Travel


10 Best Road Trips in America

Have you planned a summer vacation yet? If not, it’s the perfect time of year to hop in your car and take a road trip! Make the most of your summer vacation by driving your way through America’s beautiful beach towns, rugged cliffs, stunning mountains, and breathtaking scenery. America has such a wide variety of landscapes and cultures that you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience with any of these amazing adventures.

Pacific Coast Highway, California: About 300 Miles 

The Pacific Coast Highway spans the entire length of the West Coast with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Heading south to north will guarantee amazing sites the entire way for the driver, but either way you will not be disappointed. Starting in Southern California, you’ll wind your way though a skinny road with ocean views on the left, and mountains on the right. The rest of the world will seize to exist. Once you make your way up to the Big Sur, the soaring redwoods and magnificent mountains will become more stunningly beautiful. Eventually you will cut through San Fransisco’s historic town of Fisherman’s Wharf. With even more to see, this is a trip you want to take your time with.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana: About 50 Miles

Middle American can be often forgotten about with the coasts getting most of the attention. But, Going-to-the-Sun Road will make you forget about oceans and the beach. This amazing road cuts through a famously beautiful forest, with lakes, glacial-covered mountain peaks and deep ravines. This tiny two-lane, east-west drive winds through Glacier National Park and promises amazing views from every seat in the car. There’s also a good chance you’ll come across wildlife!

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina: About 450 Miles

This long scenic drive is noted for its beauty. The National Park Service owns the land on either side of the skinny parkway. Cutting through a major mountain chain, part of the Appalachian Mountains, there is plenty to pull over and explore on this long journey. From waterfalls, to hiking trails to peaks over 6,000 ft, to various national parks, Blue Ridge Parkway has so much to take in. For those who can wait, the best time to take this journey is during the Fall- where all the leaves change to beautiful autumn colors.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: About 160 Miles

You may be a seasoned vet of Cape Cod, having spent your summers there growing up. But “the Cape” stretches across a 160-mile circuit, and there might still be plenty for you to discover. Taking route 6A will take you past the quaint towns of Sandwich, Yarnmouth, Orleans and more. Start in Sagamore, and then head towards to oldest town in the Cape, Sandwich. Continue through the cape and stop at Nickerson State park to hike, swim and bike ride. As you make your way to the end in Provincetown, be sure to enjoy the wonderful restaurants and night life.

Red Rock Country Arizona: About 128 miles

Hit the road on interstate 17 north in Phoenix to see impressively preserved ancient cliff dwellings. One of the cliff dwellings, the Montezuma Castle cliff dwelling, was declared one of the first four national monuments in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt.  The great trip is an easy way to experience and see a real desert.  After you’ve taken in the sites, cool yourself down from Arizona’s hot sun be heading to Slide Rock State park. Hop on 179 North and soon you’ll be sliding down natural water slides carved into the rock!

Route 66. Chicago to Southern California: About 2,400 miles

Route 66 takes the spot for our longest trip on the list. It would take days to complete it but would be an incredible adventure. One of the original highways, it starts from Chicago, cuts through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California. This iconic route gives us a look into bygone America, mom-and-pop diners and a simple way of life that has not changed in decades. From the long list on unique places to visit on this route, the Cadillac Ranch tops as one the craziest to see with painted Cadillacs sticking straight of the ground!

Overseas Highway, Miami to Key West, Florida: About 120 miles

Want to feel like you’re flying just feet above the ocean?? Drive the overseas highway. Starting in Miami, this above ocean highway connects the Florida Keys to the rest of the land. Half the time, it’s just you and the water. Although this trip can be driven in 2 hours, take your time to stop by the seafood dives and tourist traps along the way. For an experience you’ll never forget, take time to stop and swim with the dolphins at the Theater of the Sea in Islamorada.

Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan: About 12 miles

Often overlooked by ocean lovers, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides an amazing road trip with thick forests, waterfalls and the wonderfully beautiful Lake Superior. The lake views and waterfalls can’t be beat. While the byway is the official scenic route, road-trippers should venture off the route to really experience all the beauty this area has to offer. Following the old roads deep into the woods is the only way to see how beautiful this area really is.

