Quincy, and Lexington are an hour’s drive from Boston.
Downtown Boston offers ample shopping and sightseeing opportunities, but for anyone fancying a day away from the city here are 10 ideas for days out within easy reach.
Explore the coastline of this popular peninsula. “The Cape”, as it affectionately is known is famous for wonderful beaches and fresh seafood. An hour’s drive south of Boston down highway 3 brings you the Sagamore Bridge, the gateway to Cape Cod. The area is very popular in the summer months and traffic congestion can be a problem.
Gloucester and Rockport
Just over 30 miles northeast of Boston, at the tip of Cape Ann, lie two small fishing villages with a wealth of history. First settled as early as 1623 the area was the inspiration for The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.
Lexington and Concord
Trace the route taken by Paul Revere to the Revolutionary battlegrounds of Lexington and Concord. Visit the Old North Bridge in Concord and the Minute Man National Park, Lexington. Lexington and Concord are roughly 20 miles northwest of Boston on Route 2.
The Lowell National Historic Park is a series of historic buildings, in downtown Lowell, with trolleys and canal boats providing transport between them. Lowell is within easy reach of Boston via the I93 and I495. Rail passengers can take the Lowell Line, commuter rail train, from North Station.
Old Sturbridge Village
The largest living history museum in New England recreates village life in 1830. Watch master craftsmen at work, see a nineteenth-century school classroom, or visit a colonial-style garden. Old Sturbridge Village is 60 miles west of Boston down the Mass Turnpike (I90).
The lives of the Pilgrim Fathers still dominate Plymouth today. A replica of the Mayflower stands proudly in Plymouth Harbor and, two miles up the road, the Founding Fathers and Native Americans’ lives are recreated by role players at Plymouth Plantation. Plymouth is a 40-mile drive from Boston via highway 3. A commuter rail service to Plymouth/Kingston runs from South Station.
“The Birthplace of the American Dream” is just 5 miles south of Boston. Visit the birthplaces of two presidents on the trolley tour to the Adams’ family residences. To get to Quincy from Boston take the I93, commuter rail from South Station, or the red line subway.
Famous for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, various museums and exhibitions recreate these events. 25 miles northeast of Boston, Salem is reached via I93 and route 128 or by the Rockport or Newburyport commuter rail line from North Station
Do you fancy something completely different? Take a Whale Watching trip from either Boston Harbor or Gloucester. A camera and warm clothing are necessities as you watch whales in their natural environment. Trips leave daily between May and September.
If you want a bit more retail therapy, take a trip to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlet. Over 170 outlet stores offer designer goods at discounted prices, including Barneys New York, Burberry, and Saks Fifth Avenue. If you time it right, you can also take in a football or soccer game at the nearby Gillette Stadium. Wrentham is on route 1A at the intersection with the I495.
These are just a few of many attractions that the area has to offer, The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism can provide more details.