15 Best Things to Do in Abington (MA)

This town on the South Shore has extraordinary ties to the Respectful War. For a few 20 long time, Abington was the location of a yearly Abolitionist assembly, held at what is presently Island Woods Stop, a beautiful open space following a lake. Within the 1810s the mass production of press tacks was spearheaded in Abington and laid the basis for a burgeoning shoe and boot industry. Nearly half of all the footwear made for the Union Armed force within the Gracious War came from manufacturing plants here in Abington. This angle of Abington’s legacy can be acknowledged at a Respectful War place to stay at Island Forest Stop amid the town’s Founders’ Day celebration. For half a century from 1941, a gigantic maritime discussion field occupied an enormous piece of Abington, and you’ll get to a parcel of this space on preservation arriving at Thompson’s Lake. 1. Oktoberfest Since the mid-2010s, Abington has put on a family-situated celebration on the moment end of the week in October. Oktoberfest blends German and Halloween-themed occasions and exercises, with light-hearted fun like a canine ensemble challenge, a carved pumpkin challenge, an open house at the Dyer Commemoration Library, and a children’s outfit parade. There’s a commercial center on Saturday, with merchants, crafters, and music, as well as a family celebration on Sunday, with a have of exercises for kids, a larger cultivate for adults, and an execution by the Twofold Hawk Oktoberfest German Band. 2. Barrett’s Haunted Mansion One of the beat alarms within the locale, Abington incorporates a frequented house that’s presently in its fourth decade. Barrett’s Frequented House is two attractions in one, with an unnerving path through the most house, and Condemned (at the time of composing), in which you enter an ancient chemical lab, fixed off and slithering with mutants. There’s a number of uncommon occasions all through the season in September and October, counting lights-on visits on Saturdays, once you can appreciate the make and cherish that goes into the scenarios, props, ensembles, and cosmetics.  3. Abington Summer Concerts Summers in Abington wouldn’t be the same without this yearly arrangement of concerts in July and Admirable. The organize is the Catherine and Joseph Nisby Bandstand another to Abington Town Lobby, with the broad field obliging shockingly huge swarms for these appears. Concerts take put on Sunday nights, highlighting entertainers from a extend of classes, whether you’re within the temperament for the soul, classic shake, nation, doo-wop, jazz, or 80s pop hits. One Night amid the Season is particularly for kids, with swell craftsmanship, instructive intriguing creature showings, and confront portray. 4. High Voltage Paintball Covered up in more than 20 sections of land of woods nearby in Holbrook, Tall Voltage Paintball invites walk-ins on Saturdays and Sundays. There’s an incredible assortment of territories on offer here, from the profound cover of the woodsball areas to the open speedball field. The office is additionally prepared for all sorts of diversion modes, whether you’re attacking/defending a key peak or bunker, playing bomb the base, or capturing the hail. All the gear you wish to induce is accessible here, and the mindful staff makes beyond any doubt the amusement remains secure.  5. Strawberry Valley Golf Course For a no-frills circular golf, Abington has a great metropolitan course in for the most part open parkland on the south side of the town. Strawberry Valley Golf Course may be a 9-hole track that plays generally brief, so is perfect in case you’re fair beginning out, or need to work on your iron play and brief amusement. The course is well kept up, contains a great pace of play, and speaks to astonishing esteem for cash. Within the winter the course’s rolling format gets to be idealized sledding territory for nearby kids. 6. Thompson Pond Trail The previous location of the South Weymouth Maritime Discuss Station is enormous and can be navigated along this path framework. The Thompson Lake Path is overseen by the Wildlands Believe, and gotten to from Spruce St on the Abington-Rockland line. Out and back, the Thompson Lake Path is fair beneath two miles long, crossing the lasting French Stream, and bringing you to the pleasant northern shore of the lake where you’ll discover an area of boardwalk and seats. At the trailhead you’ll be able to head off along the Twin Lakes Path into Rockland, whereas south of Spruce St is the 40+ section of land Rockland Town Woodland, holding up to be found.  7. Naval Air Station Weymouth (Control Tower) From 1941 to 1997 a US Naval Force Runway involved a huge scope of Abington, Weymouth, and Rockland. Maritime Discuss Station Weymouth was a dirigible base amid World War II, and after that, it became a portion of the Maritime Discuss Save Preparing Command. The arrival has steadily been given over to the particular towns since the mid-90s, incompletely for redevelopment ventures like Union Point. Other ranges have been cleared out open, and you’ll visit the Wildlands Believe Protect to gage the astonishing scale of the landing strip, where the runways were once as long as 7,000 feet. We’ll conversation almost Thompson Trail below, but a few ways north of there, off Adams St, you’ll get to the ancient control tower, still intaglio in spite of the fact that presently appearing its age, and went with by a number of rotting shelter narrows. 8. 10th District Brewing Company Established by two childhood companions who developed up here in Abington, the 10th Locale Brewing Company opened in 2014, and is presently accessible at a number of bars and eateries from Body to Holbrook. You’ll go to the source in Abington, where there’s a tavern with plentiful dog-friendly open-air space. Among the brews on tap at the time of composing were a choice of IPAs, a Gose, a Kolsch, a shelled nut Forceful, and a few less customary manifestations like a jalapeño lager and a lime acrid. You’ll buy cans or fill growlers here, whereas flights are accessible

15 Best Things to Do in Greenfield (MA)

Within the northern Pioneer Valley, Greenfield could be a picturesque ancient process town, verifiably known for toolmaking and cutlery fabricating. There are historical centers here and in adjacent Turners Falls, going into detail about industry in Franklin Province, and the characterizing part of the Connecticut Stream. Greenfield’s townscape is surrounded by an unexpected mountain edge between the downtown area and the riverbank. Known as Rough Mountain, typically a portion of the Pocumtuck Extend, the northernmost bridge of the Metacomet Ridge, which continues all the way along the Connecticut Waterway to Long Island Sound. Downtown Greenfield may be a treat, with parts of local businesses, a farmers’ showcase that has been going since the 1970s, and a sense of community soul that sparkles through at open occasions just like the Franklin Province Reasonable in September. 1. Energy Park By the tracks, this small desert garden within the heart of Greenfield is on the previous location of Greenfield prepare station and a going with Boston and Maine Railroad yard. Within the 1990s, the town came to an understanding with the Northeast Maintainable Vitality Affiliation (NESEA) to redevelop the property as an open space, sewing together that railroad history and the subject of economic vitality. You’ll see a protected caboose, railroad-themed play hardware, and open-air shows almost renewables. The bandstand is a stay for open-air social occasions and concerts, with up to 40 occasions held here during the summer. These incorporate the summer concert arrangement on Thursday nights, and the Greenfield Players’ Shakespeare within the Stop season. 2. Eunice Williams Covered Bridge Crossing the Green Stream in inaccessible western Greenfield may be a good-looking secured bridge. In case this structure looks unused, that’s since it was built in 1972 as a generation of a 19th-century bridge that had as of late been crushed by fire. As markers tell you, there has been a crossing here for much longer, and the location is named for one Eunice Williams who was slaughtered here amid Ruler Anne’s War in 1704. She was one of more than 100 prisoners taken by the French armed forces and united Abenaki and Mohawk tribes from adjacent Deerfield to start an overwhelming walk to Canada. Williams had given birth the day sometime recently, and, in no condition to form the journey, was felled by a tomahawk at this exceptional location on the primary leg.  3. Canalside Rail Trail On the other bank of the stream from Greenfield, nearly four miles of the Modern York, Modern Safe House, and Hartford Railroad have gotten to be a multi-use rail path. This takes you from the juncture of the Deerfield and Connecticut waterways in East Deerfield, upstream to Solidarity Stop in Turners Falls, passing the Awesome Falls Revelation Center on the course. The path opened in 2008 and is generally free of street activity, separated from a brief area on town boulevards. A noteworthy railroad framework, just like the ancient Turners Falls Department Bridge between Deerfield and Montague, has been coordinated into the course. That metal truss bridge goes back to 1880, was restored after flooding in 1936, and after that adjusted for the rail path in 2006. 4. Whitney Hill Antiques In case you cherish chasing vintage things and collectibles, you’ll require a bounty of time to do equity to this mammoth collectibles center in downtown Greenfield. Whitney Slope Collectibles, which as of late included an unused area in Deerfield, is on three stories, with 60 sellers and 16,000 square feet of retail space. You’ll be able to vanish for an hour or two, browsing furniture, earthenware, vintage clothing, lighting, cookware, toys, clocks, mirrors, dollhouses, apparatuses, board recreations, sports memorabilia, regular enrichments, and tons more. In spite of the astonishing amount of treasures, the store is flawlessly laid out, with clear walkways and continually changing stock.  5. Franklin County Fair Held in September and dating back to 1848, the Franklin District Reasonable takes to put on Greenfield’s doorstep, bringing four days of animal shows, challenges, halfway rides, create merchants, tasty reasonable nourishment, the Stoney Roberts Annihilation Derby, and masses of other live excitement. On the opening Thursday there’s a kick-off parade, setting off from Greenfield Center School and running through downtown on its way to the carnival. One insignia of the occasion is the Roundhouse, standing here since 1899 and serving as a grandstand for high-quality create shows each year. 6. Leavitt-Hovey House (Greenfield Public Library) One of the most authentic buildings in downtown Greenfield is a Federal-style house built in 1797 for lawyer, judge, and state representative, Jonathan Leavitt (1764-1830). The house is an early plan by Asher Benjamin (1773-1845), who lived in Greenfield at the time and made an enduring effect on townscapes over Unused Britain, right up to the Respectful War. A curious include is the combination of recessed, front-gabled wings, associated with brief displays. The house was taken over by Greenfield and opened as the open library in 1909, a part it still serves nowadays.  7. Greenfield Garden Cinemas Another bragging point for downtown Greenfield is that the neighborhood motion picture theater dating back to 1928 is still in trade. Built in a Colonial Restoration fashion, the Cultivate Theater was outlined for both quiet motion pictures and vaudeville, sometimes recently exchanging only to motion pictures after a number of a long time. Within the 1980s the single theater was part into seven screens, to the self-evident disservice of the interior’s once wealthy enrichment. All the same, a downtown motion picture theater is something to adore, and as well as to begin with run Hollywood movies there are uncommon regular screenings for faction movies just Like the Rough Frightfulness Picture Appear. 8. Greenfield Farmers’ Market Dating back to 1975, Greenfield has one of the leading farmers’ markets around, taking over Court Square on Saturday mornings, May through October. There’s a verifiable feeling of community at this occasion supported by a bolster for neighborhood performers, with live exhibitions planned all through the season. There are at least 30 sellers on