Hill Country Hideaways, Texas: About 200 miles

A road trip to Hill Country Hideaways will wake you back to the wild wild west. From deep canyons, swift rivers and undulating sagebrush plains, you’re sure to feel like you belong in an old western movie. Starting in San Antonia, which considers itself the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” you’ll eventually get your way around some of the coolest, and sparsest, places around Texas. Be sure to visit Utopia. As the name describes, it’s a beautiful paradise with lakes, and rivers. At the end of your journey when you make it to Guadalupe Rivers, ride an inner tube down the river enjoying the warm sunshine.

Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania and Delaware: About 12 miles

The Brandywine Valley might be a short trip, but that doesn’t make it any less worth taking. This scenic countryside was home to the uber-rich American aristocracy of the 20th century. The narrow twisted roads loops through the scenic château countryside where wild flowers grow all around. These amazing summer estates belonged to families such as the Du Pont Family- who may have the most impressive estate on over 900 acres of gorgeous land. To complete this floral filled trip, make sure to visit Longwood Gardens, which includes 20 indoor gardens, an outdoor topiary and spring-fed lakes all on over 1000 acres of land.

 

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Bay State Breweries! (and Cideries!)

There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer’s day! As Bay Staters, we are lucky enough to have some fabulous breweries in Massachusetts.  From the ever popular and well known Samuel Adams Brewery, to the new and amazing Downeast Cider hall, these places offer truly refreshing drinks and exciting experiences.

Downeast Cider Hall
200 Terminal St, Charlestown, MA 02129

This cidery takes apples and alcohol to a whole new level. Started in 2011, the Downeast Cider Hall’s success grows from a truly exceptional and refreshing hard apple cider.  The founders and owners stick to strict policy of “No Shortcuts” in their cider making process. The company gets all of their apples from local farms and fresh presses to create a truly amazing, and refreshing taste. They refuse to use artificial ingredients, use juice from concentrate, or any shortcuts that may diminish the quality and flavor of their delectable cider.  While their original cider stands on their own, the line up of great ciders includes a cranberry blend, hard lemonade, a winter cider, hard honey and a pumpkin blend.  Located in Charlestown, the cider hall offers free tours, and free samples from their taps!

Cisco Brewers
5 Bartlett Farm Road, Nantucket, MA 02554

You may have heard of their flagship beer, Whale’s Tale Pale Ale but did you know Cisco also operates a distillery and winery as well as it’s brewery?  A tour of Cisco brewery will provide the ultimate tasting experience!  For just $20, the tour includes a tasting glass, the choice of two wines to sample from the Nantucket Vineyard, two beers from the Cisco Brewery, AND two spirits from Triple Eight Distillery.  On top of their amazing tour, Cisco also offers a variety of other events including wine and cheese tasting with 8 different wines and gourmet cheese, live music events, and sea food events with a raw bars and lobster rolls. Located in beautiful Nantucket, take time to explore the island after your visit at Cisco Brewery!

Harpoon Brewery –
306 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

It would be almost impossible to walk into a bar in Massachusetts that doesn’t serve Harpoon’s IPA. This delicious craft brewery now boasts one of the largest breweries in the country. Located in the beautiful Sea Port area of Boston, this large brewery also hosts it’s own beer hall!  Start your visit with a guided tour and beer tasting for $5.  Then make your way to the beer hall for more delicious beer and a freshly baked pretzel served with garlic butter, IPA cheese, ale mustard and more!

Wachusett Brewing Company
175 State Rd E, Westminster, MA 01473

Created by an outdoor loving trio of friends, Wachusett Brewing company commits to brewing and selling the freshest, highest quality beer since they founded the brewery in 1993. Three founders involved themselves in every aspect of their brewery they possibly could. With degree in engineering and biology, the hands on founders designed and built most of the equipment, did the brewing and filling, selling and delivering and everything else to grow their brewery into the success it is today. You may know their most famous brews such as Wachusett Blueberry, Country Pale Ale, IPA, or Green Monsta IPA but they create many more creative brews. Check out a free tour today and finish your visit with a free tasting!

Samuel Adams Brewery –
30 Germania St, Boston, MA 02130

This may be the first brewery that comes to mind when thinking about Massachusetts breweries.  Brewing since 1984, Sam Adams boasts over 30 different styles of beer with seasonal favorites.  Tours run Monday to Saturday, but they fill up fast so get there early! The free tours include 3 free samples and the brewery just asks for a small $2 donation for local charities.  Another awesome night to try more brews right from the source, is complimentary flight plan night every Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. Create your own flight plan by choosing from beers on tap and in growlers, ranging from experimental brews, to the flagship Boston Lager, and seasonal styles!

