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Category: Daytripping

5 Days, 5 Adventures: Daytripping for April Vacation

A Daytrip to Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens

School vacation is upon us — if you’re staying around town, we’ve got some good daytrip ideas for you. We took a tip from Leslie Poulin over at First Citizens’ in Fairhaven and lost ourselves in the Cape Cod Museum Trail website. Finding out everything that’s going on at various museums and when they’re happening is hard to keep track of. This website makes all that easy.

We’re hoping someday that there is a South Coast Museum Trail. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the Cape Cod Museum Trail guide, especially because there is no better time to go over the bridge than April – the weather is good, the traffic is good. Here’s what caught our eye for next week, day-by-day:

Climb Among the Treetops! (Monday)

Heritage Museums in Sandwich has an aerial forest park in the treetops. We went last summer and everyone LOVED it. With climbing, ziplines and bridges between tree platforms made of rope, cable and wood, it’s one of those things you’ll be talking about all year long. You’re outside, you’re seeing things from an entirely different perspective, you’re snug in a harness so you’re safe as can be. Splurge and do this with the kids this spring!

To celebrate Patriot’s Day on Monday, they’ve hidden bells throughout the course, to signify the warning of the British Invasion. Climb and find the bells! The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich. Climbers must be at least 7 years old.

Are You Getting a Signal? (Tuesday)

Over a hundred years ago, the first transatlantic wireless signal went out from Wellfleet. Think about all that has happened since then. On Tuesday, you can explore the site where Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first official wireless message across the Atlantic. 11 a.m. More info here.

This Is Your Brain on Nature (Wednesday)

Apparently, nature walks are good for the brain. So, let’s get on with it! Enjoy one of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s nature trails. At 1 p.m. (all week!), a naturalist will lead a family field walk. More here.

Afterwards, check out Nature 365, an innovative video journal filmed by wildlife photographer and filmmaker Jim Brandenburg and directed by Laurent Joffrion, designed to provide an authentic and poetic vision of nature. Each day’s journal is 60 seconds. The Museum will show the April journal (30 minutes) on a continuous loop throughout the day. More info here.

Old School Fun & Games (Thursday)

Learn about and experience children’s games, crafts and activities from long ago at Centerville Museum’s Morning at the Museum.  All ages are welcome though it’s geared to 6-11 year olds. You’ll play historic board games, make postcards, create worry dolls and more.  See more info here. 

Let’s Dance! (Friday)

There’s a contra dance on the third Friday of each month on the Outer Cape. Live musicans and a caller guide you through a variety of dances. They say anyone can do it so bring the whole family to enjoy the exuberant reels and jigs of the British Isles, Canada and America. Why not round out the vacation week with something you may never have done before? More info here.

Wait, Wait, There’s More! (Saturday and Sunday)

There’s even more happening on the weekend! Wander about the Cape Cod Museum Trail website to find more cool things to wrap up vacation week. You’ll find a model boat show, a LEGO Home-Building Competition, whale walks and more.

Thanks for the tip about the Cape Cod Museum Trail website, Leslie!

 

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Five Great Valentine Dates on the South Coast

Valentine’s Day is coming up and we asked Rebecca of the Almanac team to give us some suggestions for celebrating. We’re not surprised she came up with a great list! Read on….

Chocolate and Wine. What Else Do You Need?

Stop by Portugalia Marketplace for its Annual Chocolate Festival this Saturday  from 11 – 2 p.m. and enjoy tastings from chocolatiers and vintners, with live music by Birdtalk jazz trio to get you in the mood. February 11. See more here.

Maybe Some Music…

While you’re in the neighborhood on Saturday, the Narrows Center for the Arts welcomes singer-songwriter Paula Cole to the stage. With an extraordinary voice, she has opened for Peter Gabriel, Melissa Etheridge and Sarah McLachlan.  Book reservations for dinner beforehand at The Abbey Grill, a restored former monastery with an open kitchen and sprawling bar.

Or A Romantic Walk?

Break out your wellies and head to Destruction Brook Woods for a short or long walk exploring the rolling woodlands and the old mill and farmstead. Grab a map, or just get lost here. Make sure you find the footbridges and bubbling waterways.

If you’re celebrating Valentine’s with the kids or with some canine friends, bring them to walk at the Bogs in the Mattapoisett River Reserve. With four miles of dog-friendly woods, wetlands and cranberry bog trails to wander through, there’s plenty to stimulate conversation pondering who and what was there before.

A Nightcap (or two)…

New Bedford is bursting with plenty of new spots and established favorites where you can enjoy good drinks and food.  Check out Cultivator Shoals, a chic new bar serving up craft cocktails. A Rose By Any Other Name is their ode to Valentine’s Day, designed by Devon McGrath and featuring rose petal infused Tito’s vodka, fresh lemon juice & strawberry puree. She gave me the recipe but it takes three days from start to finish. Trust me, let them do the work!