15 Best Things to Do in Rockland (MA)

A prototype hardscrabble town, Rockland on the South Shore was never perfect for cultivating because of its rough territory. Instep, industry boomed here within the 19th century with exchanges like shoemaking and stumble. Many of the production lines from those times have since been turned into private improvements and artists’ lofts. Since the conclusion of WWII Rockland has ended up a comfortable southern suburb for Boston, well-served by adjacent family attractions, shopping goals, sports conveniences, and culture, with a little but vigorous commercial locale along Union Street. To appreciate the outside in Rockland there are some town-owned preservation properties, a rail path that cuts through the center, and the separated lake at Ames Nowell State Stop, minutes absent. 1. The Company Theatre For a few live excitement, there’s a cherished non-profit theater putting on five large-scale preparations a year at a lasting setting a couple of minutes absent in Norwell. Established in 1979, the Company Theater has earned various awards, including Greenery Hart and IRNE Grants. An ordinary season brings in gatherings of people of 20,000+, with musicals comprising first-class exhibitions, choreography, music, set plan, lighting, outfits, and course. Keep an eye on the plan since as well as these appear there’s a yearly celebrity and concert arrangement and four yearly youth preparations. 2. Ames Nowell State Park To go with the plentiful characteristic space around Rockland you’ll be able to reach this 700-acre DCR property in a matter of minutes from Rockland. A huge swath of Ames Nowell State Stop is taken up by the stunning Cleveland Lake, which was built in the 1920s when Beaver Tolerate was dammed to form a winged creature sanctuary and chasing ground by the proprietor Edwin Holmes. There’s wealthy history framed within the woods around the lake, where a maze of stone dividers, two wagon bridges, and a combination of quarries indicate 400 a long time of settlement. Individuals come to angle for chain pickerel and largemouth bass at the lake, and there are more than ten miles of cleared and unpaved trails driving off into the woods to the west and south.  3. Starland Sportsplex & Fun Park Nearby in Hanover, there’s a sports-oriented family amusement center, open since 1968. In 2013 Starland came through a major extension, building a 100,000+ sq ft sports office, with eight hardwood courts, two turf areas, and have of complementary conveniences like a full-service bar, eatery, and coffee shop. This sportsplex may be a scene for ball, volleyball, soccer, and pickleball associations, whereas somewhere else you’ve got a ton of classic family attractions. You’ve got smaller-than-expected golf, laser tag, bumper cars, an arcade, go-karts, batting cages, as well as a shake divider, XD dim ride, and an assortment of carnival rides. 4. Derby Street Shops There’s an upmarket shopping center a small way north of Rockland in Hingham. Fair off Course 3, Derby Road Shops has nearly 70 stores and eateries in a setting outlined like a cozy Unused Britain town, with clapboard storefronts and wide tree-lined sidewalks. To grant a sense of the shopping scene here, you’ll discover Barnes & Respectable, Francesca’s, Entire Nourishments, Banana Republic, Lululemon, Hole, Allbirds, Anthropologie, J. Group, and an Apple Store. The eateries at Derby Road Occupations are on the casual side of things, with the likes of Chipotle, Lawful C Bar, and CAVA.  5. Barrett’s Haunted Mansion You’ll never have to travel distant on the South Shore for a few high-quality alarms at Halloween, and this goes for Rockland, which has one of the most excellent within the region adjacent to Abington. Barrett’s Frequented House has been running for more than 30 long times and is known for its keen theming, complicatedly planned scenarios, and excited on-screen characters. When we put this list together the backstory spun around a changing chemical spill at a pesticide plant. There’s a choice of encounters here, counting Devil’s Night, in which physical contact is allowed for additional dread, and a lights-on visit, in which you get to go behind the scenes to check out the set plan, cosmetics, and outfit within the cold light of day. 6. Twin Ponds Trail From 1941 until the conclusion of the Cold War, there was a Maritime Discuss Station on the line between Rockland and Abington. You’ll enter this scene from Spruce St, fair north of Rockland Town Timberland, and after a number of steps you will be in a gigantic field where the runways used to be. There are few followers of the office remaining nowadays, and the most blue-blazed path leads past the two namesake ponds, as well as historic stone walls from when this was farmland and a few rough outcroppings. For a longer visit, you’ll walk the most circle, and after that head west into Abington along the red-blazed Thompson Lake path.  7. Rockland Golf Course You’ll be able to play 36 gaps of golf at this interesting office in Rockland, set in radiant pine and oak woodland, with shake outcroppings, streams, and lakes. The Challenge Course here is the longest standard 3 west of the Mississippi Stream. There are four sets of tees on this testing track, with a course record of four beneath standard. So while it’s a standard 3 you’re planning to require each club within the pack. The Players Course may be a small more pleasing less finished players, and is made up of 12 standard 3s and 6 brief standard 4s. A short time later, you’ll be able to converse over your circular at the Sports Bar & Grille, serving sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, quesadillas, wraps, nachos, and other fulfilling nibbles. 8. Rockland Ice Rink There’s a well-regarded open arena in Rockland, open all year and facilitating recreations for a number of competitive alliances, counting the Eastern Hockey Alliance, Inlet State Hockey Alliance, and South Shore Conference. On the off chance that you fair need to induce out onto the ice there are a few open skating and adhere & puck sessions (protective cap required), with extra openings

15 Best Things to Do in Sudbury (MA)

Sparsely populated and with a rich colonial history, Sudbury is an affluent city in the MetroWest region of Greater Boston. The oldest operating inn in the United States awaits in Sudbury, and starting in the 1920s, it was the centerpiece of a living history museum proposed by automaker Henry Ford (1863-1947). ). His plans never came to fruition, but there are interesting remains on the grounds of the Wayside Inn and further along the Boston Post Road (Route 20) in Marlborough. True to its rural character, Sudbury has two national wildlife refuges, as well as a charming historic center where frontiersmen gathered before leaving to fight at the Battle of Lexington and Concord at the dawn of the American Revolutionary War. 1. Tippling Rock South of Sudbury there is a significant area of ​​open land accessible through conservation land acquired by the city in the late 1990s. The summit of Tippling Rock, part of Nobscot Hill, is more than 600 feet above sea level, making it the highest point in the city, with distant views of Boston. According to tradition, the rock atop the ledge was used as to seesaw (hence the name) and was used by Native Americans for communication. From the top, you can explore the western suburbs and see landmarks like Great Blue Hill, John Hancock Tower, Prudential Building, and Four Seasons Boston. 2. Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge The headquarters of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located in Sudbury, in a unit that includes wildlife-rich freshwater wetlands on the Sudbury River. Famous for its bird-watching opportunities, it is one of two units totaling more than 3,800 acres of important wildlife habitat in Sudbury and Concord. The Sudbury section includes the Weir Hill Trail, for hiking through forests, wetlands, riverbanks, streams, and ponds. The shorter Red Maple Trail has an observation deck where you can spot swamp wrens, muskrats, and painted turtles in the riparian area. On the water, you can launch your canoe or kayak at the shelter to paddle the 1.5-mile Sudbury River Paddling Trail. 3. Redstone Schoolhouse Another of the old buildings that make up the Wayside Inn Historic District is this one-room schoolhouse, just steps from Martha Mary Chapel. Built in the late 18th century, Redstone School was originally located on Redstone Hill in Sterling, Massachusetts, and was moved by Ford to the Wayside Inn in 1927. According to popular belief in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this was the school where the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879) took place. This is all based on the memories of a 70-year-old Sterling resident, Mary Tyler (1806-1889), who identified herself as Mary, who brought her pet sheep to school one day when she was a child. 4. New England Garden Company In Sudbury, you can visit the beautiful outdoor display garden and indoor showroom of this company specializing in decorative garden products. As the largest company of its kind in the Northeast, New England Garden Company curates a wide range of ornaments, antique furniture, artwork, repurposed architectural elements, and more. other, originating from throughout the United States and some European countries. In these 6,000 square feet, you can lose all sense of time as you wander through centuries-old arches, stone troughs, sundials, mills, statues, fountains, cisterns, and Victorian ironwork, the list is long. 5. Wayside Country Store Head a little further east along Highway 20 and in Marlborough, you’ll be greeted by a historic building that until the late 1920s still stood proudly in Central Sudbury. This is the Wayside Country Store, a large old-fashioned candy store that was part of Ford’s grand plans for the Wayside Inn. The former federal-style building was known as the Parmenter-Garfield General Store, built in 1790 and served a variety of functions, including a post office and school where the future 20th President James A. Garfield (1831-1881) worked as a teacher. a time. Ford purchased the building in 1928 and sawed it in half before moving it to the north shore of Hager’s Pond on Route 20. There is a selection of board games and puzzles on the second floor, while the resort also has a European-style bakery and a full-service restaurant. 6. Boston Paintball Maynard On the Sudbury/Maynard line, there is an outdoor paintball facility open seasonally from April to November. Combining woodland and open environments, these three courses are located on the grounds of the Maynard Rod and Gun Club. Most memorable is Maynard Outpost, an interesting construction site with many multi-level structures and interesting obstacles like destroyed tanks. The bunker, known as Bunker Hill, features several cabins and towers, as well as a downed helicopter, below which the towering hill offers a major strategic advantage. Registered games are available on weekends and reservations are required on weekdays. 7. Garden in the Woods Just across the border in Framingham is a sensational botanical garden, nestled in a mature oak forest and home to the Native Plant Foundation. Open from mid-April to mid-October, Garden in the Woods is dedicated to native New England species and is home to the region’s largest collection of landscape wildflowers, with approximately 1,700 plants across 1,000 species. , many of which are rare or threatened. For 30 years, the garden was the passion project of landscape designer Will C. Curtis (1883-1969) and was donated to the New England Wildflower Society after his death. Featured here is New England’s largest retail native plant nursery. 8. Duck Soup Among the long list of interesting stops along Route 20 is this family-owned store with a diverse product line, from gourmet foods and high-end cookware to ceramics craft and locally produced spirits. Supporting local and regional producers, Duck Soup has been open for more than 50 years now and made headlines in 2018 when it acquired the rights to produce the beloved Sky Bar, a candy introduced in 1938 by Revere’s Necco company is now defunct. This is made and sold in a separate display

