Best Staycations in Greater Boston

kayak photo.jpg

A recent CNN article revealed the importance of taking vacation. It explained how Americans forfeited 212 million days of their PTO because it couldn’t be banked, rolled over or paid out. This equates to $62 billion dollars in unused vacation or every US employee donating $561 in "free" work to their employer. WHY?! Vacation is part of your benefits package so if for no other reason than the fact that its PAID time off you should be using it.

Vacation is a time to recharge, reset, foster personal relationships, and hopefully make some memories. So what happens if you can’t afford that dream vacation to Turks & Caicos right now or your friends can’t take time off when you can?

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do locally that warrant tapping into the PTO piggybank! Here are some recommendations in the Boston and surrounding area that can make a day off at home seem like a trip away.

view from Spectacle Island

view from Spectacle Island

In Boston Proper

  1. Kayak on the Charles through MIT or Charles River Kayak in Kendall.

  2. Go get buff at these exercises classes all across the city or the Esplanade.

  3. Get lost in a book while catching some rays at city pools like Mirabella in the North End or near the Frog Pond on Boston Common. You can also go to the Clubs at Charles River Park or the Colonnade hotel for a fee to enjoy a more luxurious pool.  Another great park  (but without a pool) Northpoint Park by EF Education in East Cambridge across from the Museum of Science.

  4. Take the ferry from Long Wharf to Spectacle Island where you can hike or go to the beach.

Greater Boston

If you are willing to rent a car or use public transit, there are more great staycation options outside the city that might make it feel more like a real getaway.  Maven is a new ride sharing service operated by GM that is very affordable starting at $8/hour. ZipCar is another option outside of public transit.

  1. Spend the day down at World’s End in Hingham. You can hike the peninsula or lounge by the water. Bonus points awarded for being dog-friendly!

  2. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary is another great place to hike by the water.

  3. Newburyport or Plum island beaches are a great getaway for the day. Make sure to get there early to get a parking spot! Brine restaurant in Newburyport is a great place to enjoy some fresh seafood and Michael’s Harborside is known for its lobster rolls.

  4. Take the ferry from Boston’s Seaport to Provincetown. It’s a 60-90 minute ride each way so you have plenty of time to enjoy the day on the Cape eating lobster and/or salt water taffy.

One State Away

  1. Providence, RI: WaterFire is held all throughout the summer, on alternating weekends. Head down for a night to enjoy some beautiful bonfires lit on the river as well as various musical and art performances.

  2. Little Compton, RI: Between Providence and Newport is Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard. The property is beautiful with Adirondack chairs all over the grounds to sit and enjoy some wine.

  3. Newport RI: In Newport you can tour some incredible mansions, sample some delicious food or go to the beach. During the summer, you can also watch the Newport Polo matches!

  4. Portland, ME: Portland has an incredible culinary scene that outshines Boston. Head north to enjoy some delicious food from all different cultures. During the day you can go to beaches like Scarborough, Ferry, Old Orchard or Pinepoint.


Julia Blanchard is a content contributor for JUGs by night, by day she works at Amazon on some of Alexa’s feature expansion programs. You can follow her @jcblanchard6 on Instagram.