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Category: Outdoors

A little napping + a little hiking or yoga = the perfect Thanksgiving weekend

There’s a questionable rumor going around that the tryptophan in turkey doesn’t actually make you sleepy. We have a hard time believing that ­– everyone knows the post-Thanksgiving torpor is real!

Lucky for us, we’ve got people looking out for us! We’re going to fight that post-Thanksgiving sleepiness by getting out and moving our bodies. Here are four activities designed by our wonderful regional non-profits which will help combat the tryptophan (though – to be clear – we do recommend some good, old-fashioned lollygagging this weekend so don’t skimp on that).

The Great, BIG “Walk It Off” Hike

Join Mass Audubon to walk off all those mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie! Starting at the Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary field station, travel along to the beach and the Quansett Trail on what the Buzzards Bay coalition describes as “a scenic, calorie-burning blitz of approximately 6 miles.”
Make sure to dress for a day hike and come prepared wearing closed toe shoes and a daypack with water and snacks.

Where: Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Rd., Westport
When: Friday, November 23, 2018 at 9 a.m.

Registration is required. Check here for more info. $10 members, $12 non-members.

Post-Thanksgiving Day Hike

Join DRNT Board Member, Tom Matthews, as he leads you on a refreshing hike through Destruction Brook Woods. Added benefits include burning off those stuffing calories!

Where: Destruction Brook Woods, 205 Slades Corner Rd., Dartmouth
When: Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 9 a.m.

Free. More info here.

Hatha Yoga

This gentle to moderate class is a perfect way for yogis of all levels to ease themselves back into post-turkey society and stretch off the pumpkin pie. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a mat, towel, and water.

Where: Boys & Girls Club of Wareham, 13 Highland Ave, Onset, MA
When: Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 9 a.m.

Suggested donation of $10 supports next year’s Onset Summer of Love concert series. More here. 

Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk

Four-legged friends will love joining you for this annual walk in the crisp, late-fall air at the Sippican Lands Trust’s 248-acre White Eagle property.
Dogs must be leashed and under owners control at all times.

Where: White Eagle, Parlowtown Rd., Marion, MA
When: Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 1 p.m.

Free. More info here.

An extra bonus beyond getting the blood flowing: By showing up to any of these events, you’re letting the good people who create these wonderful events know that their work matters and that we are grateful for them. And, isn’t that exactly what Thanksgiving is all about?

 

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Hello September, We Love Ya! 8 Great Things To Do This Month

Here comes September — back to school, back to work, back to reality. Lucky for us we live on the South Coast and our reality is pretty darn sweet. Here are our 8 Great Things for the month ahead.

  1. Annual Onset Bay Illumination

Onset Bay Illumination NightOne of our all-time summer favorites (postponed by rain earlier this year which makes the start of September that much better!), Illumination Night is truly magical. After dark settles in, a horn sounds and volunteers run the beaches and two islands, lighting thousands of flares as they go. The result of their efforts: fire lining all of Onset Harbor. Stroll along the flares and enjoy the spectacle. Beforehand, spend the day in Onset enjoying its annual kite festival from 10 – 4 and the El Caribe steel drum band performing at 7:30 pm. September 1, Onset Beach (free parking available at Hynes Field, a 5 minute walk from the beach). Free. See more here. 

Allens Pond Butterfly Census2. Butterfly Census

Help members of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club find and identify different types of butterflies in Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary. The butterfly club guides will lead teams into parts of the Sanctuary and provide their knowledge about butterflies native to the South Coast. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Wear long pants, sunscreen, and bring water and a snack — butterfly watching can work up an appetite! September 8, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport, 10 -2. Sign up here. 

Photo: Narrows Center for the Arts

The Iguanas are headlining

3. Narrows Festival of the Arts

What better way to spend an early September Sunday than outside, enjoying a variety of live music, perusing selections of work from art vendors, enjoying food truck food and lemonade, and maybe even saying hi to some exotic animals? The Narrows Festival of the Arts promises all this along Fall River’s historic waterfront. The festival is free and has fun for all ages, between the Children’s Museum tent and the indoor and outdoor stages of live music, there’s sure to be something to please everyone in the family. September 9, 16 Anawan St. Fall River. More here. 

