You’ll find Rockport just under an hour away from Boston, a gorgeous fishing and seaside town, home to around 7,000 interesting and creative people. Rockport used to be home to a few Native American villages and today consists mainly of fishermen and artists. It is known as the ‘Artist’s Village’ and there are a few performing art centers in town. The beaches are really pretty and in summer are always packed with people, kids building sandcastles and playing in the waves. The town sits at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula and so you have both ocean and hills, making it really pretty. Wander through the historic downtown area, browse the shops, wander around the fishermen cottages, look at the galleries, enjoy the boutiques and choose somewhere delicious for lunch. There are many seafood bistros, cafes and also upscale dining, so something for everyone. You may even find an artist who will sketch you while you sip your wine. Don’t forget to visit the Rockport Art Colony Galleries and Paper House.
Where: Pockport, MA
Provincetown is a beautiful seaside town at the northern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and the site of the Mayflower’s landing in 1620. Provincetown is known as a hub of creativity, filled with artists, galleries, boutiques, specialty stores and at night, nightclubs and cabaret venues. There are tons of restaurants, coffee shops, bistros, ice-cream and some say they serve the best pancakes in Provincetown! Spend time at Whaler’s Wharf with clothing and jewelry in a gorgeous market-style setting, look out for the sidewalk sales, enjoy a boat cruise or a vintage sidecar ride, go fishing, ride the Mayflower trolley or take part in a walking tour. There’s something here for everyone and you’ll be busy all day long. Provincetown has several art galleries and arts centers and there are lovely sculptures around town. Go and see the Pilgrim Monument, it’s pretty fascinating, and spend time wandering in and out of galleries. Pick up a copy of the Provincetown Art Guide, which is free and will give you a good guideline of where to visit. Take your time, stroll around the city, breathe in the clean sea air, spend some time walking along the beach and watching the boats too.
Where: Provincetown, MA
Lexington is steeped in history and you can visit over ten historic battle sites, memorials, and cemeteries. There is a visitors center across from the Lexington Battle Green which is where the map with the British began in 1775. Pick up a map and information on guided tours if that is what you prefer to do. You can see a re-enactment of the Minute Man and spend time at the Minute Man National Historic Park, also across from the green. Learn all about the young men who put their lives on the line to protect colonists. Make your way to the USS Lexington Memorial where there are five granite markers dedicated to the people who served on board the Lexington ships. A final stop at the Lexington Depot to see the historic train is a good way to end your tour. There are plenty of restaurants around, or you can pack a picnic and enjoy some time in the local parks.
Where: Lexington, KY
There are butterflies and tropical species from all over the world here, magnificent birds, koi fishponds, indoor gardens and fabulous walks. Your kids will be enthralled as butterflies land on their shoulders, on their heads or on their hands, and you’ll all leave with a real appreciation of nature and beauty. Start off with a short video on the life cycle of a butterfly, enjoy the exhibit of eggs, caterpillars, cocoons, and chrysalises and then take your time wandering through the gardens and specially prepared butterfly tents. You can take a picnic and enjoy the gardens afterward, but there are also several coffee shops, bistros, and restaurants in the area. And parents – don’t think you’re going to leave without buying a home hatching kit or a few souvenirs! Open daily from 10 am, $12 entry for adults, $8.50 for kids, free under 2 years. Great for a day outing with the family.
Phone: (978) 392-0955
Get in your car and take a trip to this lovely cabin in the woods! The House of the Seven Gables dates back to the mid-1600s and is a stately cabin built by sea merchant John Turner. The House of the Seven Gables is also a famous novel, especially popular amongst teens and young students, a Gothic novel written in mid-1850 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne This historical and sprawling cabin is the setting for The House of Seven Gables. Visit the house and the museum and learn all about 359 years of Salem’s history. The house is a national historic landmark. You can do a site visit that includes a guided tour of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (the house), a visit to the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace, Kid’s Cove at the Counting House, the Colonial Revival Gardens, and the waterfront. It’s an excellent way to spend a day, you can walk around afterward at your own pace, enjoy the gardens and the woods, shop to your heart’s content for souvenirs and eat at The Taste of The Gables. A great outing for the whole family. $14 for adults, $13 for college students, $11 for kids between 13 and 18 and check the website because then it depends on age. Also, check the website for events.
Phone: (978) 744-0991