Autumn in New England (Massachussetts)

The fourth of seven articles

I started this series “Autumn in New England” mostly because I love the change of season from summer into fall with natures’ color pallet full glory. Today I will focus on Massachusetts, which has recently changed its laws to allow Gay and Lesbian Couples to marry. But I realize I need to focus on the topic at hand, and the predictions about the best times to view fall colors which can be found on the web site of the “Old Farmers Almanac”, http://www.farmersalmanac.com/home_garden/a/fall_foliage_dates

In a previous post I briefly mentioned my Great Great Aunt Dr. Marie Equi. After that post, my world became even smaller as I received an email from Mr. Michael Helquist, who is currently working on a biography of her life. Since our correspondence I have learned even more about this extraordinary woman and it’s a total hoot to reply to him and say “yep, that’s her alright!”

I now welcome you to the State of Massachusetts, where my heritage dates back centuries on the maternal side of the family.

I will exclude Boston in this particular post, because there is just so much to see and experience in that city that it requires a separate article of its own. But I must say one thing for the record: I am personally not fond of beans.

Have you ever wonder why Boston is called Beantown? Boston Online’s FAQ says: beans slow-baked in molasses have been a favorite Boston dish since colonial days, when the city was “awash in molasses” due to its rum-producing role in the “triangular trade.” Sugar cane harvested by slaves in the West Indies was shipped to Boston to be made into rum to be sent to West Africa to buy more slaves to send to the West Indies. Even after slavery’s end, Boston continued to be a big rum-producing city.

I welcome you to the “Old Colony State” or the “Bay State” … Massachusetts.

In preparing for this post allot of fond memories started to flash before me, and I realized I needed to stay on focused and give you, the reader, a general outline of what this State has to offer. Therefore I am going to attempt stay within the format of my previous posts, and try to stay within the highlights.

Unfortunately the summer season is coming to a close and this week there will be several major events occurring.

Provincetown on the most outer edge of Cape Cod, is having their annual GLBT “Wild, Wild West Carnival” August 17th until Aug 23rd. This is the biggest and longest party of the summer, The Provincetown’s Carnival is a favorite for everyone, (and they say New Englanders are stuffy and aloof, hah!) Welcome to the “New Orleans Carnival on the Cape”. The costumes are spectacular and outrageous, the floats are over-the-top, the beads are aplenty, and a crowd of thousands just have a blast and a great time..

During this week it’s all about living and enjoying life, with activities going on from daylight to daylight., but just keep in mind the old wives tale: If you hoot with the owls you cannot chirp with the birds.

On the opposite side of this spectrum and opposite side of the state, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will be wrapping up their season in Tanglewood, with a weekend of performances with an all Beethoven Program on August 22nd and August 23rd.

The Tanglewood music festival ends this month with its annual Jazz Festival

About Massachusetts:

The BerkshiresWestern Massachusetts

Unlike some other Northeastern getaways, the hills of the Berkshires blossom year round. Though Fall is the most colorful season, when the maple, oak, birch and other trees turn vivid shades of orange, red and yellow, and winter is just as popular for skiing at Catamount or Butternut.

The two hotels I suggest which are also members of Virtuoso are:

Canyon Ranch, located in Lenox Massachusetts, this property At Canyon Ranch is an all-inclusive, award-winning health and fitness resort gracing 120 woodland acres.

Blantyre, Set amidst 110 acres of spectacular Berkshire countryside, this Tudor-style mansion, built in 1902, replicates a grand Scottish manor

Cape Cod, and Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket:

Chattham Bars Inn in Chatham, MA on the Cape

This Historic Resort has been a landmark since 1914, with one-quarter mile of the most spectacular private beach on Cape Cod.Chatham Bars Inn sits on 25 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and sandy ocean beaches.

Carpe Diem. : In Provincetown MA on the Cape.

This exquisite guest house is decorated and designed with in inspiration of the artists and poets that at some point vacationed or remained in Provincetown, each room is decorated and dedicate to those writers, play writers and the storytellers.

Brass Key Guesthouse : In Provincetown, MA.

Their guests are amazed when they first enter The Brass Key Guesthouse. The property is a private gated area, that offers a selection of five 18th & 19th Century houses and three cottages with a total of 42 guestrooms. These all surround a courtyard where there is a heated pool and an in-ground spa

Martha’s Vineyard:

Oak Bluffs’ brightly-painted “gingerbread” cottages, which began as a nineteenth-century Methodist summer campground; and the town’s Flying Horses which are the oldest continuously working carousel in America. Vineyard Haven is a picturesque community and the island’s year-round ferry port. Edgartown is an elegant yachting center, its streets still lined with whaling captains’ stately homes. I suggest the:

The Charlotte Inn: A member of the Ralais and Chauteaux collection. this beautiful XIXth century inn, surrounded by manicured gardens, tennis, sailing, canoeing, horseback plus an excellent dining experience.

Nantucket:

Wauwinet Hotel and Restaurant built in 1850 and updated to a comfortably relaxed elegant resort. It is located nine miles from the Nantucket Airport (complimentary shuttle service runs every hour). Wauwinet is poised between the ocean and the bay. Like all of Nantucket, it offers a myriad of seaside activities to keep you busy. Sailing, kayaking or just sunning on are just a few examples. On property you can enjoy their incredible dinning room, TOPPER’S restaurant which features exquisite cuisine and boasts an award winning wine cellar

Nantucket itself has a rich history as a whaling port and the hundreds of 18th- and 19th-century cottages which line the streets give it a “lost-in-time” atmosphere. Nearly 40 percent of Nantucket is currently protected conservation land. There is so much to see and do and for those that love woven baskets, another must place to drop by is: Michael Kane Light Baskets shop on 18A Sparks Avenue

North of Boston & Greater Merrimack Valley

The “North of Boston” region, with its picture-perfect harbors and long sandy beaches, feature a wealth of attractions and activities that celebrate the region’s rich arts and maritime traditions. And let’s not forget the Great seafood.

