Your road trip from Boston to Portland, Maine, begins in Massachusetts and deserves a stop in Salem, one of the most historical cities in the country. With its ghostly museums and penchant for hauntingly good times, you'll never forget this intriguing destination. From there, you'll want to head to Maudslay State Park to hike the trails within the forest before driving to pick your own blueberries at Applecrest Farm Orchards in New Hampshire. Then, you're off to the beautiful coastal city of Cape Elizabeth with its plethora of 18th- and 19th-century lighthouses and continuation of rich New England history.
A national park is an excellent place to stop and explore on your Boston to Portland, Maine, road trip. The coastline in Massachusetts has some amazing beachfront views and is well-known for its deep connection with American history.
Boston National Historical Park
Boston National Historical Park is a great place to spend a day or two exploring before you set off for Portland. The Charlestown Navy Yard is the epicenter of the park and a great place to start. The yard houses the USS Cassin Young and the USS Constitution, also named "Old Ironsides," the oldest and most commissioned warship in U.S. naval history. You can step onboard both ships for a fully immersive experience. Head across the way to the Bunker Hill Monument where you can climb the 294 steps it takes to get to the top and enjoy incredible views of the city.
Don't miss the Paul Revere House located just a few miles away from the park across the bridge. Built in 1680, it's the oldest standing structure left from the 17th century in Boston's downtown area. The park is also close to these other nearby sights and places you should definitely check out: the USS Constitution Museum, The Great Hall, Old North Church, Freedom Trail, and Quincy Market.
On your road trip from Boston to Portland, Maine, there are many state parks to add to your itinerary. Some of the most beautiful parks in the country are found on the coasts of New Hampshire and Maine.
Georgetown-Rowley State Forest
Georgetown-Rowley State Forest is on your route, sitting directly in between the towns of Georgetown and Rowley on I-95 in Massachusetts. This park has over 1,000 acres of forest to enjoy with a scenic viewing area that's great for taking photos. The trails are hiking- and biking-friendly but aren't laid out in any particular order, so you can expect to do some exploring. Most trails are moderately difficult, and some of the most fun ones include the Bay Circuit Trail and the Georgetown-Rowley Loop Trail, a 7.7-mile trek around the park. Hand-curated trail maps with driving directions are available to help you navigate the park.
Maudslay State Park
Maudslay State Park in Massachusetts is a beautiful place to stop, relax, and wander through meadows and 19th-century gardens on your Boston to Portland, Maine, RV road trip. You can experience the park on horseback or hike any of the many trails that wind through the surrounding wooded areas. If you're interested in entertainment, the Maudslay Arts Center, where open theater events are held during the summer months, is located on the grounds.
Hampton Beach State Park
Hampton Beach State Park is the only RV park located directly on New Hampshire's amazing coast. Swimming, fishing, and exploring the shore are great things to do during your visit to this park. There's a Seashell Complex to check out that has a bandshell amphitheater and comfort station. On the opposite end of the peninsula is the Hampton Marsh Conservation Area, which is great for bird-watching and photo ops.
Ferry Beach State Park
Ferry Beach State Park is just a short hop, skip, and jump away from I-95 toward the coast of Maine. The small 117-acre park has 1.7 miles of trails that take you through three different ecosystems: the swamp and tupelo tree stands on the Tupelo Trail, the deciduous forest on the Red Oak, and White Oak Trails, and the coniferous forest on the Witchhazel and Greenbriar Trails. Swimming and sunbathing are some of the other fun activities that you can enjoy on the park's white-sand beaches.
Salem Witch Museum
Not far from your route off I-95 is the Salem Witch Museum, a must-see site that houses the history of the infamous Salem Witch Trials held in 1692. Throughout the museum, you'll see exhibits based on the actual documents of the trials and witness a presentation of 1692 Salem with life-size stage sets. In a second presentation, practicing modern-day witches tell the tales of the European Witchcraft Trials and guide you on a tour of the dark history of witch-hunting.
Applecrest Farm Orchards
Applecrest Farm Orchards is a great place to enjoy some refreshments and take in the local scents and tastes of the oldest working orchard in New Hampshire. You can spend a whole day picking blueberries, eating ice cream from The Creamery, sampling sweet goodies from The Bakery, and gathering fresh fruits and vegetables from The Farm Market. The orchard is known for its local honey, homemade jams, and native maple syrup.
Located south of Portland on the coast, Cape Elizabeth is slightly off the path but well worth the detour. The Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is one of five historic lighthouses you should see as you travel south to north along the shoreline. If history interests you, Fort Williams Park has several sites to explore on 90 acres of land. The most notable attractions are the Goddard Mansion and the Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in Maine. A daytime visit to Two Lights State Park gives you amazing views of Casco Bay.
The road from Boston to Portland, Maine, offers a variety of campsites and dump stations along the way. These stops will help you stay rested and keep your RV clean and sanitary on your trip.
As you embark on your adventure, you'll want to add the city of Salem to your road trip itinerary from Boston to Portland, Maine. The historic hot spot is the home base for the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, and several sites are available to learn about the city's eerie history. The trolley ride that takes you past 13 of Salem's landmarks is recommended. You'll want to experience The House of the Seven Gables made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne's Gothic novel and take a walk to Gallows Hill, The Old Witch Gaol, and Proctor's Ledge.
You can marvel at a replica of the fully rigged "Friendship of Salem" ship located near the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Scenic campgrounds around the area are great if you want to spend more time learning about the history of this city. You can also find dump stations when it's time to clean your tank.
Newburyport is a small seafaring city that is partially located in Plum Island. Fun walking tours guide you through the city, and some offer wine tastings. The Custom House Maritime Museum and Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm should be on your list of historical places to visit. If you feel up for an oceanic adventure, the Newburyport Whale Watch is a great four-hour tour that lets you get a closer look at sea life in the area. Stop by some of the restaurants in town to savor the local cuisine and enjoy the seaside views. Consider staying at one of the nearby campgrounds to lengthen your stay.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a great place to include on your Boston to Portland road trip. You can explore numerous museums and historical sites within walking distance of the city's center. Strawbery Banke Museum is a living museum with 32 houses and 10 gardens to view. Tour guides are costumed and demonstrate traditional crafts during the tour. The streets of Market Square are lined with shops and boutiques as well as quaint eateries where you can relax and enjoy some wine, coffee, or tea.
Make time to visit New Castle Island and walk along the shores of the Great Island Common. Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is a fantastic location for taking pictures, especially at sunset. There are beautiful campgrounds in the area, and you can also find several dump stations during your stay.