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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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14 Things Not To Forget On Your Next Vacay

Every time I go on a trip I always forget at least 1 things.

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There are all sorts of things that we forget to pack when we go on vacation. How can you remember all the little details when a fun-filled trip awaits you? Not to worry! Here is a short list of items that can be easily forgotten. Pull this list up when packing for your next trip and be relieved when you haven't forgotten a thing.

1. A Phone Charger


2. Toothpaste/Toothbrush



3. Your Favorite Pillow



4. Socks/Underwear



5. Glasses/Contacts



6. Sunscreen



7. A Bathing Suit



8. Lip Balm



9. An Umbrella



10. Sunglasses



11. Money



12. Snacks



13. A Jacket



14. Extra Shampoo/Conditioner



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