15 Best Things to Do in Ashland (MA)

Originally developed on the Boston and Worcester Railroad, Ashland is a rapidly growing city whose population has more than doubled since the 1980s. There are two major bodies of water in the city, built as a reservoir for Boston in the 19th century, but converted into a state park in 1947. Both Ashland State Park and Hopkinton State Park are great outdoor centers, with miles of trails, beaches for swimming in the summer, and perfect conditions for kayaking and canoeing. Recently renovated, downtown Ashland is bustling with life, with a thriving farmers market, a calendar of community events, and a popular pub that opened near the railroad nearly 200 years ago. Ashland was participating in the Boston Marathon, but that was the starting point for the early years until the track was lengthened in the mid-1920s to accommodate the new standard marathon length.   1. Bay Circuit Trail Ashland is set amid an epic system of trails that wind through Boston’s remote suburbs for 230 miles, from Newburyport in the north to Duxbury in the south. There’s no better way to experience the true beauty of Eastern Massachusetts than by walking, biking, horseback riding, or skiing through these tree-lined communities with vast natural spaces. For added convenience, you’ll never have to leave the MBTA station and the same is true for Ashland. Crossing the city forest, the trail connects several undeveloped spaces in Ashland, including the beautiful Mill Pond Park, which we’ll talk about in more detail below.   2. Stone’s Public House This Irish-American pub is located next to the railroad tracks in one of the most beautiful and historic old buildings in downtown Ashland. Then known as the Railroad House, the inn was built in 1832, when the Boston & Worcester Railroad arrived in Ashland. The owner was shrewd businessman John Stone, who later leased the property to many innkeepers until his death in 1858. Over time, the building fell into disrepair before it was revived as a pub in the 1970s and was continuously known for its spooky activities. There’s a large courtyard, a roaring fireplace, regional craft beers, and a menu of traditional pub fares like shepherd’s pie, fish & chips, grilled mac and cheese, steak and potato fries as well as half-roasted chicken.   3. Sri Lakshmi Temple The first and largest place of worship of its kind in New England, this temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sri Lakshmi was consecrated in 1990. Sri Lakshmi Temple was expanded in 2005 and again in 2018, providing the complex with a commercial kitchen, dining room, library, hall, and a new auditorium. Whatever your religious beliefs, this is a sight to behold, especially given the rich decoration of the main tower. The temple is open to the public seven days a week and offers simple but delicious prasad (vegetarian food) at the canteen.   4. Ashland Town Forest As if two state parks weren’t enough, north Ashland is a sprawling natural landscape that covers more than 660 acres and is open to the public. Purchased in 1942, the Ashland Town Forest is adjacent to the smaller Cowasock Wood, which spills over into neighboring Framingham. In this tranquil setting, you will encounter areas of upland and lowland marshes, mixed hardwood forests, spring pools, historic open pits, and numerous granite outcrops. Ashland Town Forest is traversed by a section of the Bay Circuit Trail, part of a six-mile trail system on the site. In spring and summer, the bush is embroidered with wildflowers, while some wildlife includes red foxes, red-headed vultures, red-tailed hawks, and the rare blue-spotted salamander in spring pools.   5. Warren Woods On the east side of Ashland State Park, you can enjoy 120 acres of formerly farmland and woodland, managed by the Ashland Open Space and Recreation Commission. Warren Woods was formerly owned by Henry E. Warren (1872-1957), an inventor with many patents, the most famous of which was the first synchronous electric clock. The land was donated to Northeastern University after his death and was later acquired by the city in 2012 following a grassroots campaign by locals. There are a series of trails through open fields and deep into ancient forests, while the Old Stone Trail loops around the town limits with Holliston to the south.   6. Modelville Hobby Sure to inspire a sense of childlike wonder, you’ll find a sprawling hub of slot racing at Modelville Hobby (28 Eliot St). There are five 1/24 scale tracks here, some of which are decades old. The store has been in existence in one form or another since 1965 and first moved to Ashland in 1978, where it was based at 58 Union St. for 32 years. Modelville Hobby moved into its current 70′ x 100′ space in 2010. One of the tracks here was the first Sovereign track (220-foot track) ever built. More than half a century old, it was shipped from Texas and restored to running condition. Check out the Modelville website for regularly scheduled races, as well as two regional racing series that visit the facility. 7. Boston Paintball Ashland In eastern Ashland, this year-round paintball facility appears on the map at the Apocalypse City arena. Built like the set of a blockbuster movie, Apocalypse City is unlike some East Coast sets and features no fewer than 23 buildings, including a city hall, an apartment building, a two-story hospital as well as as scattered vehicles such as ambulances. , a tank, a police car, and a plane were shot down. To accompany this you have a curling court with a bridge and moat, as well as an indoor court with inflatable obstacles, perfect for evening matches and small groups. 8. Puzzle Escape Ashland Ashland’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Building is home to an intriguing escape room. Designed with great attention to detail, Puzzle Escape Ashland is the antidote to gimmicky corporate escape rooms. There’s only one room here with a theme that changes every few months, so you can

15 Best Things to Do in Hopkinton (MA)

In the MetroWest area, Hopkinton is a town that will be known to many as the starting point of the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day in April. Hopkinton received the honor in 1924 after the course was extended, eliminating its starting point in nearby Ashland. This is a chapter in the historic rivalry between Hopkinton and Ashland, marked each year by a Thanksgiving soccer game between the two high schools. What is remarkable about the landscape around Hopkinton is that there are many reservoirs, all part of a 19th-century system built on the Sudbury River and its tributaries to supply Boston with water. The reservoirs were no longer needed by the end of the Second World War and two of them, in Hopkinton, became adventure national parks.   1. Boating in Boston – Hopkinton Another advantage of Hopkinton State Park is that in the summer there is a location for the Boating rental company in Boston. They are based in the Boathouse near Parking C and are a perfect entertainment option if you have older children and teenagers. Available for rent during the summer are kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and stand-up paddleboards. Hopkinton Reservoir is an especially fun place for boating, thanks in part to the small islands accessible from the water, with Bacon Island just a few hundred feet from the houseboat and Farr Island a little further south…  2. Start Line Brewing Minutes south of downtown, near the headwaters of the Charles River, is a microbrewery that has taken over the old Waterfresh Farm Marketplace. The only brewery named after his marathon in Boston, Startline Brewing opened in 2016 and has a rustic-style taproom serving 20 beers at the time of making this list. there is. Exactly half of the draft beers are IPAs, including his two flagship beers, the Hop Road Mosaic, with notes of tangerine, papaya, and grapefruit, and the juicy, slightly floral Hop Road Hazy. Other options include Red Ale, Kolsch, Wheat Beer, Blonde Ale, 2 Stouts, and 2 Hard Selters. Start Line also has a barbecue specialty kitchen serving ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, along with interesting vegetarian menu items such as falafel sandwiches.  3. Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA) As the hub of the Metro West region, the recently expanded HCA offers a wide variety of arts experiences for a large and diverse audience. The center hosts events and courses in visual arts, music, theater, dance, writing, ceramics, and film within the complex. A quick stop will take you to a variety of group and solo exhibitions in the gallery space, including annual exhibitions by HCA members in December and January. In the summer, enjoy free Summer Sunset Jazz on Saturday nights in the center’s beautiful amphitheater.   4. Cameron Woods Cameroon Woods, east of Whitehall Reservoir, provides access to more than 250 acres of city-owned reserves of mature forest, rocks, and murmuring streams. The facility is bordered by Hopkinton Town Forest to the south and Phipps Woods to the southwest, with a network of trails leading to the Loop Trail in Whitehall State Park. Realistically, you can spend hours hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing in nature without stepping into civilization. The longest singletrack is the 2.7-mile yellow-marked loop trail that follows the eastern ridge and accesses several impressive viewpoints.  5. Sands Conservation Area Hopkinton has many other wildlife sanctuaries waiting to be explored, but one of the most impressive is this trail that traverses a deep canyon west of Hopkinton State Park. The most scenic trail is the Douglas Sands Memorial Trail, which climbs steeply to a dramatic rock lookout with breathtaking views to the northwest. If time permits, you can also take the newly created Greenwood Trail here and walk him around the property for four miles. As a detour, the Greenwood Trail loops around the Zetec Overlook. Zetec Overlook is a small hilltop park that offers great views all year round, especially on late autumn days.  6. Hopkinton Farmers’ Market On Sunday afternoons in the summer, there’s a beautiful farmer’s market on Hopkinton Common near the start line. Market transaction 1:00:00-17:00Always exciting vendors from mid-June to mid-October at 12 am. In summary, expect seasonal fresh produce, Atlantic seafood, handcrafted bread, herbal teas, trail mixes, farm-grown meats, cupcakes, cheeses, honey, maple syrup, and more. Handicraft vendors are an integral part of the market. Artisans sell everything from alpaca wool to pottery, handmade jewelry, stained glass, and organic skincare.   7. Weston Nurseries – Hopkinton The company, which operates the massive Hopkinton Garden Center and greenhouses, has been growing and selling plants for a century. It is a destination for gardening tours in the area. Located on E Main Street just minutes from downtown Hopkinton, it is set on extensive grounds that take time to traverse. We have everything from annuals to perennials, trees, shrubs, planters, ornamentals, hanging plants, orchids, terrariums, fertilizers, plant foods, houseplants, tools, and more. We also have a team of trained and knowledgeable gardeners who are happy to answer any questions and point you in the right direction.   8. EMC Park About a mile south of downtown Hopkinton, across from Hopkinton High School, is a great public park, especially for families with young children. Location is important here, as EMC Park is just a stone’s throw from the headwaters of the Charles River and close to the city’s hiking trails. As you enter the park from Hayden Row Street, you’ll be greeted by a series of mesmerizing murals commissioned by the Hopkinton Cultural Council. EMC Park has three baseball fields, Corella Field, Egan Field, and McIntyre Field, and the newly renovated playground is great for families. There are separate sets of gear for children ages 2 to her 12, all shaded by tall conifers.   9. Lake Maspenock (Sandy Beach) Not far from where W Main St and I-495 meet, there is a place of outstanding natural beauty on the forested shores of a 234-acre lake. Maspennock Lake is long and relatively narrow,