 

Massachusetts Outdoor Concert Venues

Now that warm, beautiful weather has arrived, it’s time to spend every moment possible outside. Massachusetts has some amazing outdoor venues for music lovers. Here’s a list of our top must-see venues this summer!

Blues Hills Bank Pavilion
Boston Harbor

Located on the Boston Harbor side, this amazing outdoor amphitheater continues to host incredible musicians and bands. This year’s line up includes incredible classics like Steely Dan, to indie rock band Florence and the Machine, to new comer Lindsey Stirling and much more. Seating over 5,000 people, it’s one of the largest venues in the area. Enjoy 35 concession stands, and beer, wine and champagne available throughout the pavilion. With the top of the line sound system, spectacular lighting capabilities and cool harbor breezes, this venue has everything you need for a perfect concert experience.

Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell
Charles River Esplanade

This charming and historic outdoor venue located in the Back Bay hosts some wonderful free concerts all summer long. Build in 1941 on the Charles River Esplanade, this epicenter for outdoor performances has held some awesome concerts throughout the years including Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll and incredible orchestras with this year’s line up including Landmarks Orchestra Classical Concert, Rhapsody in Green and Longwood Symphony Orchestra, A Night at the Ballet. Be sure to grab a blanket and stop by July 4th for their annual Boston Pops Orchestra and fireworks Independence Day celebration!

Xfinity Center
Mansfield

One of the largest venues in Massachusetts, the Xfinity center can fit over 19,900 music lovers. This big venue has some big names this summer including Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffet, Florida Georgia Line, Mumford and Sons, and so much more. Xfinity also host some popular major events this summer such as Country Fest and Warp Tour. Get up close to the stage with reserved seats, or sprawl out under the sky in the huge lawn area. Don’t forget to arrive early so you can park and tailgate with fellow concertgoers!

The Boatonian
Docks at Rowe’s Wharf

If you’re looking to dance under the stars, on a boat, the Boatonian is what you’re looking for. With different theme nights complete with DJs, live bands, drinks and food, you are sure to have a great time. Starting Thursday nights, this boat sails off to the throwbacks from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s. Enjoy the end of your workweek to Hip-Hop Fridays. Saturday night put on your best cowboy hat, daisy-dukes and check out the best live country bands. End your weekend by showing your support for the LGBT community Sunday afternoons on Pride Sundays.

 

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January Events In Massachusetts

As the New Year begins, the weather starts has started to drop into brutal cold winter territory- but that doesn’t mean you should start hibernating! The month of January has a ton of events going on that are worth going out for! Here are a few of MassDrive’s favorite events happening this month.

Boston Celtic Music Festival:
January 8th- 9th
Cambridge

This cultural festival brings together over 100 musicians, a parade, and a ton of dancing! To start off the event, a parade will take place in Harvard Square, followed by a concert at Club Passim friday night.  The fun continues all day Saturday with various artists playing Irish fiddle music, Scottish, Cape Breton, Quebecois, and more throughout various venues in Cambridge.  Finish Saturday night off right with a final concert and dancing. Tickets are required for certain events, or you may purchase a weekend pass.

Yoga at the Boston Public Library:
January 12th- February 16th (12-1 p.m.)
Back Bay Boston

For the first time ever, you are allowed, even encouraged to exercise in the Boston Public Library! The ever so popular instructor Rebecca Pacheco will host a Yoga class every Tuesday from 12-1 p.m. in the historic Abbey Room of the McKim Building. Work on your downward dog and sun salutation in this beautiful and tranquil room.  The class will cater to all levels of fitness designed to help you unplug and recharge. While the program plans to end in February, if it proves popular the BPL might extend it.  Be sure to grab your yoga matt and head there early as the event will run on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations:
January 18th
Throughout Boston

While there are numerous events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and his role in civil rights, peace and equality in America, one of the largest celebrations is at Fanuiel Hall on Boston’s Freedom trail.  Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program will pay tribute to distinguished guests through a special musical performance.  The Harlem Gospel Choir will continue it’s tradition to fill Harvard’s Sanders Theatre for this annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. with soulful music and dancing.  The Museum of Fine Arts will also offer free admission throughout the day as well as showcase films, performances and art activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. For more information on other celebrations commemorating Dr. King’s life, click here.

