Let’s face it: we’re all sick and tired of our normal routines. You wake up, hop on Zoom, maybe go for a walk or a run, hop back on Zoom, do homework, eat food, and go to sleep. It’s a horribly monotonous routine, and I, for one, am sick of it. The BU bubble can get extremely claustrophobic, so I have begun to expand my surroundings and take trips to other cool places in New England. Don’t get me wrong, I love Boston so much, but sometimes, you just need a break. So, here are five destinations within driving distance of Boston that you can go to to escape for just a little while.
(FYI, you can drive to any of these places by creating a Zipcar account through BU!)
- Salem, MA
No matter what time of the year it is, it’s always spooky season in Salem. And if you’re like me, and Halloween just makes you feel at home, then taking a trip to Salem is the perfect getaway for you. I recently rented a Zipcar to drive to Salem with my friends in February, and it was such a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Boston. There is still so much to do and see in Salem even when it’s not the fall, and most (if not all) of the stores are still open year-round! Even now, you’ll still see people walking around in witch hats or costumes, roaming the historic streets of Salem. Plus, you can always go to a fortune-teller or to Salem’s spooky thrift shop for some Halloween fun!
- Concord, MA
Concord is definitely the place to go if you’re a big Little Women fan like I am. Whether you want to dance on the porch like Timothée and Saoirse, walk amongst the hills like the March sisters, or simply take in the beautiful scenery of the town, Concord is home to many different sites. Many of the filming locations in the film are in Concord, including Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s dwelling, and the Minute Man Historical Park. The film also shot in parts of Ipswich, Harvard, and Boston—specifically Back Bay. However, apart from the town’s significance in Little Women, Concord is simply just a beautiful and calm place to escape if you want a change of scenery.
- Newport, RI
Although this is out of state, Newport is not far away from Boston at all. You can either drive the hour-and-a-half distance or take the commuter rail to Providence from Boston and then take an Uber to Newport. Newport is beautiful this time of year, and the weather is finally getting warm enough to enjoy walking along the waterfront, shopping in the town, or biking along the coast. I actually just went to Newport for Easter weekend, and it was packed with people (still safe, though) wanting to enjoy the historic town’s sites. Most of the restaurants also have outdoor seating, and you can even sit right on the water and enjoy some of the East Coast’s best seafood. Newport is definitely worth the trip!
- Blue Hills Reservation, Milton, MA
For me, one of the things I miss most from home is hiking. Going from a town in the mountains of New Jersey to the bustling city of Boston is a big change, and I always miss the peacefulness of walking through the woods, taking a deep breath, and just enjoying Mother Nature. Luckily for me, Blue Hills Reservation is just a 20-minute drive from Boston, and it is home to some of the most amazing views in the state. I went to this reservation in the fall, and let me tell you, the views from the top were absolutely breathtaking. The colorful leaves on the trees were so vibrant, and the view was amazing. Getting away from Boston and into the mountains was incredibly refreshing for me, and I definitely want to go back soon since the weather is finally getting nice again.
- M Street Beach, Boston, MA
Just because Boston is a city full of tall buildings and busy streets, it doesn’t mean there are not beautiful beaches nearby. M Street Beach is just a T ride away from BU, and I think taking the green line there is way easier than driving (or taking an Uber). Spring fever is kicking into gear more than it ever has before (for me at least), so the beach is a perfect weekend getaway to take a break from the stress of finals. It may not be swimming weather yet, but you can always throw on a cozy sweatshirt and cuddle up on the beach with a good book or on a blanket with friends. Grab a Spikeball set and some beach chairs and bring your friends to M Street Beach for some weekend fun!