New England Getaways: Living the One Day Rule

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The Autumn Day Trip. It’s part of living in New England.

We hide in the winter. We our beach and Cape dwellers come the summer. The spring is about staying in town and coming out of hibernation. The fall? The fall is ours to explore the nearby nooks and crannies that make New England great, especially under the color of the changing leafs.

It’s been a little bit rainy this last week, but you get at least a few weekends each fall to maybe add in a trip up deeper into the surrounding areas – with the caveat that you don’t want to burn an entire weekend. I’m started to embrace this, perhaps a little too heavily: I call it the “One Day Drive” Rule.

There are a lot of day time activities that you can and want to do nearby. Perhaps it is apple picking – something that can be done anywhere along the Commonwealth – at potentially a new location further out. There are always the mountains and the ski hills up north, where locales will use some weekends to host fall festivals. There are special events, too, or even museums and halls of fame out along I-90.

Not all of these trips require an overnight stay. In fact, that’s how a weekend can expensive quickly, recognizing that you may have to look at a B&B instead of brand hotel. The One Day Rule was invented out of that: how far can I go and come back while making sure I’m not tiring out?

Part of the One Day Rule is the math game. Let’s say you want a full 4-6 hours at whatever event or attraction you’re checking out. You really don’t want to leave too early in the morning, get back too late or spend more time driving than being there. Let’s put it at about 2 to 2.5 hours max each way, which probably makes the radius from Boston about 150 miles (averaging interstate driving versus back roads in NH and VT).

How far can you get in 150 miles from Boston? Here’s a horribly rough estimate, but you get the sense:

This would include, and a few things highlighted there just for help level setting, Gunstock Mountain, the Basketball Hall of Fame, a few casinos in Connecticut, most of the lower Maine coast and even all the way up to Franconia Notch. The range of things that can be done in this window, to me, can easily take up any fall weekend imaginable.

So, it’s a simple concept, but one worth exploring: what’s out there in one day drive from Boston? Maybe we’ll have a series to show it off.