We all love fresh air and sunshine, but sometimes getting a much-needed dose of the outdoors can be difficult, or even intimidating. We’ve put together a list of great outdoor activities that absolutely anyone can enjoy – no mountain climbing or hang-gliding here! Check out these awesome and easy ways to enjoy the beautiful natural areas of Massachusetts.
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. Go on relaxing river cruise with Essex River Cruises, Essex
Cruise through the Great Marsh on a shady river boat while learning all about the surrounding area. The boat stops on a secluded private beach for a picnic, which can include anything from lobster, clams or steak depending on the tour. Coffee and muffin cruises are available as well. This is a great way to get outdoors without too much fuss. Voyages start at just $26 per adult, $24 per senior.
2. Go on an enchanting tour of the Provincetown dunes.
Art's Dune Tours will guide you through the surreal dune landscape of Provincetown, where you'll see rolling sandy hills, deep red beach plums and seemingly endless expanses of beach grass. The tour leads guests past "dune shacks" where notable artists such as Eugene O'Neill and Harry Kemp once found inspiration.
3. Explore Look Memorial Park in Northampton.
There is SO much to do at this amazing park in Northampton. In brief, the park offers pedal boats, miniature golf, a small zoo, playgrounds, walking paths, a water spray park, picnic sites, a steamer railroad, a grill and sweet shop, bumper boats, and tennis courts. Admission is only $7 per person on weekdays! All that outdoor fun for such a low price is too good to pass up.
4. Take a guided urban bike tour with Urban Adventours.
If you can ride a bike, you can definitely have an amazing time on one of these informative bike tours of Boston. This one is perfect for those who want to get to know our capital city better and get a bit of a workout as well. You'll get insider info on the best places to shop, eat and play around the city, as well as learning about hidden historical sites and local secrets. In addition to daytime cruises, Urban Adventours offers fall foliage tours, night rides, and tours of scenic Cambridge. Tour prices average around $55 per person.
5. Go kayaking, rafting, or ziplining with Zoar, Outdoor, Charlemont
Zoar Outdoor offers all manner of exciting outdoor adventures (including an awesome aerial ropes course), but if you're looking for something anyone can do, book a spot on one of their kayaking tours. Experienced professionals will guide you through the peaceful waters of Charlemont and make sure even first timers have an amazing time.
6. Bike the beautiful forest and coastal paths of the North Shore.
This one is simple, easy and free. Just pick an area and start pedaling. Great options include Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, and Willowdale State Forest in Ipswich. Check out the Coolidge Reservation in Manchester-by-the-Sea for breathtaking ocean views, beautiful woodland trails and lovely wetland paths.
This top-rated attraction gives you the opportunity to explore nature indoors AND outdoors. Enjoy nature trails, a treetop adventure, play plaza, planetarium, live animals and more.
8. Take a seal-watching and beach-combing cruise with Blue Claw Boat Tours.
Get up close and personal with local sealife without even getting wet! Blue Claw Boat Tours offers relaxing cruises that will bring guests face to face with beautiful local seals. Passengers will also be treated to stories about the pilgrims, pirates, local shipwrecks and even buried treasure.
9. Explore Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich.
This place is a great spot to get some fresh air and stop to smell the actual roses. Wander all the scenic walking paths through flowering lilacs, hydrangea, daylilies and rhododendron.
10. Take a hayride at Langwater Farm in Easton.
Hayrides aren't just for fall! This is a perfect way to learn about local agriculture while bouncing along through the beautiful farm scenery.
11. Pick your own produce in Hampshire County.
Hampshire County is filled with great pick-your-own spots. Grab peaches off the bough at Park Hill Orchard, gather strawberries at Nourse Farm, and collect blueberries at Birdhaven Blueberry Farm. Those are just a fraction of the great farms and orchards that this area has to offer, so get to exploring!
12. Get dirty at the beautiful Berkshire Botanical Gardens.
Get a little dirt under your nails at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. Besides having some of the most beautiful grounds of any gardens in Massachusetts, this place offers lots of events and workshops aimed at beautifying the local area and teaching guests about plants. Plant lovely spring flower bulbs and learn how to identify native flora. This is also a great place to picnic. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May 1- Columbus Day.
13. Hike Bartholomew's Cobble
Located in Sheffield, these stony knolls are a fascinating place to ramble for an afternoon. There are two small caves that are easy to explore, as well as plenty of open fields, freshwater marshland (you might spot a beaver!) and lots of well-marked trails to guide your steps.
14. Wander among the flowers at Long Hill in Beverly.
This place is a former family home and boasts some of the most spectacularly landscaped gardens, arbors and wooded trails in the area. There are plenty of flowering meadows, children's gardens, chickens to feed, and even an apple orchard and organic farm.
15. Make new feathered friends at Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton.
Go here and get to know the local wildlife in a fun and memorable tour. This museum is full of native, non-releasable animals that you would likely never encounter on your own. The 7,000-acre museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the admission price is only $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for kids.
What are some of your favorite easy outdoor activities in Massachusetts? Let us know!