If you arrive in our fair city by car, I've admonished you before to consider parking it and forgetting it until it's time to go home. There are plenty of great ways to bop around Boston that don't involve your car. If you want to venture farther afield, say to Martha's Vineyard, you wouldn't necessarily need your car either.
The slogan of a major bus company used to be, "And leave the driving to us." While you are visiting Boston, if you want to tag on an excursion to the quaint and charming island where both Presidents Obama and Clinton have enjoyed their summer vacations, you may want to leave the driving to New England Trips. Through the end of October, the company is offering day trips to the Vineyard. Whether you have a car or not, you'd probably need to leave the driving from the mainland to the island to somebody (unless you know hot to pilot a boat or a plane). New England Trips takes care of the whole shebang by providing door-to-shore service. For one price, one of its mini buses will pick you and your gang up at your Boston hotel, transport you to the terminal on Cape Cod, give you your ferry tickets, wish you bon voyage, meet you back at the terminal when your ferry arrives later that day, and whisk you back to your hotel.
If you wish, you could add on an optional narrated island tour as part of your six-hour visit to the Vineyard. From the stunning multi-colored cliffs of Aquinnah, to the picturesque seaside village of Edgartown, to the enchanting gingerbread houses of Oak Bluffs (fun fact: The Flying Horses at Oak Bluffs is the nation's oldest operating platform carousel), Martha's Vineyard is a positively delightful place to visit. Not so delightful: battling the Boston-to-Cape-Cod traffic getting to the island. For a stress-free day trip, consider leaving the driving to them. Martha's Vineyard Day Trip with New England Trips Through October 30, 2013. April trips are three times weekly. Daily trips begin May 1.
Photos: Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.