From Westchester to Providence, Boston to Hartford, there’s so much you can experience in your own backyard. If you’re planning a staycation this year, or are just looking for some new ideas for the weekend or your next day off, we’ve compiled a list of budget-friendly things to see and do in our lovely region of New England that won’t break the bank. Add please, your own budget-friendly staycation or day-trip tips below.
Arts & Culture
If you enjoy air conditioning in the summer, just check out a museum! Admission is usually under $20 a ticket for adults, and if you’re a student or senior, you can usually snag a better deal. For a listing of museums in New England, click here , or check out Chris’s post about museum memberships for the whole family here.
For people who prefer to be outside and enjoy the sunshine, there are so many things you can do in your own backyard! There are tons of amazing trails, rivers, and state and local parks that you can enjoy for little to no cost. For some out of the ordinary experiences, try these inexpensive ideas:
1. Zip Lines
If you enjoy adventure, you can experience nature like never before on a zip line.
- Click here to find a zip line in your backyard.
2. Hang out with Butterflies
Have you ever visited a butterfly garden or farm? You can spend time with tons of butterflies, and if you’re lucky, one may land on you for that perfect photo!
- Click here to find a local butterfly garden or farm.
- Photo on the right is from my recent visit to Magic Wings
3. Support Your Local Winery
Mosey on down to a local wine trail or winery for a tasting while you enjoy the view. The Wall Street Journal put together these 15 tips to make your next wine trip a success.
Find a local winery near you:
- CT Wine Trail
- MA Wineries
- Westchester Country Wineries
- Coastal Wine Trail
- RI Wine Trail
- Long Island Wine Trail
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Photo from my trip to Jonathan Edwards winery in CT.
- The Connecticut Forest and Park Association maintains over 800 miles of blue trail in Connecticut.
- There are many rails to trails which can be used for walking, running or cycling.
- The Bay City Circuit Trail and Greenway is a permanent recreation trail and greenway corridor extending through 34 towns in Eastern Massachusetts and linking the parks and open spaces surrounding metropolitan Boston.
- Great cycling website for biking in Connecticut.
- Join a local hiking club like The Appalachian Mountain Club or just enjoy their posts on Facebook. My colleague, Dale Geslien who runs their page says, “Being an outdoor activity leader for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Connecticut Chapter allows me to hike, paddle and cycle with old friends and meet new ones, who are also outdoor enthusiasts.
- The New England Trail(NET) is a 215-mile long-distance hiking trail from Long Island Sound (CT) to the MA/NH border.
No summer would be complete without a festival. Many towns host local concerts on the green in the summer for free, or you can hit up all kinds of music and arts festivals. Here are some helpful links to help you get your jam on:
- Guide to the best music festivals in New England from the Boston Herald
- We’re a proud sponsor of the WaterFire Festival in Rhode Island
- Discover New England’s list of arts & music festivals by month
Visit the City
If you live in New England, chances are you’re pretty close to a few amazing cities, like New York, Boston, Providence, Westchester, Hartford or New Haven. You can have a great time just walking down the main strips, discovering new places to eat, exploring historical landmarks or my favorite, shopping. Check out what daily deals are happening before you go to spark new ideas and to save even more cash.
Here are some additional resources that list great budget-friendly staycation and daytrip spots in your local cities.
- Boston Staycations by Boston.com
- Westchester Staycation Ideas from Westchester Magazine
- Long list of staycation ideas from VisitNew England.com
- Rhode Island Staycations
- CT Staycations
Hopefully that sparked your imagination and got you thinking about some inexpensive day trips you could take with your family or friends. You don’t have to spend a lot or travel to a foreign land to enjoy your time off. Tell us your budget-friendly staycation ideas in the comments below!