7 Fabulous Day Trips from Boston to Maine

Looking for the best day trips from Boston to Maine?

I asked Daphne from Our French Travels to share her and her husband Larry’s favorite day trips from Boston to Maine. They lived in Boston for many years and went on all of these trips. Larry also grew up in Maine and has a soft spot for many of the towns.

Boston has so much to see and do, but as summer rolls around, sometimes it’s nice to escape the city for a scenic small town. All of these places in Maine are within a quick driving distance from Boston and are excellent getaways from the city.


Ogunquit, Maine

🌊 Beautiful beaches
🚶🏻‍♀️Scenic cliff walk
🦐 Delicious seafood

Book through Discover Cars

I recommend Ogunquit River Inn

Map of Day Trip Destinations

Here is a map showing the seven day trips from Maine to Boston that are mentioned in this post. Click More options to open the map in Google Maps.

7 Day Trips from Boston to Maine

These trips are in order from closest to Boston to farthest away. All of these places are located along Maine’s coast because they are our favorite towns.

1. Kittery, Maine

Right over the border of New Hampshire you will find Kittery, a perfect day trip from Boston. Located on the water, there is plenty to do in Maine’s oldest town dating back to 1647. Its nearly 400 years of history are evident in many of the historical buildings. 

Kittery would make for a great beach vacation in the summer when the town is the most open and lively.

Things to do

Hit up Sandpoint Beach. This unique beach has a rocky shoreline and many tide pools. The beach is safe to swim in for several months of the year. Locals will be out there any time there is sunshine, sometimes even bringing their pups. 

Learn about the history of Kittery. Visit the Kittery Historical & Naval Museum and Fort McClary State Historic Site.

  • Fort McClary State Historic Site is a beautiful place that played an important role in five different wars. It stands at the mouth of the Piscataqua River and is a popular place to camp, fish, hike, and enjoy nature.

  • Shipping is a vital part of Kittery’s history which makes the Naval Museum another fascinating place to visit.

Go on an adventure at Take Flight. This high ropes course and aerial park offers more than 65 thrilling activities right alongside the coast! Enjoy zip lines, obstacle courses, and much more. 

How far is it from Boston?

Kittery is only an hour from Boston so it’s an easy day trip destination.

2. York, Maine

This is Larry’s favorite town in Maine! He absolutely loves this storybook place, which makes for a wonderful summer getaway. The whole town is walkable and easily accessible. It’s a great place to visit with family and enjoy a relaxing getaway

Things to do

See all the animals in York’s Wild Kingdom. This is such a fun thing to do in York. There is a section where you can feed deer. Just watch out — one deer ate Larry’s zoo map! My favorite animals were the otters; they were so cute!

Enjoy ice cream at the Goldenrod. Ice cream in Maine is something special. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about a New England summer that makes you want to have a big scoop of ice cream.

There are several ice cream places in York, but Goldenrod is our favorite. I personally always go for the chocolate and add some sprinkles or hot fudge!

Visit Nubble Lighthouse. This iconic lighthouse is a must-see attraction. It’s situated on an island and has the most incredible views. Dogs are welcome, and you can even go scuba diving here any day except Sunday.

How far is it from Boston?

York is an hour and six minutes north of Boston. It’s about five minutes north of Kittery which means you could easily visit both towns on the same day. 

Day trip from Boston to Maine: York

Picture of Nubble Lighthouse

3. Ogunquit, Maine

Another lovely town just north of York is Ogunquit, known for its beautiful beaches and colorful arts scene.

Things to do

Enjoy a cliff walk. Marginal Way is a 1.25-mile scenic path that starts at Shore Road and ends at the popular Perkins Cove. The trail meanders along 39 different beaches, and there are many benches along the way where you can stop to admire the view.

Hunt for antiques. Blacksmith Antique Mall features over 70 different antique sellers. It’s one of the most popular antique malls in Southern Maine.

Spend time at the beach. Ogunquit Beach stretches for three miles near the town center and is known for its soft, white sand. The beach also connects to a shallow riverside that turns into a “lazy river.” It’s a great place for children and families! 

How far is it from Boston?

About 10-15 minutes north of York, Ogunquit is an hour and fifteen minutes north of Boston. 

☀️ Read about more fun things to do in Ogunquit here!

4. Kennebunkport, Maine

Not to be confused with Kennebunk, this town is a great day trip from Boston to Maine to enjoy all the New England vibes.

Things to do

Enjoy the world’s first electric railway museum. Take a ride on a vintage trolley from the early 1900s at the Seashore Trolley Museum. There are carhouses filled with many transit artifacts, including vehicles from almost every major city in the U.S. as well as other places around the world. (Note: Dogs are welcome here, too!)

Stroll through the Franciscan Monastery gardens. Come for a quiet breakfast at St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery followed by a walk through the beautiful gardens. The gardens are close to downtown Kennebunk and overlook the water. The Tudor-style building also offers lodging if you’re looking for a unique overnight experience.

Explore Goat Island Lighthouse. This historic lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling, established in 1835, can be seen from the shore at Cape Porpoise Harbor just off Route 9. It’s a beautiful area to go kayaking and experience marine life.

