If there’s one thing I can lay claim to, it’s that I’ve perfected the long weekend getaway.
Before I settled into domesticated bliss, I was quite the urban adventurer. Always living on a budget but never allowing that to cramp my style, I understood that vacations – even mini getaways – are necessary to rejuvenate the body and soul. Alas, I couldn’t afford to jet off to Europe or book a Caribbean cruise, so I started researching urban, historical and most importantly, gastronomical destinations on my own continent. And that’s when I realized that just four days – an extended weekend if you please – can turn into the most sublime micro getaway.
My travels took me to the usual suspects – Toronto, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami – but in terms of the “surprise and delight” factor – the one place that I expected to like but in turn loved – was Massachusetts. Just a 90-minute flight (or 8-hour drive) from Toronto and brimming with natural beauty, it offers some of the best tourism spots and travel activities in the US.
The decision to visit was an easy one; my husband (who was my then-boyfriend) was keen on taking in a baseball game at the famed Fenway Park in Boston; we both have a love of history and architecture, and from what I was told, I could expect the best damned clam chowder and lobster roll on this side of the Atlantic. A place that offers sports and seafood? Yes please.
And so it was with equal parts optimism and fascination that we descended on Massachusetts, ready to explore the vibrant culture that the state has to offer. And just what could we expect?
For the vacationer and family traveler, more than 1500 miles of seacoast, tradition-steeped professional sport teams and unforgettable dining experiences. For the academia enthusiast, hundreds of years rich in United States history, a diverse arts and culture scene and a leading US hub of innovation and technology. And for the celebrity stalker, the former stomping grounds of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Conan O’Brien, Elizabeth Banks and the Wahlberg brothers. (Ben, Matt and Mark? Let us pause for a moment of hotness.)
Truly, whatever it is you want to do or see or visit, it’s all right here for you in Massachusetts.
Of course, my very favourite feature of Massachusetts as a destination – and the reason travelers are able to make Mass Memories – is the fact that it’s a one-stop shop! Excellent shopping, beautiful beaches, historic monuments, outdoor adventures, scrumptious food – well, they can all be enjoyed in a single day. No need to choose a beach vs. city trip – because you can do both! That’s right, bonus points for appealing to every traveler.
Since I’m a city gal, we spent a fair bit of time in Boston. Quincy Market, located in the heart of downtown Boston, is a favorite destination for both locals and tourists alike. It combines the glories of the past and the vitality of the present with more than 50 shops, 14 restaurants, 40 food court stops and Boston’s most popular comedy club.
History buffs, rejoice! The Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile, brick-lined route, leads to 16 historically significant sites – each one an authentic treasure. Tourists can explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds – all while discovering the rich history of the American Revolution.
You know we took in a game at the celebrated Fenway Park; the home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912 and the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. I recommend a Fenway Frank washed down with a Wachusett Green Monsta! (That’s beer for all you non-brew masters.)
And at night? Only the most scenic waterfront strolls. Romance was in the air, friends – my husband later admitted that he had contemplated getting down on one knee at the exact spot the photo below was taken! Of course, he quickly reasoned that the lack of a gigantic diamond may sway my decision in the wrong direction (good man). Alas, he postponed his proposal. (I did eventually get the man, and the diamond ring, of course!)
Intrigued? Looking for a chance to experience a unique side of Massachusetts that can’t be found in your hotel pamphlet? Tweet your questions to @VisitMA with #AskVisitMA. You’ll get the inside scoop on all the best that Massachusetts has to offer, including places to see and things to do that are off the beaten path. You can also visit the Massachusetts Vacation blog, to read up on the the great events and destinations you can experience this summer.
Need more motivation to make Mass Memories? No problem! Enter the “Massachusetts Memories” contest to WIN a $500 Air Canada Gift Card and be on your way to experience all that MA has to offer! All you have to do is vote on where you would like to create your Massachusetts Memory.
Finally, you just know we have to throw a Twitter Party to share all the latest travel scoop! @SheBlogMedia is hosting the #TakeMe2MA Twitter Party on Thursday, May 29, 2014 from 7-8pm ET. They’ll discuss Massachusetts as a top travel destination ….and you’re invited! More details to follow.
So, if you’re inspired to make your own Mass Memories, visit Massachusetts this summer. And if you need help designing the perfect micro getaway, get in touch! I know a thing or two about creating epic long weekend adventures.
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Massachusetts Travel and Tourism, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Massachusetts Travel and Tourism.