15 Best Things to Do in Sharon (MA)

On the MBTA’s Providence/Stoughton line, Sharon is a suburban town with all the characteristics of a rural New England community. On the one hand, there are too many outdoor public spaces, with state parks, conservation lands, historic Audubon Mass shrines, and water-filled Lake Massapoag in spring, setting the stage for many community events. In Sharon, you can learn about two remarkable women. One hero of the city was Deborah Sampson, who disguised himself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War, serving nearly 18 months in the Continental Army before moving to Sharon with a post-conflict pension. Another was Blanche Ames Ames, of Borderland Estate, now a state park, campaigning for women’s suffrage with convincing political cartoons, while developing inventions in several fields.  1. Moose Hill Farm On the north side of the Mass Audubon property, the Reservation Trustees manage 350 acres of historic farmland on the scenic Moose Hill slopes. You can hike six miles of trails, through grasslands, beautiful dry grass, and restored woodland, all filled with evidence of some 300-year-old habitation, including rock walls, foundations, and tunnel holes. Deep into the forest, you can see rare American chestnut trees, a species that was almost extinct due to plague in the early 20th century. Paying homage to the land’s long agricultural history, the trustees run a small farm in Moose Hill, with chickens, pigs, and a small herd of cattle raised for beef. grass.  2. Warner Trail Maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Warner Trail traverses Sharon on a 34-mile route through Norfolk County from Canton to Diamond Hill, RI. While Sharon and the surrounding communities can be considered suburban, the Warner Trail is a great way to experience the vast stretches of the surrounding countryside. This trail connects state parks and conservation lands, traversing undulating terrain with a succession of rocky outcrops and deep oak and hickory forests. If you want to keep things local, you can hike the seven-mile trail in Sharon alone, and you can download detailed trail guides from the town’s website.   3. Sharon Historic District You can visit the old center of Sharon at the intersection of Depot St and Main St, which was declared a historic district in 1975. Sharon’s Unification Church at the crossroads is Greek Revival style, dating from 1842, and on the very site of Sharon’s first church, built circa 1740. Just north is the Morse House (1805), Sharon’s first brick building, and across the street is the First Congregational Church (1839), also in Greek Renaissance style. The Morse House is the southernmost of a large row of historic residences, the oldest of which is the 1753 Georgian Dennett House. The public library, across from the Unification Church, is the Carnegie Library, which dates back to 1914 and has a statue of the town’s heroine Deborah Sampson in the foreground.  4. Deborah Sampson’s Grave (Rock Ridge Cemetery) At Rock Ridge Cemetery you’ll find the burial place of Deborah Sampson (1760-1827). She is remembered for disguising herself as a man and fighting in the Continental Army under the alias Robert Shirtliff. It took 17 months before her gender was discovered by a doctor in 1783, when she was honorably discharged, and finally received a military pension. Earlier, Sampson was shot in the leg by two musket bullets during a skirmish outside Tarrytown, New York. She removed one with a tweezers and needle to avoid detection. The grave of this remarkable historical figure can be found in the southeast corner of the cemetery – the historic tombstone has a flag and nearby there’s a monument telling his story.  5. Crescent Ridge Dairy This giant ice cream stands in Sharon’s has won numerous awards and is regularly on People Magazine and National Geographic’s top 10 lists. The Crescent Ridge Dairy Bar is supported by the Parrish family farm, which dates back to 1932 and still produces milk, delivered to Massachusetts homes and businesses, as well as a variety of other products through local partners. In the late 1960s, the Parrish family decided to start making ice cream from leftover milk, and the milk bar built as the storefront quickly became a magnet for people miles away. Crescent Ridge ice cream is still made with local ingredients in small batches following the original family recipe. Among the 40 flavors, certain must-haves are Black Bear (raspberry ice cream with chocolate chips and raspberry truffles) and Mississippi Mud (coffee ice cream with almonds and chocolate chip sandwich cookies).   6. Sharon Independence Day Celebration Every year, there’s an afternoon of family fun and delicious food at Memorial Park Beach to celebrate July 4th. Usually on the nearest Sunday before the 4th, Sharon’s Independence Day celebrations feature art and live music in the stands, as well as a lovely parade of bicycles and carriages, dolls, carnival games, and train rides on the long railway line. , and a baking contest. The main event and finale is a thrilling fireworks display, launched from a barge over Lake Massapoag. Throughout the afternoon, you can enjoy a variety of food carts, serving New England seafood, banh tet, grilled cheese, Middle Eastern cuisine, fried chicken, and sweets.  7. Gillette Stadium Door-to-door, Sharon’s center is just ten minutes from the 65,878-seat home of the New England Patriots. Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 and is undergoing a $225 million renovation project as we write this article. The Patriots’ feats of the 2000s and 2010s need no introduction, and you can relive Superbowl victories and pay tributes to Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Ty Law, and Richard Seymour in the room High-tech and interactive The Patriots Hall of Fame, on the north side of the stadium. The Gillette Stadium campus is integrated into a large outdoor lifestyle center called Patriot Place, which features the Showcase Cinema de Lux complex and numerous shops and restaurants.   8. Beaver Brook Trail If you’re into nature, you can get off the train at Sharon Station and immediately embark on a peaceful hike through

