Back in May, my family and I booked flights to Boston, Massachusetts. One of my sisters was going to move there and offered us a place to stay if we wanted to visit. Since none of us had ever been to the New England area, this was the perfect opportunity to change that. What I didn’t realize was how much we would want to do and see in and around Boston. Decisions, decisions!
Road Tripping in the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse
When we landed in Boston, we were happy to find a 2018 Chevy Traverse waiting for us thanks to Chevrolet. The AWD High Country trim included all the extras and large enough to transport five adults (well, Munchkin is at least adult-sized) in style and comfort. The ride was smooth but solid, steering was responsive, it had a surprisingly good turning radius, seats were comfortable, it was MUCH easier to move the second-row seat up than previous models, and the Traverse had tons of technology built into it. Braking took extra effort due to the size and, though the 3.6L V6 engine had plenty of power, you couldn’t get any boosts of speed when you needed to change lanes or pass other cars.
Right off the bat, we were loving the Surround Vision feature with a 360-degree camera view. The exit of the parking area was pretty narrow but we were able to get the large SUV out unscathed thanks to this.
Day Trips Near Boston (Distance: <1 hr) — Boston Freedom Trail
When traveling to Boston, one MUST do the Freedom Trail. This trail is 2-1/2 miles long and is marked by a pathway of bricks embedded in the sidewalks and streets. The Freedom Trail leads visitors past 16 historic landmarks throughout the city. It starts from Boston Common and ends at either Beacon Hill or the USS Constitution. Walking along the trail and touring some of the sites can take all day, depending on your level of interest in each spot.
If you have another 1-2 days to spend in Boston, try visiting:
- Boston Common
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Red Sox game at Fenway Park
- Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum
- Allergen-Friendly Food: Fomu (DELICIOUS dairy free ice cream, gluten free options too)
Day Trips Near Boston (Distance: 2 hr) — Plymouth and Cape Cod
One afternoon, we took off for Plimouth Plantation in the south. We had a much later start than anticipated and arrived a half hour before closing. Since we’re not into the reenacting and being in-character thing, that was plenty of time for us. Plus, it was grossly hot and humid and we couldn’t wait to get back to the car with air-conditioning and ventilated seats! We tried to pop by the Mayflower II but it is out for repairs until 2019. With more time, we hoped to venture into Cape Cod but that will have to wait for our next trip.
One Boston blogger I know, Christy of Quirky Fusion, suggested Old Sturbridge Village as an alternative to Plimouth Plantation. She said it’s a similar concept minus the accents and role-playing. I think we would have enjoyed this more but Sturbridge is a separate day trip about 1-1/2 hours west of Boston.
If you have another half day or even a weekend, try visiting:
- Heritage Museums & Gardens and Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich
- Town and beaches in Hyannis
- Beaches and lighthouses in Cape Cod
Day Trips Near Boston (Distance: 2 hr) — Salem, Gloucester, Rockport
We were going to head northeast through Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, and Halibut Point State Park in Rockport. But, since the Peabody Essex Museum was closed the day we were going, we had to shelf that plan.
New England Road Trips (Distance: 2 hr) — New Hampshire and Maine
We also set aside one day to travel north through New Hampshire and Maine. From my sister’s house, it was only a two-hour drive to Portland, Maine. So, we decided to head there first and stop by a few coastal towns as we made our way back south. Munchkin sat up front so she could be the road trip DJ while my sister plugged her laptop in to get some work done. This day trip was so amazing that I’ll have to write a separate post on it. But, in the meantime, here’s a brief summary.
We first visited Portland Head Lighthouse and had our very first lobster rolls at a nearby (but highly-rated online) food truck. Expensive but tasty! From there, we went to Kennebunkport. Colorful and quaint town but it was busy and we could only find a 15-minute parking spot. Next, we drove to York to see the Nubble Lighthouse, nearby tidepools, and Long Sands Beach. Back on the road, we crossed into New Hampshire. We had dinner in Portsmouth before making our way back to Boston.
Find extra time to stroll around these places:
- Old Port in Portland, Maine
- Scenery in Ogunquit, Maine
- Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Allergen-Friendly Food: Flatbread Company (several locations, gluten free and dairy free options, safe for celiacs) and Bite into Maine in Portland, ME (Maine-style lobster filling is gluten free and dairy free so bring your own bread)
Even on such a long road trip, all five of us were comfortable with plenty of room to spread out. We put our valuables in the lower storage space in the cargo area so we could park and leave the car without worrying someone would break in. The varying temperature made the three-zone controls pretty nice. And, we had plenty of places to put things as each sitting area was surrounded by cubby holes here and there.
New England Road Trips (Distance: 2+ hr) — RI, CT, NY, NJ
Only a week before we left, our travel plans changed and we needed to head to New York to visit some friends. Instead of doing the 4-hour drive at once, we made it an overnight side trip. We set our navigation for Providence, Rhode Island. This was our first taste of the New England architecture and it was charming. On our way there, we carried on through Connecticut, then to New York, and checked into our hotel which was right over the New Jersey border. After visiting our friends in Warwick, NY, we then made our way back to Boston for dinner. It was a long trek there and back but it was worth it. As California native, though, it was so weird to pass through five states in just a few hours of driving!
More road trip ideas heading southwest:
- Newport Mansions in Newport, Rhode Island
- Hartford in Connecticut
- New York City in New York
- Allergen-Friendly Food: Golden Wok Cafe in Ardsley, NY (extensive gluten-free menu, safe for celiacs)
Our ride in the 2018 Chevy Traverse was comfortable and smooth the whole way. Frans loved the smart cruise control (senses the car in front so slows down when that car slows and speeds up as well). I liked the fact that, while Frans used Apple CarPlay from his phone for navigation, I could plug my phone in the second USB port to access my music playlist. Munchkin was content the entire time since she could keep her devices fully charged thanks to the car having more outlets than you could shake a stick at (3 USB, 1 wireless charging, and one 12V in front; 2 USB and one 3-prong in the second row; 2 USB in the third row). This is an excellent family SUV for road trips!
We had such a great time taking day trips near Boston and other mini New England road trips. But, due to time constraints and unpredictable traffic, we had to shrink our itinerary quite a bit. I hope we get the chance to go back again, maybe in the fall sometime, and explore the area again but at a slower, more relaxed pace. There are so many things to do and it’s so easy to go from state to state that the options are endless. If you’ve never been to New England, plan a trip today!
This was NOT a sponsored trip but one-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.