Fort Phoenix 5K4. Ready. Set, Run!

Cooler temps means all the more reason to get outside and run the South Coast! There is no better way to start than with a fun 5k, through the gorgeous Fort Phoenix State Beach and Reservation. The 5k benefits a variety of local charities, and registration is $15 prior to the race (and includes a t-shirt) or $20 the day of. So hit the ground running and embrace the start of fall in Fairhaven. September 9, 10 am, Fort Phoenix State Beach and Reserve, Fairhaven.  More here. 

5. Get your dancing shoes on!

What do celtic music, French Canada and New Bedford have in common? Genticorum! Genticorum is coming to the James Arnold Mansion this September, and bringing with them their jubilant Celtic-based music all the way from French Canada. Join the band to experience music influenced by jazz and Québec folk music with fiddle and flute (seems fun to us!).  Tickets at $20 in advance (available online) or $25 at the door. September 14, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm, Wamsutta Club, 427 County St, New Bedford, Get tickets here. 

6. Time to get spooky!

What better way to jump start some Halloween spirit than with a day touring cemeteries?! Little Compton Historical Society is opening up all town cemeteries for an afternoon. So get out and explore the beautiful historic grounds (including many which are normally not open to the public!). Volunteers at each site will be available to answer questions and share information. Tickets are $10 for Society members, $15 for non-members, and free for kids 12 and under. September 22,  11-4. Wilbor House Museum, 548 West Main Rd, Little Compton. See more here. 

7. Lakeville Arts and Music Festival

September is the month of music and art! If you missed the Narrows Festival (or if one just wasn’t enough), head to Lakeville for its Arts and Music Festival. The festival celebrates local artists and musicians from the South Coast. Rain or shine, the day is filled with fun and entertainment for the whole community and, guess what, it’s free. September 29, 10-4. Lining the intersection of Routes 105, 18 and Precinct Street. More here. 

 

Buzzards Bay Coalition Watershed Ride

South Coast Almanac Avengers

8. Bike on!

We love Buzzards Bay, South Coast early fall views, biking, clean water, and a good party. That’s why this September, the South Coast Almanac team is biking the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride for the third year straight! The route has 100, 75, and 35 mile options, so there’s something for everyone. Cyclists each raise $300 (or more!) to support the great work of the Buzzards Bay Coalition. You’ll have access to five water stops, a yummy food truck lunch, and dinner with beer and wine at the party (which features live music and award presentations!). The SCA team is always looking for new riders (and trust us, we have A LOT of fun, see photos of our award winning costumes from last year), email us at [email protected] if you’re interested in joining our team! In the past, our publisher, editor, and advertising director along with board members and friends of the ‘Nac have ridden. We want you to join us!! September 30, start time depends on which route you choose. See more here. 

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OR subscribe to our print magazine which has even more activities and events to keep you busy all summer. You can buy a copy of our current issue right here for just $8.95 delivered to your door. An annual subscription is right here.

 

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19 Healthy Things to Do this Week (and Every Week This Summer!)

Remember how much fun it was when your teachers took the class outside? Sitting on the grass talking about Steinbeck’s The Pearl or Gregor Mendel’s pea plant research was just so much better than talking about it inside the classroom. We’ve found the same thing happens when your gym instructor takes the class outdoors. Exercise becomes a whole lot more rewarding!

We’ve put together a list of classes you can take outside every day of the week on the South Coast this summer. Go take advantage of the good weather and get your heart pumping and/or your muscles stretching! As always, we suggest checking in before you go to make sure the class is still on – and we tried to give you the right places to go to check — particularly when the weather is iffy.

