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Old 04-05-2016, 07:22 AM
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We can get to the Oregon Coast in a bit over an hour, Portland is 2 hours, Sisters is 2 as well.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:49 AM
Location: Wonderland
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Hmmmm, let's see...

Within a two hour drive we have Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Jefferson, Caddo Lake, Lake Palestine, Lake Fork, Lake Tyler, a bunch of other smaller lakes I can't recall off the top of my head, numerous rivers (great for canoeing and fishing), Shreveport (if you're into casinos), and numerous state parks. Also lots of small towns filled with antique stores and boutiques.

If a three hour drive is not too far, we also have Houston and Galveston. Austin is a little over 3 hours away so that's more of a weekend trip and actually I consider Houston to be a weekend trip as well. Same with the beautiful Texas Hill Country - that's a good 3 or 4 hours from here. It's a nice drive but I wouldn't want to go there and back in one day.

The Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas (beautiful!) are 4 hours away.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:56 AM
Location: NY, NY
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I love taking day trips to Montauk or the North Fork of Long Island to tour the wineries. Both offer such a different pace than the usual NY/Long Island mentality although Montauk is starting to turn into the Hamptons East (blech!).

I also love day trips to Mystic, the Hudson Valley, and the lower Catskills.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:14 AM
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We live right outside the Black Hills so that's our go-to option for day trips. We like to go to Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon, and various hiking trails. We also go to Badlands National Park, Devils Tower, and sometimes we just get in the car and drive through the hills, into Wyoming, etc.

In the summer, it can be fun to take our kayaks to Pierre, SD and paddle on the Missouri River. It's one of the few times I don't mind going to Pierre.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:35 AM
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I consider a day trip to be 2 hours or less. So that includes almost all of the Smoky Mountain national park and much of the Cherokee national forest. So many choices though I tend to visit the favorites. There are places in the Cumberlands within the 2 hr limit as well. Roan Mountain is over 2 hours but so worth it when the Rhododendron is in Bloom. Cities are Asheville and Chattanooga, Asheville is my favorite.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:19 AM
Location: New England
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Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
Great idea for a thread. One of my favorite things about living in New England in general and the Providence area specifically is the wide range of day-trip possibilities.

Day trips I've enjoyed in the past couple of years, some more than once:
  • Boston (1 hour)
  • Mystic, Connecticut (40 minutes)
  • Cape Cod (1 hour to 2.5 hours)
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire (2 hours)
  • Amherst, Massachusetts (2 hours)
  • Hartford, Connecticut (1.5 hours)
  • Portland, Maine (2.75 hours)
  • Stonington Borough, Connecticut (40 minutes)
  • South Coast, Massachusetts (40 minutes to 1 hour)
  • Watch Hill, Rhode Island (45 minutes)
I'm considering a "day trip" anything 40 minutes or more away, and I have a personal rule about no day trips longer than two hours (though rules are made to be broken, as I did when I went to Portland). Are others really taking four-hour day trips, where you wake up, drive four hours, spend some time there, then drive four hours back home? If I were willing to do that, there'd be a lot more options -- New York City is less than three hours away if traffic is perfect, which it rarely is.

On my day-trip to-do list for spring and summer 2016:
  • Block Island (1.5 hours, including ferry ride)
  • Cape Ann (1.75 hours)
  • Northampton, Massachusetts (2 hours)
  • Plymouth, Massachusetts (1.25 hours)
  • Essex, Connecticut (1 hour)
  • Hampton Beach, New Hampshire (2 hours)
I live in the same area and you've made a great list, but for me, Newport would be a day trip (45m-1h). I've taken the train or the bus to NYC for a day trip many times, especially around the US Open (or I"ll just drive there because it takes less time and it's easy to park - you actually don't go through the city, but get off I-95 near the Bronx and go over the Whitestone Bridge into Queens..) I agree it can be a long day, usually arriving home after 11pm, but once in a while is a nice change.

