It’s good to get the ol’ blood pumping once in awhile. Massachusetts is full of exciting places to explore and chances to get a healthy hit of adrenaline. Check out these cool spots and activities that will bring out your adventurous side! We’ve included options for people of all ages and activity levels (i.e. don’t worry if you’re no mountaineer survivalist triathlon champion) so that everyone can get in on the fun.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Let your stress drift away at Essex River Cruises, Essex
Sit back and relax on a narrated sightseeing cruise on the pristine sheltered water of the Essex River. Treats and drinks are served on board as you take in the serene views all around. When mealtime rolls around, passengers are treated to a classic New England clambake, lobster lunch, or barbecue on a secluded beach. Tours range from longer excursions to one and a half hour-long trips. They also offer seasonal cruises like the fall foliage, cider and donuts cruise.
2. Discover hidden gems in the city with Urban AdvenTours, Boston
You don’t need to leave the city to have a bone fide adventure. Wheel around Boston with Urban AdvenTours and see the city like you’ve never seen it before. On their classic “City View” tour, you’ll discover sites and neighborhoods to explore that you may have missed during your pedestrian rambles. You’ll explore the unique character and charm of each community up close in a way that’s only possible by bicycle. The City View tour is $55 per guest and includes an individually-fitted bike, helmet, water, and of course, a friendly and knowledgeable guide who will lead you on your travels. The tour is 2.5-3 hours long and covers 10-12 miles. From the bustling streets of downtown, to the serene bike paths on the Charles River, you’ll really get up close and personal with our state’s capitol city.
3. Conquer the trees at Ramblewild, Lanesborough
Ramblewild is like the treehouse you always wanted as a kid, but on serious steroids. Test your limits and rediscover your inner child by climbing, leaping, and carefully walking through aerial trails in a hemlock grove with over 130 individual elements on eight individual courses This is an exhilarating, challenging, inspiring adventure that only nature could deliver. This place is great for kids and people who might want to try something a little scary, but with plenty of support and instruction. Don’t worry: you’re harnessed in the whole time!
4. Have a totally unique crafting day at The Eliot School, Jamaica Plain
Ever wanted to learn how to bind you own books? Apply special effects make-up? How about creating your own wine glasses, building your own wooden furniture, or even crafting a corset? If an adventure in creativity and creation is what you’re after, then The Elliot School has what you need. Sign up online or over the phone for one of their MANY amazing workshops and classes.
5. Get spooked at Dead of Night Ghost Tours, Plymouth
Explore the pilgrim resting places and burial grounds of one of the oldest towns in America. Learn about burial customs and traditional ghost stories. Bring a camera, and, if you're lucky, capture the creeping image of a spirit. Perfect for those looking for a little jolt of the shivers, but don’t necessarily need to be scared out of their minds. Plus, you get to carry a cool lantern!
6. Float across western Mass. with Misty River Ballooning, Florence
See the Pioneer Valley like you’ve never seen if before: from the basket of an actual hot air balloon! As you float quietly above the valley, you can watch the Connecticut River peacefully wind it's way south below you. On a clear day, you can see the Berkshire Hills as well as the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. After your flight you'll enjoy a traditional champagne toast and light snacks. Sounds like an adventure worth of a fairytale to me.
7. Soak up some forest magic at the March Cataract Falls, Adams
Sometimes the journey really is all about the destination. You’re just one mild hike away from the beauty and majesty of the March Cataract Falls at Mt. Greylock State Park. Pack a picnic and definitely bring your camera.
8. Go dogsledding with Northern Exposure Outfitters, Brookfield
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore the snowy landscape with your very own team of sled dogs? Now you can find out, no experience necessary! Participate in the preparation and care of the dogs, learn how to hook up the dogs with the help of the musher, and enjoy an incredible ride through the woods like never before. Northern Exposure will actually bring the dogs and sleds to any location for your convenience.
9. Soar to new heights at Skydive Barnstable, Barnstable
You don't have to be fearless to enjoy skydiving. This place will (literally) hold your hand every step of the way and you don’t need any prior experience. At Skydive Barnstable you'll enjoy a jump 10,000 feet over Cape Cod, with views of New England, Boston, Providence and beautiful beaches. Learn about tandem jumping (you’re strapped to an experienced skydiving expert during the jump) and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
10. Enjoy an invigorating day hiking the Mt. Greylock Ramble, Lanesborough
Don’t feel like hiking all the way to the summit? No problem. Grab a friends and some trail mix and spend the afternoon walking one of the many Mt. Greylock trails. The Ramble rewards explorers with its wild and rugged scenery, yet remains accessible and fun of all ages and activity levels.
11. Saddle up with Esperanza Riding Company, Sandwich & Martha’s Vineyard
This is one adventure that is relaxing AND exciting. The professionals and beautiful horses at Esperanza Riding Company will take you through oak and pine woods, over ridge lines and down to the beaches of Cape Cod. Their horses are great for all experience levels (including none at all!) and have a special three-beat gait that will keep you comfortable even when they pick up the pace a bit. Ask about pony riding and lessons kids!
12. Be a kid again at the Boston Children's Museum
More than just a bunch of exhibits, this place is a massive educational playground that has to be explored to be understood. Even if you don’t own actual children, you can still join the fun. The museum has "Adults Only" nights when grown-ups can check out everything from a room full of gigantic bubbles to immense climbing structures and an actual two-story Japanese silk merchant's house (transported all the way from the city of Kyoto). Try your hand at building block-bridges and giant forts, party all night on a light-up interactive dance floor, indulge in "adult" snow cones, get messy with paint, and play giant games of chess. Tickets sell out really fast, so check their website to periodically to make sure you get a chance to join the fun.