5 Best Weekend Excursions This Fall
As wonderful as Boston can be, autumn will always give you the urge to wander outside of city limits in search of fall foliage and pumpkin-spiced memories. Of all the things New England is famous for, fall-foliage is one of the region’s biggest attractions, which brings in hundreds of thousands of tourists a year all in search of the ‘best bed and breakfast’ in New England.
For us in the city, we know that Boston Proper can be just as beautiful as a Vermont road trip in mid-September, but if your looking to venture into open spaces this fall, here’s a list of 5 destinations that are sure to be a hit with the whole family!
- Walden Pond: Unleash your inner Thoreau and connect with nature for a few hours or an overnight. Walden Pond is just only a short half hour ride from the city, but when you arrive and get out of your vehicle, you’ll quickly realize that you’re in a whole different world. The lake in Concord is an example of a “kettle hole,” formed by a retreating glacier a millennia ago. Now part of a 335-acre state-maintained recreational site, Walden Pond offers a unique escape from the “busy-ness” of city life. It’s well known for being the home of Henry David Thoreau, who spent two years living in a cabin on Walden Pond. But you can breathe in the calm just as easily during a day trip.
- Nantucket: Halloween on Nantucket Island is special. So is the cranberry festival. Of course, Nantucket Island is a great destination almost any time of year. But it comes alive in October. This year, the Cranberry Festival is scheduled for October 12. And then everyone — adults and children, residents and visitors alike — dresses up for the annual Halloween Parade, always held October 31. Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, witches and black cats will be out in full force, of course! Equally wonderful and slightly less terrifying are the pumpkin and spice-flavored treats that will have you over-indulging in goodness!
- Worcester: If you have kids at home or visiting, or if you’re a kid at heart, Worcester’s Eco Tarium will be sure to capture your imagination. There’s a whole roster of other activities to keep you busy for a day trip, and enough to spend a few days away from the big city. Worcester is an easy drive, only about an hour west of Boston, and it’s a uniquely self-contained community nicknamed “The Heart of the Commonwealth.” With a population of nearly a million people, Worcester still feels friendly, smallish and inviting. Boasting a digital planetarium as well as a narrow-guage railway, animal exhibits along with the science and nature museum, the Eco Tarium is a prime destination for educational adventure. But the city has plenty of other reasons for a visit, including a stunning art museum and botanic garden.
- Providence, RI: With a totally different vibe, Providence is almost like traveling to a different country, but you don’t need a passport! One of the best parts of living in Boston is that the best of all of New England and the Northeast is readily accessible. Rhode Island may be tiny, but it’s high on the list of “Best Places.” Providence is, of course, its heart. Explore the Mile of History by taking a self-guided walking tour of some of the best Colonial architecture in the country. Be totally awed by the art exhibits at the RISD Museum, or head for the zoo and ride the historic Carousel at Roger Williams Park. You won’t be disappointed.
- Portland, ME: Another great out-of-state getaway, Portland has become a world-class foodie delight. Plan a weekend excursion to tour nearby lighthouses, walk the Old Port and enjoy good eats and good brew in a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. Visiting Portland takes you north from Boston, through New Hampshire, and into a state known as much for it low-key vibe as for its lobster. Make time to visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and the Portland Museum of Art if you can!
Whether you take a day trip or plan a long weekend away, you’ll go back to Boston refreshed and ready to jump back in to big city life!