Fifteen Places To Visit In MA This Summer

Fifteen Places To Visit In MA This Summer

Make some Massachusetts memories.
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With less than a month left in the semester you're probably trying to ignore the stress of the last four weeks of classes in favor of making plans for the summer. Not planning on taking an exotic vacation? Don't worry about it. You can still have an unforgettable summer while staying within the state. Check out these 15 places and activities in Mass that are just a quick car ride away.

1. Walk the Freedom Trail ~Boston, MA

Want to spend the day in Boston and learn something too? Try walking the Freedom Trail. This 2.5 mile long route brings you to 16 significant historical sites in Boston like the Old North Church, the site of the Boston Massacre and Paul Revere's House. You can book a tour with 18th-century costumed guides, or take a map and do the route at your own pace.

2. Ride the Roller Coasters at Six Flags New England ~ Agawam, MA

Grab some friends and head out to Western Mass to visit Six Flags New England. Spend the day riding exciting roller coasters like "BATMAN: The Dark Knight" and get minor whiplash on rides like "Flashback".

3. Check Out Some Dinosaur Footprints ~ Holyoke, MA

While you're in Western Mass., drive over to Holyoke where you'll see some of what's left of the early Jurassic Period, Dinosaur Footprints. The site is located on the side of a busy road, down a muddy path in the woods -- but it's totally worth it. You'll be able to see tons of dinosaur tracks preserved in sandstone. If you have some extra time, head a little farther into the woods until you reach the water for a beautiful view of the river.


4. Appreciate the Art at the MFA ~ Boston, MA

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston holds a collection of almost 500,000 works of Art. Spend the day getting lost among paintings, textiles, sculptures and more. And with new exhibitions coming in throughout the year, make sure to check out their website to see what's heading to the museum next.

5. Watch the Sunset at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge ~ Concord, MA

The Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a hidden gem in Concord. Walk the refuge trail along the marshes, river, brook and pond while keeping your eyes peeled for a variety of birds and other wildlife. The wide open space and lush plant life makes for one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset in Massachusetts.

6. Museum of Science ~ Boston, MA

Spend a day in Boston making your way through all of the exhibits at the Museum of Science. Explore space at the Charles Hayden Planetarium, watch an informational movie in the IMAX theater and learn more about our world and ourselves at the many permanent exhibits the museum has to offer.

7. Soak up the Sun at Crane Beach ~Ipswich, MA

This beautiful beach is more than just sun and sand. Crane Beach in Ipswich is made for recreation and conservation with 5.5 miles of trails across dunes and the Essex River Estuary, as well as being an important nesting site for the threatened piping plovers. It's the perfect place to appreciate nature and spend a day relaxing in the sand.

8. Canoe down the Concord River ~ Concord, MA

Rent kayaks or a canoe with some friends at the South Bridge Boat House and paddle down the Concord River into Minute Man National Park. Just make sure not to crash into the Old North Bridge-- believe me, it's harder than it sounds.

9. Catch a Red Sox Game at Fenway Park ~ Boston, MA

You can't live in Massachusetts without going to a Red Sox game at historic Fenway Park at least once. It's Major League Baseball's oldest park, and nothing beats a summer night spent here singing "Sweet Caroline", seeing home runs go over the Green Monster, and eating a Fenway Frank.

10. Go to the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ~ Boston, MA

Every fourth of July, thousands of people gather at the Hatch Shell for one of greatest music and fireworks displays in the country. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular begins as crowds gather to save a spot where they watch the concert and celebrate our nation's founding. The night ends in the Pop's playing of the "1812 Overture" as a massive fireworks display lights up the Esplanade.

11. Go Shopping (or just people watch) at Faneuil Hall ~ Boston, MA

Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston is home to over 70 retailers and delicious restaurants and pubs at the Quincy Market Colonnade. Street performers and musicians fill the cobblestone streets with music and excitement, creating the perfect atmosphere for shopping and fun with friends.

