Weekend getaways are a privilege to many, and a must for some. As summer winds down, it's time to plan those quick escapes that alleviate the work-week stress and put you in a frame of mind for fall. But you don't have to go far from Boston to escape the madness of the city and embrace that sense of calm.
While the rest of New England sits in traffic to get to the Cape, take a few of the earlier exits and enjoy some of the benefits of the South Shore. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism put together this list of things to do on the South Shore to help plan those last-minute escape routes.
What to do:
New Bedford/Fall River: Visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum or Seamen's Bethel, featured in Moby Dick. Take a trip to Fall River's Battleship Cove, home port of the WWII battleship USS Massachusetts, and the Fall River carousel, built in 1920. Make new friends among nearly 200 species of wildlife at the 1895 Olmstead-designed Buttonwood Park Zoo. Enjoy a free night of arts and culture every month at AHA! (art, history, architecture) in New Bedford. Or attend a larger-than-life outdoor concert at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield.
Vineyards: Head to Running Brook Vineyards, Westport Rivers Vineyard and High Hill Vineyard and Winery for some tours and tastings.
Arts: Duxbury is known mostly for its fabulous beaches, but head to the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury and check out the museum's eclectic mix of Asian and American art, Shaker furniture and a Japanese tea garden.
Where to stay:
Nantasket Beach Resort, 45 Hull Shore Drive, Hull: The Nantasket Beach Resort is a 105-room, oceanfront resort located in Hull along a 3-mile stretch of Nantasket Beach. The resort also features an indoor, glass enclosed pool and Jacuzzi with a retractable roof.
Orchard Street Manor, 139 Orchard Street, New Bedford: Built in 1845-1846 for Whaling Captain Benjamin Clark and his family, this three-story Georgian Revival home is now one of New Bedford's leading B&Bs.
The Paquachuck Inn, 2056 Main Road, Westport Point: This 18th century building is a sailors delight. Featuring real whale oil lamps, harpoons and whale bones in the lobby, the Inn is built like a ship, "pegged, worn smooth and salted by sand and wind" (according to the Inn's website).
Where to eat:
International: Antonio’s in New Bedford is a favorite for Portuguese fare, and utilizes local farmers, fishermen, and retailers fresh catch and vegetables. Tosca in Hingham specializes in Italian-inspired cuisine (perfect for families with varied palates).
What to buy:
Derby Street Shoppes: Located in Hingham, the Derby Street Shoppes are a favorite pastime of passersby and locals. With over 70 retailers, boutiques, restaurants and casual eateries, there's plenty to do to pass the time here.
Tatlock Gallery, 36 N Water Street, New Bedford: The Tatlock Gallery is where to go for one-of-a-kind etched glass stemware by local artist George Saulnier, or general gift ideas like hand-tooled leather journals and housewares.
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