#TakeTheScenicRoute – Prettiest Drives around Boston

There’s nothing like the Great American Road Trip! And given continued travel restrictions preventing Americans from taking their vacations abroad in many countries, more and more people are turning to road trips when they need to get away from it all.

If you’ll be in Boston and are looking for scenic drives or road trips to take, the rocky coastline to the East and the Berkshire mountains to the West make for beautiful driving. Read on for some fun ideas the next time you feel the need to take the scenic route.

The Berkshires

Taking a trip over the Western side of Massachusetts will put you in the Berkshire mountain range, a lovely region of small towns, arts and cultural institutions, and farm-to-table cuisine. It’s a lovely trip to take any time of year, but scenic drives there are especially popular in Autumn when the fall foliage is peaking.

A road trip out to the Berkshires will take you just over two hours from Boston, and once you’re there, there are a couple of scenic routes you can take around the area. Visit this website for seven different drives you can take on your Berkshire trip to give you a scenic tour of the region.

Cape Cod

For a totally different kind of scenery, drive South to Cape Cod. There you’ll find Route 6A, also called Old King’s Highway, curling around the North side of the peninsula. This is the scenic route for you if you want rocky, rugged coastline, beaches, clam shacks, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and historic fishing towns.

The road is designated as a National Scenic Byway and will take you all the way up to Provincetown. If you’re ready to cruise along 6A, check out this guide from the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. It lists stop-offs to turn your scenic route into a full road trip, including a historic glass company, eclectic cafes, a museum, a farm, a playhouse, a flea market, and more.

Once you reach the end of the route, spend some time in Provincetown. It’s a super vibrant, artsy, and LGBT-friendly community right at the tip of the Cape. It’s the perfect place to spend some time in the summer.

Lexington and Concord

If you have less time, a quicker route starts just 26 minutes away in the historic town of Lexington.

From Lexington, the trip to Concord need only be 15 minutes, but it’s a beautiful, forested route that includes Minuteman National Historical Park, which is worth a stop to learn more about the first battle of the Revolutionary War. There are multiple historic buildings at the park, including houses, a tavern, and a farm.

Once you’ve reached Concord, there’s plenty more to see and do, including Louisa May Alcott’s house, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s house, the Concord Museum, and Walden Pond.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Boston

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Boston this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Picnic in the Park

A laid-back day picnicking with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a gathering the whole family will enjoy, head to Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. This 4.5-acre park occupies a lovely spot along the waterfront with fantastic views of the harbor, a playground, and a rose garden.  If you have young kids, make sure to check out their Independence Day Celebration on June 26th, from 12 to 2 pm, which will include a magician and a storyteller!

Boston Harborfest

Great news! One of the country’s largest Fourth of July festivals is coming back this summer. Organizers of Boston Harborfest are working closely with city and health officials to determine how best to keep the festival safe, so more information and a schedule will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, we know that this 40-year-old tradition will include historical reenactments, live entertainment, and food to celebrate Boston’s important maritime and revolutionary history. Some highlights include:

·   “Float Your Boat” boat parade – decorate your boat in the spirit of the holiday and join the parade in the Inner Harbor.

·   Live music – the programming will be free and include local groups.

·   Independence Day Commemoration – a solemn wreath-laying on the graves of patriots.

·   Walk the Historic Freedom Trail – stops will have special events and programs and tours will be led by historically costumed guides.

Revere Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and Boston conveniently has a local beach where you can easily do that! This 3-mile crescent of sand was established as America’s first public beach in 1896. Revere Beach is easily accessed off the Blue Line, which makes it very popular and often crowded, but with the crowds come amenities like bathrooms, concessions, lifeguards, and accessibility. Make sure you stop by Kelly’s Roast Beef for lunch, they have amazing lobster rolls and fish & chips!

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

The Boston Pops Orchestra hosts an annual concert spectacular every Fourth of July. This famous free concert takes place in the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, so bring a picnic blanket! The night is capped off by a gorgeous firework display over the Charles River. It’s still under consideration whether or not the event will be allowed to happen this year due to the pandemic. But you’ll want to bookmark this event and check back in late Spring for the decision.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Boston

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Arnold Arboretum

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

The Arnold Arboretum is quite large and super spacious, making this an excellent idea for a hike or nature stroll. There are numerous paths and hidden trails for explorers to follow, while the direction center maps it all out perfectly for the first-time visitor.