12. Get Lost in Primark ~ Boston, MA

Speaking of shopping -- head over to Downtown Crossing and get lost in four floors of clothes, shoes, accessories and home decor at Primark. This U.K. based clothing store opened it's first two locations in the United States this past year. The prices are low and there are tons of options, so everyone in your group will leave happy with a bag in hand.

13. See the City on a Duck Tour ~ Boston, MA

If you've never been on a Duck Tour, this summer is the time to go. You'll board a WWII Style amphibious landing vehicle with an expert tour guide/driver. Once on board your guide will give you interesting fun facts about Boston while driving you through the city, spotting landmarks like the State House, Bunker Hill, The Garden, The Pru and more all culminating in a cruise on the Charles River.

14. Visit the Boston Public Garden ~ Boston, MA

Although it's not the biggest park in the world, Boston Public Garden makes up for its small size in beauty. Look for the statues of the ducklings from the beloved children's book, Make Way for Ducklings and take a ride on one of the many Swan Boats that peddle around the Garden's lagoon.

15. Spend the Day at Kimball's ~ Westford, MA

Looking for something to do with your whole family? Stop by Kimball Farm in Westford for mini golf, bumper boats, a driving range, an arcade, delicious ice cream and more.

So get ready to have the best summer of your life without even needing to leave the state.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Duck Tours

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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Photo Album: A trip Round Europe, From London To Paris

It all started five years ago in the corner of a sea food restaurant.

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It all started five years ago in the corner of a sea food restaurant. I sat around the table with my grandfather and my cousin, looking out onto the marshes of Hilton Head Island.

"If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" my grandfather questioned us.

With no real interest in traveling to a large city or anywhere specific, I replied with my usual answer of "I don't know."

My cousin, on the other hand, almost always knows exactly what he wants. So he quickly rattled off a list of European cities that he wanted to travel to. Then my grandfather struck us a deal. If we could finish high school with a scholarship offer, he would take us to London and Paris. This past week I returned from that trip, and I decided to share some photos of the incredible cities of Europe.

The Tower Bridge from the River Thames

When we took a boat tour on the River Thames, I managed to snap a great picture of the Tower Bridge. The bridge lifts up in the middle in order for larger boats to pass underneath and access ports further in. Our guide mentioned a story about a time when the gate for cars on the bridge was delayed in closing and a tour bus ended up on the bridge as it was being raised. Unable to back up safely, the bus driver accelerated and jumped the gap!

The main entrance to the London Museum of Natural History

Natural History Museums are my favorite because of my interests in science, and the London Museum of Natural History did not disappoint. This museum has everything from a room filled with life size replicas of the largest mammals on earth, to a gallery of rare gems and jewelry collected by English scientists. In my opinion, the greatest the display shown at this museum is the collection of fossils found by Mary Anning. Despite growing up in a poor family and being a woman in a time when science was a predominantly male field, she discovered a number of new aquatic dinosaur fossils!

True Love ring overlooking Tower Bridge

Buckingham Palace

The home of the Queen for most of the year. While it's still incredibly fancy, I figured it would stick out a lot more compared to everything around it. The building itself looked very similar to many other buildings except for a large fence with a lot of security and an extremely elaborate gold fountain in the center of a traffic circle out front.

Pont Alexandre III

While the Pont Alexandre III bridge is extremely beautiful and probably the prettiest bridge in Paris, I wanted to photograph it to recreate a black and white drawing I have hung in my home. I saw the picture fairly often but never knew where it was from. However, when I saw the Pont Alexandre III I knew it was the same bridge! Built for World Fair of 1900, the bridge was constructed to show of the architectural and industrial advancements that the French had undergone.

Eiffel Tower

Of course you cannot have a photo album of Europe and not include the Eiffel Tower. This incredible structure was originally going to be removed after the world fair it was constructed for because most citizens thought it was an eyesore to the city. Little did those people know the Eiffel Tower would come to represent Paris to people all over the world!

Cover Image Credit:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paris_arc.jpg

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