  • Both, the Man at The Wheel statue and the 2000 movie, The Perfect Storm, commemorate Gloucester’s seafaring heritage.
  • Motif#1, a red fisherman’s shack, perched on the edge of a wharf in Rockport’s Bearskin Neck, has been the subject of countless paintings, photographs, and postcards.
  • Marblehead is a yachting mecca. Grand mansions and modest artisans houses line its winding streets. Many of these residences predate the Revolution.
  • Salem offers a “coven” of museums that explore the infamous witch trials of 1692, including the Salem Witch Museum.
  • Essex’s main street is lined with antique emporiums and seafood restaurants, where the fried clam was invented.
  • Elegant Federal homes, built from the fortunes made in shipbuilding and the maritime trade, line Newburyport’s High Street.
  • On nearby Plum Island, birders flock to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge to view migrating shore birds.
  • Foote Brothers rents canoes on the Ipswich River.
  • Families flock to Salisbury Beach State Reservation for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping.
  • Whale watching trips leave from Gloucester and Newburyport.

Seaside Arts

The region has long inspired artists. Winslow Homer and Fitz Henry Lane painted at the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester; their work is on display at the Cape Ann Historical Museum. In Salem, the Peabody Essex Museum showcases two centuries of art, architecture, and culture. And every summer, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival presents nationally-acclaimed concerts in an intimate setting.

A Story in Every Mile…

The North of Boston region is named after one of the area’s most favorite sons, American poet, Robert Frost. While living in England with his wife and four children, Frost published his second book of poems, entitled North of Boston (1914), which gained international reputation. The collection contains some of Frost’s best-known poems: Mending Wall, The Death of the Hired Man, Home Burial, A Servant to Servants, After Apple-Picking, and The Wood-Pile. He was considered to be one of the finest of rural New England’s 20th century pastoral poets and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize four times. Born in San Francisco, Robert Frost was raised and educated in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Today, the city has a self guided walking tour of sites important to his life and the annual Robert Frost festival in October

This region, west and north of Boston, was a hotbed of revolutionaries. The town greens and monuments of Lexington and Concord attest to the region’s critical role in the American Revolution; Lowell’s mill buildings are reminders of the city’s prominent role in the American Industrial Revolution.

Exhibits and guided tours of the Lowell National Historical Park chronicle the shift from farm to factory, the rise of immigrant labor, and the industrial technology that fueled these changes. Its Boott Cotton Mills Museum features an operating weave room whose 88 power looms generate a deafening clatter (ear plugs provided). Just steps away, you’ll find a cluster of lively art museums and galleries, including the New England Quilt Museum and the Revolving Museum. The Lowell Folk Festival is an exuberant celebration of the city’s multicultural heritage. Every Patriots’ Day (the third Monday in April), a band of Patriots and Redcoats gathers on Lexington Green at dawn to reenact the famous Battle of Lexington and the “shot heard ‘round the world.” Concord lays claim to some of the greatest names in 19th-century American literature: Louisa May Alcott , Nathaniel Hawthorne , and Ralph Waldo Emerson . The Butterfly Place in Westford is home to as many as 500 butterflies at any one time. In Lincoln, the 35-acre Sculpture Park at the DeCordova Museum is the largest outdoor exhibition of American contemporary sculpture in New England.

Revolutionary Ride

The Liberty Ride takes visitors around to all the major historic sites and attractions in Lexington and Concord in the comfort of a 21st-century bus. One ticket provides riders with all-day step-on and step-off service.

About Central Massachusetts

New England, is rich in culture and natural beauty, is a dynamic area. Central Massachusetts in particular, is an area that fully exhibits the character of New England. With its rolling hills and deep woodlands, it creates a landscape that has been the subject of countless works of art. Few areas in the Northeast offer so much so close!

  • Old Sturbridge Village recreates a rural New England town of the 1830s. Homes, stores, craft shops, and meetinghouses are clustered around a traditional common, and visitors join in the community’s many seasonal celebrations.
  • The Worcester Art Museum’s collection spans 50 centuries;
  • The art deco, glass and steel, Higgins Armory, displays a dazzling array of Medieval and Renaissance armor.
  • Worcester’s DCU Center (formerly known as The Centrum, Centrum in Worcester and Worcester’s Centrum Centre) and Mechanics Hall present major music acts and cultural events.
  • Wachusett Mountain is one of southern New England’s most popular ski areas.
  • The Fruitlands Museum includes the site of the ill-fated utopian community, founded by the father of Louisa May Alcott.
  • The Johnny Appleseed Trail – named for the folk hero who roamed far and wide planting apple tress — traverses the orchards and small towns of the region.
  • The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Area is a great opportunity to explore the valley’s rich industrial heritage and recreational opportunities.

Family Favorites

The EcoTarium has interactive exhibits, a wildlife center, and nature trails. Davis’ Farmland has cuddly animals, a chance for children to pick eggs or help milk cows, and a water spray park. In late summer and fall, a Mega Maze, made of corn, is popular with all ages.


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