The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.
Some ignorati associate Boston with nothing more than crooked old cobblestone streets, the American Revolution and clam chowder. Yes, the city has got all that. But those who work and play there know that it's also filled with sprawling convention centers, progressive universities and biotech research facilities. A forward-looking town with an eye on the past, Boston combines the charm of a New England harbor town with the mindset of a bustling, modern metropolis.
Its non-stop vibe can seriously wear a resident out.
So, if you're a Bostonian looking for a weekend escape -- or simply a visitor to the Bay State -- why not hop in the car and head to a not-too-far destination where you can find some R&R? Get your bags packed and set your GPS: We've got some miles to cover.
-- Jane Reynolds, Oyster.com
<strong>Total Driving Time:</strong> 1 hour, 42 minutes <strong>Distance Covered:</strong> 85.4 miles <strong>Take This Trip If:</strong> You want to bask in the sun like a quality Kennedy or Bush family member would. <strong>Top Driving Tip:</strong> Don't forget about all the neighboring areas: Kennebunkport is a great launching point for visiting nearby towns like Ogunquit -- known for its long sandy beaches and as being Maine's biggest LGBT destination -- or York, to see the famous Neddick Lighthouse. Originally settled in 1610, <strong><a title="Kennebunkport" href="http://www.oyster.com/maine/hotels/">Kennebunkport</a></strong> was a small fishing village that experienced an economic boom during the shipbuilding era. But it wasn't until after the Civil War that Kennebunkport became what it is today: a summer retreat for wealthy families. In fact, former President George W. Bush's great-grandfather's compound, Walker's Point, is located in Kennebunkport, and both he and his father (also former President Bush) have hosted foreign dignitaries at the summer home. What, you may ask, attracts the elite crowds to this Northeastern haven during the summer months? The private-feeling beaches are the area's main draw and activities such as kayaking, whale-watching, golfing, and fishing are also popular pastimes.
If you’re looking for a cozy hotel that's also spot-on chic, <strong><a title="Tides Beach Club" href="http://www.oyster.com/maine/hotels/the-tides-beach-club/">The Tides Beach Club</a></strong> is the perfect choice. Fully renovated in 2011, the hotel's vibe is South Beach-esque and trendy while maintaining a quaint New England feel. Two suites designed by Jonathan Adler, spectacular ocean views, and a contemporary restaurant with a sophisticated menu are just some of the upgrades that came with the renovation.
For a more budget-conscious option, stay at <strong><a title="The Colony Hotel" href="http://www.oyster.com/maine/hotels/the-colony-hotel/">The Colony Hotel</a></strong>. This historic hotel has a welcoming attitude to both kids and dogs, attracting families with its heated saltwater swimming pool and private sandy beach.
<strong>Total Driving Time:</strong> 2 hours, 22 minutes <strong>Distance Covered:</strong> 129 miles <strong>Take This Trip If:</strong> You're seeking peaceful, scenic surroundings to explore. <strong>Top Driving Tip:</strong> Many roads in Eastern Vermont do not have street lights, so it is best to start your journey early enough in the day that you'll arrive before sunset. If there’s one word that describes <strong><a title="Eastern Vermont" href="http://www.oyster.com/vermont/hotels/">Eastern Vermont</a></strong>, it's gotta be "scenic." Winding roads along rolling hills allow for wonderful vistas of tumbling streams, sweet lil' villages and superb trails amid thick woods and state forests. The Green Mountains, one of the main attractions in the region, has killer views, and during the winter, it has some best skiing on the East Coast. But the summer can actually be the perfect time to go: no crowds, comfortable temperatures, and tons of outdoor pursuits to participate in -- from hiking to sailing to rock-climbing.
<strong>Total Travel Time:</strong> 2 hours, 17 minutes (including a short ferry ride) <strong>Distance Covered:</strong> 90 miles <strong>Take This Trip If:</strong> You're ready for a slower pace in a quiet-but-still-totally-hip spot. <strong>Top Driving Tip:</strong> Make sure to book a spot on the <a href="http://www.steamshipauthority.com/ssa/index.cfm">Steamship Authority </a>ASAP: It's the only ferry to MV that allows vehicles and the best times fill up <em>fast</em>.
If you're looking for luxury accommodations, the <strong><a title="Vineyard Square Hotel" href="http://www.oyster.com/marthas-vineyard/hotels/vineyard-square-hotel-and-suites/">Vineyard Square Hotel</a></strong>'s extensive renovations over the years have brought about fresh, airy rooms, modern technology (free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks), and updated amenities (a salon, fitness center and popular on-site restaurant). The hotel, located on Main Street, offers luxury suites with spacious kitchenettes and private decks.
If a more remote location is more your cup of tea, <strong><a title="Lambert's Cove Inn" href="http://www.oyster.com/marthas-vineyard/hotels/lambert-s-cove-inn-and-restaurant/">Lambert’s Cove Inn</a></strong> is a cozy spot. It's quiet and classy (no children under eight are allowed here), with a home-like feel and beautifully manicured grounds. The free daily made-to-order breakfast during the high season is superior to the buffet-style breakfasts offered by many inns, and the hotel boasts one of the most famed restaurants on the entire island.
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