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25 Best Day Trips & Small Towns in Massachusetts

25 Best Day Trips & Small Towns in Massachusetts

Day trips from Massachusetts include several quaint historical towns with structures and history dating back to the early 17th century when European settlers first arrived on the state’s eastern shore. From the seaside fishing and whaling towns north and south of Boston, to the picturesque beaches of Cape Cod, to the bustling cities of Boston and New York, there’s something for everyone to see and do. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.

1. Acushnet

Acushnet was founded in 1860, as separate from the greater Fairhaven area. It’s the site of the oldest ceremony and church building in the area, each dating back to the 1700’s. The 23-acre cemetery is the burial place of some of Massachusetts’ earliest settlers, including soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Other attractions in the area include the Long Plain Museum, which occupies an 1875 schoolhouse, and educates visitors on local history. The 1799 ruins of a water-powered cotton mill still stand along the Acushnet River. The New Bedford Reservoir, known as Lake Street to the locals, offers kayaking, fishing and wildlife observation.

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2. Boston

Boston is among the most visited New England towns and offers a rich history, diverse culture, and great respect for the arts and education. Self-guided walking tours and trails throughout the city include the Freedom Trail, which passes by 16 historical sites, the Irish Heritage Trail, Black Heritage Trail, and Women’s Heritage Trail. Climb to the top of the Bunker Hill monument, which celebrates America’s first major win of the American Revolution, visit the Boston Common and the Public Gardens, the city’s central public parks, which together form part of the 1,100 acre Emerald Necklace. World-renowned museums include the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, Children’s Museum and the New England Aquarium.

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3. Cambridge

Home of Harvard University, Cambridge sits across the Charles River from Boston proper and offers historical sites, excellent dining and shopping, and outdoor activity. Dive into history at the Cambridge Historical Society, located in the 1685 Hooper-Lee-Nichols House. Stroll through the Cambridge Common public park, or visit the historic Cambridge Public Library. Take a riverboat tour past Harvard’s famous boathouses along the Charles River. Stroll through Harvard Square for the best of the area’s shopping and dining. Within the Harvard campus, visit the famous glass flowers at the Botanical Museum, tour the Museum of Natural History for an exhibit of over 200 bird families and to browse the collection of more than 150,000 insects.

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4. Cape Cod

Cape Cod is the arms of Massachusetts that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The cape offers a range of small town experiences, beach going and outdoor recreation on the north and south shores. Head to the northernmost tip of the arm for a visit to the Cape Cod National Seashore, described by Thoreau in the 1800’s as the great outer beach. The National Park protects over 43,000 https://hookupapp.org/college-hookup/” alt=””> acres of historic lighthouses, cranberry bogs, seashore and wildlife. Enjoy seafood via casual or fine dining in any of the 15 Cape Cod towns. Try classic New England clam chowder, a lobster roll, or fried clams.

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