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Day trips from Boston with good food-wine-beer on the way?

My wife and I have been in the Boston area for a little more than a year now and would like to get to know the surrounding areas - close by and with in a few hours drive. We travel on our stomachs and are always on the look out for great food on the way. Some things we've found so far are Federal Hill in Providence, Portsmouth Brewery, Flo's Hot Dogs in York/Cape Neddick (?), and The Clam Box. We even found a GREAT Belgian beer bar called Ebeneezer Kezars in Lovell, ME.
Any recommendations would be most welcome!!

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  1. If you enjoy lobster in the rough, The Haraseeket (sp?) in Freeport, ME is about as rough as you get. Order the lobsters on the pound side and everything else inside and then pull up a bench outside. A nice stop on the way to or from LL Bean.

    1. Not a road trip but if you haven't been to East Boston, there's tons of stuff there. Newburyport, Rockport and Gloucester are a short drive away with good food. Southeast Asian food in Lowell plus a couple diners. You can search on the New England board for all the Newport, New Haven and Hartford places.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

        Newburyport, Rockport and Gloucester are way better in the summertime. They are pretty dead places in the wintertime.

        The Portugese section of New Bedford is a must although New Bedford itself is kind of sketchy

      2. Check out the Portuguese section of New Bedford. Yum!

        1. My favorite food daytrip is to go to New Haven for the pizza. Frank Pepe's for lunch, Sally's for dinner. I don't know all that much to do in New Haven in between meals, but it's pretty to walk around anyway...

          1. An early morning breakfast trip to a sugar house (http://www.southfacefarm.com/) in one of the hill towns out west followed by a stop in Amherst/Northampton for beers at the Moan and Dove, wine shopping at Table and Vine, and food at one of the 10-15 great restaurants would make a nice trip.

            3 Replies
            1. re: DoubleMan

              That hilltown would be Ashfield, MA. I live there(here), and it is lovely. A trip to the sugarhouse is really fun. Before heading into Northampton, I would recommend getting to know this area of the state. Not too many people venture up here. I might also suggest Shelburne Falls as a refreshing alternative to Northampton. Also, Table & Vine is in the process of temporarily closing down for renovations. Reports are less than encouraging as to their inventory.

              1. re: hilltowner

                I would agree that Shelburne Falls is a perfect destination, though that far out may be slightly more than a day trip (and should be- the hilltowns have a lot to see). It is about 2 hrs from Boston along Rt 2. The Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant is a lovely shop with an extremely knowledgeable owner. Cafe Martin is a great lunch or dinner option, and I have heard that the Tusk N'Rattle Cafe is also very good (if more expensive). You could look at the potholes below the dam, visit the Lamson & Goodnow (cookware) outlet, and get coffee at either of two local roasters. There is a lot to visit in the outlying towns as well, or head south toward Northampton or north to Brattleboro, VT- those towns are day trips of their own!

                1. re: wmassnative

                  Hooray for Shelburne Falls! An all around terrific town. And it's not too bad to get to from Boston. Get an early start some sunny Saturday, have a leaisurely drive out there, have lunch, poke around, and drive home. No sweat.

            2. If you head toward Portsmouth again you should check out Lindbergh's Crossing for great wine and amazing food. There's a small dining room on one floor and a terrific wine bar on the second floor. Jumpin Jays and the Friendly Toast, both in Portsmouth, are also worth checking out.

              You could also check out the New England board for more ideas.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kittychow

                I second the idea of Portsmouth, what a great town! Lively, lots of shops, a classic New England setting, coastal, with LOTS of places to eat. Great fish and martinis at Jumpin' Jays. The Brew pub in town (I forget the name) is fun for lunch, a good beer and a good sandwich. The independent bookshop across the street and down the alley is great (plus there's a travel bookshop below).

                I always think of Portsmouth as something like Northampton, Ma used to be - a vibrant, basically unpretentious downtown scene. Check it out. Especially in the summer, too, when walking around is more comfortable - beautiful old architecture, little streets, the river and ocean. Very nice.

              2. A wonderful day trip is to Westport MA , only about 1 hour from Boston. When you get there, visit the Westport River Winery, walk on horseneck Beach and then have dinner at Back Eddy(on the water). On the way to Westport you can go to NewBedford or Fall River(closer) and have lunch in a nice Portugese Restaurant, go to a Portugese bakery and pick up some Portugese Bread and sweetbread. Or, find a place that has clamcakes( like clam fritters) and stufffed quahogs in Westport or environs before visiting the winery. This is truly a beautfiul place. Also, on the same day, between lunch and dinner you can go to the beautiful village of Padanaram and walk around. So many choices on this trip- I am sure others can recommend places for protugese food/ clamcakes etc.

                1. You could try the Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton, MA. The restaurant there, called J's, served up a good upscale lunch the one time I went. And of course they make their own wine and beer there and serve it in the restaurant; I'm not a drinker anymore, so I'm not qualified to comment on anything alcohol based. Note that the restaurant strongly urges you to make reservations ahead. There's also a store where you can try samples of their wine and beer and buy bottles of the stuff. And the setting is charmingly rural.

                  I've seen mixed, though mostly positive feedback on this board about the place.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bachslunch

                    It's a nice trip when the weather is good. Food is a little overrated and over priced. Do they do brunch this time of year? I'd look to hit that. It's really pretty out there and the wine tour is good. I actually like the blueberry wine quite a bit.

                  2. new haven is a great option
                    Sally's, Pepe's & Modern for pizza
                    Ibiza, Roomba, Bentara, Union League, Zinc, Caffe Adulis, Miso for upscale
                    Louis Lunch for great hamburgers, Yankee Doodle for outrageous hot dogs
                    and between meals head to the Peabody museum for huge dinosaurs and great other interests

                    1. You've rec'd some excellent suggestions! I would heartily second the Westport rec (the winery is wonderful - their sparkling wines were served for a state dinner at the Clinton White House); I'd go in summer and combine it w/a trip to Horseneck Beach - and The Back Eddy is a great place to sit outside for a mojito.

                      I love Nashoba Valley winery (I'd wait for warmer weather and when things are in bloom, it's a beautiful area), and the sugarhouse recs. March/April is the time to visit the sugarhouses.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: JaneRI

                        One of my favorite daytrips is to Tiverton and Tiverton Four Corners in Rhode Island. There is a fantastic Greek restaurant called Stonebridge, right on the water, then galleries, antiques and ice cream at the four corners.

                        1. re: resipsaloquitor

                          Never heard of Stonebridge - thanks for the tip. I had been meaning to do a T-4 Corners shopping trip as there are some nice new shops. Is the great breakfast restaurant still open? I think it was just called The Barn? Also easy to combine w/a visit to Westport Rivers.

                      2. Oh, there's also the Sakonnet winery in the neighborhood.

                        1. Head out to Sturbridge area. First try spending some time at the Hyland Brewery, bring the kids and pet the goats and animals while you relax and drink a brew.

                          While your there don't forget the Vienna in Southbridge, MA is you want a great beer and some of the most wonderful food around. Leave the kids at home if you are interested in creating a little romance.