15 Best Things to Do in Foxborough (MA)

Often spelled “Foxboro,” this Norfolk County town is perhaps best known as the home of the New England Patriots. The NFL team, which had a period of incredible success in the 2000s and 2010s, first moved to Foxborough in 1971. Their current home, Gillette Stadium, was completed in 2002 and is part of a large multi-purpose development that attracts visitors after the football season thanks to its entertainment and restaurants. Foxborough’s old center is a quaint little town, packed with historic buildings and still home to annual events, concerts, and summer farmers’ markets.  1. F. Gilbert Hills State Forest Much of western Foxborough is covered by the state’s woodland, with more than 1,000 acres of pine and oak forest. F. Gilbert Hills State Forest crosses the boundary with Wrentham and is also adjacent to conservation land on both sides. All of this adds up to more than 20 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. One long trail through the woods is the 30-mile Warner Trail from Diamond Hill, RI, to Sharon. For two-wheelers, the Foxborough stretch has some of the best terrain for mountain biking in eastern Massachusetts, with a maze of swirling trails and ice tracks that make for interesting elevation changes.   2. Neponset Reservoir Less than a mile north of Foxborough Common is a large body of water, barred in the mid-19th century to power plants on the Neponset River. This industrial purpose eventually gave way to recreation, and today you can experience the West Rim in the Lane Ranch Preserve. The Story Book Path will guide you through a tranquil pine forest to the shore, while the Wheelchair Accessible Path will take you to the deck next to Crack Rock Pond, where you can spot otters, ospreys, kingfishers, great blue herons, and other wildlife in the summer. For water access, there is a boat ramp at 61 Edwards Rd and a car boat ramp on a small stretch of conservation land at Kersey Point (70 Neponset Heights Avenue).   3. Showcase Cinema de Lux Patriot Place A movie destination miles away, the Showcase Cinema de Lux at Patriot Place was one of the first of its kind when it opened in the late 2000s. A more upscale version of the Showcase Theatre, the Cinema at Lux Patriot Place offers Lux Level dining in the theater, with reserved seating and on-site ordering. This 14-screen cluster also includes the full-service Studio 3 restaurant serving contemporary American fare, including fine Angus beef sandwiches and a range of scrumptious cocktails.   4. Memorial Hall To the south of the commune, surrounded by tombstones, is a neo-Gothic building built as the hall of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1868. Honored by the statue of a Confederate Army soldier, the Memorial House was built in memory of all those whose lives were affected by the Civil War, and the site was chosen as the Old Cemetery. Inside is a plaque honoring the people of Foxborough who died in the war, under a stained-glass window depicting the Statue of Liberty. The hall served as the city library for several decades and is now home to historical exhibitions, open to the public on Wednesday afternoons at the time of writing.   5. The Nature Trail and Cranberry Bog Something that might surprise you at Patriot Place is a road south that takes you through and around the last active cranberry swamp in Foxborough. The Ocean Spray Cranberry Swamp here covers seven acres and was planted in 1929. Suddenly, you’ll leave the modern resort and find yourself in an idyllic countryside typical of the southeast. Massachusetts. This marsh site is surrounded by hemlock, red maple, white pine, and marsh white oak, and around the site there are signs explaining cranberry production and the swamp’s history. The growing season is long, from April to November, and the best time to come is autumn when the marshes are bright red.   6. Foxborough Country Club Founded in 1955, Foxborough Country Club is semi-private, with public slots available Tuesday through Thursday, as well as Fridays before May 1. If you’re in the area these days, you can spend a rewarding few hours playing golf in the park designed by Geoffrey Cornish. Measuring 6,850 yards from the summits, this trail sits on 200 acres of mature forest. Long, real hits will put you in a good position, but your approaching game will need to be honed to deal with changes in elevation and subtle green features.  7. Booth Recreational Complex Foxborough’s main active theme park is within walking distance of town along South St. Parents will enjoy the Pavilion Entertainment Complex, which was completely refurbished in 2019, in a project funded in part by Robert Kraft’s Partners in Patriotism fund. This all-inclusive facility features soft rubber floors, easily accessible tire swings, and plenty of quirky climbing gear. Home to the Foxborough Recreation Office, the larger complex features multi-purpose courts, baseball fields, softball courts, and tennis courts.   8. XtremeCraze Foxborough About a mile south of Foxborough Common, the Foxborough Plaza shopping center includes a branch of this chain of indoor inflatable parks. XtremeCraze is similar to an indoor trampoline park, except here every surface is bouncy and soft, giving parents peace of mind when they can play with their kids. The park has several zones and attractions, including a tower slide, a large free fall, a climbing wall, and a balance mushroom. The location also features a laser tag arena, which uses sophisticated technology that allows for a selection of game formats, such as hide and seek and capture. In addition, you also have the Game Zone, a video game zone with old-fashioned redemption machines like skewer balls.  9. Muse Paintbar Another thing to look out for at Patriot Place is that it combines a bar with a hands-on painting experience. Part of a growing regional chain, Muse Paintbar offers a packed schedule of lessons and paint-and-sip sessions, led by

15 Best Things to Do in Winthrop (MA)

This coastal suburb of Boston sits on a narrow, winding peninsula that zigzags into Boston Harbor. A recurring theme for visitors to Winthrop is the waterfront landscape, with stunning views of the Boston Harbor Islands, the Boston skyline, and Logan Airport from several locations along the peninsula. The strangest but also the most special of all these places is Deer Island. This outcrop was built by a huge wastewater treatment plant and offers stunning views with explanatory panels related to the site’s fascinating history. Facing the sea to the east are two sandy beaches at Winthrop Beach, managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the quieter Yirrell Beach to the south.   1. Fort Heath Park This small park is in a beautiful location atop Grovers Cliff, north of Winthrop. Fort Heath Park is located on the site of the military facility of the same name, part of the East Coast Defense Network from 1899 to 1965. Originally there were three 12-inch cannons on hydraulic lifts, with a range of 16 miles, and after World War II there was a radar station here for the NIKE AJAX anti-aircraft missile system. You can read a historical landmark that tells this story and take in views of the ocean, north of Nahant and the stretch of Revere Beach.  2. Belle Isle Seafood Visiting a city with water on all sides, you will almost certainly enjoy local seafood. This can be done at a number of restaurants, and one of them is Belle Isle Seafood. It is in a beautiful location, right on Belle Isle Bay, next to a strip of salt marshes, and offers unobstructed views of downtown Boston and Logan Airport. Come here for New England seafood specialties like lobster rolls, fried clams, crab cakes, grilled, baked, or fried swordfish, and blackened cod. For many, this is one of the best lobster rolls in the Boston area, and you have to order the fried onion rings on the side. Pick up a table by the window and part of the experience is watching planes land for a short period of time.  3. Winthrop Shore Drive Whether you’re walking or driving, one of the best and most convenient ways to appreciate Winthrop’s east coast is along this historic boardwalk built in the early 20th century. Completed in 1900, Winthrop Shore Drive was only the second of many ocean roads built in Greater Boston at the time and stretched a mile from Grovers Ave in the north to Beacon St in the south. There’s a slightly elevated view of Winthrop Beach and the Winthrop Coast Reserve from the boardwalk, to some of the islands in Boston Harbor to the southeast. There’s plenty of room to sit and early risers will be rewarded with beautiful sunrises.   4. Ingleside Park An easy walk north of downtown Winthrop’s shops and restaurants is Ingleside Park, the town’s main community recreation area. A pleasant stretch of greenery with lovely homes, Fireside Park has facilities for baseball, tennis, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and soccer. There’s also a skate park here, and just across the street are the basketball courts at Walden St. Paved paths meander around all of the park’s amenities and also extend southwest, past the narrow Brook Field to the waterfront of Little Donovan Beach.   5. Belle Isle Marsh Reservation Winthrop’s northern end is bordered by the largest extant patch of mangrove swamps in the Boston area, providing a glimpse of what the Boston Harbor coastline looked like before development. In the summer, the marsh is home to snow herons, great blue herons, and many species of ducks and geese. Much of the Belle Isle Swamp is protected by a 350-acre reserve, and you can experience this lush habitat on a small network of trails. One of them leads to a wooden observation tower on a small peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides. From the top, there are great views of the Boston Logan, the Boston skyline, Winthrop, and parts of Revere. It’s a great place to watch planes, with planes flying overhead every minute or so.   6. Winthrop Golf Club On the eastern side of the peninsula, near the coast, is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1917. Set on sloping, open ground with ponds and streams, this medium-difficulty nine-hole course is surrounded by residential areas and 3,097 yards from the summit. Winthrop Golf Club is members-only but is open to the public all day on Mondays and weekends after 2 pm. On other days you can play here if you come with a member.   7. Pico Beach and Park At the same time, Pico Beach is located south of downtown Winthrop in the beautiful residential area known as the Maze. Facing south across Winthrop Harbour, the beach offers a full panorama, including Snake Island, Winthrop Head with its water tower atop, part of Logan Airport, and dozens of harbor islands in the distance. Dozens of sailboats are moored in the waters ahead, while the park’s breakwater protects a peaceful little green space with a children’s playground. To the east of Pico Park is an area of ​​mangrove swamps at Fisherman’s Bend, crossed by an informal trail and attracting a rich variety of birds.  8. Donovan’s Beach Facing west, a short walk from Ingleside Park, this little stretch of shoreline is more of a place to enjoy the view than for typical beach activities like swimming or lounging in the sand. The scenery is delightful, whether you want to see arrivals and departures at Logan Airport or see the Boston skyline to the southwest. At low tide, you can walk a long distance with caution, and the best time to come is late in the day for some of the best sunsets.  9. Coughlin Park Few public parks can be more scenic than Coughlin Park, which occupies a small headland west of Yirrell Beach next to Winthrop Harbour. This is probably the best place to go if you

