Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Kristin

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Boston is a living American history lesson, boasting Revolutionary War landmarks like the Old North Church and Freedom Trail. With an endless array of incredible seafood restaurants and charming Irish pubs, it’s worth spending time in Boston to enjoy all the city has to offer. At the same time, New England’s biggest city is also a launch pad for a road trip to the numerous small towns dotting the Atlantic coast. Here are the best road trips from Boston.

Fabulous Road Trips from Boston

Note: Drive times are estimates, and can vary greatly due to New England traffic.


25 miles / 32 mins.

The quick jaunt northeast up I-93 and I-95 to Salem, Massachusetts may not seem like a proper road trip. However, this quaint city known for its witchcraft trials is a must-see attraction that quickly transports visitors to another world. Settled in 1626, the coastal city provides a mix of historical attractions like the Salem Witch Museum and a 171-foot replica of the Friendship merchant ship. Salem’s charming downtown is also home to an eclectic mix of specialty shops and cozy restaurants. >> Recommended hotels in Salem

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Newport, Rhode Island

84 miles  / 1 hr. 30 mins.

Head south from Boston on I-95 to reach Rhode Island, a tiny state packed with sprawling mansions, world-class museums and sandy beaches. The quaint coastal town of Newport is a popular summer haven known for its stately historic homes and breathtaking coastline. Stop by the Vanderbilt family’s summer home (called The Breakers) and drive down Ocean Avenue to enjoy one of the best spots in New England for sunsets. >> Recommended hotels in Newport

Portland, Maine

112 miles  / 1 hr. 45 mins.

Just a couple hours north up I-95 from Boston lies Portland, Maine, a charming port city known for craft breweries and lighthouses dotting Casco Bay. To catch an incredible sunset, drive about 15 minutes south to the Portland Head Light lighthouse in Fort Williams Park. One of the best things about a road trip to Portland is stopping at great beach towns along the way, including Ogunquit, Kennebunkport and Old Orchard Beach. >> Recommended hotels in Portland

Cape Cod

116 miles  / 2 hr. 10 mins.

A trip to Cape Cod region from Boston is a must, especially in the summer months. To make the most of this road trip, cruise through the Cape’s historic towns, including Sandwich, Orleans and Wellfleet. The last stop on this route is the iconic Provincetown, known for its inclusive culture and LGBTQ+-friendly nightlife. Try to avoid driving from Boston to Cape Cod on Friday evenings in the summer, as this route becomes logjammed with heavy traffic as people leave the city for the weekend. >> Recommended hotels on Cape Cod

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White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

130 miles  / 2 hr. 20 mins.

For an outdoorsy road trip that takes you off the beaten path, set your sights on New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest via I-93. The forest spanning more than 750,000 acres is home to lakes, streams, hiking trails, ski areas and wildlife including moose, foxes and black bears. Accommodations range from campgrounds to luxury resorts with amenities like hot tubs and pools. One of the best scenic drives through the White Mountains is a 34.5-mile part of NH-112 known as the Kancamagus Highway (or “The Kanc”), which people flock to in the fall to watch the leaves change colors.