If you are looking for a great day-trip from Boston that will allow you to enjoy fall colors while encountering some great cultural experiences, you will be happy to know that there are several quaint towns in the Boston area that are within a three-hour drive away. In this first of a two-part series, we will explore some of the available options.
Home to Amherst College, Hampshire College and UMass-Amherst, the town of Amherst boasts a population of roughly 40,000 people. Here, you can enjoy exploring a variety of museums. Some that are worth checking out include:
- Yiddish Book Center – Preserves more than a million volumes of Yiddish books and films
- Emily Dickinson Museum – Dedicated to the famous poet, who was born in Amherst and lived out her life there
- Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – Kid-friendly museum displaying the works of picture book artists
As a college town, downtown Amherst is also rich in nightlife activities and opportunities.
Home to a population of around 18,000 people, Concord boasts a gorgeous downtown area and a rich literary history. In fact, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott all called Concord their home at some point. Concord is also home to where many of the first shots of the Revolutionary War in April 1775 took place, with the Minute Man National Historic Park being well-worth a visit for history buffs.
Included in the 2012 Smithsonian magazine list of the 20 best small towns in America, Great Barrington is rich in history and historical properties dating back to Colonial times. The town also boasts plenty of eateries along with the Guthrie Center, which is dedicated to folk music and named for the town’s native son Arlo Guthrie. During the colder months, the town is also located near to some great skiing opportunities.
Located approximately one hour away from the university by the same name, the Town of Harvard is home to about 6,500 residents. Several nontraditional communities, including the Shakers, various communes and the Transcendentalists, have settled in this town, helping to add to its unique vibe. Aside from the quaint downtown area, other attractions found in Harvard include the Fruitlands Museum complex, which houses the nation’s oldest Shaker museum, a farmhouse preserving a mid-19th-century experiment in communal living and a museum dedicated to Native American artifacts.
The home of where “the shots heard ‘round the world” took place to launch the American Revolution in April 1775, Lexington features a Common that commemorates the Battle of Lexington. Formally known as Battle Green, the Common also features the oldest war monument in the country. The Buckman and Munroe taverns also serve as museums dedicated to commemorating the conflict.
Located less than an hour north of Boston, the town of Marblehead is home to approximately 20,000 people. Often referred to as the birthplace of the American Navy because the first fighting vessel of the Revolutionary War is believed to have been launched from their by one of its residents, the town is famed for its sailing, yachting and kayaking.