Monday

Well & Fit offers strength and conditioning exercises for a total body workout at Cushman Park in Fairhaven. Taught by Sarah Bates, owner of Well & Fit Personal Training & Cycling, the class is free thanks to generous sponsors. Mondays, 8:30-9:30 am through August 20 (in case of rain, the class moves inside the Carousel Fun Center, 4 David Drown Boulevard, Fairhaven — weather determination is posted on the Fitness in Cushman Park Facebook page. Bring a mat.

Sunset Yoga at Fort Phoenix Park. Yoga + sunset = total zen. All levels. Every Monday from 6-7 p.m. $5/drop in. Contact [email protected] with questions or check the Facebook page for more details. Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven.

Tuesday

Boot Camp with Cherie Blier. Cherie is an experienced trainer who makes it easy to wake up for her 6 a.m. boot camp classes which involve a little of everything (TRX, kettle bells, resistance bands, etc). She makes it inviting for all fitness levels which may be why her classes often have ages ranging from 19 to 52. Watching the morning fog burn off to reveal the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge just makes it all the sweeter. $12/drop in fee (discounts for 5-pack and 10-pack) (also Thursday, Saturday). 6 – 7 a.m. Buzzards Bay Park (at the adult outdoor fitness park behind Krua Thai) on Main Street, Buzzards Bay. Contact Cherie at 774-454-8451 or [email protected] and check out her other offerings here. Bring water and a mat.

Yoga at Cushman Park, Jeff Costa, a Yoga Alliance Nationally Certified Instructor and a graduate of the Kripalu School of Yoga and Health, presents a gentle yoga series for all levels, designed to introduce newcomers to the basics of stretching and mindfulness and challenge yoga enthusiasts with a focus on compassion for the body.  Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30 am through August 21 (in case of rain, the class moves inside the Carousel Fun Center, 4 David Drown Boulevard, Fairhaven — weather determination is posted on the Fitness in Cushman Park Facebook page.) Free. Bring a mat.

Sunset Yoga at Fort Taber. South Coast Yoga offers a class for all levels with movement, meditation, balance, strength and a killer view. 6:30 pm, $5 drop in fee. Contact South Coast Yoga at [email protected] with questions or check the Facebook page for more details. 1000 Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford. Bring a mat, towel and water. 

Wednesday

Slocum’s River Reserve (Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust)

Yoga at Slocum’s River Reserve. Jeff Costa (see above!) leads weekly yoga classes in the idyllic setting of Slocum River’s Reserve thanks to the generosity of the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and Hawthorn Medical Associates. 8:30 – 9:30 am, July 11 – August 8, with a meditation walk on August 15. Donation based but at least $5 is suggested. Notification of cancellations can be found on DNRT’s facebook page and website. Bring water and a yoga mat. 320 Horseneck Road, Dartmouth.

Paddle Boarding! Divine Power Yoga’s intro class to stand up paddleboards, every week from Apponagansett Park. 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Apponagansett Park & Beach, Gulf Road, S, Dartmouth,  $45 includes paddle rental. Sign up here.

SUP Yoga. Paddleboard Yoga? It’s easier than you think! Try it and enjoy the Wednesday night music series at Apponagansett Park. 7:30 p.m. Apponagansett Park & Beach, Gulf Road, S, Dartmouth. $35 includes paddleboard rental; $20 BYOB. Sign up here. 

Thursday

Cherie Blier’s Summer Boot Camp, 6 am (see under Tuesday for more information), Buzzards Bay Park, Main Street, Buzzards Bay.

Summer Boot Camp. Wayne Goulart leads participants through various exercises that build functional strength and core stability with circuits utilizing light dumbbells and body weight exercises. Thursdays, 8:30-9:30 am through August 23 (in case of rain, the class moves inside the Carousel Fun Center, 4 David Drown Boulevard, Fairhaven — weather determination is posted on the Fitness in Cushman Park Facebook page.) Free. Bring a mat and a set of weights.

Yoga on the lawn. Bayside Restaurant, 1253 Horseneck Road, Westport. $10. Sign up here. Bring a mat.

Sunset Yoga at Fort Taber. A community yoga practice for all levels at Fort Taber (see under Tuesday for more information).