Or try The Bitter End Lounge on Route 6 in Fairhaven. Intrigued by its name and sign, I made this a launching spot for a date night recently. It’s a self-proclaimed dive bar where you can sidle up to the bar or shoot some pool. Wrap up the evening at Gilda’s Stone Rooster a little further east on 6 in Marion where you’ll find local legend Gilda tending bar (Secret tip: Gilda opens the house to the fabulous South Coast Jazz Symphony Orchestra periodically on Monday nights. The upcoming dates are February 27, March 13 and 27, April 10 and 24, May 8 and 22, June 5 and 19. Always from 8 -10 pm.)

The Morning After…

Great pancakes. That’s love. The Barn in Little Compton, RI is the perfect spot to indulge in a romantic breakfast. They’re serving up a Valentine’s special of fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, chocolate kisses (yes, chocolate kisses!) and whipped cream. Afterwards you might want to walk it off at South Shore Beach, a true gem no matter the time of year.

We hope we’ve inspired you to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Be sure to check in with all of these locales before you go to make sure nothing’s changed since we posted. All of us at South Coast Almanac wish you and your sweethearts another day filled with love and adventure!

 

Keep up with South Coast Almanac updates, news and events, by signing up for our free emails here.

Special shout out to AJ Marks Jewelers in Wareham and Hyannis for sponsoring our Valentine blog posts.  Thanks, guys!

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South Coast Day-tripping

Daytripping in Mattapoisett

This is the first in an occasional series called South Coast Day-tripping. If you’d like to play tourist for a day in a South Coast town you’re unfamiliar with, email us and pitch us an itinerary. If we choose yours, we’ll ask you to jump right in and Feriss Bueller it. We’ll reimburse you for the day’s expenses (up to $150). Let us introduce you to our first day-trippers, Mike and Michelle Long from Canton, MA, who chose to visit a place they had never been on a mid-August weekday. Here’s how their day in Mattapoisett went down (as told by Mike)….

We started off the day at Shipyard Park, where we had a simple picnic lunch from home. The waterfront area was beyond peaceful; combined with a beautiful day, the moment was an instant contender to be the highlight of the trip. From there, Michelle and I made our way up to the Town Wharf General Store, where we perused a few wares, day-dreaming of a future family beach house along the way. Across the street at The Inn at Shipyard Park, we discovered watermelon sangria that was a perfect ‘drink of the day’. We sat on the porch, and let the New England seaside breeze charm us.

Day-tripping in Mattapoisett

Ned’s Point. Photo by Mike Long.

Next, we headed over to Ned’s Point to check out the lighthouse. The theme of seaside tranquility continued here, as we sat along the rocks and took in the bay for what felt like hours. Surrounding us was a mix of fellow tourists and locals just relaxing, not letting the moment pass them by.

Taking a look at the map, we decided to hop back in the car and take a drive along Point Connett. Beautiful houses in a shaded, relaxed neighborhood. Reminiscent of the best of New England shoreline, sprinkled with a slight Carolina flavor. All in all, the quintessential beachside neighborhood.

Our next stops, or our next attempts at stops, didn’t work out for scheduling reasons. We had been looking forward to hitting up the Mattapoisett Museum & Carriage House but missed it as it had closed at 4pm (note to always check the time – Google is your friend!). After that, looking for something to do before dinner, we had decided to hit up the bowling alley we had driven by – sadly, Bowlmor Lanes was not open on the day we were there. Poor planning on our part, but we ended up passing time before dinner at The Stowaway, a nice little hole in the wall bar across the street from Bowlmor. The bartender and clientele were super sociable, with bonus points for being Red Sox- friendly, complete with large flat screens visible from any seat in the bar. As a side note – the restrooms at the Stowaway were a surprise! (Michelle was expecting a typical dive bar bathroom but she found something much better.)

Our last stop was Turks Seafood Market for an early dinner. We had heard great things about Turks. Our dinner not only met but exceeded already lofty expectations. Bacon wrapped scallops with brown sugar glaze starter was our perfect kickoff to further deliciousness. I had grilled local swordfish, blackened, served over warm tomato and arugula salad with a balsamic reduction. Absolutely delicious. Hyperbole aside, the best swordfish ever in the history of things. Michelle was wowed by the seared tuna with wasabi vinaigrette served with ponzu veggies.

Day-tripping in Mattapoisett

Michelle at Ned’s Point. Photo by Mike Long.

Mattapoisett is a great South Coast town that packed a lot of memories into a short window of time for us – we certainly look forward to the chance to get back there! (Michael Long)

Town Wharf General Store, 10 Water Street (508) 758-4615
The Inn on Shipyard Park, 13 Water Street (508) 758-4922
Mattapoissett Historical Society Museum, 5 Church Street (508) 758-2844
Bowlmor Lanes, 22 County Road (508) 758-6783
The Stowaway, 35 County Road (774) 582-1188
Turks Seafood Market, 83 Marion Road (508) 758-3117

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