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The 8 Best Weekend Getaways From Boston

From spooky villages to historic coastal towns, these dynamic destinations are easy weekend escapes from Boston.

Martha's Vineyard houses by the sea
Hi, I'm Lauren!

Lauren is a writer, editor, and consultant based in New York. Her work has been featured in publications such as Travel + Leisure, SmarterTravel, AFAR, and Time Out. When she's not writing or playing with her dog, she's more than likely researching her next trip.

Whether you prefer sleepy mountain towns or coastal villages, it’s simple to escape the busy city of Boston for something a little different. The bustling urban hub is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring New England’s most charming small towns and cities by car, train, or ferry. To help inspire your future travels, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite easy weekend getaways from Boston across New England.

1. Salem, Massachusetts

Outside the Salem Witch Museum on a sunny day.
Outside the Salem Witch Museum.Foto: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

22 miles (35 kilometers) from Boston

As the site of the Salem Witch Trials back in 1692, Salem has lured in visitors for years. Today, the coastal town is chock-full of spooky attractions that pay homage to its eerie past, including the Salem Witch Trial Memorial and the Salem Witch Museum.

History enthusiasts can embark on guided walking tours, while thrillseekers may prefer nighttime ghost tours.

2. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A sunny street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
A sunny street in Portsmouth.Foto: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

57 miles (35 kilometers) from Boston

The popular port town of Portsmouth, dotted with quaint cafes and shops, is best explored on foot or via bike.

Start with a leisurely stroll through some of the city’s most historic, garden-filled neighborhoods. Then, tea-loving travelers can learn how to blend the perfect cup of New England tea from over 250 types of herbs at one of the town’s apothecaries.

3. Newport, Rhode Island

An aerial view of The Breakers.
The Breakers make for a great weekend trip from Boston.Foto: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

71 miles (114 kilometers) from Boston

With centuries-old history, waterfront locale, and Gilded Age mansions, it’s no wonder Newport is one of the most popular vacation spots on the East Coast.

After touring opulent homes like The Breakers and Rosecliff, consider hopping aboard a trolley that cruises down the famous Ocean Drive. Then, embark on a walking food tour or get your sea legs on with a scenic sail around Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay.

4. Kennebunkport, Maine

The boats and trees of Kennebunkport, ME.
The boats and trees of Kennebunkport.Foto: Lewis Directed Films / Shutterstock

84 miles (135 kilometers) from Boston

Experience pristine beaches, fresh seafood, and lighthouses surrounded by crashing waves in Kennebunkport, Maine. Spend the afternoon strolling through the Kennebunkport Historic District for a step back in time thanks to its historic architecture (some of which dates back to the 18th century).

If the weather’s warm, consider splashing around in Maine Harbor—rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Or, for a quintessential East Coast foodie experience, sign up for a lobster tour.

5. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard, MA—its boats on the pier.
The pier in glitzy Martha's Vineyard.Foto: Gordon Bell / Shutterstock

93 miles (149 kilometers) from Boston

The idyllic Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, situated just south of Cape Cod, features charming towns and unspoiled stretches of sand. Head straight to the towering Aquinnah Cliffs for the best views, home to Martha’s Vineyard’s first lighthouse, Gay Head Light.

Oak Bluffs is an ideal home base for exploring. Visit colorful gingerbread cottages, a buzzy downtown area, sandy beaches, and America’s oldest platform carousel, The Flying Horses Carousel.

Related: Cape Cod Tours From Boston

6. Portland, Maine

A Portland lighthouse at dawn.
Portland as the sun rises.Foto: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

107 miles (172 kilometers) from Boston

Maine’s largest city, Portland, is home to many unique attractions. From the state’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light, to the 19th-century Fort Gorge, history buffs have plenty to see and do.

Taking in the city’s gastronomy scene is just as fun, from the buzzing craft breweries to the city’s up-and-coming restaurants. And no trip to Portland is complete without visiting the local lighthouses. A lighthouse bike tour is one of the easiest ways to see all five of them.

7. White Mountains, New Hampshire

Fall foliage in the White Mountains, NH.
Fall foliage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.Foto: Winston Tan / Shutterstock

164 miles (264 kilometers) from Boston

New Hampshire’s White Mountains are perfect for discovering the great outdoors. Head more than 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) up to the top of Cannon Mountain via the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway (the first aerial tramway in the US for sweeping vistas.

Don’t miss Diana's Baths, a series of cascading pools that are popular spots for swimming, either. Meanwhile, oenophiles can visit a local winery to sip wine and learn more about the region’s wine-making process.

8. Burlington, Vermont

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont.
Check out Church Street Marketplace when you're in Burlington.Foto: julie deshaies / Shutterstock

216 miles (348 kilometers) from Boston

Despite its small size, Burlington boasts an impressive arts and culture scene, thanks to an array of museums, galleries, and festivals. Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington is ideal for a stroll, home to over 100 stores and restaurants.

Keep walking, and you’ll eventually come across the Burlington Waterfront Park, where travelers can walk, bike, rollerblade, or boat. Cheers to a successful trip at one (or several) of Burlington’s craft breweries.

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