If you want to learn more about some of the most distinctive facets of New England's history, then the road trip from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island is the perfect adventure for you. Despite being only a short distance, this exploration is full of interesting historical sites and stunning landscapes.
The 290-mile trip from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island will take about 6 hours and 5 minutes to complete. This route will take you along the Berkshires, Pioneer Valley, Wachusett Mountain, Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, Worcester and Martha's Vineyard.
Read on to find out about what New England treasures await you, as well as the different routes, best attractions that Massachusetts and Rhode Island have to offer, and the ultimate time to visit.
How far is Providence, Rhode Island from Boston and how long will the road trip take?
|The Berkshire Mountains Route||290 miles||6 hours 10 minutes|
|The Martha's Vineyard Route||200 miles||6 hours 10 minutes|
The Berkshire Mountains Route is 6 hours and 10 minutes of beautiful rolling hills and picturesque towns. This route is 290 miles long without counting potential stops you may take to check out some sights along the way.
The aforementioned route is the shortest option in regard to driving time but it is longer in distance than the other option. The other option is The Martha's Vineyard Route which will take 6 hours and 10 minutes to commute but only is a distance of 200 miles.
Both routes should take around 2 to 3 days to complete, which includes sightseeing as well as pit stops in the cute towns.
Best road trip route from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island
The two routes seem identical in the drive time but they offer vastly different landscapes and activities, so the one you pick will depend on what you'd like to see and enjoy en route.
The Berkshire Mountains Route is a dream location for hikers or winter sports enthusiasts. The Pioneer Valley is a wonderful destination for those activities but there is plenty of art and culture along the way as well.
The Martha's Vineyard offers a scenic route along the Atlantic coast which is ideal for aquatic lovers and getting a tan at the beach.
If you are undecided, you can also follow one of our recommended routes to Providence, Rhode Island, and the other one back to enjoy two adventures in one!
The Berkshire Mountains Route
Head north out of Boston and take Interstate 93 (I-93) N toward Waltham. Continue following the state highways and the interstate to Marlboro.
Merge onto MA-2 W toward Leominster. This will take you by Wachusett Mountain and into North Adams. Continue your trip by going south of North Adams. As you approach the town of Lenox hop onto US-20 E. This will take you right into town.
After exploring Lenox, you will continue to Stockbridge and then towards Lee. Take US-7 N to Lee Rd to accomplish this stretch of your journey.
Upon finishing your visit to Lee, make your way to I-90 E. This will take you through Springfield and Worcester. When you approach Worcester, you need to look out for an exit that will take you to MA-146 S.
This is the last highway exchange of the trip and will take you to your destination of Providence, Rhode Island.
The Martha's Vineyard Route
This route, unlike the Berkshire Mountains Route, embraces the beautiful coastline. Start this trip by going south out of Boston and getting onto I-93 S. Continue on to Braintree and then Hingham.
After exploring Bare Cove Park in Hingham, head east on MA-3A S, which will take you to Marshfield.
The next stop is Plymouth and after spending some time appreciating the coastal views, take MA-3 S out of Plymouth until you see the exit for Sandwich.
As you leave Sandwich and go towards Martha's Vineyard, MA-28 S will turn into Woods Hole Rd. In the town of Woods Hole, you will soon run out of road. Take the Woods Hole - Vineyard Haven Ferry.
When you get off the ferry, follow Edgartown Rd, Barnes Rd, and Edgartown Rd/Edgartown - West Tisbury Rd to Pond Rd in West Tisbury. This leads you to Martha's Vineyard.
After you enjoy yourself in Martha's Vineyard, it is time to backtrack, getting back on the ferry and going north. When you get to the town of Wareham, take I-195 W and you will find yourself arriving at Providence, Rhode Island.
Best places to stop between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island
Both route options between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island offer ample activities and attractions along the way. Surely, you will want to stop overnight at one or more of these stops.
Soak in the history of Lenox
If you were to take the Berkshire Mountain Route to Providence, Rhode Island, we recommend stopping in the quaint town of Lenox. Located precisely midway between Boston and Providence, Lenox offers a wealth of history and culture together with stunning natural surroundings.