How far is it from Boston?

This wonderful coastal town is about an hour and a half north of Boston.

5. Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Old Orchard Beach is a popular town in Maine, especially in the summer, because of its pier and gorgeous beach.

Things to do

Order Pier fries. This is a must-do when visiting Old Orchard Beach. The Old Orchard Beach Pier is a big deal in this town, as there are lots of fun activities and restaurants to enjoy. Be sure to stop by Pier French Fries not far from the pier for some traditional french fries dating back to 1932.

Ride all the rollercoasters. Palace Playland has been in operation since 1902 and is the only beachfront amusement park in New England. Take in birds-eye ocean views from the top of the roller coasters!

Enjoy beach fireworks. There is an awesome fireworks show on the beach every Thursday during the summer. It’s a great way to cap off a beautiful day at Old Orchard Beach.

How far is it from Boston?

Old Orchard Beach is about an hour and 35 minutes north of Boston.

🚂 There is also a seasonal Downeaster train that goes from Boston to Old Orchard Beach. It stops right downtown, which makes for an easier and more relaxing day trip from Boston to Maine.

Old Orchard Beach Pier Fries

6. Portland, Maine

As one of the largest cities in Maine, Portland has something for everyone, from exploring the historic Old Port to enjoying a local ice hockey game. It’s also a great place to start a road trip up Route 1 to more lovely towns on the coast of Maine. 

Things to do

Explore Old Port. This area of downtown has cobblestone streets, historic brick buildings, and many piers to explore. Once the shops close in the evening, Old Port is still teeming with activity as people come out to enjoy the many bars and restaurants.

Try a famous potato donut. Holy Donut is always my first stop in Portland. I recommend coming early since the donuts are made fresh daily and they have limited quantities. You can choose from a variety of flavors, including some gluten-free options. My personal favorite is the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt. (You can thank me later.)

Check out the Casco Bay Islands. The Casco Bay Lines ferry has regular routes to the six Casco Islands. Found just offshore from Portland, these islands offer additional options for exploring the scenic beauty of the area. You could hop over to one of the islands for dinner as a nice way to round out to your day trip from Boston to Maine.

🌊 Looking for more things to do in Portland? Check out this detailed list.

How far is it from Boston?

You can get to Portland by car in about an hour and 45 minutes. You can also take the train from Boston to Portland and be there in about 2.5 hours.

Downtown Portland, Maine

7. Freeport, Maine

This stylish town boasts the prettiest McDonald’s and is known both for its shopping and its many outdoor activities.

Things to do

Shop ’til you drop! Freeport has lots of shops, including excellent outlet malls where you can snag some great deals. You also won’t want to miss visiting L.L. Bean’s flagship store — one of Maine’s most iconic brands.

Eat a giant Whoopie Pie. Wicked Whoopies in downtown Freeport sells the biggest Whoopie Pies I have ever seen. A single pie can feed 12-18 people so bring some friends to share!

Visit the Desert of Maine. Did you know Maine has a desert in the middle of the forest? Learn about the history and ecology that caused this unique phenomenon. There is a self-guided tour, gemstone village, fossil-digging experience, mini golf course, train ride, and unique hiking trails.

How far is it from Boston?

You can arrive from Boston to Freeport by car in about two hours. A three-hour train ride on the Downeaster will also bring you to downtown Freeport.

FAQs About Day Trips from Boston to Maine

Here are answers to some common questions about day trips from Boston to Maine:

What’s the best way to get to Maine?

The easiest way to get to Maine is by car. Just note that traffic can sometimes be unpredictable especially on warm summer days and holidays.

There are a few towns mentioned in this post that you can get to by train (Old Orchard Beach, Portland, and Freeport). This is a convenient and relaxing option, but you won’t have the flexibility of driving to other nearby locations in Maine.

You can also fly from Boston to Portland, but since Portland is only a two-hour drive from Boston, it doesn’t make much sense to use this form of transportation to get to Maine.

What if you don’t have a car?

If you don’t have a car, the best option would be to rent a car. Boston has Zipcar which allows for less expensive short-term rentals. Discover Cars is another great option for finding a rental car.

You can also get to several destinations in Maine via bus lines such as Greyhound or Megabus, and Old Orchard Beach, Portland, and Freeport also have train stops.

Which beach in Maine is closest to Boston?

York Harbor Beach is the closest beach to Boston. While it’s technically not the most southern beach, it is one of the quickest beaches to get to. Miles-wise, Crescent Beach in Kittery is the closest beach to Boston, but it takes 15 minutes longer to drive to than York Harbor Beach.

How far is Bar Harbor from Boston?

Bar Harbor is 285 miles from Boston and is about a 4.5-hour drive away. There are no trains available from Boston to Bar Harbor so taking a car is your best option.

Wrap-up: Day Trips from Boston To Maine

Maine has so many lovely towns that make for easy day trips from Boston. To recap, here are the seven top day trip options mentioned in this post:

  • Kittery
  • York
  • Ogunquit
  • Kennebunkport
  • Old Orchard Beach
  • Portland
  • Freeport

These coastal towns are some of the best in New England and are great places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and get some much-needed “vitamin sea.”

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