Boston Public Garden

69 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

The Boston Public Garden has its own personal meaning to many around the city, as countless Bostonians and visitors have walked its paths, held hands underneath its trees, and gazed across the water to admire all of nature’s glory in our midst.

Harvard Museum of Natural History

26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Harvard Museum of Natural History may seem like a slightly odd place to visit for those with an appreciation for botany. Still, one particular display brings garden and flower fans in daily—the Glass Flowers exhibit.

Mount Auburn Cemetery

580 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

For those seeking to add a little peace and tranquility to their day, Mount Auburn Cemetery is a simply beautiful botanical garden spot that doubles as a serene and somber resting place.

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Best Coastal Small Towns Near Boston for a Weekend Getaway by the #Sea

Boston is a great city because it has so much of everything – museums, history, food, professional sports. But sometimes you just need to get away from it all and spend a weekend by the sea. Luckily, Boston is also well-suited for that, with its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and many charming, seaside towns. Read on for some of the best ones for your next long weekend.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Though it’s almost a two-hour drive north of Boston, Kennebunkport is worth the trip. Your weekend spent here can be spent marveling at historic New England architecture, visiting the many beaches the town has to offer, and of course, eating fresh Maine lobster. To round out your trip, here are additional ideas:

·         Seashore Trolley Museum: It’s the largest museum of mass transit vehicles in the world! Admission is only $12 for adults and there’s plenty to do, including trolley rides, a museum store, exhibits, hiking trails, and picnic areas. Dog are welcome, so the whole family can join.

·         Dock Square: This is the best spot in town for souvenir shopping. Peruse the craft stores and boutiques and then follow it up with some seafood from the Clam Shack.

Plum Island, Massachusetts

An hour outside Boston you’ll find this adorable barrier island, named for the wild plums that grow there in the summer. At just 11 miles long, the island is about as far from a big-city feel you can get: in fact, the island is less of a town, and more of a collection of beach houses interspersed with nature. You’ll spend most of your time enjoying the beach, but here are some other ideas to do:

·         Birdwatch: The island is home to a bird sanctuary, so it’s a perfect place to see how many varieties of shorebird species you can spot. The best place to birdwatch is the Parker River Sanctuary, which is a protected nesting site for many migrating birds. See if you can spot the Piping Plover which the area is famous for.

·         Climb Plumb Island Lighthouse: Built in 1898, the white-shingled tower of the lighthouse has that quintessential New England look. Tours are free and the climb to the top is shot and family-friendly.

Marblehead, Massachusetts

At just under 45 minutes away from downtown Boston, this getaway is perfect for when you need to get back early Sunday night for work the next day. Marblehead’s history including being an important hub for fishing and shipbuilding, and it still has a huge harbor today. There’s tons to do in this resort town, including:

·         Fort Sewall: If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to check out this fort this 17th-century fort. The site is part of the National Register of Historic Places and the grounds include a community park with lovely views of the harbor.

·         Crowninshield Island: This small island off the coast of town is a fun place for families to spend the day. It has easy hiking trails, tide pools, beaches, and a swing set! You can wade to it at low tide or kayak over at high tide.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Boston

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Henrietta’s Table

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Boston, there’s no better place for brunch than Henrietta’s Table in Harvard Square. This delightful restaurant has been serving up a menu of “honest to goodness New England cooking” for 20 years. In fact, Chef Peter Davis is a conservationist who prides himself on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and fisheries. The restaurant specializes in brunch, with favorites like quiche, pancakes, and fresh-squeezed juices. Make sure you try a slice of their maple cheesecake with fresh whipped cream, too.

Boston Common

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Boston Common. This sprawling downtown park is conveniently located near a couple of transit options. When you’re done eating, it’s the starting point for the historical Boston Freedom Trail if you want to walk off calories from lunch! Pro tip for eating in the park: there are MANY squirrels here, and they are not at all shy about coming over to beg for some food.

