A Vacation In Massachusetts
Having lived in MA my entire life, I know a few places that you should see if you ever make the trip out here. Depending on what you like, we have something for everyone! We have all four seasons, although it feels as though we just have a short summer and long winter, so depending on what your tastes are make sure to travel during the right season! I personally live for the summer! I love being outside and enjoying the sun.
Ok so if you are like me and love the summer you want to head out this way during June, July, or August. The city of Boston is beautiful in the summer. Be careful when booking your hotel as you get what you pay for in the city (which usually means if the price seems cheap, the place is too). We have used Groupon a couple of times in order to save money on hotels and it really does get you some great deals. We stayed at the Constitution Inn, which is down by the Wharf. Parking is in a garage down the street. The area is beautiful to walk around. You will be close to the harbor walk and the freedom trail.
The harbor walk is relatively new and follows around the water throughout the wharf and all of the wonderful buildings. There are benches along the way so you can sit and have lunch or just relax. There are a few parks for the kids too. There is also a really good spot to sit and watch the planes landing at Logan.
One of our favorite places to walk around is Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. There are street vendors and entertainers around on the nice days so there is always a crowd. There are so many different foods to try in the market and plenty restaurants nearby if the market seems to crowded. There is also shopping. The subway is nearby as well so it is easy to get to. Keep in mind that Boston is definitely a walk-able city with a great public transit system. You won’t need that rental car until you are ready to head out of the city.
If you are into beer, we have the Sam Adams Brewery. They show you how the brew the many different beers they offer and walk you through the entire process. I personally have never been but I feel like I have since EVERYONE goes and talks about it! It is definitely on my to-do list. We also have Boston Beer Works, which I have been to, and this place is great! I love getting flights because I can try all the different beers.
Make sure you check out what shows are in town when you are because the Orpheum Theatre and the Wang Theatre are great places to see a wonderful performance. The theatre district can be very pretty at night so make sure you walk around and check out the scenery too. Make sure you take a trip to Fenway Park when you are here. Catch a game or even just a tour as it is one of the oldest baseball stadiums still standing. This park has been there since opening day April 20,1912. Once you have had your fill of the city, go get that rental car because now you are off!
Your next stop should be down on Cape Cod. They have the best seafood! The beaches are awesome and you can see so much wildlife. We have stayed down the cape a couple of different times and the place we would go back to is Hyannis. We stayed at the Heritage House Hotel. This place was close to everything! The hotel is affordable, so not the Ritz, but was clean, the staff was friendly, and we enjoyed the indoor pool and Jacuzzi a lot! It is also in downtown Hyannis so you are close to the beach, mini-golf, restaurants, and a lot of history.
Make sure you walk around and check out the scenery. There are museums close by like the John F Kennedy Museum. This walks you through his life with over 80 photos. There is also a multimedia exhibit that shows you how JFK spent his time down the cape. There is the harbor where you can look at the boats or take a cruise. The spot we love to eat is by the water is Spanky’s Clam Shack. There is a great area to sit outside and enjoy the great weather and seafood.
Once you have enjoyed the weather and water down the Cape you should head north to go and check out the suburbs. The county I live in has some great things to offer. Check out the Radisson in Chelmsford as it is just north of Burlington (shopping and restaurants) and just south of Nashua NH which has tax free shopping. It is clean and affordable and has a great pool. It is also not too far from our favorite hiking spot, Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle. The trails are all clearly marked so you know where you are on the map at all times. The park allows dogs and horses so pay attention to where you step!
There are many loops of trail with all different distances. We know the ones that we travel by heart. We like the trails that loop off of the main trail of Pine Point Loop. There is a pond in the middle and there are many different bridges and walks that go over the water. If you are in it for the long hall, take Trophet loop and Heartbreak Ridge, which ends up close to 5 miles by the time you are done.
Once you are back near the parking lot, go have some ice cream to cool down at their farm. The cows are all there and the ice cream is to die for! The kids can feed the animals too. My son loves that!
Also if you come this way in the winter they have paths marked for skiing and snowshoeing. We go hiking almost every weekend once the weather is good. Our other spot is Ward Reservation in Andover MA. This is also not too far from Chelmsford. The big hike up to Boston Hill is so worth it! At the top you can see the skyline of the city and it is amazing.
If you like the beach and the outdoors another place to go check out is Salsbury Beach State Reservation. You can go for just the day to the beach or go camping at the family campground there. The water is cold just to warn you! Even on the hottest day that water is freezing! But the beach air is amazing and the kids will have a blast playing. It is a great way to kick back and relax. We spend a week at the beach every year.
There is also a great park to go hiking and look at the river boats, Maudslay State Park. The trails here are not as clearly marked as they are in Carlisle but we still enjoyed the scenery. There is also the Ghost Trail that is in Salisbury, which is a cool walk. This trail got its name for the “Ghost” trains that transported wooden carriages that were covered with white canvas shrouds, from Amesbury through Salisbury. There are plenty of signs that explain the history and tell the story of a great train robbery in Salisbury. There is also the Eastern Marsh Trail that offers views of the Merrimack river and a great nature walk.
Now if you want to travel this way in the winter, I suggest heading out to the Berkshires. Aside from traveling further north to NH and Maine, this is the place for skiing. If you come before the snow flies the foliage out that way is gorgeous. If you come once the snow is here, get ready to hit the trails. Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort or The Ponds at Foxhollow are the places you will want to stay. You may pay a bit more at these resorts but the amenities make it worth it. If you are a member of a vacation club or have a timeshare somewhere, they do have those resorts in the Berkshires as well so you may be able to trade your week and get a really good deal.
If you are a football fan, make sure you take a trip to Foxborough before you head home so you can check out Patriot Place and maybe catch a game! During the summer there are concerts and in the winter FOOTBALL!!!! The games are a lot of fun. If you don’t want to see a game or we don’t have one happening when you are here don’t worry, going to Patriot place will be a ton of fun too.
Another beautiful thing about coming to Mass is that you are so close to NH, VT, and ME. Make sure you check out the other posts about those states as you can probably take an extended vacation and see everything that New England has to offer!
Quick Bio ☺
Hey guys! I’m Joanie. I am happily married with one son of my own and 3 wonderful stepchildren. We also have a dog and a cat, which makes for one crazy household! I love traveling and seeing the world! My husband was never big on traveling until we got together and now he comes along with me for the ride!
We have been blessed to have family who will take the young one so we can travel as a couple and we also take family vacations. We currently still live in the house I grew up in in Billerica MA. We are in the process of relocating to the west coast in San Diego! We went there, I fell in love, we took the boy and he fell in love too so another great adventure here we come!
I recently started blogging and so far loving every minute of it! I have met some wonderful people, like Jess who put this thing together, and have become a part of a wonderful community. My blog can be found over at www.momjugglingitall.com and as you can guess from the name, it’s all about being a mom and juggling everything in life. Please check it out and follow me on social media. My links are below. Thanks for checking this out and hope you check out MA soon!
Joanie thank you so much for writing about Massachusetts! I hope to visit someday! It will have to be in the Summer time though! I love the summer too!