In this second of a two-part series, we will continue to explore day-trip options that are less than three hours away from Boston. Rich in history and natural beauty, each of these towns is a great destination for anyone looking to get away this fall.
Measuring just 1 square mile in size, Nahant is the smallest municipality in Massachusetts. With a population of around 3,500, Nahant is barely connected to the mainland. As such, while it is just a half-hour drive from Boston, it feels extremely isolated. The town has plenty of beaches as well as some bunkers that are left over from World War II and the Cold War.
Located about an hour from Boston by car or commuter rail, the town of Newbury has a population of about 18,000. Due to its location where the Merrimack River meets the sea, the community offers ample waterside public space to enjoy. The shopping along State Street and the Federal-style houses along High Street are also popular attractions among visitors.
Situated about an hour’s drive north of Boston and boasting a population of only around 7,000 residents, Rockport is characterized by its rocky beaches and wildlife. The town is also bustling with lobster fishermen and other smaller, seafaring vessels. The laid-back vibe makes Rockport a great place to relax and unwind.
Known for its witch history, Salem is less than 45 minutes from Boston. With a population of approximately 40,000 people, much of Salem is dedicated to the history of the early 1690s hysteria that led to the execution of several people accused of witchcraft. There are, however, other attractions in the city that are not related to witchery. These include the Peabody Essex Museum, which is dedicated to Asian Art and early American maritime trading, as well as the Pioneer Village that recreates a Puritan community.
Located about an hour west of Boston and just a little north of the Turnpike, the town of Spencer has a population of just over 11,000 people. While the distance makes the town feel rather remote, it is home to great diners as well as the only Trappist brewery in the Western Hemisphere. The brewery, called And!, is located on the grounds of the St. Joseph’s Trappist monastery just off of State Highway 31.
Home to only around 2,000 year-round residents, the quaint town of Stockbridge features the largest collection of Norman Rockwell art in the world at its Norman Rockwell Museum. As home to the late artist, Stockbridge provided inspiration for the works depicting the idyllic small-town life. With its location near the New York border, Stockbridge will make you feel as though you are world’s away from Boston.
While Boston has much history and beauty of its own to be explored, getting away to visit these small towns can be just the trip you need for the day or for an overnight to feel more refreshed.