There’s always a little more to explore in Massachusetts. Just when you think you’ve visited every interesting nook and cranny, another must-visit destination pops up on your radar. We wouldn’t have it any other way, so here are 14 more wonderful and unique day trip ideas for your next weekend adventure.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Get cultured at Mass MoCA in North Adams.
No, this isn't a gigantic coffee shop. Mass MoCA is the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in America. What does this mean? It's a great place for the whole family to enjoy awesome music, film, dance, theater and cool art exhibitions. Even if you don't think you're the art museum type, this place will change your mind. (87 Marshall Street, North Adams)
2. Go for a sleigh (or carriage) ride at the Salem Cross Inn.
What better way to get in the spirit of the season than an old-fashioned sleigh ride? Hop into the back of this wooden sleigh and take in the beauty of the Salem Cross Inn's 600 acres of tranquil New England countryside. Warm up back inside their 1705 farmhouse with colonial treats like fresh apple pie, cider and slow-roasted meat. They also offer carriage rides during the warmer months. (260 West Main Street, West Brookfield)
3. Get wild at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon.
Head to the Blackstone River Valley for a combination of beautiful New England countryside, and exotic wildlife. Spread over 200 acres, Southwick's Zoo is home to a dizzying array of awesome animals like chimpanzees, camels, giraffes, tigers, lions, mandrill monkeys and so many more. There are even endangered species to visit, such as white rhinos. When you're done communing with your wild side, head over to the Mendon Twin Drive-In for a retro movie experience (in season). (2 Southwick Street, Mendon)
4. Taste the best beer and food in Boston a brew tour.
Sample some of the best beer and grub the city has to offer on this all-inclusive brew tour. You'll be taken to Harpoon Brewery, Sam Adams and Cambridge Brewing Company. Along the way, you'll be treated to awesome food from local restaurants.
5. Experience the drama of Bancroft Tower in Worcester.
Looking for to add a bit of dramatic flair to your day? Head to this miniature feudal castle in Worcester. It's located in Salisbury Park, and was built in 1900 by Stephen Salisbury III in honor of his friend, George Bancroft. You couldn't ask for a better place to build snowmen, picnic or just relax.
6. Smell the roses at the Smith College greenhouses.
Escape the chill of the New England winter at the fantastic, flowering greenhouses of Smith College. Best of all, these greenhouses are open and blooming all winter! (16 College Lane, Northampton)
7. Explore Beartown State Forest in Monterey.
This place offers over 12,000 acres pristine wilderness for hiking, camping, fishing, boating and even snowmobiling. You might even catch a glimpse of some native animals, such as deer, fisher cats, bobcats and rare birds.
8. Ride the slopes (or sip some cocoa) at Jiminy Peak.
Jiminy Peak is one of the best places to ski in the state. It's also one of the best places to watch your friends and family ski while you curl up by the fire with a steaming mug and a good book. There's something for everyone at this winter resort. (11 Corey Road, Hancock)
9. Head to P-town for day of art, shopping and fun.
There's plenty to do in Provincetown, especially in the cooler months when the summer crowds have vanished. Go shopping in the zany and beautiful downtown, pick up bagfuls of tasty saltwater taffy, explore the docks, and check out some of the most popular restaurants and bars (read: The Lobster Pot) without having to wait in crazy summer lines.
10. Explore your local winery...no, really.
You might not think of Massachusetts as wine country, but we actually have dozens of amazing vineyards and wineries just waiting to fill your glass. Though exploring your local vineyard is a great summer activity, many wineries also offer events and activities for the cooler months as well.
11. Conquer the globe at The Mapparium in Boston.
This three-story globe is made completely out of stained glass, and has a 30-foot-long view bridge running through it. It's a stunning fusion of art and education, which means that even those who already know their geography will have a great time visiting. (The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston)
12. Relax by Gunn Brook Falls in Sunderland.
The cascading waters of Gunn Brook Falls plummet just over 35 feet through beautiful ferns, moss and forest. Best of all, reaching these falls requires almost no hiking. Head to Gunn Cross Road in Sunderland from Chard Pond. Continue for about 0.2 miles until you see a small parking area to the right. The falls are just downstream of the road on the right.
13. Kayak on Quaboag Pond in Brookfield.
No matter what the season, kayaking on this tranquil pond will bring a touch of peace and beauty to your day. It's an especially lovely place to paddle at sunset, so plan accordingly.
14. Pick your own sweet treats at a local orchard.
Go fruit of veggie-picking at one of our state's gorgeous orchards. You're sure to leave with a full belly and plenty of happy memories. Of course, make sure your local farm has pick-your-own offerings that are in season.