15 Best Things to Do in Scituate (MA)

On the South Shore, Scituate is a seaside town with a lovely village center next to a natural harbor. You can find many of Scituate’s best restaurants and shops around the harbor, which is also a base for anglers and the setting for all sorts of community events during the warmer months… The Scituate Historical Society tends to list centuries-old homes and structures around town, and a good time to visit is Scituate Heritage Day in August when All are open to the public. The city also maintains five public beaches and lies to the north of a large, ecologically rich wetland at the mouth of the North and South rivers.   1. Kathleen Laidlaw Center (Schoolhouse) The headquarters of the Scituate Historical Society is located in this beautiful school, completed in 1893 as the Scituate High School. At the time, the building was adjacent to the Old Town Hall but was moved to its present location at 43 Cudworth Rd in 1919, shortly after a new school building was constructed. The school was acquired from the city in the 1980s and now houses exhibition spaces, a library, a map archive, a genealogical research center, offices, and conference halls. The structure was extensively restored in 2020, using photographs of the building in the society’s archives. You can visit on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  2. Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum You can learn about Scituate’s centuries-old connection to the sea at this museum housed in one of the many beautiful old houses assigned to the Scituate Historical Society. This is Captain Benjamin James’ first period, built circa 1700. Exhibits cover topics as diverse as salvage, historic shipbuilding trade on the North River, fishing, and the industry. The Irish-ruled sponge industry boomed in Scituate from the mid-19th century until the second half of the 20th century. There are fascinating stories of ships stranded or wrecked on Scituate’s shores, as well as the raging Portland Gale (1898), a brutal storm that forever changed the city’s coastline. The Irish Moss and Maritime Museum is open on Sunday afternoons.   3. Bates Lane Conservation Area In the far west of Scituate, the town has nearly 350 acres of woodland, on farmland some 200 years ago. The place was invaded by a pine and hardwood forest around the mid-19th century, but the only stone walls that demarcate the farmland remain. The number of glacial rocks, deposited about 10,000 years ago and visible along the orange Maxwell Trail and the blue Carl Pipes Trail, is also fascinating. The most magnificent geological specimens can be seen on the first road, which takes you to Teepee Rock, a 430 million-year-old Avalon granite outcrop. The property also features 5 certified clear blue pools that are home to an abundance of wildlife including salamanders and wood frogs.   4. Peggotty Beach Half a mile long, this public beach is a short but picturesque walk from Scituate Harbour, crossing the vast expanse of Kent Street Marshes along the way. Plunging quite steeply into the sea, Peggotty Beach is covered with coarse sand, compacted on a relatively airtight bay. In winter, the beach is subject to many coastal storms, and the two abandoned stilts in the landfill illustrate how much the coastline changes. In season, visit Scituate’s Treasurer’s Office for a non-resident beach parking pass, while a visitor pass can be obtained from the harbor master’s office on Tuesdays and Thursdays at this beach.   5. Old Stockbridge Grist Mill Where First Herring Brook drains Old Oaken Bucket Pond is one of the oldest mills in the country. The Old Stockbridge Grist Mill dates from about 1650 and was erected by John Stockbridge, next to a sawmill whose stream was dammed in the late 1630s. The Stockbridge family operated the pair of mills for over 160 years until the end of the 1630s. when the Greenbush family took over in the 1830s. They stayed there for a century, before handing over the pond to the city and donating the flour mill to the Scituate Historical Society. An amazing number of original parts have survived, including many grinding devices. The factory is located next to a lovely tree-lined pocket park, with picnic tables overlooking the creek and you can tour the interior during the regular social opening days.   6. Scituate Heritage Days Each year, the city celebrates its great maritime heritage with three days of events on the first weekend of August. Based in the port, but with something going on around town, Scituate Heritage Days is a mix of live music, crafts, great food, local wine and beer, and an appreciation for history. history, family fun, etc. It’s a great opportunity to see many of the historic sites on this list, with open dates like the Scituate Lighthouse, Lawson Tower, Mann Farm, and the old Stockbridge Wheat Mill. There’s no shortage of fun for kids, with a kid’s farm, mobile game trailer, and pirate and princess activities at Morrill Bandstand.   7. Old Oaken Bucket In the 19th century, this farmhouse and its accompanying well were a major tourist attraction in Scituate, and it was all due to the local-born Romantic poet Samuel Woodworth (1784-1842). The well and its wooden bucket inspired his most famous work, Old Oaken Bucket (1817), which was set to music in 1826 and became Scituate’s city anthem in 1835 by popular vote variable. The oldest part of the farmhouse dates to 1675, adapted to the main Cape-style structure in 1826. In front is the Scituate Historical Society sign and a cast-iron historic sign. The old one was erected in the third year of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1930.   8. Mann Farmhouse Located south of Common Town and its cemeteries, this charming Cape-style residence is another historic Scituate society set in a small public park. Mann Farm was built by the descendants of Richard Mann, who had settled in Scituate as early as 1636. The Mann family is well known for keeping records and

15 Best Things to Do in Marblehead (MA)

Marblehead, a seafaring hamlet on a mountainous peninsula littered with granite outcrops, is a slice of old New England. To put the town’s history into context, two hundred of its houses were erected before the American Revolution. These are located in a historic neighborhood with over 900 contributing structures that wind through twisting, rollercoaster streets. So one of the nicest things you can do in Marblehead is to get out and explore. Part of the town’s success as a marine town can be attributed to its natural port, which is surrounded by craggy headlands and is ideal for the Race Week regatta in July. 1. Old Burial Hill One of the oldest cemeteries in New England is also one of the most beautiful, perched on a granite hill overlooking Marblehead Harbor and Salem Strait. In 1638, the summit was the site of Marblehead’s first meeting, and if you look around you’ll find numerous 17th-century tombstones with memento mori carvings. Several tombs belong to the premiers of Marblehead, and there is one (with modern markings) for Wilmot Redd (died 1692), a victim of the Salem witch trials. Old Burial Hill is referenced in H. The short story The Festival (1923) by P. Lovecraft was one of the few filming locations in Marblehead for Hocus Pocus (1993).   2. Jeremiah Lee Mansion When Jeremiah Lee (1721-1775) built this opulent Georgian mansion in 1768, he was the wealthiest merchant and shipowner in Massachusetts. With an incredible level of preservation, his mansion is considered one of the most beautiful late Georgian homes in the United States and is now managed by the Marblehead Museum. Some of the original details are still in place including finely carved woodwork and hand-painted wallpaper made in the UK. On a guided tour of 18 different rooms, you can appreciate early American furniture made by cabinetmakers from Marblehead, Boston, and Salem, as well as decorative artworks Other special features of the 18th and 19th centuries, from silverware to ceramics, include textiles, clocks, and mirrors.   3. Castle Rock Park An important vantage point in Marblehead’s maritime days, this dramatic granite outcrop faces the Atlantic Ocean on Marblehead Neck. Along the coast are lavish seaside residences, and the promontory is said to take its name from the castle-like Carcassonne mansion directly behind it. The surrounding small park is accessible from a path leading off Ocean Avenue, and you can enjoy the sea view from benches beside the cliff. If you’re careful, you’re free to explore Castle Rock’s cascading outcrops, some with tide pools, and the views from here are amazing at sunrise.   4. Abbot Hall Maritime Museum Marblehead’s fourth town hall was built in 1876 and about 150 years later is still the seat of town government. Abbot Hall is Romanesque Revival and is surrounded by a splendid clock tower housing the Howard #2S clock, installed in 1877 and still hand-wound by maintenance workers each week. In addition to its civic function, Abbot Hall also houses the Dr. Ray Cole Maritime Museum, dedicated to the city’s naval heritage. In these galleries, you’ll learn about Marblehead’s connection to the early days of the United States Navy, Marblehead’s many naval heroes, the history of the three USS Marblehead docks, and Marblehead’s condition is the birthplace of the Navy. There are also special details about George Washington’s famous surprise attack on Hessian forces at Trenton on Christmas Eve 1776, supported by General John Glover’s Marblehead Regiment, which brought his army. he passed to Delaware.   5. Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary At the heart of the Marbleneck Peninsula is an 8-hectare wildlife sanctuary managed by the Massachusetts Audubon Association. This property is made up of swamps, forests, and bushes. The forests here attract a surprising variety of migratory birds in the spring and fall, especially the warblers that migrate along the Atlantic coast. In addition to its ecological significance, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is a joy to walk through. In a relatively small area, you will climb rocky hills and walk on a boardwalk next to a beautiful little pond. On the elevated west side of the pond, the Warblers Trail leads to a great vantage point if you want to watch songbirds during their migrations.   6. Glover’s Marblehead Regiment Annual Encampment Known for sailing across Washington on the Delaware River, the Marblehead Militia led by John Glover (1732-1797), his family moved to Marblehead when he was a child. Early in the conflict, Glover’s train Hannah was chartered by Washington to attack British supply ships during the Siege of Boston in June 1775, possibly making her the founding ship of the United States Navy. Glover’s Marblehead Regiment celebrates its role in early American history with a living historic garrison at Fort Sewall each July. Organized by soldiers, sailors, and townspeople, this is your chance to learn about the Marblehead Regiment’s contributions to the American Revolutionary War. Among the many historical experiences, you can chat with people re-enacting expensive costumes, watch demonstrations of 18th-century crafts, listen to antique music, and sample time-appropriate snacks. and watch action-packed reenactments.   7. Marblehead Race Week With its pristine harbor, Marblehead became a yachting mecca in the mid-19th century and hosts a number of regattas throughout the season, including during the Marblehead Arts Festival. The largest of these is Marblehead Racing Week, which began in 1889 and runs all the way to the last week of July. Since the 2000s, the event’s premium divisions have been part of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series. Weather and wind conditions at Marblehead Harbor are never the same from day to day, and no regatta is safe. If you’re in town, you can bring a blanket and picnic and watch the action unfold from one of Marblehead Harbor’s scenic parks.   8. Marblehead Festival of Arts Taking place over the July 4 holiday season, the Marblehead Arts Festival has a history dating back to 1962. There are a variety of crowd-pleasing events and activities, including a street festival,