Taste of East Boston:
January 28th (6 to 9 p.m.)
East Boston

Do not miss out on this tasty event! Featuring over 30 local restaurants, life entertainment, cash bar, raffles and more, this annual festival has a ton to offer. Restaurants will include cuisines from South America, the Mediterranean, China, Italy, and the Middle East with PLENTY of samples of their most popular dishes. Parking for the event is available at the Hilton, and it’s free! Also, all proceeds from charity event will benefit East Boston Main Streets.

Winter Jubilee Beer Festival:
January 29th- 30th
Castle at Park Plaza

Time to taste the best of the best winter beers! This annual festival hosts 50 brewers with over 200 winter beers to sample! While this event has been going on since 2002, each year continues to improve.  This year they’ve added more brewers and beers ranging from international brewers with popular winter brews, to local hid gems breweries with less well known winter brews. For anyone who loves a good beer, you do not want to miss this spectacular craft beer event!

 

JANUARY EVENTS

New Years Eve Tips & Tricks to Stay Safe

With the new year approaching, there is much to celebrate! While New Years Eve can be an awesome celebration, there are a few precautions you should take to keep the night safe and fun.

1. Choose Transportation Wisely

While it should be obvious, it has to be said- Do NOT drink and drive. Besides the fact that it’s incredibly risky for your safety and others, there will a ton of cops out patrolling and looking for drunk drivers.  Instead of scrambling for a safe ride home last minute, plan ahead your transportation. If you’re going to a bar, look in advance what your transportation options are. Cabs, Ubers, or Lyft are typically available in larger cities. While they can be more expensive on NYE, it’s worth the price of getting home safe and sound. If you are driving to a friends house and plan to drink any alcohol at all, stay over night or have a designated driver you can trust to drive you back- this is especially important if you are in an area where there is limited access to taxis and ride sharing apps.  Another options is hiring a driver for the night. With group options or splitting the cost among friends, it may be more affordable than you think.

2. The More the Merrier

You’ve probably heard the phase “strength in numbers.” Remember this on NYE. Don’t find yourself alone on leave any one behind. While it’s safe to assume much of the population will be drinking on New Years Eve, it’s best to stick together with your friends. Don’t let friends wonder off alone either.

3. Enjoy a Delicious Meal!

Who doesn’t want an excise to eat a nice delicious big meal?? New Years Eve is the perfect night for that. Avoid starting the new year with a massive hangover by eating a healthy & hefty meal before you go out.  A substantial, healthy meal will help absorb some of the alcohol and even better, may keep you from snacking on junky appetizers and sweets later on the night which can be prevalent around NYE parties.  Even if you can’t do a fancy meal, be sure to have something in your stomach before you go out. Your body will thank you for that January 1st.

4. Dos and Don’ts to Drinking

While there’s nothing wrong with a celebratory drink on NYE- that is if you’re 21- but it’s important to be smart about it. Know your limits and only drink what you can handle. To prevent your head from feeling completely foggy the next morning, a good rule of thumb is one glass of water per every serving of alcohol. If you or one of your friends over drinks and may have alcohol poisoning, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 immediately.

5. Communicate With Your Comrades

Communication with your friends is key on big party nights like NYE which also tend to be long nights out. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you head out the door. Consider bringing a portable charger if you have one, or at least a wall charger for emergencies. That way, if you do get separated from your friends, you’ll be able to contact them. Have a meeting spot or end of the night plan- that way if you can’t get in touch with each other or do get separated, at least you’ll have a time and place to meet up. Also, always make sure you and your friends know each others’ whereabouts- even if its just a quick trip to that bathroom.

6. Have a Blast!

Have a wonderful New Years Eve! Don’t put too much pressure on the night and just enjoy the night with you friends or family. Celebrate your accomplishments of 2015, and look forward to all that is to come in 2016!

 

Tips & Tricks to Beat Thanksgiving Traffic

It may be impossible to completely avoid Thanksgiving traffic, but there are a few ways to minimize the frustration.

1. Avoid driving at the worst traffic times– According to Waze, the heaviest traffic will be today (Tuesday) from 4–8 p.m. Unfortunately, Wednesday doesn’t look any better. In fact it could be worst especially in other parts of the country with traffic starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the whole day.

2. Use alternative routes– Waze and Google maps provide real time traffic and often offer multiple routes you can take. Your usual route may not be the fastest so be sure to check the app before you hit the road! Also, if an accident or traffic jam occurs, Waze and Google maps can sometimes re-route you to a faster route.

