The start of the Summer II ses­sion at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity brings a sudden rev­e­la­tion: the summer term is more than halfway over. So take advan­tage of the nice weather while you can and plan a weekend get­away — the nearby, afford­able options are end­less. Here are just a few to get the wheels turning.

Province­town, Mass­a­chu­setts
Why go? Get­ting to Cape Cod by car can be a daunting task if traffic is backed up at the bridge. And let’s face it — it often is. But ferry ser­vice to Province­town departs from the World Trade Center pier daily and will get you there in just 90 min­utes. Explore the charming, campy down­town area, spend the day at Race Point Beach, or enjoy some of New England’s best seafood in this vil­lage that becomes a Scene in the sum­mer­time.
How to get there? A round-​​trip, high-​​speed voyage will set you back about $80. But a second ferry option runs every Sat­urday at 9 a.m. and costs just $22 each way.
Want more infor­ma­tion? Check out Baystate Cruise Com­pany.

Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island
Why go? Check out Water­Fire Prov­i­dence, an inde­pen­dent, non­profit arts orga­ni­za­tion that brings the down­town area of the state cap­ital to life every weekend by lighting more than 80 floating bon­fires along Providence’s Water­place Park. The event draws artists, per­formers and ven­dors from across New Eng­land and, with more than 10 mil­lion atten­dees since its incep­tion in 1994, it is among the nation’s most pop­ular ongoing arts events.
How to get there? Prov­i­dence is acces­sible via the MBTA’s Com­muter Rail’s Providence/​Stoughton line.
Want more infor­ma­tion? Visit the Water­Fire event page.

Mystic, Con­necticut
Why go? Mystic is home to far more than the pizza that helped make Julia Roberts’ movie career. Check out the well-​​known aquarium and sea­port dis­trict, two of the most pop­ular tourist attrac­tions in New Eng­land. Explore the shops on both sides of the his­toric bas­cule bridge that spans the Mystic River, and don’t miss the cool treats that Mystic Draw­bridge Ice Cream has to offer.
How to get there? Mystic is about a 90-​​minute Amtrak ride from Boston, with tickets avail­able starting around $30.
Want more infor­ma­tion? Visit the Mystic tourism web­site.
Port­land, Maine 
Why go? Once you arrive in Port­land, con­sider vis­iting one of the city’s count­less restau­rants in search of the per­fect lob­ster, or browse the bou­tiques that line the down­town area. Don’t forget to take to the water and stop by Port­land Head Light, which marks the entry to the city’s pic­turesque harbor and is said to be the world’s most pho­tographed light­house.
How to get there? The Amtrak Downeaster line runs five round-​​trip trains between Boston and Maine each day, with tickets starting at just $17.
Want more infor­ma­tion? Get up to speed on Amtrak’s Downeaster line.

New York City, New York
Why go? Trick ques­tion. You really don’t need a reason to hit up NYC for the weekend. But here are a few, anyway. From mid­town, head up to Times Square and Cen­tral Park, or move south to see how con­struc­tion is pro­gressing on the new World Trade Center tower or to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Lib­erty. If you’re feeling adven­turous, travel to one of the outer bor­oughs for more of an off-​​the-​​grid adven­ture, like a trip to Coney Island for a hot dog and a ride on the famous Cyclone roller coaster (though maybe not in that order).
How to get there? With the advent of two rel­a­tively new bus com­pa­nies, Megabus and BoltBus, it is easier, cheaper and more com­fort­able to get into New York. Both buses offer wire­less Internet and, if you book early enough, you can get a ticket for as low as a buck.
Want more infor­ma­tion? See sched­ules and book a trip through Megabus or BoltBus.