Harbor Cruise

Another great idea to get fresh air with your mom is taking her on a jazz cruise in the harbor. Northern Lights offers these 90-minute cruises on Sunday evenings. You’ll get to enjoy the beautiful sunset colors with a mixed drink in hand from the bar while being serenaded by a live jazz band, the Blue Motion Quartet. Bring a sweater since early May evenings on the water can be chilly.

Central Park Lanes

Is that mom in your life fun-loving and young at heart? It might be nice to plan an active day. A fun activity to do when in Boston is candlepin bowling, a bowling style unique to New England! You can give it a try at the family-owned Central Park Lanes in East Boston. This is old-school, no-frills bowling at its best with a cool, retro design scheme to boot and you and your mom are bound to have a blast.

Fox & the Knife

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Fox & the Knife, which was a semi-finalist in the 2020 James Beard Awards for Best New Restaurant. Better yet, this classy new spot is family-owned, and features an all-female chef and management team! Indoor dining is open Thursday through Sunday, but reservations are required.

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Best Car Washes in Boston, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a place to wash your car and get the best service for your money, we have a few great suggestions for you in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own car or a rental car, clean or dirty, old or new, whether you’re on vacation or close to home, these car washes and detailers are guaranteed to make your vehicle look like a million bucks. These guys have seen it all. Don’t be afraid to show up with your cookie crumbs, your beach sand, or your toddler’s fast-food mess into the shop. You’ll be amazed at your car’s transformation! Let’s take a closer look at what car washes Boston has to offer.

First, we recommend Riley’s Hand Car Wash Detailing of Boston. This shop prides themselves in making your car look like you just drove it off the showroom floor. They can handle cars, trucks, vans, SUV’s, even motorcycles. As their name attests, they do indeed wash all their cars by hand. Not only can you schedule an appointment to come into the shop, you can also request their mobile detailers to come to you. Simply call or go online to make reservations.

Next, we suggest All-Star Mobile Auto Detailing. This shop requires all car washes and detailing work to be done via appointment. They have several packages to choose from, starting at $200 up to $600 depending on the services you choose and the size of your vehicle. They wash and detail cars, sedans, vans, trucks, and SUV’s. If you cannot go to them, they can come to you, including the garage, the driveway, or even a convention center for the car show.

Finally, Allston Car Wash might be your best bet, where their slogan is written in true Boston fashion: “It’s like a spa for your cah.” This shop offers packages for car wash only, detail only, or mix and match. Several different packages exist for the car wash or the detailing, ensuring you the best work for the right price. Car wash coupons are available, as well as monthly plans and special perks for preferred customers. Allston Car Wash also restores cloudy headlights and offers tar removal as well as sap removal from the exterior of your car.

If you’d like to save a little money and be done in five minutes or less, you can visit some local drive through car washes as well, such as Squikee Clean Car Wash on S. Bremen Street, Super Shine Auto Wash on Old Colony Avenue, or Somerville No Touch Car Wash on Washington Street. In a pinch, these drive through car washes will help keep you looking good until you can get that detailing done.

Wherever you decide to go, your car will be well taken care of. In the great city of Boston, Massachusetts, you’ll find detailers who truly care about their work and, most importantly, your car. With our recommendations, you’ll be in excellent hands.

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Pet-Friendly Hotels Around Boston

Those of us with pets know it can be hard to travel. You have to arrange for a pet sitter, spend extra money paying them, stock up on food and supplies before you leave, and deal with guilt for leaving your furry friend behind.

One solution that works well for easy-going or adventurous is bringing them along with you! So, if you’re planning a trip to Boston and want to (or have to) bring your fur baby along for the ride, you’ll need accommodations that are pet-friendly. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Boston that accept pets. All are highly rated and we’ve included a variety of options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Read on and choose the one that best serves your needs!

Kimpton Nine Zero

For the ultimate luxury experience, check yourself into the Kimpton Nine Zero. Luxurious amenities include sleek rooms, yoga mats and bicycles for loan, in-room spa services, free coffee and tea, and a nightly wine reception. And Kimpton Hotels go above and beyond when it comes to being pet-friendly. They’ll allow ANY pet that fits through the door, no matter the species, at no additional charge. And if you have a dog, the location couldn’t be better – it’s just one block from Boston Common!