3. Consider the longer route– While two hours driving may seem better than two and half, it’s worth considering taking the longer route that’s moving along than the shorter route stuck in traffic. Psychologically speaking, it tends to feel less frustrating for you and your passengers when you’re actually driving, rather than going bumper to bumper at a snail’s pace.

4. Avoid driving Sunday, or give yourself PLENTY of time– There is no good time to drive Sunday. Traffic will be crazy all day. Yes, you read that right- All day.  If you are luckily enough to wait til Monday, avoid driving 10am to noon when the worst traffic will hit.

5. Fill up on gas before you hit the road-  You do not want to have to make unnecessary stops while you travel.  If you’re lucky, one tank of gas will be more than enough for your trip.  If you’re traveling far, be sure to fill up your tank when gas is easily available. The last think you want is to be frantically watching your tank drain while you’re stuck in traffic and no where close to a gas station.

6. Play car games to keep the kids entertained- Instead of playing the oh so annoying “Are we there yet?” game, keep these car games ready for when your kids start to get antsy.

Safe travels from you friends at MassDrive! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

 

Best Places to Leaf Peep In New England!

As the weather cools down, the beautiful autumn weather begins! While we get excited for pumpkin season, football games, and the cool crisp air, it’s time to start leaf peeping! For those who are not familiar with the term, leaf peeping is the art of traveling to those beautiful places where you see the vibrant reds, golden yellows, and bright orange colors of the fall foliage! We created a list of our favorite places to leaf peep around New England. Take a look and try to visit as many of these places as you can before its too late!

1. The Berkshires, Massachusetts.

In our home state of Massachusetts, the Berkshires is on the top of our list! While so much of western Massachusetts is stunningly beautiful, we recommend taking Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway. This 35-mile stretch of Route 20 sits at the southern part of the Berkshires. On the other side, the Mohawk trail in the northern mountains of the Berkshires hosts incredible views for some spectacular leaf peeping!

2. Route 100, Vermont

Vermont, known for it’s beautiful mountains with gorgeous views, hosts a slew of places to leaf peep. One of the most amazing drives you can take is Route 100. It expands the entire length of the state and has a wide variety of elevation, which means a ton of different colors! You’ll see deep maroon sumac trees, vivacious reds with pops of bright yellow.

3. Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

On Connecticut’s side of the Berkshires, Route 7 cuts through Litchfield Hills and adorable picturesque towns with gorgeous fall foliage all around. Following the Housatonic River, enter the village of Kent which was awarded the #1 Fall Foliage Town in New England by Yankee Magazine. While you hike your way through the scenic Kent State Park and up to the summit, be sure to take a look at Connecticut’s high waterfall on the way. Don’t have time for a hike? Not a problem. Just driving around Litchfield Hills you’ll have one of the most scenic drives in the country with trees exploding with color all around.

4. White Mountains, New Hampshire

Once you enter the White Mountain Region, you won’t be able to escape the color explosion! Almost everywhere you walk, hike, or drive, you will be surrounded by a variety of different trees creating a beautiful color landscape. From elm, to oak, to beech and birch, and the sugar maples, the scarlet reds and warm yellow leaves will leave you speechless. A quick stop off Route 175, Perch Pond will complete your experience with stunning views of the foliage.

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October Events in Massachusetts!

With the start of fall comes tons of fun fall festivities! From corn mazes, to apple festivals, to Oktoberfest, there are so many ways to get into the autumn spirit! Check out MassDrive’s favorite activities and events happening around Massachusetts this month!

Corn maze
October 5th – November 1st
Danvers, MA

Connors Farm is hosting their annual and epic corn maze. This year’s corn maze will feature a massive 7 acre “Wild, Wild, West” themed maze and so much more! Connors Farm has all the classic fall favorites such as hayrides, apple picking, and pumpkin picking. While on the other side, they offer some crazy fun activities such as pumpkin blasters, paint ball, and corn cannon in what they call the “destruction zone.” At night, wind down by the campfire with some delicious BBQ, classic New England clam chowder or some hot apple cider donuts!

