There’s no time like summer to make the most of your free time. Whether you prefer to spend your day off keeping cool indoors or exploring the great natural beauty this state has to offer, there’s something for everyone on this list of awesome summer destinations.
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. The Whydah Pirate Museum, West Yarmouth
When the summer heat has you looking for something to do indoors, plan a visit to this brand new pirate museum on the Cape. The Whydah is the only fully authenticated pirate shipwreck on Earth, and a full-scale replica of the Wellfleet wreck is waiting to be explored at this awesome museum. Learn about the golden age of piracy while checking out actual pirate treasure and weaponry. (674 Route 28
West Yarmouth, Massachusetts)
Nahant is a quiet coastal town that is often overlooked in favor of nearby spots like Salem or Marblehead. It's an undiscovered gem that is located on a spit of land that juts out into the Atlantic. Head to Nahant to relax on soft white beaches, explore coastal trails or wander the charming downtown area.
3. Umpachene Falls, New Marlborough
What could be more summery than taking a dip beneath a beautiful waterfall? This spot at Umpachene Falls Park lets you wade into a clear, clean pool at the base of a sparkling waterfall. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables at the adjacent park and don't forget the camera.
4. The Sunset Tiki Bar & Grill, Westford
Looking for a tropical oasis close to home? Head to this amazing tiki bar and grill that's right on the water but nowhere near the coast. Located on the sandy shore of a Westford pond, this place offers beach volleyball, free swimming and amazing food and drinks. It's perfect for a laidback summer afternoon or evening. (79 Powers Road, Westford)
5. Gould’s Sugar House, Shelburne Falls
Though maple syrup might call to mind thoughts of crisp autumn weather, Gould's Sugar House is the perfect summer foodie destination. This old-fashioned sugar house serves fresh pancakes, maple soft serve and perfect homemade pickles that make for a dreamy summer brunch. (570 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls)
6. The Brimfield Antique Show, Brimfield
No, that's not an aerial shot of a small town – it's the view high above the Brimfield Antique Show. As you may have guessed, this flea market and antique extravaganza is the largest of its kind in the world and an amazing summer destination for anyone who loves a bargain or scooping up retro treasures. The upcoming 2017 dates are September 5-10, so plan accordingly!
7. Lake Dennison, Winchendon
Lake Dennison is a truly special spot. Besides offering some of the bluest, cleanest water around, this lake is only about an hour from Boston which makes it a great spot for urbanites to escape to. You can paddle out on a canoe or kayak, splash around in the cool water or just relax on the shore. Camping is also available. (219 Baldwinville State Road, Winchendon,)
8. Keystone Arches Bridges Trail
If you want to plan a great summer hike, the Keystone Arches Bridges Trail may be the perfect trail to consider. Located between Chester and Middlefield, this trail features stone bridges that were built in the 1840s and are held together by nothing but their own weight. Besides the bridges, you'll pass by babbling brooks, lush meadows and shady forest.
9. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharon
Though you may not have heard of it, Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is the oldest of its kind in the state. This amazing park offers plenty of hiking trails, pretty picnic spots and even a gorgeou maple swamp boardwalk that will take you across some of the sanctuary's most beautiful terrain on a flat, level trail. (293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon)
10. Fort River Birding and Nature Trail, Hadley
Get a dose of the great outdoors and visit this beautiful nature trail in Hadley. It's perfect for families and people with mobility restrictions due to the level, smooth trail that winds through 1.2 miles of grassland, wetlands and forest. This is a quiet, peaceful way to escape for a few hours.
11. Alan E. Rich Environmental Park, Athol
Located alongside Millers River in Athol, this beautiful environmental park is best known for its gorgeous fall foliage. However, a visit here is a treat in the summer as well. The park features plenty of blooming native plants and picnic tables to enjoy an outdoor meal. You can even watch trains chug over the scenic train trestle that spans the gurgling river. (10 Main Street, Athol)