I also like to go to the New Haven Open in August, (2h)

I've taken off to the mountains of New Hampshire a few times. I agree, especially if you plan on returning on a Sunday night with everybody else, it can be a nightmare. If only there was an easier way around Boston (or maybe we could rent one of those Jetson mobiles) it would be much easier and a lot more fun.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Noccidoggo View Post
I live in the same area and you've made a great list, but for me, Newport would be a day trip (45m-1h).
I almost mentioned Newport because it's a tourist town and seems like such a day trip, but I can be over the bridge in about 25 minutes (assuming no traffic, which is far from a guarantee in the summer), so I couldn't justify it. I'm a local, really, even though it still hasn't lost its tourist appeal for me. I used to live closer to Providence and definitely would have listed it then.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:16 PM
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I'd like to hear about these places in terms of how different they are different from your home city/town/base:

Based on:

1. Culture: urban hip city? ethnicity Italian town, old Irish town, black culture, dixie, latino, or asian culture? tourist town? historic? college town? very wealthy town/place? the town/place is special in some way?; for example it's a greek farming town with lots of festivals, or it has great beer bars, great antiques stores, known for it's dance clubs, farmers markets, etc, etc.
2. Weather being different, how much different, is it basically a different "climate". or It's the same basic climate as your home city?
3. Topography being different, how much different? Mountain? Very high elevation? Low elevation hills, sparely wooded, very wooded? big wide sandy beaches? large lake, mountain streams, etc. etc.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimérique View Post
I'd like to hear about these places in terms of how different they are different from your home city/town/base
Let me redo mine:
  • Boston: It's New England's big city. I live near Providence, which is a great smaller city, but it doesn't compare in that regard. Sometimes I just want a big, cosmopolitan place.
  • Mystic, Connecticut: A pretty unique tourist town that draws from both the Boston and New York areas. Most famous for its nautical living-history museum, but I've never been. I love its historic downtown, where people gather to watch the drawbridge being raised and lowered. Also home to the closest major aquarium to my house.
  • Cape Cod: New England's best-known resort area -- I live near the water, but this is all water, all the time, with a culture that goes along with that geography. Oddly, the area it reminds me the most of is the Florida Keys.
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Not entirely unlike Newport, which I live near, but a somewhat different feel including a lot more brick. Parts look a little like a British city, which Newport doesn't, really.
  • Amherst, Massachusetts: Bohemian (yet spotless) college town in a hilly setting that's much more dramatic than the gently hilly area where I live.
  • Hartford, Connecticut: This is a city that has its problems and isn't typically a big destination, but I love what they've done with their riverfront, which includes a stunning piece of landmark architecture in the Connecticut Science Center and a sculpture walk along the river. West Hartford is the type of upper-middle to upper-class suburb you don't find much in Rhode Island, where economic diversity reigns in most towns (and that's a good thing, but that doesn't mean I don't like to see some ritziness on occasion).
  • Portland, Maine: Not unlike Newport or Portsmouth, but neither of those has an area quite like the Old Port, which looks like a funky little chunk of a much larger city. Amazing shopping and especially dining right there.
  • Stonington Borough, Connecticut: Really just a great seaside town. Is it much different from, say, Wickford, Rhode Island, which is 10 minutes from my house? Maybe not (though the houses here are narrower and closer together), but I like its charming, narrow main street, and here's something cool: You can stand in Connecticut and look out at both Rhode Island and New York in the distance.
  • South Coast, Massachusetts: Some of it has a Cape Cod feel (it's on the way to Cape Cod), but closer. New Bedford has as much whaling heritage as anywhere in America, and part of downtown is now a National Historical Park, including a terrific whaling museum.
  • Watch Hill, Rhode Island: Part of Westerly, the only town in Rhode Island that's not part of the Providence metro area, so the vibe is different -- most of Rhode Island gravitates toward Massachusetts, but this is firmly in Connecticut's orbit. It's kind of the anti-Newport in that the wealth is similarly outrageous but not nearly so ostentatious. Love the beautiful public beaches right in the backyards of mansions.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:48 PM
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Boulevardofdef, Excellent! Thank you!

Any major differences in the weather/climate between any of them? subtle differences?

So is Providence your main city?

I agree, I consider a "day trip" no more than 2hours(driving) one way. I'll make rare exceptions up to 3 hours one way. But once you get over 2 hours one way, the quality of the trip is diminished. Any place over 3hours one way, for sure you need at least one night over.

When you get past 5 hours(driving) one way, I feel you need at least a 2 night stay over to fully maximize your trip.

Last edited by Chimérique; 04-05-2016 at 02:57 PM..
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