Day Trip to Hopkinton: Start Line of the Boston Marathon

A small town 26.2 miles west of Boston, Hopkinton is a gem just outside the city limits. Every year in April on Patriots’ Day, this small town gets the chance to shine internationally as the start line of the historic Boston Marathon.   The weekend before the Boston Marathon or on Marathon Monday is certainly a great time to visit Hopkinton (the energy is amazing as preparations take place at the start line). However,  this Greater Boston spot is worth a trip out to discover all year round.

Check out some recommended stops on your next day trip to discover Hopkinton!


Sign by Start Line of Boston Marathon and Hopkinton Common


One of many statues honoring the town’s connection to the Boston Marathon and its Start Line



Every day trip needs fuel and a great place to start off your day here is at the Muffin House Cafe right near the center of town.  The muffins here are a decadent treat and they offer bagels and breakfast sandwiches as well.  Grab a cup of coffee, a morning treat and stroll up to the common. Check out the historic statues honoring the Marathon and the town’s history as well. If you come the weekend before the Boston Marathon or on Marathon Monday there will be lots of vendors and activities at the town’s common which is right by the official start line. Regardless of the time of year, it is always a nice place to walk and appreciate the small New England town charm here.


Coffee and Muffins at the Muffin House Cafe


A visit to Hopkinton wouldn’t be complete without lunch from the iconic Snappy Dogs cart run by two local women with lots of love. Now with two locations in town, this stand has served up its famous hot dogs, toppings, and homemade desserts (their popular whoopie dog is a must try!) for over 10 years. Their own unique condiments such as zucchini relish, Dr Pepper BBQ sauce and chipotle ketchup make their hot dogs stand out so much that they were voted “Best Hot Dog in Massachusetts” by Travel & Leisure Magazine in 2018! Click here for their story and more information on hours and locations.


Photo Credit: Snappy Dogs (instagram)


At the end of a day of exploration, a nice place for dinner and drinks is always necessary.  The Central Public House in Hopkinton provides the perfect place to unwind after a long day out and about the town.  The space is open with an elegant industrial look and upscale comfort food cuisine. Chef Dennis Wilson has tried to bring a bit of city dining here to the suburbs and it works. The menu changes seasonally along with the craft cocktails.  There is also a patio space to enjoy dining in the fresh air during the warmer months.


Photo Credit: Unique Photography by Tracy King
Photo Credit: Unique Photography by Tracy King


Finally, no day trip is complete without a treat and Hop Yo is the place to go for that! Hop Yo is a self serve frozen yogurt shop run by a local family offering a rotating assortment of flavors, candy, treats, and toppings. They make custom frozen yogurt pies here as well.


Hop Yo counter


Hopkinton State Park is also a must visit especially for nature lovers. Swim, fish, boat, hike, picnic and more around the beautiful Hopkinton Reservoir.  Click here for more information to plan a day in this bucolic state park.

Hopkinton is also home to the Weston Nurseries Garden Center.  Weston Nurseries has been growing and selling plants since 1923! An amazing resource for all things garden, plant, landscaping design and more. This is a fun center to explore and is also conveniently one of the locations of Snappy Dogs cart in town!  Weston Nurseries is also known for their incredible array of community events and classes.  Everything from a local seasonal farmers market, Boston Marathon viewing party, DIY flower workshops, to gardening seminars and so much more. Click here for an updated list of seasonal events and classes.


Weston Nurseries and Start Line Brewery host an annual Marathon viewing party


beautiful succulents at Weston Nurseries. Photo Credit: Weston Nurseries


If shopping is your thing then you must stop into Swoon. This fun local boutique has lots of unique clothing, accessories, and home accents. This is the perfect spot for picking up a fun new look for your next date or a special local souvenir item from your day trip.


Accessory display at Swoon


Also check out Hopkinton Drug for a fun selection of local Hopkinton items and more! This local family run pharmacy is a great resource for hard to find home medical supplies, homeopathic supplements and more. A large part of the store includes a Hallmark gold crown card and gift section offering seasonal Hallmark items. They also have a fun selection of thoughtfully curated gifts, toys, games, puzzles, and seasonal sundry.

Another must visit on a day trip to Hopkinton is the Start Line Brewery. This small brewery is aptly named after the town’s connection to the famed Boston Marathon.  Start Line Brewing crafts their beers here using their own hydroponic hops.  The tap room is small with a warm, friendly and casual feel. There are window panels opening up into the brewery so you can see a bit of the beer making magic taking place before your eyes. You can also visit a part of the greenhouse while there to see the hydroponic bounty growing on-site. They have seven year round brews as well as seasonal and short run brews to taste. Taste by the pint or by tasting flights. They also offer the option to take some brews home with you to enjoy later as they are sold in the tap room in 4 16 oz pack cans, 64 oz Growlers. or 32 oz Crowlers. *Start Line tap room remains open but undergoing some exciting renovations and expansion plans.  Stay tuned for their updated brewery space details including an outdoor area soon!



Beer Flight at Start Line Brewery


Cheers to Hopkinton and a day well spent!


Also Try:

The Spoon (serving breakfast lunch and dinner) and The Spoonery (ice cream)

Red Barn at Angel’s Cafe (coffee and treats at Angel’s Garden Center)

Sandy Beach on Lake Masepenock

Quattro (Lunch and dinner)



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