It looks like we’re coming up on another wonderful November weekend with some pretty decent weather. With highs in the 40’s this weekend near Boston and clear weather; weekends this time of the year don’t often get better than what we’ve got coming on tap. With that in mind, there are lots of places where you can enjoy a few hours outside and then have some time inside as the sun goes down and it gets colder at a much earlier hour. I think a great place to go this time of year is Cape Ann as it’s close enough to Metro Boston to be an easy drive (so you don’t have to get up too early), it’s got lot of great things to do that are free to summer crowds in November and the scenery is still quite lovely and worthy of being prominently featured on any number of postcards. It’s also accessible via mass transit with the commuter rail going up from North Station in Boston.
A great day trip to Cape Ann would probably involve some outdoor time and some indoor time. For outdoor time I would recommend a trip to Ravenswood Park, a great Trustees of Reservations park with miles of hiking trails and a great interpretive center center. When you’re done hiking head to Downtown Rockport and Downtown Gloucester. There are lots of museums, restaurants and other attractions. You might also want to consider a trip to Historic Dogtown Common in Gloucester as well if you want to hike and enjoy a bit of history (I would recommend finding a guide if you’re really interested in the history).
If you want to go into the city, there are tons of museums beyond the main ones that most people visit. Some great spots include the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Museum (which shares a parking lot with the John F Kennedy Presidential Library, another great place to visit) that has some amazing original documents including a 18th century copy of the Bill of Rights and several properties of Historic New England.
Whatever your preference, don’t let a lovely weekend like the one we have coming up go to waste! Enjoy the Greater Boston area if you can, a lot of people come here from all over the world and pay a lot to do so while we are lucky enough to live here!!
I always think of most of November as the ‘in-between’ season as far as outdoor pursuits is concerned. The days are often too short and rainy for a proper hike but there isn’t enough skiing available yet to make a trip up to the mountains worthwhile. Of course, this isn’t entirely true, we’ve been lucky to have some beautiful weekends this month and look to have another one on tap and there have been some years where the ski season has started with a bang. Though, especially for those that don’t ski, between the shortened days, the some times rotten weather and the start of the holiday season, I think many prefer to start thinking about indoor activities and this is one of the great times of the year to enjoy the wealth of museums and historic sites that we are so very lucky to have in this part of the country! I’ve been trying to visit more of the historic sites and museums in the area and, although I’ve just gotten started, I have a few great recommendations if you’re looking for an indoor treat to enjoy this weekend:
- Lowell: Lowell exhibits an interesting piece of American and Massachusetts history beyond the colonial history that Massachusetts is well-known for. Lowell is home to a National Historic Park that documents the rapid industrial boom that Lowell experienced in the 19th century as it became the largest producer of cotton cloth in the United States utilizing the power of Pawtucket Falls on the Merrimack River. In addition the historic mills there are other museums and attractions to enjoy during your visit.
- Historic New England Sites: Historic New England has over 20 historic homes and sites throughout New England that are open to the public. The Otis House in Boston includes a video about the history of the house and its occupants.
- If you’re still looking to go outside near the city with the lovely weather this weekend take a look at the the ‘Great Places‘ page as there are a ton of great parks and places to enjoy a few hours outside only a short distance from Boston and most of its suburbs.
Otherwise, go out and enjoy a lovely late fall weekend. Just make sure to get an early start to enjoy what little daylight we have this time of year as there just isn’t enough time in the day with the sun setting before 5 at night.