SUP Yoga. Divine Yoga leads a SUP yoga class at Fogland Beach. Fogland Road, Tiverton, 6 p.m. $35 includes paddleboard rental; $20 BYOB. Sign up here.

Friday

Sunrise Paddle. A morning group paddle board ride followed by coffee at Farm & Coast. 7 – 8 am from Farm & Coast parking lot, 7 Bridge Street, Dartmouth. $25 for paddle board rental.Sign up here.

Saturday

Cherie’s Summer Boot Camp (see Tuesday for more details). Cherie lets us sleep in (!!) until 8 am for her fun Saturday version of Summer Boot Camp. Buzzards Bay Park, Main Street, Buzzards Bay.

Slow Run Saturdays. Molly McCarthy from Track + Channel leads all levels at Buttonwood Park. Run as many laps (or just 1) around the park as you’d like (1.8 mile loops) at whatever pace you’re comfortable and the group leader stays behind with the last runner. 6:45 am warm up, 7 am run. Meet at the Buttonwood Park Warming House, 1 Oneida Street, New Bedford.

Yoga at Fort Phoenix Park. A community practice for all levels. Contact [email protected] with questions or check the Facebook page for more details. 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven. Bring a mat.

Weekly Wellness Walks. Join local physicians for a walk around Buttonwood Park. Meet at the entrance to Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorn Street, New Bedford. Spearheaded by the New Bedford Wellness Initiative.

Sunday

Beachside Yoga. Natanya Silverman, owner of The Clearing Yoga, offers an invigorating, Sunday morning beach side yoga practice at Onset Beach every Sunday throughout the summer from 9:30 – 10:30 am. Across from The Inn at Onset Bay, 181 Onset Avenue, Onset. The class is by donation. If there’s weather, this class will meet at the studio: The Clearing, 43 Main St. Buzzards Bay. Bring water and sunscreen.

There you go — something outside and healthy for you every day of the week! Mark your calendars now!


Want to make sure you keep up with EVERYTHING on the South Coast? Sign up for our free email newsletter right here!

You can also subscribe to our print magazine which has even more activities and events to keep you busy all year. You can buy a copy of our current issue right here for just $8.95 delivered to your door. An annual subscription is right here.

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8 Great Things! February on the South Coast

Things to do

Put January behind you! We’re chugging toward spring and we’ve got 8 Great Things to keep you busy in February. March will be here before you know it!

Nature Valentines

February on the South CoastThe perfect way to get the whole family into the Valentine’s Day spirit! The Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Saturday at the Sawmill series is hosting a Nature Valentine making program, including a short walk around the Sawmill to find natural materials to create the valentines. The program is free, bring your little ones and learn about wildlife around the Sawmill while getting an early start on your valentines! The Sawmill, 32 Mill Road, Acushnet. February 3, starting at 11 am (the Hawes Family Learning center is open 10am-1pm). Learn more here.

Frederick Douglass Read-a-thon

Frederick Douglass Read-A-ThonYou know how much we love a good community read-a-thon (see our January pick for the Moby Dick Read-a-thon). If you missed January’s event, you’ve got a second chance! 2018 is the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birth, and the New Bedford Historical Society is celebrating with its 18th Annual Frederick Douglass Community Read-a-thon. Celebrate Douglass’ life (and his connections to New Bedford!) by reading along to excerpts from his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Sunday, February 11, 2-6pm at the First Unitarian Church, 71 Eighth Street, New Bedford. See here for more information. If you’re interested in being a reader, contact the New Bedford Historical Society by emailing [email protected]

Snowshoe the Shoreline!

February on the South CoastBYOSS (bring your own snow shoes or rent them here)!! Hike along the beach loop trail of Allens Pond Sanctuary with Mass Audubon. The walk is approximately 2 miles long and promises views of winter wildlife and the channel that feeds Allens Pond. Along the way, you’ll look for migrating snowy owls and waterfowl and track the signs of animal activity. The walk will continue even without snow, in that case, just bring hiking boots! February 11, 10 am – 2 pm. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport ($10 for members, $12 for non-members). Learn more here.

