Peace and quiet seems like a rare and valuable commodity these days, but there are still places where the world seems to move a little slower. These slow-paced and rural communities across Massachusetts offer plenty of natural beauty, as well as being perfect places to escape and unwind.
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:
Rowe is a beautiful town that's located far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the metro area to really make you feel like you're surrounded by endless natural beauty. There's a lovely beach to visit in the summer, and the community of 400 people is friendly and warm. However, with no state highway and no bus service, Rowe may only be a good fit for those looking to truly get away from it all.
This tiny town is located in one of the least populated areas in the state. Boasting only 900 permanent residents, Sandisfield is surrounded by nature and quaint spots such as this charming covered bridge. In this beautiful village, you'll be waking up to birds chirping rather than cars honking.
If your idea of getting away from it all involves fresh air, green pastures and plenty of horses, Rehoboth is a perfect choice. There are multiple gorgeous horse farms in this town, including Edinger Farm, Morning Star Stables, and Spring Garden Farm. The town also offers plenty of great riding trails, so you'll never run out of places to explore with your equine friends.
This sleepy town is one of the highest in the state in terms of elevation, which probably contributes to its air of peaceful isolation. Peru is also home to the Dorothy Frances Rice Wildlife Sanctuary, so it's a great town for those looking for a heaping helping of the great outdoors.
Head to Worcester County for a visit to this friendly town of 1,682 residents. Phillipston really comes alive in the fall, when apple-picking and pumpkin-hunting are in full swing. Head to Red Apple Farm for a wonderful afternoon of pick-your-own fun, as well as seasonal events all year long.
It's hard to find a town on Cape Cod that doesn't get a bit lively in the warmer month, but Chatham strikes the perfect balance between year-round peace and quiet and the usual summer fun. If you're lucky enough to visit or live in Chatham during the spring or fall, you'll find that its beaches (like the gorgeous Chatham Light beach) are still perfect destinations for a day in the sun and offer lots of space to stretch out.
The sleepy town of Freetown is surrounded by lush woods, and is an amazing place for a leaf-peeping adventure. Head to the Freetown-Fall River State Forest for some prime camping, or join in the many community events the little hamlet has on offer during the summer months.
Bolton is a quiet town of about 4,800 residents. Its location about 25 miles outside Boston makes it a popular spot for commuters who value a bit of serenity more than they care about being in the thick of things. Bolton is a more affluent community than many on this list, but if you can swing the price tag, you're guaranteed a lovely small town experience within driving distance from all the amenities of the big city. The Nashoba Valley Winery is also located in Bolton, which may sway some vino lovers.
Rutland is a peaceful town in central Massachusetts. Its low crime rate and agricultural feel make it an ideal spot for getting away from it all. It's actually the geographic center of Massachusetts, and the town's Central Tree marks the exact spot. There's plenty of farmland in and around Rutland, so it's a great spot for seeing the seasons change the landscape and taking some time to watch the clouds roll by.
This cozy Berkshire town is known for its fiery fall foliage and old-fashioned charm. The population is only about 1,400, but the community is friendly and lively. In Richmond, you'll feel like you're a million miles away from it all while still being close to larger towns like Great Barrington and Pittsfield. There are several orchards in town, as well as plenty of rolling farmland and tree-lined roads.
Lanesboro was one of the first parts of the Berkshires to be settled, but the town has retained its quiet country charm over the years. The town has a healthy about of small businesses, but many residents commute out of the community for work, leaving much of Lanesborough's lovely rural landscape intact.
Carlisle is another one of those charming small towns that's just isolated enough to be peaceful, but it still close enough to larger communities to be convenient. With just over 4,000 residents, this place is filled with friendly faces and family-owned shops. Don't miss Carlisle Old Home Day, a Fourth of July celebration that has been held for over 100 years as a free public event with family-friendly games and activities.