It’s summer time in New England! You know, those three months when you can go outside without a jacket. We’re all about the day trips here on Thrive Where Planted. A vacation doesn’t have to be a far off destination. It can be a day well spent exploring new places in your own neck of the woods. We wanted to share our favorite summer spots in New England all very doable in a day.
Worcester Day Trip
The art scene is coming alive in this old mill city, hip eateries and antique shops are popping up left and right. One of my favorite day trips is to head to the mural covered building that houses the Crompton Collective, Seed to Stem, and Birch Tree Bread Company. Crompton Collective is the anthropologie of antique shops - the selection is massive and the display beautiful. Seed to Stem is for sure the coolest plant shop in the state, just walking in makes me happy. It has amazing plants, vintage oriental rugs, and unique gifts. After a day of browsing the shops you can grab lunch at the Birch Tree Bread Company. Another food choice is Lock 50 which is close by. - Ruthie
Boston Day Trips
This is plural because well, there is so much to do in Boston you could break it into 100 day trips. I’ll try to narrow it down to some of my favorites. - Ruthie
Beacon Hill -
The brownstones along these streets are stunning and photogenic. On your stroll, pick up a coffee at the neighborhood Tatte, make sure to stop for a picture on Acorn Street (the most photographed street in the country), pop into Rouvalis Flowers for a fresh bouquet, and then head down the street the the Public Gardens for a picnic and watch the swan boats go by.
South End -
On Sundays in the summer this part of town comes alive with SOWA (aka South End Market). They have food trucks, small business displays, and local art. The South End also has my favorite brunch places, GasLight and Frenchie Bistro. It's enjoyable just to walk around and visit shops such as Niche plant shop, Olives and Grace boutique, and Follain beauty products.
Other Boston ideas: Shopping Newbury Street, Touring the Boston Public Library, The Elizabeth Stuart Gardener Museum, Mikes Pastry in the North End, George Howell coffee at the Geoffrey Hotel, Duck Boats rides (why not), The Aquarium and The Museum of Science.
Hingham Day Trip
I recently went here for the first time. There is a beautiful state park called Worlds End off an island in Hingham. It is a lovely walk with a stunning view of Boston at the top of the hill. The center of this quaint seaside town is a good place to stop on the way home. It has cute shops and Nona’s Ice Cream. I also want to check out a popular beach close by called Nantasket. - Ruthie
Rockport Day Trip
I did a blog post about Rockport and my September tradition of a day spent by the sea. This town has it all…great shops, delicious seafood, the ocean, and the quintessential fishing town feel! - Ruthie
Little Compton Day Trip
When I think of quintessential New England charm, I think of Little Compton, RI. Filled with rolling hills overlooking pristine waters, this is one spot that you do not want to miss. You'll want to stop by one of their many farm stands to get breakfast and stock up on all their goodies and then stop by Dundery Brook Trail for a short hike. If you have more time, I suggest checking out Sakonnet Garden for a funky little walk amongst the flowers. After working up an appetite, head on over to Carolyn's Sakonett Vineyard for some lunch or dinner and do a tour/tasting - their wines are delicious! - Becky
Hiking Day Trips
If you’re looking for more of an adventurous day trip, hiking in New Hampshire is where it’s at.
Mount Willard -
The Crawford Notch area has many trails and mountains to conquer. Standing at over 2,000 feet Mount Willard is one of the easiest climbs. It has also has one of the most satisfying views (according to me). Even the parking area is fun with an old train depot and gifts shops full of over priced mountain gear. - Ruthie
Mount Major -
Ahh the clean air of the mountains. This is a crowd pleaser with an easy climb that rewards you with stunning view of Lake Winnipesaukee. - Ruthie
Mount Monadnock -
This is the mountain I always take people when it's their first hike. Challenging enough to make it feel like a real intense hike, but easy enough not to scare noobies off! The views are also such a reward. Stop by Sunflowers restaurant for some comfort food and maybe some live music afterwards. - Becky
Marthas Vineyard Day Trip
We did a blog post about our trip to Marthas Vineyard last summer. Read the post and then go to Maratha’s Vineyard where all your New England dreams will come true. Be sure not to miss the Gingerbread Houses and Gayhead Lighthouse! Once you get off the ferry you will have to think about transportation, you can walk, take the bus or dare to be different by renting a moped.
Providence (PVD) Day Trip
Yes, I live in (north) PVD so of course I can't really call this a day trip for myself. However, I know our readers are from all over so I would be remiss if I left out a guide of PVD.
Whether you're starting your day early or not, I suggest you get a coffee at either The SHOP, Seven Stars Bakery, Bolt Coffee Shop or The Nitro Bar and then head on over to Olga's Cup and Saucer for the most delectable breakfast. Still hungry? Get a doughnut from either PVD Donuts or KNEAD. You can thank me later. If you enjoy shopping, I suggest checking out NAVA and all the little shops on Hope Street. You can then go over to India Point Park for a nice lunch picnic and enjoy the ocean views. Tour around the RISD museum and then end with dinner either on Federal Hill or any of the yummy restaurants on Wickenden (I seriously love The East End right now). - Becky
Beach Day Trips
Crane Beach -
My favorite New England Beach, I really can’t go on enough about this beach. There is plenty of parking, sweeping views of sand dunes, beach walks for miles, and well kept amenities. On the way home stop at Russel Orchard for an ice cream and some berry picking. - Ruthie
Other Favorite Beaches: Good Harbor, Singing Beach, East Matunick.
Maine Day Trips
There is truly something special about Maine. I always feel like my soul is healing when I walk along the beaches and look out at the light houses. There are many beautiful places in Maine but we always had a special place for Kennebunkport. This seaside town has fun shops to browse, delicious seafood, and a beautiful walking path on the cliffs called The Marginal Way. Other great spots in Maine: Ogunquit (seaside town), Nubble Light House (off the coast of York), and Portland (hipster haven). Check out Becky's Maine post here.
Cape Cod Day Trip
The traffic to Cape Cod is not for the faint of heart, but once you endure the drive a nautical land of joy and wonder awaits. Cape Cod is the heart of New England beach towns and has a classic element other beach towns just can’t compete with (sorry, not sorry). Hot Spots: Common Ground (a fairy tale looking sandwich shop that will have you saying, “what is happening?”), Mayflower Beach (the warm water is almost tropical), Nauset Light House on Chatham Beach, The Dunes of Cape Cod National Seashore (watch out for sharks…but really), and Hot Chocolate Sparrow (mmm beverages), Eden (home of the authentic Cape Cod bracelet). - Ruthie
Newport Day Trip
Newport is a fun spot to explore. Deciding to venture out there? I suggest taking a stroll on the Cliff Walk, visiting the shops at Thames Street or driving around to explore the "island" - it's beautiful no matter where you go!
We hope you've enjoyed our day trip suggestions. Let us know what you think if you try any of them.