It’s Fat Tuesday!

Brass Bands and jambalaya buffets and auctions, oh my! Come out and celebrate Mardi Gras in style with the South Coast Brass Band at the Greasy Luck Brewery.  The event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Greater New Bedford and has a jambalaya buffet and dancing, as well as an auction to benefit the club.  So get moving for a good cause! Tickets range from $50-$60 and can be purchased here. February 13, 7-11pm, Greasy Luck Brewpub, 791 Purchase Street, New Bedford.

February on the South CoastCatch Some Magic!

As winter trudges on, we all need a little extra magic. Join the Masters of Illusion (the nation’s number one touring magic show!) to get your fill and experience a modern twist on the traditional magic show. Check out this video below for a sneak peek of what to expect! February 15, 8 pm. The Zeiteron, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. For more information and to buy tickets, go here.

February on the South CoastGet Cookin’!

We love Farm & Coast Market, and we love that they strive to be the front porch, kitchen, and family room of Padanaram. This month, you can get cooking with them and learn how to whip up a French Bistro style menu (including a roast chicken!). The timing of the class is perfect for a late Valentine’s Day date — and we’re sure you’ll continue impressing your friends and family with all your new skills. February 15, 6:30 -8:30pm. Reservations are required, call or email Farm & Coast to make yours (774-992-7092 or [email protected]). 7 Bridge Street, Dartmouth.

24 Hour Theater Project

Scripts written, scenes rehearsed, lines learned, shows performed; all in 24 hours!

The Collective New Bedford is hosting their 2018 Kickoff, featuring original 10 minute plays and performances that are completely created and performed in just 24 hours. You don’t have to be an actor (or a writer, or a director) to get in on the fun (although check out their Facebook page if you want to audition. Auditions are coming up this week!) The day’s creations will be performed twice, admission is $10 and you can reserve seats by emailing [email protected]. February 17, performances at 7 and 9 pm at Gallery X, 169 Williams Street, New Bedford.

A Little Fiddlin’

February on the South CoastEvery fourth Saturday, fiddlers gather on the South Coast for food, dancing, and jamming. There’s good music, great pizza, and it’s open to all. If you’re a musician, bring your instrument (it doesn’t have to be a fiddle! Guitars, banjos, cellos, and all other string instruments are welcome). Otherwise, come prepared to listen and dance. Check out this video of December’s session (and keep your eyes peeled for the cutest young fiddler jamming along, around 30 seconds in!). This month’s session is February 24 at 4:30 pm at Brick, 213 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven. See the their Facebook page for more information on Old Time Fiddle Session.

That’s all — enjoy this short month!

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Over the River & Through the Woods: Post-Thanksgiving Walks

You may be prepping for Thanksgiving right now, knee deep in peeling apples or wrestling the bird into some sort of brine-y package. Take a break for a moment and look at our 6 suggestions for post-Thanksgiving walks. Think of it as our holiday gift to you. It’s a reminder to all of us that (i) we live in a beautiful area and (ii) we should probably walk off some of that pecan pie.  Perhaps most importantly, it encourages us to hop into sweatpants (elastic waistbands, folks!) as soon as possible after that big meal (yes, you’re welcome).

We actually reached out to get suggestions from the experts, the staff and volunteers of our active land conservation organizations. Some of these organizations have even gone to the trouble of helping us off the couch by organizing walks that we can join. Showing your gratitude for these wonderful organizations and folks is as simple as just showing up!

Pick a place (or 2, or 3 – it’s a long weekend!) and get outside.

Carleen Loper, Wareham Land Trust Volunteer

Post Thanksgiving walks

Westgate Preserve. Photo courtesy of Wareham Land Trust.

Carleen suggests the town’s Westgate Preserve because it’s “an excellent choice for Thanksgiving weekend because it’s literally over the river and through the woods!” Featuring a retired cranberry bog and the Weweantic River, Westgate Preserve exudes holiday spirit. Leashed dogs are allowed there as well. More here.

