52 Best Weekend Trips and Getaways from Boston

Spas & Relaxation

weekend trips getaways boston massachusetts new england


20. Nantucket, Massachusetts

One hour by plane

Fantasy Island | For many, the word villa calls to mind a white-columned palace on the Adriatic, not a gray-shingled house on Nantucket. But the collection of Wimco Villas, from a company that represents high-end homes throughout Europe and the Caribbean, finally settles the matter, now that roughly 30 of their private villas have been installed on the island. Each combines swish furnishings with cozy Nantucket charm, not to mention a bevy of snazzy extras—concierge services, in-house private chefs, in-villa spa treatments, and even surfing lessons.

401-849-8012, wimco.com.

21. Brattleboro, Vermont

Two hours, 30 minutes by car

Picture This | Towns and cities across New England have tried to emulate Brattleboro’s Gallery Walk, a monthly event that draws locals and visitors alike. But the town’s visual-arts scene is still the region’s oldest and most deeply entrenched. The bohemian vibe is a permanent installation, with local artwork decorating every restaurant, shop, bank, and brewpub in sight.

Stay: Latchis Hotel, 50 Main St., Brattleboro, Vermont, 802-254-6300, latchishotel.com.

22. Brandon, Vermont

Three hours, 30 minutes by car

Sound Off | In 2008, British classical-music label Divine Art oversaw the opening of Brandon Music, a tremendous year-round music venue in a restored 18th-century Brandon barn.

62 Country Club Rd., Brandon, Vermont, 802-465-4071, brandonmusicvt.com. Stay: The Brandon Inn, 20 Park St., Brandon, Vermont, 800-639-8685, brandoninn.com.

23. Peterborough, New Hampshire

Two hours by car

Written History | Peterborough was the inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and its literary roots run deep. From Leonard Bernstein to Willa Cather, many of America’s creatives have sojourned at the MacDowell Colony, an artists’ retreat where Wilder wrote his play in 1937. The first Friday of every month from March to November (with a break for July), culture vultures flock to the Monadnock Center for History and Culture (among other venues) for wine tastings, artist presentations, and music.

100 High St., Peterborough, New Hampshire, 603-924-3886, macdowellcolony.org. Stay: Hancock Inn, 33 Main St., Hancock, New Hampshire, 603-525-3318, hancockinn.com.

24. Provincetown, Massachusetts

Two hours, 15 minutes by car

Painter’s Haven | Drag-queen cabarets may get top billing, but fine art is where Provincetown’s local talent really shines: It has been a magnet for painters since Charles Webster Hawthorne founded an arts colony there in 1899. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum features pictorial masters like Milton Avery and Hans Hofmann. And then there’s all the galleries: canvases by P-town art luminaries old and new at Julie Heller, a vibrant mezcla of Cuban works at Galería Cubana, and contemporary gems at Bowersock Gallery.

Stay: The Waterford Inn, 386 Commercial St., Provincetown, 508-487-6400, thewaterfordinn.com.

25. East Haddam, Connecticut

Two hours, 30 minutes by car

Acting Out | With its steep mansard roof and high perch, the Goodspeed Opera House—which dates back to 1876—rises grandly above the Connecticut River. More dramatic, though, are the shows that are still performed on the historic stage. Extend your trip’s theatrical theme by visiting nearby Gillette Castle, the eccentric fortress built by Broadway’s original Sherlock Holmes.

6 Main St., East Haddam, Connecticut, 860-873-8668, goodspeed.org. Stay: Bishopsgate Inn, Goodspeed Landing, 7 Norwich Rd., East Haddam, Connecticut, 860-873-1677, bishopsgate.com.

26. Rockland, Maine

Three hours, 30 minutes by car

Wyeth’s World | Once the hub of Maine’s limestone industry, Rockland has emerged as one of the state’s best fine-arts towns, its main street lined with galleries and boutiques. But the big draw is still the central role this area played in painter Andrew Wyeth’s career, represented in the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Wyeth Center and the Olson House (depicted in the painter’s iconic Christina’s World) in nearby Cushing.

16 Museum St., Rockland, Maine, 207-596-6457, farnsworthmuseum.org. Stay: LimeRock Inn, 96 Limerock St., Rockland, Maine, 207-594-2257, limerockinn.com.

27. New Haven, Connecticut

Two hours, 15 minutes by car

Art & Soul | Yale isn’t the only reason for the Elm City ’s smorgasbord of cultural offerings. Sure, the Yale University Art Gallery has its Louis Kahn–designed building and its Center for British Art. But New Haven itself also boasts two Tony Award–winning theaters and a host of live-music venues. Look for everything from national rock acts at Toad’s Place to jazz at Firehouse 12.

1111 Chapel St., New Haven, Connecticut, 203-432-0600, artgallery.yale.edu. Stay: The Study at Yale, 1157 Chapel St., New Haven, Connecticut, 203-503-3900, studyhotels.com.