Liberty Hotel

If you’re looking for the cool factor (and traveling with a dog), look no further than Liberty Hotel. Once the National Historic Landmark Charles Street Jail, the now-hotel’s lobby still retains a look of cell blocks -wait ‘til you see the inside! For you Musical Theater fans, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Chicago! The rooms and suites have modern amenities and sweeping views. Other hotel features include an on-site bar called Clink, a 24-hour gym, seasonal yoga classes, and seasonal bikes for loan.

Hotel Marlowe

Traveling with a larger party than just your furry friend? A fun place for families to stay is the Hotel Marlowe, located in Cambridge right across from the incredibly kid-friendly Museum of Science. The whole family will enjoy borrowing boardgames, a GoPro or Polaroid for vacation snapshots, or renting kayaks, bikes, and strollers. A stay here will be luxurious for adults, too -you can use the in-room yoga mat and in-room spa services or hire their accredited babysitting service and then hit the fitness center or evening wine reception. As for your animal companion, there’s no limit to size, type, or number of pets and you won’t pay an additional fee. You’ll even get a water bowl delivered to your room!

Staypineapple Hotel

For a quirky and fun stay, visit the Staypineapple Hotel in the vibrant South End of Boston near boutique shops, restaurants, and galleries. Décor includes cheery pops of yellow and fun pineapple motifs! You’ll enjoy amenities like a Keurig, lots of natural light, a TV with streaming services, and Wi-Fi. Pets are allowed for a daily fee.

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Best Legitimate Places to get Vaccinated near BOS

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the US government—Pfizer/BioTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.  Depending on what region of the country you live in will determine which brand will be available to you.

If you are considering receiving the vaccine, it is advised that you look around for a distribution center and make an appointment.  Many of the centers that are administering the vaccine do require patients to have an appointment ahead of time.

Places To Receive The Vaccine

When looking to receive the COVID vaccine, you can contact the local public health department to set up an appointment. 

Boston Public Health Commission

1010 Massachusetts Avenue

Boston, MA 02118

617.534.5395

Hours:  Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm

There are several locations across the Boston area that are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         Boston Medical Center

·         Dorchester COVID-19 Vaccination Site

·         East Boston Neighborhood Health Center – call for appointment 617.568.4870

· Fenway Park

·         Florian Hall – Harbor Health

·         Hyde Park Vaccination Site

·         Mattapan COVID-19 Vaccination Site

·         Reggie Lewis Center

·         Roslindale COVID-19 Vaccination Site

·         South Boston CHC

·         Whittier Street Health Center

Two Boston retailers are authorized to distribute the vaccine as well.  It is suggested that you call ahead of time, as an appointment may be necessary.

·         CVS

·         Walgreens

Veterans who wish to receive the vaccination may do so at Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center.  The vaccinations are available to all veterans currently enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system.

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The #Foodie Guide to Top St. Patrick’s Day Destinations

Americans love to party on St. Patrick’s Day -some cities more than others. But the holiday is about more than just parades, Kiss Me I’m Irish T-Shirts, and pints of Guinness. For foodies, it’s also about delicious Irish food.

Whether you want a classic boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage or something with a bit more of a modern twist, we’ve created a guide to the top St. Patrick’s Day destinations’ food that you absolutely must try. Sláinte!

Boston

The list has to start with Boston. Though it’s a matter of some debate, Boston may have hosted the United States’ first St. Patrick’s Day parade as early as 1724, and today, the largest ethnic group within the city is people of Irish descent! Here are some places you’re going to want to check out for authentic food:

·        J.J. Foley’s Café: This South End pub has been family-owned and operated since 1909. Enjoy classics like fish and chips and Irish brown bread, or feed that inner foodie with adventurous offerings like truffle mac and cheese or fig and goat cheese pizza.