The Hampton Terrace Inn is our top recommendation for lodging in Lenox. This beautiful property is not your average accommodation; this is a chic and antique hotel, located conveniently in the heart of downtown.
If you or your traveling companions are history buffs, we recommend visiting the Lenox Athenaeum. It is a marquee attraction that hosts lectures and seminars on the history, culture, literature, and unique beauty of the Berkshires.
An architectural wonder, thoughtful interior design, and extravagant gardens await at the house of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton. This impressive residence is named Mout Estate and Gardens of Edith Wharton and it is worth seeing.
Located just 23 miles north of Lenox is Mount Greylock State Reservation. Lovers of outdoor activities must see this scenic mountain for all its majesty.
Finally, if you are more of a townie, consider checking out the towns of Stockbridge and Lee. They are less than an hour's drive away from Lenox yet offer a unique style of art and culture that is worth venturing for.
Lavish in the island life at Martha's Vineyard
If you chose to take the Martha's Vineyard Route, there is no better place to stop than Martha's Vineyard itself. It is close to the halfway point; 2 hours and 30 minutes' drive from Boston and 2 hours and 15 minutes from Providence.
One of the most well-known American Islands, Martha's Vineyard offers a romantic and historical experience. Stunning beaches, romantic lighthouses, charming tiny villages, and a celebrity-chic vibe can all be found on Martha's Island.
The Sydney is a great hotel option on the island. It feels like you are staying at somebody's gorgeous house rather than a hotel. The convenience is unmatched as you are mere steps away from the Edgartown Harbor and the ferry.
Edgartown may serve as your base while you explore Martha's Vineyard because it is well-connected to the entire island. This island is truly a spectacular spot to appreciate the great outdoors. A great spot to see breathtaking views is the Gay Head cliffs.
Of course, you can't go to an island without enjoying its sandy beaches. Moshup Beach is nationally famous for its serene views and neon blue waters. Sticking with the island theme, at the northern tip of Chappaquiddick is the Cape Poge Lighthouse.
Hiking fans should check out Waskosim's Rock Reservation before leaving the island. It is one of the highest peaks on Martha's Vineyard, full of picturesque views.
Where to stay when you reach Providence, Rhode Island
When you arrive in Providence, Rhode Island, there is no better place to stay overnight than Hotel Providence. This boutique hotel is located right in the center of Providence's arts and entertainment district.
This literature-themed stunning property has vintage furnishings, marble bathrooms, and even classic books for those who prefer reading in a beautiful setting.
The hotel is also located just steps away from award-winning restaurants and the famous Providence Performing Arts Center.
Things to see on a road trip from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island
On a road trip from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island, there are so many things to explore, including numerous epic cities and noteworthy attractions. We compiled a list of the top attractions on each route to make your planning simple.
The Berkshire Mountains Route
- Wachusett Mountain Ski Area – Anyone interested in winter sports would do well to take a diversion to the alpine ski slope on Mount Wachusett, which is only 3.5 miles from Westminster. Visit Wachusett Lake in the summer for beautiful views and water activities.
- Dunn State Park - Fishing options, swimming, water sports, and several wonderful walking trails are all available at this stop along the route, which you can also use for Nordic skiing and ice skating in the winter.
- North Adams - The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is a wonderful collection of visual and performing arts in this college town. Learn about the town's industrial past at the Western Gateway Heritage State Park, and there are year-round art festivals like the DownStreet Art Festival.
- Antique Shopping - The Berkshires region is well recognized around the country for its fantastic vintage shopping choices. The communities of Williamstown, Great Barrington, Sheffield, and Lenox are the hub of the Berkshire County Antiques & Art Dealer Association.
- Mount Greylock State Reservation - Conquer Massachusetts' highest point by taking one of the several hiking paths or driving up Mount Greylock. At the pinnacle, the ancient Veterans War Memorial Tower offers stunning views. The tourist center is open all year, however, in the winter, the roads to the peak may be closed.
