Things to Do Just Outside of Boston

Day Trips and Nearby Activities

Boston is close to a number of historical sites and unique towns. If you want to get out of the city for the day, check out one of these incredible day trips.
Crane Beach
Less than an hour north of Boston lies Crane Beach in Ipswich, a fairly isolated and natural stretch of shoreline without any development or buildings nearby. Here you can enjoy the sun, sand, waves, dunes, and walking trails that make up the area. The beach is a nature sanctuary designed to protect the nesting areas of a few specific species of birds. The walking trails will take you through the various coastal ecosystems of the region. You'll need a pass to access the beach (purchase one ahead of time during the busy months to ensure your entry). Dogs are only allowed in the winter, and if you've managed to bring your horse, you'll need a permit for that too. Public restrooms are available.

If you're bored of the beach, check out the nearby Castle Hill on the Crane Estate which has a rose garden, a hotel, and a historic mansion which will make you want to move right in.
Argilla Rd, Ipswich, Massachusetts, 01938
deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
This 30 acres outdoor park and museum offers a peaceful place to explore with fields, gardens, lawns, forests, and terraces. It's located about 20 miles to the west of Boston, so if you're looking for a peaceful place to escape the city, this is a nice option.
51 Sandy Pond Rd, Lincoln, MA, 01773
Interested in more travel advice for Boston? Check out Things to do in the Winter in Boston and What to do in the Summer in Boston.
Old Sturbridge Village
If you're looking to explore a bit of New England's history, Old Sturbridge Village is a nice spot to do it. Located east of Boston, this "living museum" will take you back a few hundred years. Featuring a historic village full of merchants, blacksmiths, horse-drawn carriages, gardens, farms, and more, visitors can explore the area and learn about the daily life of the people of New England in an interactive way.
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 01566
Plimoth Plantation
This living history museum is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It recreates the first Pilgrim settlement in North America, which dates back to 1620. The small village has an authentic atmosphere with farm animals, basic cabins, simple furnishings that stay true to the time period. There are actors who are dressed the part and have real life roles in the town. They're available to answer any questions you may have.
137 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA, 02360
Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts
This small town on the coast north of Boston has a famous history for a variety of reasons, and is worth a drive to spend the day here. First and foremost, this is the location of the famous Salem Witch Trials during which several young women were tried and executed for suspicious behavior. The Salem Witch History Museum and the Witch Dungeon Museum can provide you with more details, if you're up for it. While you're in town, you can also visit the numerous shops, restaurants, and other historical locations dating back to the 17th and 18th century. After all, Salem was a busy trading port and was actually larger than Boston for a significant period of history. The Salem Maritime Historic Site, the Friendship of Salem historic ship, the Pirate Museum, and at least one seafood restaurant should be on your agenda for the day, too.
Salem, Massachusetts
Spectacle Island
Spectacle Island is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. It's just 20 minutes by ferry from downtown Boston and it offers a sandy oasis that's the perfect day trip from May through Columbus Day. There are lifeguards available during the summer months and a visitor center with a few exhibits. Many locals consider this to be one of the best beaches in the area. It also offers nice views of the city skyline when the weather is clear. For runners and walkers, there's a five mile loop that goes around the island.
Boston, MA
Stone Zoo
Part of Zoo New England and affiliated with the Franklin Park Zoo, this location is in the northern suburbs of Boston. Visitors here can view a variety of animal exhibits including monkeys, cougars, otters, porcupines, snakes, jaguars, and more. This is a great spot for kids if you're looking for something different outside of town.
149 Pond Street, Stoneham, Massachusetts, 02180
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $105 to $1,493. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $529. A few of the best options are below.

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Boston has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: A Nature Lover's Guide to Boston and Boston's Best Architectural Landmarks.
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