1. Hike at Blue Hills Reservation
695 Hillside St, , 02186
Blue Hills is a 6000 acre state park, situated just 20 minutes south of Boston in the town of Milton. This rural oasis provides plenty of opportunities for fun all year round including hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, picnicking, and more.
Hiking is the predominant activity within the park, with 125+ miles of trails and a handful of scenic overlooks, including Great Blue Hill's scenic panorama of Boston. Blue Hills is particularly scenic during fall foliage season; the ski resort even offers fall foliage chairlift rides each season.
2. Take a fall ride along the Minuteman Bikeway
A free parking lot is located at 110 South Rd, , 01730
This 11 mile bike path follows the path of an old railway through the towns of Bedford, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge. The scenery along the way is spectacular, particularly during peak fall foliage season.
The path is flat and easy enough for beginning cyclists. Visit on a weekday morning for fewer crowds as this popular path tends to get very crowded, especially on weekends.
3. Take a whale watching cruise in Plymouth
10 Town Wharf, , 02360
A whale watching adventure is a must when visiting Massachusetts. Although there are a handful of locations throughout the state, Plymouth is one of the best options due to the beautiful waterfront and great restaurants and shops found within the town.
Capt. John Boats offers guaranteed sightings or you get a complimentary return visit. This whale watching cruise is a fantastic opportunity to photograph humpback whales in their natural setting.
You may come across other marine life, including dolphins during your excursion. In addition, you will be treated to gorgeous views of Plymouth Harbor as you begin and end your journey.
4. Take a tour of the Lizzie Borden house
230 2nd St, , 02721
Take the journey over to Fall River, most well known as being home to the infamous Lizzie Borden house. In the late 1800's, Fall River resident Lizzie Borden was acquitted of murdering her mother and father.
However, mystery as to who killed the Bordens still remains today, over 100 years later. The house has been turned into a Bed and Breakfast and tour. A tour guide will take you through each room of the house, explaining the story in detail, which is great for those with limited back knowledge on the case.
The Bed and Breakfast is a popular stay for ghost hunters and anyone else interested in the paranormal. It has been rumored that many guests do not make it through the night!
5. Explore trees from around the world at the Arnold Arboretum
125 Arborway, , 02130
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a beautiful collection of more than 15,000 trees and plants from around the world. It is the oldest arboretum in the US.
Taking a stroll during the summer season is one of the best free things to do near Boston (the arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain, a 15 minute drive from the city).
The bonsai collection is one of the many impressive sights found within the arboretum's 281 acres.
6. Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Route 134, , 02186
Cape Cod is most widely recognized for its' beautiful beaches, however, the forests also provide plenty of opportunities for recreation including scenic bike rides.
One of the best bike paths in the area is the 22 mile paved Cape Cod Rail Trail. This scenic route follows the path of a former railroad, which leads to a mostly flat and easy ride. Views are tree-lined for the entire route and there are easy detours to the gorgeous beaches of Cape Cod.
There are a few delicious snack options along the way, including top-rated Cobie's and Hot Sparrow Chocolate.
7. Listen to local ghost stories on Plymouth's Night Tour
120 Water St, , 02360
Plymouth is frequently regarded as one of the most haunted places in America. Being one of the oldest cities in the US, Plymouth is an easy choice for a ghost tour.
Plymouth Night Tour takes you past many of the most haunted places in town including Burial Hill (one of the oldest cemeteries in the country) and the Spooner House (reported sighting of a ghost named Abigail have been reported by many locals).
This tour comes complete with flashlights and EMF meters for every guest. Along the way, you will listen to fascinating stories about the history of Plymouth, including reports of spooky hauntings throughout the years.
Plymouth Night Tour is a memorable experience which will really add a little fun, education, and intrigue into your Plymouth vacation.
8. Visit the Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury St, , 01609
This stunning art museum houses a collection of 35,000 pieces from around the world. The museum is home to the largest floor mosaic in the US. The medieval stained glass is absolutely stunning.
Walking around looking at the impressive collection in a quiet, classy atmosphere is the perfect weekend activity. This art museum is a surprising gem in the city of Worcester, definitely one not to be missed!
9. Take a Mahi Mahi Harbor cruise in Salem
24 Congress St - Pickering Wharf Marina, , 01970
Salem is the perfect place to visit for Halloween. There are dozens of festive attractions and events going on during the month of October. Aside from the haunted houses, ghost tours, and historical attractions, there is a great cruise line which offers haunted Halloween cruises.
Hop aboard the Mahi Mahi cruise line and enjoy beautiful fall views of Salem while you take in scary ghost stores and enjoy festive Halloween activities like tarot card readings and face paintings.
10. Stroll through Boston Common
131 Tremont St, , 02111
Boston Common, the oldest public park in the US, is a beautiful place to take a stroll during any season. In the summertime, you will be surrounded by beautiful green elm trees. During the fall season you will notice the leaves changing into vibrant shades of orange and yellow.
The winter is a great time to visit the Frog Pond Ice Rink, which decked out with holiday decor, with holiday music playing in the background. Boston Common is home to the city's most extravagant Christmas tree. A tree lighting ceremony complete with live music and entertainment kicks off the holiday season each year.