Time to Get Away? Everything You Need is Here!

  • David Ginisi

You’ve spent months cooped up at home, glued to computer, phone, and TV screens. You’re aching to get out to see something beyond your backyard — but the thought of any venture that requires planes, trains or boats sends chills up your spine.

Cheer up! North Central Massachusetts has everything you need for a great getaway, whether you’re looking for some alone time, a romantic weekend, or a bit of family fun outside of those same four walls. Consider the variety of fun — and safe — opportunities that await you here, all within an easy trip in your own car:

64350721_2400982553287675_5870751781419483136_n-1Ah, the great outdoors!

Dozens of public parks, forests, lakes — even an entire mountain! — await your visit throughout the region. State parks, properties managed by North County Land Trust, and serene municipal parklands offer acres and acres and acres of room to roam and fresh air to breathe. There are trails to hike or bike. Rivers to paddle. Golf courses to challenge your skills. And don’t forget the local farms and orchards where you can pick fresh fruit right off the tree, watch the animals graze in a field, or enjoy a leisurely lunch. You liked that part about animals? How about visiting Davis Farmland, home to the world’s largest collection of endangered farm animals? The kids can pet, cuddle, and feed animals, or cool off in the zero-depth water park. Or how about meeting some alpacas, up close and personal — or even get out in the field for a bit of Yoga with the alpacas at Plain View Farm?

Something for Everyone87152054_10157625814535528_7087746544450928640_o

Adults need a break from COVID concerns, too — and maybe a cool adult beverage, sipped in a shady brew yard, a rustic brew barn, or a scenic vineyard or orchard. You might be surprised at the number of breweries and wineries that are producing fine beverages right here in North Central Massachusetts. Craft beers, ales, hard ciders, luscious wines — you could plan an entire trip touring these local businesses, sampling their wares, and relaxing in their country settings. Want to get out of the sun for a while? Plan a tour of the region’s museums! The Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton has one of the world’s largest collection of Russian icons … and much more. Through October, you can see Easter eggs, including fabulous Fabergé creations. The Fitchburg Art Museum showcases changing exhibits of contemporary works, along with collections of African and Oceanic art — and you won’t want to miss its kid-friendly Ancient Egypt exhibit. Or pop into a community historical society for a tour of local memorabilia — and even a cup of tea or glass of wine on the porch.

Make It a Stay-cation

RestaurantReady to stretch a day trip into a few days or a week? Rest easy! Local hotels and B&Bs have adopted the state’s COVID safety regulations, and are ready to welcome you to your home away from home. You’re sick of your kitchen by now, and tired of sitting on the family room couch. A change of scenery will do you a world of good. Here are a few to consider: Double Tree by Hilton in Leominster (open with limited restaurant, no pool); Colonial Hotel in Gardner; Days Inn in Leominster; Chocksett Inn in Sterling; and the Groton Inn in Groton.

Oh, and about that kitchen … it’s time to let someone else to the cooking! There are plenty of restaurants ready to serve you, with outdoor and indoor dining. Whether you’re in the mood for pizza or nachos, some sizzling BBQ ribs or a fine dinner, your wish can be fulfilled here (and there are no dishes for you to wash at the end of a long day!).

Shut off the TV. Lock the doors. Hop in the car and enjoy all that North Central Massachusetts has to offer!

Story by: Pat Gale