15 Best Things to Do in Holden (MA)

Spread over a large area in northwest Worcester, Holden is a fast-growing small town of 20,000 inhabitants. There is unlimited open space, with thousands of acres of forest for public recreation within city limits. These plots of land, often with interconnected trails, are maintained by the city or by organizations such as the White Oak Soil Preservation Association. You can hike along the old Massachusetts Central Railroad, climb the hills for exciting views, explore waterfalls, admire unique icy spells, or simply get away from the world for a few hours on the road. an isolated trail. The town’s historic center is often dismantled, but around Holden, you can find some great local businesses that produce chocolates or gourmet Belgian bagels the traditional way. system.  1. Holbrook Forest Near Cascading Waters south of Holden there are many protected lands with interconnected trails. Holbrook Forest here is maintained by the White Oak Soil Conservancy and there are paths to Kinney Forest next to and south of Worcester via Cook’s Woods and Cook’s Brook. What makes these spaces special is that they are located on the southern edge of more than 3,000 acres of uninhabited wilderness, containing reservoirs for Worcester and therefore closed to the public. This has allowed wildlife to thrive, which can be spotted on trails in conservation lands. As you walk through the 60-acre North Holbrook Forest, you’ll come across Cousin’s Rock, a particularly erratic glacial made of pegmatite, famous for its remarkably large crystals that you can observe up close. scene.  2. Val’s Restaurant In 1991, 22-year-old Valorie James opened a small pizzeria in Holden. Over the past 30 years, it has evolved into a full-fledged, award-winning restaurant with a patio, reception room, and two lounges. Val’s Restaurant is a vibrant community venue, featuring live music indoors every weekend and outside on the patio during the warmer months. As for the food, the choice is varied. Val’s has won rave reviews for its seafood and features many New England favorites like grilled black-dipped cod and strip clams. But that’s just one item, as you’ll find a wide selection of Italian, Greek, and American classics, from marinated lamb skewers to veal parmigiana.   3. Cournoyer Vegetable Farm Just across the border in Paxton is a lovely farmers and farmers market, owned and operated by the Cournoyer family for over eight decades. The stall is open from June to October and offers over 100 varieties of seasonal farm-grown fresh produce. This includes tomatoes, peppers, radishes, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, cut flowers, corn, potatoes, broccoli, kale, lettuce, and more we can list. listed here. The selection is also complemented by locally produced fruits, berries, cider, and honey.   4. The Bagel Inn Also on Holden’s team of great local businesses is a bagel shop at 785 Main St, which has been a staple for over 25 years. The first thing to know about Bagel Inn is that these gourmet bagels are traditionally boiled and baked, daily, from scratch and use only fresh ingredients with no ready-made mixes. The bagels themselves, available to dozens of bakers, come in every variety imaginable, whether you want ‘Everything’ or something a little less conventional like crisp cinnamon apples. There is a wide selection of buttercream spreads and breakfast sandwiches, available all day.   5. The Farm at SummitWynds With majestic views of Mount Wachusett, this quaint fourth-generation Holden ranch has been raising show horses since 1964. Before that time, the site was actually a ski area, with a lodge, The Summit Tow, built at its highest point in 1945 and now used as a warehouse. In addition to raising appaloosas and precious horses, SummitWynds also produces lavender, harvesting around 4,000 plants for beauty products, cooking ingredients, or simply for flowers. You can visit to see lavender in bloom during the Lavender Farm Festival at the end of June and also the Sunflower Festival at the end of the season.   6. West Boylston Cinema The nearest movie theater is directly across from I-190 in West Boylston. One of the few things about the West Boylston Cinema is that it is independently owned but still has modern features like stadium seating, digital projection, and digital audio. With five screens, this movie theater opened in what used to be a grocery store in 1997 and shows first-time movies at much lower prices than the big chains. When we compiled this list, tickets for the morning and Tuesday are still only $6, and one of the perks of the concession is having self-serve butter for the popcorn.   7. Mass Central Rail Trail Holden is crossed from west to east by a proposed railroad that would eventually run continuously for more than 100 miles from Northampton to Boston. The Central Mass Trail is located on the former right side of the Massachusetts Central Railroad, built between 1869 and 1883. When we compiled this list, the trail could be divided into six different sections and Holden is located on the Oakham to West Boyston Section. You have several options for easy and safe walking or riding. From the Holden-Rutland metropolitan line at 68th Street, you can travel west to Barre without stopping. Or you can park at River St or Wachusett St in Holden and head east through a mantle of hardwood, past the remains of old mills on the Quinapoxet River to the Wachusett Reservoir.   8. Asnebumskit Ridge Trail At 1381 feet, the top of Asnebumskit Hill sits right on the border between Holden and Paxton. This one looks west, with a moving panorama stretching for miles across central Massachusetts. There is a parking lot near the top of the hill, but if you prefer a quick walk, you can also follow the trail on S Rd, just off Rte 31 southwest of Holden. From here, you have a challenging but rewarding uphill hike, leaving behind the banks of Scott’s Creek to a succession of young woods, then into spectacular mature forests, lined with trees. Lush ferns in

15 Best Things to Do in Bellingham (MA)

Located on the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, Bellingham is a growing city with I-495 running through. This places Bellingham on the outer perimeter of the Boston metro area and provides the city with a commercial corridor that houses the recently updated Regal Cinemas and Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods branches… Bellingham shares a border with the town of Woonsocket, RI, giving you easy access to important cultural attractions like the Stadium Theatre, a splendid movie palace turned center for the performing arts… Away from the highway, Bellingham is a picturesque countryside, with the region’s largest bonsai nursery and various farms producing exceptional fresh produce and specialty items such as alpaca.  1. GlenPharmer Distillery A short distance from Franklin, this craft and distillery restaurant is located in the old Brookdale mill, built in granite circa 1883. If you are interested in the technique of making high-quality spirits you can visit the GlenPharmer Distillery for a tour, and see the spectacular two-stage stainless steel and bronze steam distillers, as well as the combined stainless steel and Mash Tun 800/Lauter Tun fermenters. The upscale tasting room pours these signature spirits, which also feature in the list of luxury cocktails, from Mai Tai to Gin Fizz. The food menu is generally upscale, with lamb thighs, duck stew, and pan-seared tuna, as well as flatbreads, Nashville chicken sandwiches, and pulled pork.   2. Cook’s Valley Farm A regular at the Attleborough, Woonsocket, and Franklin Farmers Markets, this Wrentham farm also has a quaint little stall that you can visit. In a tree-lined setting on remote West Street, Cook’s is a simple establishment that lets the premium fruits and vegetables speak for themselves. Before your visit, you can check the harvest schedule on the farm’s website, which tells you when everything from corn (a local favorite) to blueberries, peppers, apples, pears, and squash is ready. The stall also offers a selection of other homemade or locally sourced items, including honey, preserves, cider, corn stalks, and gourds.   3. Franklin State Forest Along Bellingham’s eastern boundary are nearly 900 acres of secluded forest. What strikes you about the Franklin State Forest is how little this property has been developed for tourism; Instead, you can pass through deep rows of pines along winding roads and fire lines. The remoteness attracts mountain bikers, who can tackle challenging trails as they skate through the woods. At the southern end, the forest also houses the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT), a trail that begins here at Franklin and passes through Bellingham on the 22-mile route to Douglas.   4. Regal Cinemas Bellingham At the time of this writing, this cluster of 14 displays has just undergone a $6 million renovation. This involved installing recliners in some of his stadium’s auditoriums and adding a bar, serving alcoholic beverages for the first time. Perhaps the biggest change of all is the RPC Regal Premium Experience monitor, which features an oversized screen, premium digital projector, and uncompressed surround sound. The theater is located in a commercial corridor along I-495, with Whole Foods, Old Navy, Michaels, Barnes & Noble, and Home Depot branches nearby.  5. Walnut Hill Bowl Just across the border in Woonsocket is one of the best bowling alleys for miles, with 32 state-of-the-art lanes. The Walnut Hill Bowl also includes the cozy Back Alley Pub, which serves freshly baked pizza and burgers, but also has plenty of live music. As with most modern bowling alleys, weekend nights after 9 p.m. are lively here, with the Cosmic Bowl bringing in black lights and party music. To play at a more affordable price, there are great value promotions on shoe and track rentals Monday through Thursday.  6. New England Country Club Right on the MA-RI border, the New England Country Club has an exclusive-sounding name, but it’s a public arena, attracting players from across the region since opening in 1990. Designed by Hale Irwin, this 18-hole championship golf course is set in a spacious setting, with roller coaster lanes surrounded by jungle. In keeping with the rural character, you might spot deer or foxes along the way. There are four tees on each hole, each offering a different challenge, suitable for a variety of skill levels. You’ll be inspired by the scenery along the way, and it’s at its best late in the season during the fall months.   7. Southwick’s Zoo About 15 minutes west of Bellingham brings you to Massachusetts’ largest zoo, set in more than 250 acres of oak woodland. Opened in 1963, Southwick Zoo is still run by the Southwick and Brewer families and is home to more than 750 animals of more than 100 species, all raised in naturalist sanctuaries. Exotic species include cheetahs, African leopards, Bengal tigers, lions, Brazilian tapirs, capybaras, white rhinos, and ostriches. The zoo is famous for its collection of primates, the largest in the area, including squirrel monkeys, chimpanzees, ring-tailed lemurs, white-handed gibbons, and many more. In addition to all of that, Southwick Zoo is a great day out for the family, with horseback rides, camel rides, a kid’s ranch, a 12-minute train ride, mazes, and plenty of rides for kids.  8. St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center Dubbed “America’s Sistine Chapel” by a magazine, this lavishly decorated neo-Renaissance church was built in the 1910s for the French-Canadian community of Woonsocket. The architect is Walter F. Fontaine (1871-1938), born in the region and also of French descent. The church closed in 2000 and was turned into a cultural center to help fund long-term conservation efforts. Don’t miss the chance to tour this building and enjoy what is believed to be the largest collection of frescoes in North America. Painted with detailed moldings, these dramatic paintings adorn the nave’s walls, barrel arches, as well as the junction, side passages, and back aisles. Featuring 475 individual faces, all using locals as models, the piece was created by Italian-Canadian artist Guido Nincheri (1885-1973).   9. The Big Apple Farm In the same family since 1950,

