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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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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4 Realizations You Have After A Year Of Spending Two Hours A Day Commuting To And From College

Having a friendship with your car may sound odd, but when you spend almost two hours a day in it, you begin to form a bond.

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Although dorming seems like the best option for freshmen to get used to their new home for the next four years, it isn't the most appealing choice for everybody. When you're a homebody like me, the choice between commuting and dorming has a clear answer. Who would want to give up the comforts of home when they don't have to? However, there are some downsides to being away from campus. Having a 45-minute commute has taught me so much even though it has only been a week.

1. Your time management skills will improve drastically

When you commute, your day must be planned in order to avoid traffic and get home on time. You also have to schedule times to eat, do homework, and socialize. This being said, it is much more difficult to be spontaneous. Friends will make dinner plans or ask to hang out when you're already off campus on your way home. The fear of missing out is a real problem, but planning ahead of time still lets you have a social life.

2. Other people will pity you

Whenever I tell people about my commute, I always get words of pity. Of course, it seems disheartening, but you can't let that get to you. There are always pros and cons to everything, so thinking about the benefits of commuting rather than the downfalls will help you feel better about your drive.

3. Your car will become your best friend

Having a friendship with your car may sound odd, but when you spend almost 2 hours a day in it, you begin to form a bond. My car (named Ulysses) and I have been through a lot on the road. From rogue raccoons to crazy drivers on the highway, your car and you will have seen it all. Your car is your trusty steed that will bring you to school and home safely. As long as you trust your car, your car will trust you back.

4. It's nice to sleep in your own bed

At the end of the day, being home is where I feel the most comfortable. The feeling of your own bed and having the privacy of your own room really have their perks. Also, nothing in the dining halls can beat a homemade meal. Some days, I feel that I should've dormed and that commuting wasn't the best option, but being able to be where I feel my best makes the hassle of commuting worth it.

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