recommmendations for day-trips around boston?

I’m going to be in Boston this weekend to meet up with a friend (and former gf from college) who is moving overseas soon, and we were wondering if there’s a good getaway place near Boston where we could go for a day. We’d like to go somewhere where there are outdoorsy things to do (like a beach or good places to walk), and where there might be some quaint shops, restaurants, and the like. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks guys. Also since this post is sort of off-topic (and might get deleted), if you could e-mail me at porcupines AT gmail DOT com, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Go to the esplanade off the Charles River

My sister went to BU…Will get some ideas from her and email you, Numi. BTW- I sent ya an email a few days back. Hoping you got it.

Yep, I did get it - thanks Theo. I’ll write back later today.

getaway for a day? If you’re leaving from Boston - consider day trip to P-town. I think there’s fast boat service from Boston. Good idea to look at art. Bad idea if you don’t like spending a lot of time in Chelsea. For New England Fishy type place - try Gloucester. I haven’t been in years, but friends went recently and thought it was very quaint. You can also head north into Maine - stay off the main roads and you’ll hit a ton of cool little places. For Cultcha outside of Boston- there’s the North Shore Music theater. The Peabody-Essex Museum is pretty neat, unfortunately they now have an exhibit “The Art of the Wedding” which really sends the wrong message in any case. There’s the De-Cordova Sculpture Garden or Walden Pond. Walden Pond has a nice trail around it. If you’re sticking closer to Boston, I’d shoot for The Elizabeth Stewart Gardner Museum. Architecture is amazing, and a little more manageable than the MFA. Frommers dot com has good suggestions. It’s a bit ambitious, but it is possible to do a day trip from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard. Drive or bus down to woodshole, hop on the ferry, rent scooter(s) for a day and you are home free. Beaches / ice cream / ton of shops. They even have a vineyard there now - wine is kind of meh, but fun to drive a rented scooter with a buzz. Bob - Kev - other Boston People - represent? We can finally give useful info to numi.

The Elizabeth Stewart Gardner Museum is very cool. Girls definitely dig that place. The Freedom Trail is neat and you can see a lot of Boston but it can be exhausting, especially the climb up the monument on Bunker Hill. Minute Man National Park in Lexington is good for walks but not that great for shopping or food. You could head up to Salem. There are some really neat tours to take like the House of the Seven Gables. Be sure to stop in Bunghole Liquors for a t-shirt! Newport, RI is also really cool. The cliff walk with the huge mansions is really impressive. Lots of shops and food there, but also a lot of tourists. Martha’s Vineyard is nice but it would make for a looong day. It is pretty impossible to get a car ticket for the ferry and you do not want to drive there anyway. Parking for the ferry is a nightmare and the Bonanza Bus from Boston takes a while. And then there are the crowds on the island. I typically steer clear of that place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You could consider just staying on the Cape. There are lots of tourists there as well but at least you can have a car. The beaches are decent and there are tons of shops to hit. Traffic can suck since there are only 2 bridges to the Cape so get there early and expect to leave late.

Hi all – thanks so much for the feedback. Onegin, what is “P-Town”? I appreciate your recommendations on the architectural and museum sites. We might even be able to visit a museum or two on Sunday, and spend Saturday doing our one-day roadtrip. hezagenius, you’re like the third person who’s mentioned the Elizabeth Stewart Gardner Museum (besides Onegin). We’ll have to check that out. We did think about Martha’s Vineyard, but as you pointed out, it might not be so practical for a one-day trip. We definitely want to make the most of our time, but we want it to be relaxing too. As such, we were actually thinking of just doing a day trip to Cape Ann. Do you guys think there’s enough there to keep us busy for a day, or are there neighboring sites or towns that you recommend us check out? Also, in order to beat the traffic or tourists, how early in the morning would we have to leave downtown Boston? We’ll be driving. Thanks in advance for your help again!

if you are in the city at all outside of a day trip i’d recommend going to the north end for lunch/dinner and maybe walking around quincy market. hanover street.

P’Town = Providence Town on Cape Cod Driving to Manchester on a Saturday Morning should about 30-40 minutes (ATBE) If driving to Cape Ann go to Manchester first, then Gloucester, then Rockport. Manchester has some beautiful houses right on the water, yet many of the raods are private. Singing Beach in Manchester is pleasant, but parking can be tricky. Have breakfast at the Beach Street Diner in Manchester, then have lunch in Rockport. If staying for dinner, Gloucester has the best options. If the weaher is questionable, stay in Beantown. Cape Ann is usually windier and colder than the city. Enjoy.

Also visit Coolidge Point / Great Lawn in Manchester (on the way to Gloucester) and Halibut Point in Rockport. Great views (and free).

If you are going to Provincetown, their is a ferry that leaves south boston twice a day from the seaport which is located directly next to the World Trade Center (fidelity investments HQ). If you make it back for dinner there is a Mortons pretty much right across the street or you can trek across the city to the North End (far and away the best dining in the city). In my opinion ptown is a little cheesy, the Gardner Museum is nice and the MFA usually has some great exhibits. If museums arent your thing, you can explore Boston Commons before hitting up the theatre district right in the heart of downtown there are always some good productions in town but tickets can be hard to come by. Have fun! GenY

Gecco - Ill nitpick (totally giving you a hard time). Its the Beach Street Cafe.

P-town is far as it is the extreme end of cape cod. will take you to 3-4 hours drive. It is also a gayest town of MA. All the fags come to p-town to party. I would recommend to go to newport, RI - European feel or to cape cod.

Sounds like you plan to spend one day in Boston and one day on a trip. In that case, I’d agree with cfaboston28 and pick either Newport, RI or Cape Cod. Cape Ann is definitely quaint but I don’t know if there is enough to do for a whole day. If you want beaches, go with Cape Cod. If you want shopping, go with Newport, RI. Either way, you will be fighting with tourists but they are both definitely worth a visit. If you go to Cape Cod, I would recommend getting there by 10am at the latest. As was mentioned, while in Boston, the Gardner museum is good. It is a very unique art museum/historical place. The MFA is also nice but it is a more traditional art museum. Taking a Duck Boat tour is also fun. For good food, the North End is the best, unless you don’t like Italian. If you like cannolis, hit Mike’s Pastries (also in the North End) after dinner. If you really want a fancy dessert, go to Finale. Their specialty is desserts. Walking around Boston Commons is fun and is great for people watching. There are tons of historical sites to see in and around downtown if that is your thing.

Some good bars in Chinatown I can point you too, if you want. Some offer additional amenities.

“happy ending”

thank you all for the suggestions – i’m definitely going to spend some checking out the places you guys recommended. this is going to be an awesome weekend. i’ll let you guys know what i end up deciding. btw grover33, those “additional amenities” in chinatown sound pretty intriguing, but i probably won’t be able to visit them especially since my former flame will be around me the whole weekend

For additional amenities, you should go to Providence, RI just 50 miles from Beantown

One way or another, I still sense a “happy ending” is in store for numi