15 Best Things to Do in Westport (MA)

This quintessential New England seaside town sits at the western end of Buzzards Bay, just off the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border. Westport’s coastline is dramatic, home to a two-mile stretch of magical Horseneck Beach, surrounded by sand dunes. At the east end of the beach is Gooseberry Island, which juts out into Buzzards Bay for stunning ocean views. Inland, Westport is pastoral farmland, crisscrossed by stone walls and dotted with centuries-old houses, a 17th-century factory, a renowned winery, contemporary art galleries, and gentle strolls in the countryside.  1. Gray’s Grist Mill Arriving at the state line on Adamsville Rd, you’ll be greeted by a scene that looks like something straight out of a picture book. The shores of Grey’s Mill, dating from the 17th century, are surrounded by historic buildings, including this water-powered flour mill. With giant 54-inch granite stones, this mill has continuously milled corn for over 360 years. Today, Gray’s Grist Mill cornmeal is sourced from local Rhode Island Narragansett Flint corn, aged in an outdoor corn cot by the elements. At the store, you can purchase special blends for making jonnycakes and pancakes/waffles, as well as Rhode Island maple syrup, locally roasted coffee, and cookbooks.  2. Buzzards Bay Brewing You’ll never have to search long to find a craft brewery in Massachusetts, but there aren’t many with a solid reputation like Buzzards Bay Brewers. This can be found on a farm in pastoral fields surrounded by forests and using locally grown/crafted ingredients, including the farm’s own wheat. Two of the famous beers are Flounder, an unfiltered light beer made from a blend of local barley and white wheat malts. The Buzzards Bay IPA, on the other hand, is more than just an IPA, as it is made with a new crop of hops each year, creating new aromas and flavors. There are over a dozen other beers on regular rotation, as you’ll find at the bar, which is welcoming in the winter and has a large outdoor area in the warmer months.   3. Portas Da Cidade Southeast Massachusetts has had an important Portuguese heritage since the late 19th century following immigration from the Azores and Madeira. This is still noticeable in things like cultural celebrations, and churches, but also in cuisine, so you are in a good place to try authentic Portuguese food with recipes already passed on from generation to generation. This is the case with Portas Da Cidade, which, in the purest Portuguese style, offers a wide variety of cod (bacalhau), breaded, simmered, grilled, or grilled. Some popular choices are Mozambican-style shrimp, filet mignon with stuffed shrimp, and the classic Bife à Portuguesa, egg-topped tenderloin with a rich sauce.   4. The Bayside Restaurant Near Westport Point, this family-owned and operated restaurant offers impressive views of Buzzards Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, and part of the Allens Pond Reserve. Bayside Restaurant’s specialty is New England-style seafood, fresh from the Atlantic Ocean and sourced from New Bedford and the Boston waterfront. Think lobster rolls, fried scallops, fried clams, and fish & chips. Many of the recipes have been in the family for generations, and that applies to the selection of delicious homemade cakes, from lemon and apple to blueberry and meringue.   5. Westport Town Farm Sloping down the eastern tributary of the Westport River, this 40-acre reserve is managed by reserve trustees and has a fascinating story to tell. For more than a century, this property was Westport’s rundown farm and dispensary. A farm, barn, corn nativity scene, and colonial stone walls all testify to the age of the site. From the farm, you can cross a landscape of hillside meadows, dry pastures, and grazing fields surrounded by old stone walls. On the one-kilometer detour, you can admire the tidal river and its salt marshes, before climbing up to the barnyard.  6. Gray’s General Store A few meters from Grey’s Grist Mill in Adamsville, Rhode Island, you’ll find a rustic-looking building with Gray’s sign on the porch. It is said to be the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States, open from 1788 until closing in 2012, when its owner, Grayton Waite, passed away. He is the sixth generation to run the store, which reopened in 2013 when his son and sole heir leased the property to his father’s cousin, who had worked there for 16 years. In the early 19th century, this building also housed the first post office in the village of Little Compton. Gray’s General Store sells collectibles, gifts, antiques, frozen goods, packaged candy, and more.   7. Weatherlow Farms Founded in 2014, Weatherlow Farms raises grass-fed meat (beef, lamb, chevon, pork), as well as pasture-raised poultry and eggs. Another highlight is the flowers for special events, grown and kept on the farm, while the hotel’s elegantly lit barn houses weddings, parties, and other special events. other private activities. If you are just passing by, you can visit the Farm Shop at 845 Sodom Rd, which offers high-quality meat and poultry, as well as flowers, plants, baked goods, dairy products, homemade sauces, pickles, frozen ready-to-eat foods, and even pet snacks.  8. Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery Planted in 1982 and opened in 1986, this vineyard is run by a family of four generations of winemakers. This beautiful piece of land was chosen for the loamy, well-drained New England soil and the climate of southeastern Massachusetts, which is cool but moderated by the Gulf Stream. Reflecting famous regions like Burgundy and Champagne, Westport Rivers uses traditional methods, with minimal processing, to craft wines as diverse as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Grüner Veltliner, as well as a selection of sparkling wines. The winery is open for tours and tastings, Monday through Saturday, and there’s always something to do, with a series of sunset concerts in the summer and carriage rides through the vineyards. in the fall.   9. Dedee Shattuck Gallery Named after its owner, this contemporary art gallery is set in a woodland and idyllic meadow, in a

15 Best Things to Do in Southbridge (MA)

Once an atmospheric mill town on the River Quinebaug, Southbridge has an industrial history dating back to the 18th century. The original sawmills and flour mills eventually gave way to the textile and glass-making industries. large scale The largest producer of these is the American Optical Company, which has been a boon to Southbridge for over 100 years, earning the town the nickname “Eye of the Commonwealth”. You can still see the huge American Optical building, which presides over the town’s commune, and there’s a museum documenting the company’s time in the town and the broader optical industry. Southbridge’s 19th-century wealth brought waves of immigration from Ireland and Canada, and the magnificent Notre Dame Parish Church (1916) is a testament to the town’s Canadian-French heritage.   1. St. John Paul II Parish (Notre Dame Parish Church) In the late 1860s, Southbridge had a large French-Canadian population, which had grown steadily since the 1830s and increased rapidly after the Civil War. The parish of Notre Dame was founded in 1869 and funds were raised to replace the original wooden tabernacle that had been erected in the town. All of this was realized in 1916 with the wonder building at 446 Main Street, with a tower 210 feet tall and a nave nearly 80 feet wide. It was designed by Quebec architect Joseph Venne (1858-1925), responsible for more than 60 buildings in the Montreal area, as well as three churches in Massachusetts. With many stucco moldings, the church has a Rococo-style interior, which also blends earlier Roman and Renaissance elements. This work was done by the Roman artist Gonippo Raggi (1875-1959), who also produced more than 30 oil paintings and six murals for the interior, while the Roman-style windows were decorated Imported from ‘Germany.  2. Gateway Players Southbridge’s cultural mainstay for half a century, the Gateway Players is a community theater troupe that hosts a season of shows at Elm Street Congregational Church (61 Elm St) in the town center. The group was founded in 1975 and quickly moved to headquarters donated by Ruth Wells, a member of the family that owns the American Optical Company. Showcasing the region’s creative and performing talent, a typical season runs from March to December, with up to five productions. In addition to Broadway-style musicals, you can experience original comedies and plays written by local playwrights.   3. The Ruth Wells Center for the Arts The elegant Gateway Players HQ is also a vibrant arts center, hosting exhibitions and classes year-round. On a spacious site at 111 Main St, it was Southbridge’s largest single-family residence when built in the mid-1820s for Ebenezer Ammidown, which spurred the town’s early industrial development. town. The house was owned by the Ammidown and Dresser family for most of its history, until it was purchased by Ruth Wells in the 1970s and later donated to the Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts and Humanities (QVCAH)… You can enter this majestic building to enjoy exhibits covering a variety of fields, from watercolors to photography. There are studio workshops open on Saturday mornings, while QVCAH has a store if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing, pottery, photography, jewelry, paintings, or home decor.  4. Sturbridge Coffee Roasters This fast-growing chain of mini cafes, based in Southbridge, started operating next to Sturbridge in 2004 and moved there soon after. Located near the Optical Heritage Museum, Sturbridge Coffee Roasters recently opened two more branches in Dudley and Charlton and set up a dedicated roastery in Southbridge in 2019. For many, it’s the best coffee for miles, even better knowing they roast their own beans nearby. You can visit for freshly brewed coffee, a strong beer list, hot chocolates, smoothies, teas, and a menu of snacks for breakfast and lunch. A variety of coffee beans or ground coffee are also available at the store, in 12 oz or 16 oz packages.  5. Bigelow Hollow State Park and Nipmuck State Forest Cross the Connecticut border and discover 9,000 acres of outdoor recreation opportunities in a state park nestled in a state forest. At Bigelow State Park, you’ll enter one of Connecticut’s largest uninterrupted forests, all part of the Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. This federally designated site preserves a large swath of northeastern Connecticut and central Massachusetts, featuring a typical New England rural landscape, rarely without light pollution amid the western megacity. Northeast. You can embrace this solitude on 35 miles of trails, traveling to places as remote as the sublime finger-shaped Breakneck Lake, which is only accessible by foot. Bigelow Lake and the larger Mashapaug Lake are great places for swimming, kayaking, boating, and fishing in the summer.   6. Escape the Pike This escape room attraction near Sturbridge is the brainchild of local owners David and Meghan Jaquith, who met in 2003 while in Afghanistan with US troops. As enthusiasts, the couple visited hundreds of escape rooms around the world, learned what worked and what didn’t, and filtered that experience into their very own Escape the Pike, which opened in 2019. What’s immediately striking here is the variety of genres and tones, from the family Christmas cheer of North Pole Meltdown to the tech thriller Spy2k to the post-apocalyptic fantasy Merlin’s Vision. Podunk and the Son of the Zodiac, immerse yourself in the story of the infamous serial killer. With satisfying puzzles, engaging environments, and friendly game masters, Escape the Pike games can accommodate up to eight players, with a 60-minute countdown.   7. Quinebaug Valley Rail Trail Southbridge Station was the terminus of Webster’s Southbridge and Blackstone Railroad, chartered in 1849 and quickly incorporated into the Boston and New York Central Railroad. For much of the 20th century, the road was used by the Providence and Worcester Railroad for freight before being abandoned. There is a long-term plan to turn this route into an 11-mile track between Southbridge and Webster. So far, you can do a short hike in the southeastern corner of Southbridge, hiking nearly two miles through the scenic