Haunted house in Fall River
October 9th – November 7th
Fall River, MA

Get into your Halloween spirit with the Factory of Terror’s Haunted House! Due to a mysterious mass murder in 1856, this factory, now named Bloodworth Dungeon, has laid idol since. Only those who dare, enter at their own risk! The haunted house begins on an underground 4D blackout zone where you have to crawl your way though the “tunnel of corpses.” After escaping the 4D blackout, you will enter the phobia mayhem where you will face the fear haunting the 113 factory murder victims’ souls! This haunted house is not for those faint at heart!

Oktoberfest and Street Band
October 11th
Harvard Square, Boston

If you haven’t been yet, this year’s the year to attend the 37th Annual Oktoberfest and legendary HONK! Parade! This popular event brings in over 200,000 people all weekend long. Featuring foods from all over the world throughout 50 food vendors, vintage goods and one-of-a-kind gifts from 150 craft vendors, and lets not forget the five beer gardens! The entire event will take place on and around Harvard Square with 6 stages hosting a slew of musicians. The highlight of the event will be the HONK! Parade with bands from all over the country marching from Davis to Harvard as spectators dance along!

Oyster festival
October 17th – October 18th
Wellfleet, Cape Code

While the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the cape, make your way to the 15th annual Wellfleet OysterFest! Besides eating delicious fresh oysters- which there will be plenty of!- there are a ton of activities all weekend long. From cooking demonstrations, to walking tours, to live music, and much more there are so many ways to enjoy this beautiful beach town festival. Tickets are a very reasonable $5 dollars for a one-day pass, or $8 for a two-day pass and the proceeds go to the non-profit Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc., organization’s education scholarship fund.

Apple festival
October 17th – October 18th
Wachusett Mountain

No food represents fall in New England better than apples! Wachusett Mountain will house their 32nd annual AppleFest featuring 75 craft Fair & Farmers market booths, delicious barbecue, a climbing wall and more. There will be a ton of entertainment for the kids and Oktoberfest celebration for the adults featuring real German cuisine, live bands, and of course lots of tasty beers in the Beer Garden. Be sure to check out the scenic sky rides up the mountain to take in the beautiful fall foliage. Lastly, lets not forget with every great Apple Festival comes an epic apple pie contest!

 

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Bay State Breweries! (and Cideries!)

There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer’s day! As Bay Staters, we are lucky enough to have some fabulous breweries in Massachusetts.  From the ever popular and well known Samuel Adams Brewery, to the new and amazing Downeast Cider hall, these places offer truly refreshing drinks and exciting experiences.

Downeast Cider Hall
200 Terminal St, Charlestown, MA 02129

This cidery takes apples and alcohol to a whole new level. Started in 2011, the Downeast Cider Hall’s success grows from a truly exceptional and refreshing hard apple cider.  The founders and owners stick to strict policy of “No Shortcuts” in their cider making process. The company gets all of their apples from local farms and fresh presses to create a truly amazing, and refreshing taste. They refuse to use artificial ingredients, use juice from concentrate, or any shortcuts that may diminish the quality and flavor of their delectable cider.  While their original cider stands on their own, the line up of great ciders includes a cranberry blend, hard lemonade, a winter cider, hard honey and a pumpkin blend.  Located in Charlestown, the cider hall offers free tours, and free samples from their taps!

Cisco Brewers
5 Bartlett Farm Road, Nantucket, MA 02554

You may have heard of their flagship beer, Whale’s Tale Pale Ale but did you know Cisco also operates a distillery and winery as well as it’s brewery?  A tour of Cisco brewery will provide the ultimate tasting experience!  For just $20, the tour includes a tasting glass, the choice of two wines to sample from the Nantucket Vineyard, two beers from the Cisco Brewery, AND two spirits from Triple Eight Distillery.  On top of their amazing tour, Cisco also offers a variety of other events including wine and cheese tasting with 8 different wines and gourmet cheese, live music events, and sea food events with a raw bars and lobster rolls. Located in beautiful Nantucket, take time to explore the island after your visit at Cisco Brewery!

Harpoon Brewery –
306 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

It would be almost impossible to walk into a bar in Massachusetts that doesn’t serve Harpoon’s IPA. This delicious craft brewery now boasts one of the largest breweries in the country. Located in the beautiful Sea Port area of Boston, this large brewery also hosts it’s own beer hall!  Start your visit with a guided tour and beer tasting for $5.  Then make your way to the beer hall for more delicious beer and a freshly baked pretzel served with garlic butter, IPA cheese, ale mustard and more!

Wachusett Brewing Company
175 State Rd E, Westminster, MA 01473

Created by an outdoor loving trio of friends, Wachusett Brewing company commits to brewing and selling the freshest, highest quality beer since they founded the brewery in 1993. Three founders involved themselves in every aspect of their brewery they possibly could. With degree in engineering and biology, the hands on founders designed and built most of the equipment, did the brewing and filling, selling and delivering and everything else to grow their brewery into the success it is today. You may know their most famous brews such as Wachusett Blueberry, Country Pale Ale, IPA, or Green Monsta IPA but they create many more creative brews. Check out a free tour today and finish your visit with a free tasting!

Samuel Adams Brewery –
30 Germania St, Boston, MA 02130

This may be the first brewery that comes to mind when thinking about Massachusetts breweries.  Brewing since 1984, Sam Adams boasts over 30 different styles of beer with seasonal favorites.  Tours run Monday to Saturday, but they fill up fast so get there early! The free tours include 3 free samples and the brewery just asks for a small $2 donation for local charities.  Another awesome night to try more brews right from the source, is complimentary flight plan night every Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. Create your own flight plan by choosing from beers on tap and in growlers, ranging from experimental brews, to the flagship Boston Lager, and seasonal styles!

 

Protect Your Home From Burglars When You’re on Vacation

The start of summer means it’s time to go on vacation! Whether it’s a weekend trip to the beach, or a month long trip to Europe, vacations can leave your house vulnerable to break-ins. The FBI notes that the summer has the highest rates of burglaries. To try and prevent a burglary or limit the damage if one occurs, use this checklist before you take off.

1st step- Deterring The Burglar

The first line of defense you can have against a burglary starts with making your home appear occupied.  If a burglar thinks you’re home, they’ll move on to a home that looks uninhabited.  Think Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone- he had the right idea.

  • Have the lights inside your home on a automatic timer.  Rather than keeping your lights on the entire time, which is not environmental, not cost efficient, and does not look normal to have lights on at 3 am, a timer will make it appear as if someone is home turning the lights on and off.
  • Place your TV or a talk radio on a timer.  It will either sound like people are talking, or that someone home is watching the television.  Either way, it could be a good deterrence.
  • Stop your mail and newspaper deliveries so they don’t pile up in front of your house.  Or even better, have a friend or trust worthy neighbor grab the mail for you.  That way they can check on the house as well.
  • NEVER post on Facebook or social media that you are traveling.  You never know who can see it, and it’s a big welcome sign to burglars that your house is open.
  • The same rule applies to answering machines. Never say on your phone’s mailbox that you are away on vacation.  A simple “we can’t get to the phone right now” is a much safer option.  Also, be sure to turn off your phone’s ringer volume too.  A phone ringing with no answer could tip off a burglar that no one is home to pick up.

2nd- Make It Hard To Break-in

Research has proven that if it takes more than 4 to 5 minutes to get into your house, burglars will move on. So make it noisy and time consuming.

  • Bolt up and place a foot jam in all your doors but one.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it! Besides alerting the police, loud systems will scare away burglars and alert your neighbors of the break in. More secure system can even reduce home insurance policy up to 15-20%.
  • Have motion sensor lights around your home that are not accessible without a ladder.  Burglars will usually not use ladders as they are too conspicuous.
  • If you have any spare keys around your house, bring them in. That fake rock isn’t fooling anyone.
  • Secure all windows, your garage, and even your tool shed- you don’t want to provide the burglar with the tools to be able to break in. Lock all your windows and place stoppers with your sliding doors.

3rd- Protect As Much As Possible

If a burglar finds a way to break-in, protect as much as possible. The average dollar loss per burglary is over $1,700.  You can minimize that amount with these tips.

  • Hide/ lock up expensive jewelry in a safe.  If possible, the safest option would be to keep expensive jewelry in a bank lock box.
  • Hide/ lock up laptops, tablets, or any small electronics you can.
  • If you have any closest that locks, place expensive items in there and take the key with you.
  • Most filing cabinets come with a lock and key.  Be sure to lock important documents before you go and bring that key with you
  • For larger computers, be sure to disconnect from the internet and make personal info saved on the computer is difficult to access- you wouldn’t want the burglars to hack your accounts as well.

Enjoy your vacation this summer! We hope these to-dos keep your home safe while you’re away.  Of course, if a burglary does happen, your MassDrive agent and homeowner’s policy are here to help! Contact us at 1-877-245-9603 for any questions or concerns you may have.

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