Since you won't have to worry about driving, take full advantage of Portsmouth's breweries. Enjoy a powerful sampler of the Portsmouth Brewery's best ales, lagers, and stouts downtown, or visit the Redhook Brewery or Smuttynose Brewing Company (both located four miles from downtown) for tours, tastings, and deals.
Lincoln, New Hampshire
Take a Concord Trailways bus from Boston's South Station to Lincoln. Providence commuters can get a train-and-bus deal through Amtrak. From Portland, take Vermont Transit and transfer at South Station.
This White Mountains destination isn't ashamed to pull out all the stops when tourist season rolls around. Although it's surrounded by natural beauty, many of the big attractions in the area rely on bizarre gimmicks. Clark's Trading Post, for example, isn't just a nostalgic gift shop; it's a spectacular venue for trained bears, a circus, and a real, live Wolfman. Alpine Adventures hosts off-road "Summer Safaris" and zipline canopy tours.
Flume Gorge and the caves of Lost River are a cab ride away, while Loon Mountain offers scenic gondola rides. While you're in the Franconia Notch State Park area, look closely to see where the Old Man of the Mountain, New Hampshire's most famous (and only) landmark, once resided. Rest in peace, Old Man. Live free or die; just decide.
Train service to Waterbury-Stowe is available via Springfield, Massachusetts, or New Haven, Connecticut. But it may be quicker to take Greyhound from Boston's South Station or Providence's Kennedy Plaza, or Vermont Transit from Portland, to White River Junction. Take a cab to the train station, then take the Amtrak Vermonter to your destination; use Green Mountain Transportation Agency buses or bikes to travel around the area.
Stowe has more than copious amounts of maple syrup — it's lined with quaint, one-of-a-kind shops, award-winning restaurants, and pristine bicycle paths. Stowe Mountain Resort offers recreational standards such as golf, tennis, gondola rides, and hiking, as well as more thrilling attractions like a 2300-foot-long alpine slide, bungee trampolines, and an inflatable obstacle course.
The Trapp Family Lodge is a 2700 acre resort with dining, recreation, and entertainment on site. The hills occasionally come alive with the sound of music thanks to a Sunday night concert series and music classes.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Take a Peter Pan bus from Boston's South Station or Providence’s Kennedy Plaza to Woods Hole. Mainers transfer buses in Boston. Steamship Authority ferries from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs run from 6 am to 9:45 pm.
It wouldn't be a proper Massachusetts summer without a visit to the congested Cape, and Martha's Vineyard is easy to get around without a car or even a bike. (After all, it's only accessible by boat or air.) Take in the picturesque shorelines, sunsets, sandy beaches, and lighthouses on affordable sightseeing tours by boat, trolley, glider, or plane. Check out the pricy, Victorian-era real estate of Oak Bluffs, or shop for souvenirs you don't need in Vineyard Haven. There's nothing wrong with being a shameless tourist for a day or two.
Take a Bonanza bus from Providence's Kennedy Plaza or Boston's Logan Airport into downtown Williamstown. From Portland, take a bus or Mermaid Transportation airport shuttle to Logan, then transfer.