college student enjoying a drive off campus
November 10, 2021

Top Local Hot Spots Near Universities to Explore

If your school is in the Boston area, the drive from Boston to Cape Cod is a little over an hour. If your school is in New York, you have endless options for day trips. Whether you have a day off school, a weekend without plans, or some free time between classes, grab your Zipcar and hit the road to these great destinations near your university.

Harvard University: Find the Best Hikes in Massachusetts

Take a hike up Mount Norwottuck, less than two hours from Harvard, and check out the beautiful views of the Connecticut River Valley. For a closer hike, Blue Hill’s Skyline Trail is just a 16-minute drive, making it the most accessible hiking day trip from Boston. This trail is less challenging and has breathtaking views of Boston's skyline.

Stanford University: Parks Near Stanford University to Check Out

There are several beautiful parks near Stanford University. Teague Hill Preserve is a large natural area within a 20-minute drive from Stanford University, with hiking trails along the Santa Cruz Mountains. A little further away, you’ll find,  Henry Coe State Park . One of the largest state parks, it has campsites, hiking trails, a day-use area and a visitor center.

Columbia University: Go on a Tour of Museums Near Columbia University

Hop on the Zipcar app and book a trip to the Museum of the Moving Image, a media museum that features film-focused exhibits and programs, as well as screenings. If you're more of a history buff, head to Fort Lee Museum across the river in New Jersey. It’s just a 16-minute drive when traffic is light.

Northeastern University: Best Shopping Near Northeastern University

Across the Charles River in Somerville, you can find Assembly Row, a large shopping center with several outlets and big box stores. Want some hidden gems? Take a 45-minute drive from Northeastern University to Lawrence, MA, and visit Canal Street Antique Mall for vintage picks.

Boston University: Day Trip or Weekend Getaway from Boston to Cape Cod

Living and studying in Boston means you're close to Cape Cod, one of the best vacation spots in the U.S. If you've got some time off school, gather up your friends, find a Zipcar and take a drive for a Cape Cod day trip.

MIT: Hidden Gem Vintage and Thrift Stores Near Cambridge, MA

Take a drive up the coast to Marblehead, MA, and visit the Magic Hat Thrift Shop, a hidden store tucked away under a middle school gym. If you're looking for something a bit closer, Thrift Shop of Boston is just a 20-minute drive and benefits The Home for Little Wanderers.

UC Berkeley: Hit the Beaches Near Berkeley

If you're taking a break from your classes at UC Berkeley,  Francis Beach is about an hour away and has a campsite for those looking to stay overnight.

University of Michigan: Escape to these Ann Arbor Hiking Trails

Just 10 minutes outside the city by car, Scio Woods Preserve  has heavily wooded trails and is great for birdwatching.

University of Toronto: Hit the Slopes at these Great Places for Skiing Near Toronto

There are lots of ski hills just a short drive from the University of Toronto. Book a lesson at  Beaver Valley Ski Club, just off the shores of Lake Huron. Or drive along Lake Ontario to Batawa Ski Hill for a more challenging day on the slopes.

New York University: Best Day Trips Out of NYC

Cold Spring in the Hudson Valley Region is a quiet village with quaint shops and restaurants. If history and museums are your thing, Washington, D.C. has tons to offer and is less than four hours away by car.

No matter what you’re into, there's lots to see just a drive away from your university. And Zipcar can get you there.