·        The Black Rose: Reserve a spot for the 17th at this Faneuil Hall pub that offers authentic Irish hospitality and craic. You can eat a full Irish breakfast if you come early, or enjoy Guinness stew and bangers and mash on in the day.

Chicago

When a city goes so far as to dye their river green, you know they’re serious about St. Patrick’s Day. And the food scene is no exception. Here are our picks:

·        The Curragh: This Edison Park gem has over 30 beers on tap and the best Guinness pour in the city. If you’re not feeling beer, you can also choose from a selection of whiskeys. To eat, they have lots of “Irish Fayre” ranging from the creative veggie boxty to the old standby of corned beef & cabbage.

·         O’Shaughnessy’s Public House: This one is newer on the scene, but with its 1890 building, deep wood tones, and exposed brick, it looks every bit like a pub you’d find back in Ireland. It’s the perfect spot for foodies, with creative appetizers like corned beef-stuffed egg rolls and Irish curry popcorn!

New York City

Known for its massive St. Patrick’s Day parade that includes marchers all the way from Ireland, New York City knows how to party on March 17th. Here are your best options to eat on the big day:

·        Neary’s: Jimmy Neary’s pub has been an NYC landmark since he opened it on St. Patrick’s Day of 1967. This classy spot is often called “The Irish 21” and has the best hospitality around -Mr. Neary himself will greet you at the door. While you can’t partake in that hospitality at the moment due to COVID, you can support this fixture by ordering takeout on St. Paddy’s Day!·        The Dead Rabbit NYC: Get yourself a legendary Irish coffee at this award-winning Irish pub and cocktail bar. Traditional bites include lamb stew and corned beef sandwiches!

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Great Places to Stay Traveling to Boston

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Do you have travel to Boston coming up soon? Whether you’ve been to the city before or it’s your very first time, if you don’t have relatives or friends to stay with, you’re going to be looking for a quality place to rest your head.

Finding the very best place can be overwhelming when you have to consider all the factors, like price, comfort, service, health & safety, location, and more! To give you a jumpstart, we’ve analyzed a few of the very best hotels and B&Bs in Boston. All are very different -from quirky to traditional- but highly rated. Read on to see why these are your best options, and then choose the one that best serves your needs!

Liberty Hotel

If you’re looking for the cool factor, look no further than Liberty Hotel. Once the National Historic Landmark Charles Street Jail, the now-hotel’s lobby still retains a look of cell blocks -wait ‘til you see the inside! For you Musical Theater fans, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Chicago! The rooms and suites have modern amenities and sweeping views. Other hotel features include an on-site bar called Clink, a 24-hour gym and seasonal yoga classes, pet-friendly policies, and more.

Green Turtle Floating Bed & Breakfast

When you’re traveling, it can be nice to stay somewhere that’s a bit of an adventure so that the stay itself feels just as exciting as your excursions. That’s where the Green Turtle Floating Bed and Breakfast comes in. The Green Turtle is a unique experience comprised of suites within a houseboat and a yacht floating in Boston Harbor! Don’t think you’ll be sacrificing comfort for adventure though; this upscale B&B is Top-Rated on TripAdvisor for its luxurious amenities and service.

Hotel Marlowe

Have some junior explorers tagging along with you on your trip? A fun place for families to stay is the Hotel Marlowe, located in Cambridge right across from the incredibly kid-friendly Museum of Science. This hotel will provide kids with lots of perks, like a Little Library, animal-print bathrobes, and their pick from a basket of toys at the front desk! The whole family (including Fido; they’re pet-friendly) will enjoy borrowing boardgames, a GoPro or Polaroid for vacation snapshots, or renting kayaks, bikes, and strollers. A stay here will be luxurious for adults, too -you can use the in-room yoga mat and in-room spa services or hire their accredited babysitting service and then hit the fitness center or evening wine reception!

Hilton Boston Logan Airport

If you’re taking a quick trip through the city and want to be close to the airport, book a stay at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport, which is practically located on the tarmac. You can’t get more convenient to the airport than your choice of a sky bridge or free shuttle service to take you to the terminal! And in addition to the prime location, you’ll be enjoying a luxurious stay, with access to on-site dining options, an indoor pool, and soundproof windows.

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