Summer Break: Take a Mini-Trip to MetroWest
As the city enters the lazy days of summer, it’s important to take time off to relax and unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. But you don’t have to hop on a plane to seek some peace and quiet. Take a 25-minute trip and find outdoor recreation, award-winning breweries, and sophisticated shopping in the relaxing region of MetroWest.
Hiking, biking, and seeking thrills
Soak up the sunshine with some light exercise. Head down one of the walking trails through scenic forests or the grounds of the Wayside Historic District. (Fun fact: the grounds are home to a schoolhouse made famous by one of its pupils and her pet, infinitely celebrated in the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”) For an in-depth look at the local surroundings, the Bay Circuit Trail spreads through 34 towns from Wayland to Sherborn. Breathe in some fresh air and pack for a picnic in any of the five state parks, featuring boating, swimming, and horseback riding. If you prefer to bike, hit all the starting line highlights of the Boston Marathon with the 14-mile self-guided Hopkinton Tour. Farther north, you can rent a Zagster bike to ride the self-guided Marlborough tour.
For a fun way to get fit, check out two new additions to the area. Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Bellingham offers activities for kids and kids at heart to explore with trampolines and obstacle courses. In Marlborough, the Apex Entertainment Center is the ultimate entertainment experience with kart racing, bowling, laser tag, ropes course, bumper cars, and arcade games, plus a full-service restaurant.
Bites and brews
With 800 restaurants, there’s something for even the pickiest of eaters with outdoor patio seating, waterfront views, and fun, casual dining perfect for summertime. The 21 and over crowd can happily indulge in amazing craft brews and pub grub throughout the region. Jack’s Abby Beer Hall & Kitchen in Framingham has put MetroWest on the beer map by winning both national and international awards since its founding in 2011. Lookout Farm Hard Cider in Natick was the state’s first hard cider operation, thanks to the 56,000 surrounding apple trees. The 1650s-era farm has now expanded to brew beer and offers a fun outdoor taproom and patio, playing live music on weekends. Be sure to check out the cool speakeasy setup by giving a secret knock on the door at Less Than Greater Than in Hudson. LTGT is situated in the back of New City Microcreamery, a scrumptious spot with daring original flavors like cilantro chardonnay – because the only thing better than beer is beer and ice cream.
Shop ‘til you drop
Get some retail therapy in this well-known shopping destination. Stop in specialty shops like Bedrock Comics in Framingham and Five Crows Gallery & Handcrafted Gifts in Natick. Just 20 minutes outside Boston, pay a visit to Natick Mall’s lavish corridor of luxury brands, including Gucci and Burberry, and the mall’s kid-friendly favorite American Girl, the store’s only location in New England. Bring back something yummy for your friends and family with a stop at Green Mountain Chocolates in Hopedale or Franklin for Swiss and Belgian truffles, or find homemade jam and condiments in Heritage of Sherborn Provisions Shop. The newest addition to the mall is a two-story Wegmans, now the third largest location in the country, which offers two dine-in restaurants and items made fresh to order.
Come and stay awhile
Whether it’s one night, one weekend, or one week, book your lodgings for your easy summer getaway. Opening its first hostelry – Longfellow’s Wayside Inn – in 1716, the region has cozy and national-brand accommodations in 10 of its cities and towns. Settle down at the Westborough Inn or the Sleigh Maker Inn, a historic bed and breakfast offering the most luxurious amenities with hot gourmet breakfasts, afternoon refreshments, evening nightcaps, Turkish towels, and more. And don’t sweat the commute; you never pay to park in MetroWest and the commuter rail and bus system make it easier than ever for city slickers to travel back and forth.
When it’s this close and convenient, there’s no excuse to miss MetroWest this summer; find time to sneak away before Labor Day.
For more information on everything happening this summer in MetroWest, visit metrowestvisitors.org.
This is a paid partnership between MetroWest Visitors Bureau and Boston Magazine's City/Studio