Living in New England, it goes without saying that we’re so fortunate to be a stone’s throw –or nice day trip—away from so many attractions that signal classic Americana summer.  Strawberry-picking and beach-going, whale watching and summer festivals that feature sandcastle building and fireworks, and museums, zoos and baseball. For a quick hop, skip and a jump away, it’s easy to escape to that nostalgic era.  With most other New England states only an hour or two in the car, these trips can make for fun, spontaneous getaways that do not require too much planning ahead. Here are a few ideas for some fun day trips this summer, all within a few hours’ drive from Boston or less

The Beach & Strawberry-picking in Ipswich, MA

What goes better with strawberries than sand between your toes, spending time in the sun and a refreshing dip in the ocean? One of my favorite day trips in the summer is to drive to Ipswich, 30 miles north of Boston, to spend the day at Crane Beach—a real-life Norman Rockwell painting.  We then go strawberry-picking in the orchards down the street from the beach. June marks the kick-off to strawberry season, and there is nothing like picking your own and popping a few juicy berries in your mouth along the way. Kids of all ages enjoy this activity, especially since they can eat a few berries while still in the patch—just make sure some berries make it into your basket before you’re done!

many red strawberries

Something for everyone in the family in York, Maine 

Want to venture outside of Massachusetts for some family fun? A 70 mile drive north of Boston will bring you to York, Maine, a quaint New England locale that features the beautiful York Beach, ice cream shops, arcades and miniature golf, whale watching, and a zoo.  In the middle of the summer, there is a weeklong festival including sandcastle-building, concerts and fireworks, among other fun events. Restaurants spotlighting lobster specials– with blueberry pie for dessert– are plentiful as well, and a hike to the Nubble Lighthouse after dinner make this day trip experience complete.

Museums, Zoos, Water fire and another Sox baseball experience in Providence, RI

Looking for a new and exciting zoo or museum to take the kids to outside of Boston, or a baseball experience other than Fenway but not too far away? Providence, RI, 51 miles southwest of Boston, also offers the opportunity to cross state lines for more family fun. The third oldest zoo in the U.S is based in Providence, and is home to almost 1,000 animals. An art and children’s museum are also there, and the unique experience of water fire—a series of bonfires on Providence’s three rivers—add to the adventure of this day trip.

providence, RI water fire

With gas prices remaining low and so many summer adventures to be had, day trips from the Boston area across state lines offer a respite from the routine, with fun for everyone!

What are some of your favorite day trips?



Kate Cotter
Kate came to New England for college a decade and a half ago, and fell in love with all things Boston. She is the mom of two beautiful baby boys, ages 2.5 & 10 months, and loves watching them explore this lovely area of the country, experiencing Boston through their eyes. Heart-filling: spending time with my family, spontaneous hugs, kisses and “I love you Mommy” from my boys, reading great books, fall in New England, the Adirondacks, golden retriever puppies (don’t have any yet!), coffee, champagne, and serendipity. Can do without: Boston traffic, inconsiderateness, never-ending winters and stir-craziness.