28. Providence, Rhode Island

One hour, 15 minutes by car

From the Hip | The funky-cool vibe that permeates Providence emanates from its world-class colleges: Brown University, the culinary academy at Johnson & Wales, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Peruse the works at the RISD Museum, then shop for home designs on the W streets (Weybosset, Westminster, Washington).

20 North Main St., Providence, Rhode Island, 401-454-6500, risdmuseum.org. Stay: Providence Biltmore, 11 Dorrance St., Providence, Rhode Island, 401-421-0700, ­providencebiltmore.com.

29. Woodstock, Vermont

Two hours, 30 minutes by car

Earthly Delights | Since 1793, the Woodstock Inn and Resort has offered much to the lazy vacationer—plush guest rooms, concierge services, and an attractive setting in one of America’s prettiest small towns. Now the historic property is more soothing than ever, boasting a 10,000-square-foot spa in its LEED-certified building. And the eco-friendly theme carries over to the service menu (treatments emphasize natural ingredients), as well as the menu at the resort’s Red Rooster restaurant, which specializes in fresh, local ingredients.

14 The Green, Woodstock, Vermont, 888-338-2745, woodstockinn.com.

30. Chatham, Massachusetts

Two hours by car

Suite Dreams | After a relaxing massage, who wants to break the spell with that long walk back to the room? The Cape’s Chatham Bars Inn makes it easy to keep the tranquil vibe going: The spa and its suites are located in the same building. The accommodations are, in themselves, a calming retreat, complete with an in-room Jacuzzi tub separated from a king-size bed by a three-sided gas fireplace. Downstairs, the signature Cranberry Crush treatment provides “a true Cape escape,” thanks to exfoliating scrubs and massage oils made from organic cranberries. And if you can’t even be bothered to walk that far, get an en-suite massage instead.

297 Shore Rd., Chatham, 800-527-4884, chathambarsinn.com.

31. Kennebunkport, Maine

One hour, 45 minutes by car

Serenity Now | Every weekend in Kennebunkport is idyllic, almost by definition. But the Grace White Barn Inn and Spa truly dials up that peaceful feeling. For the ultimate study in relaxation, book an appointment at the White Barn’s world-class spa. The Red Flower Hammam Ritual is a five-step treatment ­(for cleansing, exfoliating, wrapping, massaging, and deep-moisturizing) inspired by the traditions of Turkish bathhouses, complete with such ingredients as jasmine, bergamot, and orange blossom. After lunch by the stone pool, absorb ­Kennebunkport’s other pleasures. Go for a walk on Kennebunk Beach, 10 minutes on foot from the inn. Stroll around picturesque Dock Square, which boasts a bounty of quaint shops and restaurants. Ogle the Bush mansion on Ocean Avenue, then choose between excellent dinner options—like a prix-fixe masterpiece at the Inn’s five-diamond restaurant, or the funkier, more-casual Bandaloop for tasty fare made with local ingredients.

37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk Beach, Maine, 207-967-2321, gracehotels.com.

32. Washington, Connecticut

Three hours by car

Relax Already | The Mayflower Inn and Spa is the ultimate destination spa—20,000 gorgeous square feet for pampering, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the surrounding Connecticut woodland, and myriad services available to the guests who barely have to change out of their robes during their stay. Should you be inclined to dress for dinner, you’ll find Berkshire pork chops and herb-poached lobster waiting in the Mayflower’s airy dining room.

118 Woodbury Rd. (Rte. 47), Washington, Connecticut, 860-868-9466, gracehotels.com.

33. Stockbridge, MA

Two hours, 30 minutes by car

Stretch & Soothe | When the brain and body go on the fritz, a yoga retreat can get the kinks out on both fronts. Kripalu resort in the Berkshires targets mind and muscle with weekend programs that range from meditative tai chi to macrobiotic meals taken silently in the dining room. (Yes, really: There’s no talking allowed, but chatterboxes can eat their meals in an alternative area.)

57 Interlaken Rd., Stockbridge, 800-741-7353, kripalu.org.

34. Manchester Village, Vermont

Three hours, 45 minutes by car

A Clean Getaway | If Whole Foods were a spa, odds are good it would look a lot like the one at the The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa. This newly renovated retreat features a pristine white aesthetic, and the services emphasize Vermont-sourced ingredients such as maple sugar and mineral clay. Not everything is so local, however. The decadent Abhyanga massage is 90 minutes of bliss enhanced with warm Ayurveda oil.

3567 Main St. (Rte. 7A), Manchester Village, Vermont, 800-362-4700, equinoxresort.com.

35. Lenox, Massachusetts

Two hours, 30 minutes by car

Revival Period | If you’re going to get healthy, do it in ultraplush style. The Massachusetts outpost of Canyon Ranch resort nurtures mind and body via organic meals, beds outfitted with Mascioni luxury Italian linens, dozens of fitness classes, and a slew of seasonal activities (hiking, cycling, and skiing). There’s even acupuncture and energy healing. But the best reason to go? The chance to pad around a schmancy Berkshires resort in a fluffy robe and slippers, counting the minutes till your next deep-tissue massage.

165 Kemble St., Lenox, 800-742-9000, canyonranch.com/lenox.


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