Boston packs an all-star roster of historic landmarks inside its city limits, but a short drive from downtown reveals many more attractions — not to mention stunning views — within a stone’s throw of the Freedom Trail. We consulted Four Seasons Hotel Boston concierges Sabrina Lesgourgues, Janice Curran and David White for the best two-hour scenic drives from the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel.
TRIP 1: Four Seasons Hotel Boston to Lexington and Concord
Distance: 36 miles
The trip to Lexington and Concord, via Storrow Drive, Route 2 and Route 4, combines the history of the American Revolution with the best of American literature. You’ll visit two of the most famous towns in the United States, where skirmishes between locals and British soldiers triggered the American Revolution in 1775, and the sites where Henry David Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote. “Today, Lexington feels like a residential suburb of Boston,” concierge Sabrina Lesgourgues says, “while Concord has retained more of its historical flavor.“
Where to stop off: Buckman Tavern in Lexington, a handsome three-story tavern that looks exactly as it did in 1775; Orchard House in Concord, where Louisa May Alcott wrote much of Little Women; Minute Man National Historical Park; and Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau spent two years
Where to eat: Visit Concord’s Colonial Inn for lunch or, on weekends, afternoon tea. The historic inn was a centerpiece of the Revolutionary War.
Best view: Walden Pond, especially in spring, summer and autumn
TRIP 2: Four Seasons Hotel Boston to Cape Ann
Distance: 70 miles
Concierge Janice Curran recommends a drive along Scenic Route 127 for those interested in New England’s maritime history of fishing ports and shipbuilding. “Nautical towns plus great ocean views” make the trip to Cape Ann special, she says.
Where to stop off: Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester and Rockport
Where to eat: Stop at Woodman’s of Essex for fried clams.
Best landmarks: The Fishermen’s Memorial Statue and Eastern Point Lighthouse in Gloucester
TRIP 3: Four Seasons Hotel Boston to Cambridge
Distance: 10 miles
An easy and scenic city drive, the jaunt to Cambridge offers lovely views of the Charles River and a host of notable stops around Harvard University. Concierge David White recommends following Storrow Drive west along the river past the Harvard Square exit; exit at Arlington/Fresh Pond Parkway and then take Mt. Auburn Street to Brattle Street.
Where to stop off: Mount Auburn Cemetery for the historic gravestones, art, architecture and variety of natural landscapes; the Harvard Museum of Natural History to see the famous Glass Flowers; and The COOP bookstore
Where to eat: Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers is a must — a trip to Harvard Square is not complete without one of the burgers they have been serving for over 40 years.
Best view: The Charles River and surrounding areas are beautiful year-round; you’ll see residents and visitors alike jogging, walking and rowing.
Best landmark: Mount Auburn Cemetery
Bonus tip: Complimentary tours of Harvard called “The Unofficial Tour” are given daily by undergraduate students at Harvard University.
Experience these Boston road trips in a Porsche when you stay at Four Seasons Hotel Boston between May 10 and June 7, 2014 — take one of four Porsche vehicles out for a two-hour spin during the Boston stop of Porsche Destination Drives.
Photos Courtesy of iStock and Four Seasons