These stunning natural places are off the beaten path, but will absolutely soothe your spirit. It’s not always easy to make time to relax and recharge, but an hour or two in these tranquil Massachusetts hidden oases will help you totally de-stress.
1. Mytoi Japanese Garden, Edgartown
If you don't mind heading to Martha's Vineyard for your dose of relaxation, the Mytoi Japanese Gardens are totally serene and peaceful escape. Wander the quiet paths and pause on the delicate footbridges to admire the flowers and pond. (41 Dike Rd, Edgartown)
2. Johnny Appleseed Trail
Okay, this isn't a specific location, but that's just because there are so many beautiful natural spots on the Johnny Appleseed Trail that it's hard to choose just one. Explore Leominster State Forest Hiking Trail in Westminster, hike Jacob's Hill, or just wander the roadside beauty in towns like Hubbardston and Lancaster.
3. Dunn State Park, Gardner
Dunn State Park is a public recreation area that is filled with hidden natural nooks in which to get pleasantly lost. It covers 132 acres, and includes the lovely 22-acre Dunn Pond. (289 Pearl Street, Gardner)
4. Douglas State Forest, Douglas
Just a peaceful and quiet woodland retreat. It includes Wallum Lake, which used to be an important source of local ice back before refrigerators were commonplace. The paths formerly used to drag ice out of the forest are now beautiful walking trails. (107 Wallum Lake Road, Douglas)
5. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston
Tower Hill may not be the most "hidden" of these hidden gems, but it's so lusciously lovely that we had to include it. There's nothing like strolling through a blooming field of daffodils or sitting under a massive rhododendron bush to soothe your soul. This 132-acre botanical garden also offers incredible views of Mount Wachusett and the Wachusett Reservoir. (11 French Dr, Boylston, MA)
6. The New England Peace Pagoda, Leverett
Nothing says "peace" like a peace pagoda! This site was meant to commemorate the 150,000 civilian deaths that resulted from the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII, and it's an utterly serene and lovely place to wander and meditate. All are welcome at the pagoda. (100 Cave Hill Road, Leverett)
7. Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth
And you thought Plimoth Plantation was just pilgrims and history lessons. The Plantation actually has a spectacular array of gardens and paths to explore. The 17th-century English Village even features gardens that are filled with edible plants and herbs of the variety the original settlers would have used. (137 Warren Avenue,
8. Nonotuck Pond, Easthampton
This delightful little pond is bordered by Nonotuck Park, which makes it the perfect place for a land and water outing. It's a great spot for picnics, and the park even has a playground for the little ones. (1 Daley Field Road, Easthampton)
9. Cornell Farm, South Dartmouth
Despite being a historic farm and pasture, this quaint spot is actually totally open to the public. You can wander the carefully maintained paths to a peaceful salt marsh, check out the crops during growing season, or spend some time lounging on the banks of Little River. (520 Smith Neck Road, South Dartmouth)
10. Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich
This place is a like a fairytale forest come to life. With its massive windmill, waterfalls and flowering fields, Heritage Museum & Gardens is one of the best places to get away from it all on Cape Cod. Check their website to see what's in bloom before you go, and make sure you're ready for total relaxation. (67 Grove Street
Pine And Grove Streets
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