Will the Weather Be the Same a Few Miles Away in the Suburbs?
No, don't count on it.
If you're traveling outside of Boston, even just to outlying suburbs such as Lexington, Concord, or Salem, you may encounter temperature differences of as much as 10° - 15°, compared with the city. Yes, that's a significant difference within a range of only 8 - 15 miles.
Cape Cod and the Islands - Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket - may show even wider variations.
Fortunately, this can work to your advantage . . . if you're in the city. During the summer, despite all of its concrete, brick, and granite, Boston feels usually cooler than inland areas because of sea breezes.
Once fall arrives, leaf color in the city stays spectacular for a longer period. During the winter, all the concrete, brick, and granite plus the nearby water keep Boston warmer.
However, if you're traveling outside the city during winter or early spring, you should get a local weather prediction for the exact area where you're going, especially if you're going west or north.
Snow, Sleet, and Other Frozen Stuff: What You Need to Know
When weather conditions are borderline freezing, what's rain in Boston may be sleet, freezing rain, or snow in Lexington, only 8 miles to the west.
The same is true if you're traveling north. Slushy snowflakes in Boston can change to treacherous sleet by the time you reach Amherst.
Furthermore, the land elevation rises just to the west and north of Boston in a series of hills and ridges, so areas 8-10 miles from Boston often experience much heavier snowfalls than the city because they're in a different microclimate.
But if you're going south or to Cape Cod , you can't be sure. Often these areas will be slightly warmer than Boston weather - but if a storm is coming up from the south with cold air behind it, those areas can sometimes get significantly more snow than Boston.
Don't take chances if you're traveling: bookmark this page and check the Boston weather forecast early and often!
And one more thing that you may not know if you're not from New England: During the winter, always make sure you have a snow shovel and ice scraper in the car.
If you're not wearing a hat, gloves, scarf, and boots or waterproof shoes, make sure you bring those items with you in the car. Occasionally, iffy conditions turn into extreme weather faster than seems believable.
Fun Things to Do & See in Boston
More Boston Activities for Less-Than-Ideal Weather
No matter what the weather forecast may be, you always need a "Plan B" when you visit Boston.
If you encounter heavy rain, snow, or sleet during your Boston visit, try these activities: