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Best Hiking Spots In Massachusetts

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Hiking is a fun way to get some exercise, smell the fresh air, and see something new.  Here in the Bay State, we’re lucky that we have so many great trails to visit, but it can be hard to know which ones to choose, which is why we’ve come up with this list of the best spots to go hiking in Massachusetts!

Blue Hills Reservation – Located only a few miles from Boston, the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton offers visitors 125 miles of trails to explore.  There are a variety of plants and wildlife that you may see on your hike, along with historic structures, ponds, swamps, and much more.  Once you reach the rocky mountain summit you’ll see a beautiful view of the Boston skyline in the distance, the perfect spot to rest and take in the sights of the city while also enjoying the seclusion of nature.

Cape Cod National Seashore – When you think of hiking, you may not typically picture hiking on the beach, but the Cape Cod National Seashore is one of the best places to visit if you want to get some exercise in the great outdoors.  There are forty miles of beaches, marshes, ponds, and more that feature different kinds of wildlife, lighthouses, cranberry bogs, and beautiful views of the coast.  There are trails for both biking and walking, and two visitors centers, one located in Eastham, which is open year-round,  and one Provincetown that is open seasonally.  If you’re in the area trust us when we say you won’t want to miss a chance to hike this local treasure.

Harold Parker State Forest – This forest has so much to offer to its visitors.  It spans across Andover, North Andover, North Reading, and Middleton but the park headquarters are located in North Andover.  Guests can explore 35 miles of trails, go hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, camping, or pack a lunch and enjoy a nice picnic!  There’s something for everyone here, so we’re sure you won’t be bored!  There are also 11 ponds within the forest, all of which allow non-motorized boating.  The forest itself is comprised of over 3,000 acres, so if you’re looking for a secluded trail to enjoy a quiet hike you’re in luck.

Mount Greylock State Reservation – Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts!  At the top you can see stunning views of up to 60-90 miles away!  If hiking to the top might be too strenuous or take too long, there are roads that you can drive up and shorter hiking trails leading off of the road.  Access to the park itself is free but there is a parking fee of $2 for Massachusetts residents and $4 for non-residents, so make sure you have a bit of cash on hand when you go.  If you’ve never been to Mount Greylock we highly recommend making the trip just for the spectacular views alone!

So, have any of these spots peaked your interest?  We hope you’ll take advantage of these hiking spots at some point, they’re too beautiful to miss out on!

Photo By: Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism

 

 

Get Your Seafood Fix Before Summer Ends!

Massachusetts is well known for its tasty seafood and before you know it the peak season for it will be over!  Not to worry, it’s not too late to get your seafood fix before summer closes out.  Whether you’re craving some chowder, a lobster roll, or some deep fried clams these stops will leave you wanting more.

The Clam Box – The Clam Box is in Quincy located right on Wollaston Beach. A longtime favorite with locals, they have been serving up fried seafood since 1968.  They serve beer and wine and there are endless seafood options on the menu and they also offer many meat items if you want to combine some lobster with a steak for surf and turf.  They have both indoor and outdoor seating, or take your food across the street and sit on the beach which has beautiful views of the Boston skyline and Harbor Islands.  On your way home stop next door at the Ice Box and get some soft serve for dessert!

Woodman’s Of Essex – This is a must try for all seafood lovers.  Woodman’s opened in 1914 and in 1916 owner “Chubby” Woodman made culinary history when he invented the fried clam.  The Woodman family has yet another claim to fame, for the first time, they allowed families across New England to experience a real New England clambake by delivering the supplies and cooking right at their home.  This simplified the original “Indian” Clambake which typically took a whole day to prepare.  The restaurant is still owned and operated by the Woodman family and continues to prepare some of the most delicious seafood across the state.  They even have the awards to prove it!  With awards such as “Best Seafood in America” from Forbes FYI Magazine, “Best Local Food in MA” from Yankee Magazine, and “World’s Best Fantastic Fast Food” from the Travel Channel they have definitely earned bragging rights.  They also continue to deliver and prepare traditional New England clambakes to families across New  England.  Stop by this weekend or call them up to cater your Labor Day party, they are guaranteed to be a hit!

The No Name – The No Name Restaurant is a popular stop on South Boston’s Waterfront and has been in operation since 1917.  With a wide variety of menu items ranging from fried scallops to broiled swordfish, salmon, seafood chowder, fried clams, shrimp, and of course lobster there is something for everyone.  They even have a pretty impressive drink menu for those over 21.  You never know who you might see here, the No Name has had customers from across the globe, and certain famous faces such has Emeril Lagase, Tedy Bruschi, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Andy Garcia have been know to stop by.  So bring your camera and enjoy some fresh fish right on the water, it’s the perfect way to spend a beautiful summer day!

The Lobster Pot – The Lobster Pot in Provincetown overlooks the harbor and is home to the award winning (Cape Cod Chowder Fest and  Boston Chowderfest) Tim’s Clam Chowder.  Stop by the Top of the Pot for a cocktail or eat in one of their two waterfront dining rooms.  While seafood is what they are known for, they have a wide variety of options including Portuguese  specialties, steaks, chicken, and even vegetarian plates.  This historic town, which was the first landing place of the Pilgrims is a unique part of Cape Cod and a popular tourist destination for artists, musicians, and nature lovers.  They are open until November so there’s still plenty of time to head over and enjoy a lobster roll on the water!

So, take a drive with family or friends to one of these must try seafood destinations in Massachusetts!  What better way to spend the last few days of summer than chowing down on some fried fish by the water while the sun goes down?

Photo By: iferneinez

 

Fight Off a Case of the Winter Blues With These Events in February!

As we have seen in the past few months, this winter has been anything but typical.  The warm temperatures and lack of snow have made it difficult to enjoy a traditional New England winter by venturing out into the snow for entertainment.  However, there are plenty of events taking place across Massachusetts this month that will keep you entertained and help you fight off a case of the winter blues!
  • Are you a fan of Mexican food? The Rattlesnake Bar and Grill in Boston is holding their second annual Burrito Bowl in honor of the Super Bowl.  This event will bring together some of the top chefs in Boston and have them compete to create the best Burrito.  Each chef will create a burrito named after the city of their favorite NFL team. Attendees and special guest “referee” judges will determine the winner.  The event costs about $17 per person and begins this Saturday, February 4th from 1:00-4:00 PM.  https://poesburritobowl.eventbrite.com/
  • Even though the Olympic Winter Games do not take place this year you can still get your sports fix by attending the 2012 Bay State Winter Games from February 10-12th in the Northern Berkshire region of Massachusetts.  Sporting events include alpine skiing, figure skating, and masters ice hockey competitions.  http://baystategames.org/html/bsgwww/wintergames/index.html
  • Looking for an event that will get the whole family up and out this winter? Check out the Winter Family Fun Safari taking place Saturday February 11th at 1:00 PM in Milton, MA.  It is a free event and families can meet up at Houghton Pond before exploring the woods and going on a hike to Rutherford explore what happens throughout nature during the winter.  This is a great family friendly event that is educational and a great source of exercise!  http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=4139
  • Salem, MA is celebrating the season of love this year by hosting the 10th annual “Salem’s So Sweet” chocolate and ice sculpture festival.  Admire the beautiful ice sculptures lining the streets of downtown Salem before stopping in a local establishment for some chocolate and wine tasting! http://salem-chamber.org/salems-so-sweet-44.html
  • Want to really surprise that special someone this Valentine’s day? The Top of the Hub is offering a four-course prix-fix menu on Tuesday, February 14th from 4:00-10:00 PM. The event costs $125 per person (which does not include drinks, tax, or gratuity) and although it is a bit pricey the view from the top of the Prudential Building and romance factor can’t be beat.  http://calendar.boston.com/boston-ma/events/show/239027644-top-of-the-hub-celebrates-valentines-day
  • Nick’s Comedy Stop, located within the Theater District of Boston, is hosting an Open Mic Night Thursday, February 16th featuring some of the most entertaining up and coming comedy acts in Boston.  Stop by for a few drinks and laughs to get your evening started on the right note.  Tickets are $12 per person and the event begins at 8:00 PM. https://openmicfeb.eventbrite.com/?ref=ebtn&nomo=1
  • You may have thought pageant season was over after the Miss USA pageant last month, however luckily you would be mistaken.  The Miss Boston 2012 pageant takes place Sunday, February 19th at 5:00 PM at the Omni Parker House in Boston.  Contestants will compete for the chance to move on to the Miss Massachusetts pageant in June and will compete in interview, talent, swim suit, and evening wear categories. http://www.missboston.org/Miss_Boston_2012_Pageant.html
  • Explore the nautical side of New England this winter in Provincetown and meet Delilah!  Delilah is an inflatable, life sized North Atlantic Right Whale that guests can tour while learning about these rare and beautiful animals.  There are only 475 of these whales left in the world and over 300 of those whales visited Cape Cod Bay in 2011.  This is a free event taking place on February 24th from 11:00 AM-12:15 PM.  http://www.capecodmagazine.com/Cape-Cod-Magazine/Calendar/index.php/name/MEET-DELILAH-THE-RIGHT-WHALE/event/8313/
  • Before the start of baseball season and after the Super Bowl mania has come to an end, all of you sports fans can still get a taste of the excitement at the Golden Gloves Boxing tournament in Lowell, MA.  The event is held annually and takes place on five different nights throughout the month of February as contestants try to move their way up through the competition.  This event has launched the careers of boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Micky Ward, and Rocky Marciano.  For ticket information visit http://www.lowellgoldengloves.com/3/online_payment.htm
Make sure that you enjoy the rest of this winter by getting up and out! Whatever your interests are, there is an event for everyone taking place this February across Massachusetts!
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