- Lenox - Between the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Lenox Athenaeum, and the natural beauty of the Berkshires, Lenox has a lot to offer. You can also explore Edith Wharton's Mount Estate and Gardens on the southern edge of Lenox.
- Stockbridge - The enormously popular Norman Rockwell Museum is located here and showcases his artwork and other seasonal activities. Before closing your day with live music in the Lion's Den at the Red Lion Inn, visit the Berkshire Botanical Gardens.
- Lee - The town is adjacent to the 16,500-acre October Mountain State Forest, which has more than 40 campgrounds, numerous trails (including the Appalachian and Schermerhorn Gorge Trails), and is the largest state forest in Massachusetts.
- Springfield - The heart of the Pioneer Valley, Springfield is known as the City of Homes due to Its Victorian architecture, and the City of Firsts, because of numerous Innovations. The Springfield Museum will give you an overview of art, history, and science in The Quadrangle.
- Worcester - There are many farms and orchards in the hilly region surrounding Worcester. Don't miss Ecotarium, the premier museum of science and nature, as well as the Worcester Art Museum.
- Old Sturbridge Village - You can learn about cooking, farming, husbandry, crafts, and other aspects of daily life in a New England rural village in the middle of the 1800s at a living history museum.
The Martha's Vineyard Route
- Hingham – You can access Hingham Shipyard from Lincoln and Thaxter Streets, which offers stunning views of Boston Harbor along with a wide variety of stores, inns, and pubs. Don't miss The Old Ordinary in the summer.
- Marshfield - The Isaac Winslow House, a historic residence of a Mayflower family, is located in Marshfield, the hometown of renowned 19th-century politician Daniel Webster (the farmer of Marshfield).
- Plymouth - Plymouth, one of the first European settlements in North America, was the site of the Mayflower's and the Pilgrims' landing in 1620. A visit to Plymouth Rock's harbor and its colonial history is a must, and you can learn more in museums like the Pilgrim Hall. In the Plimoth Patuxet Museums, you may immerse yourself in history by seeing a live reproduction of the 17th century.
- Whale watching - Whale watching is excellent in Cape Cod Bay, and from Plymouth, you may travel by Captain John boat to the Stellwagen Bank, a marine refuge.
- Sandwich - The oldest town on the Cape (1637), Sandwich is well-known for producing glassware, as evidenced by the Sandwich Glass Museum and Heritage Museum and Gardens. The Broadwalk's dunes are the ideal place to experience the Cod.
- Martha's Vineyard - This stunning Atlantic island is well-known for being the summer retreat of many celebrities by taking an 8-mile ferry ride. Take a stroll to one of America's most picturesque beaches, Moshup Beach, which is located below the Gay Head cliffs.
- New Bedford - A thorough introduction to the whaling and maritime culture of the 18th century may be found in this town at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Music lovers can tune into the smooth sounds at the Zeiterion Theatre.
Best time to go on a road trip from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island
This trip has elements to enjoy for all four seasons in distinctive ways. Massachusetts has four unique seasons, each of which highlights particular locations and is easily adaptable to various itineraries.
The summer season begins around mid-May and lasts until early September. The temperatures stay at a reasonable 80 degrees Fahrenheit as a high but can drop down as low as 46 degrees in the early and late portions of summer.
Summer is a great time to make this trip if you want vibrant nature landscapes to explore and beautiful beaches to lay out on. Be sure to plan ahead because the seaside resorts are often very busy in the warmer months.
The winter months provide their own set of activities. While the winter months of December and March don't bring much delight to the shore, they are ideal for visiting the ski resorts in central Massachusetts and the Berkshires, which are always blessed with snow.
It is also a pleasant time of year to explore indoor art galleries and museums. Expect temperatures to be between 14 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spring and Fall months be not forgotten. With average temperatures between 24 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want to be active to keep warm such as hiking or cycling. These months have their advantages because the destinations often are without large crowds.
Certain events in these destinations only take place at specific times. Enjoy the St. Joseph's Day celebration in May in Providence, as well as the many restaurants and stores on Federal Hill.
The music event SoundSession takes place in June and October. Bright Night Providence, an artist's New Year's Eve, was held in the summer.