Jim Bride, Sippican Lands Trust

Sippican Lands Trust Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk

Jim tells us that Sippican Lands Trust is hosting its fifth annual Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk at White Eagle Parcel in Marion at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 26th. Just take a look at that picture — how great does that look? Find out more here.

Deb Hood, Events Manager, Buzzards Bay Coalition

Deb says, “for my walk, I’d have to go with The Sawmill, the Buzzards Bay Coalition-owned public park on the edge of Acushnet and New Bedford’s North End.” She says the trails at the front of the park are wide, flat and accessible so the whole family – from strollers to wheelchairs (and everyone in between) – can journey to several scenic river overlooks at the former home of the Acushnet Saw Mill Company. See details here.

Kendra Murray, Development & Outreach Specialist, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust

Ridge Hill Rainbow. Photo courtesy of DNRT.

Kendra says, “Ridge Hill Reserve is a great place for post Turkey Day walk! This 175 acre property abuts the Southeastern MA Bioreserve. There are several trails, whether you’d like to take a quick 1 mile stroll along the blue trail, or a longer hike on the red and green trails. The Green Trail runs to the top of Ridge Hill, one of the highest points in Dartmouth. There are several beech groves along this trail, and as of last weekend, the foliage was a beautiful rich orange. The red trail is a bit flatter and easier. On the western most portion of that trail you can get a  great view of the Copicut Reservoir. We just put in a new set of stairs on a fairly eroded portion of the blue trail, as well.”  See more about Ridge Hill Reserve here.

Kendra also mentioned that DNRT is hosting a guided walk on Saturday, the 25th at 9 am at the Destruction Brook Woods (see more about that here).

Jennifer Escher, Board member, Tiverton Land Trust

Pardon Gray Reserve. Photo courtesy of Tiverton Land Trust.

Jennifer suggests joining the Tiverton Land Trust at one of its post-Thanksgiving group hikes at the Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area or Pardon Gray Preserve.  For more ambitious hikers, Garry Plunkett will lead hikers on some moderate slopes at the Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area.  The newly opened trails will allow those in good physical to experience an amazing forest ecosystem. For the less ruggedly inclined and for families with young children, Wayne Browning will lead a 45 minute trail loop at Pardon Gray Preserve.

Both hikes take place on Saturday, November 25 (Pocasset Ridge starts at 1, Radon Gray Preserve starts at 2). Sturdy shoes, fluorescent orange vest/hats are recommended (orange vests will be provided on-site).  See here for more details.

Brendan Buckless, Outreach & Stewardship Coordinator, Westport Land Conservation Trust

Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. Photo by Greg Stone.

Brendan suggests the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area one of the Westport Land Conservation Trust’s most visited spots. With 158 acres and 2.5 miles of hiking trails, the property features the pristine Angeline Brook, one of Westport’s finest coldwater streams.  Trailheads are located at 364 Adamsville Road or 255 Cornell Road. See directions and more here. 

Make your nature plans and mark the calendars now before your mind is foggy with tryptophan!

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Overnight Adventures: Sweet Dreams at Horseneck

Horseneck Beach Camping by Andrew Ayer

In last year’s print issue, we set out to find a half dozen cool overnight adventures on the South Coast. We’re rolling them out online for those of you who don’t have the 2016 magazine. Today’s feature: beaching it — overnight at Horseneck Beach. If you’d like to see it as it appeared in the magazine, click here. Otherwise, just read on….

There is nothing more luxurious than falling asleep to the sound of waves breaking onto the shore, then tripping over rocks as they recede. Waking up to it is pretty lovely too.

You could pay plenty of money for this. Or you could reserve a campsite at Horseneck Beach State Reservation on the shores of Buzzards Bay. The 100-site campground provides you with spectacular beachfront property at $22/night. Not surprisingly, Forest and Parks Supervisor John Darcy says that many campers are repeat visitors, year after year.

Horseneck Beach Camping by Andrew AyerJohn and Gracia Tripp are among the Horseneck faithful. The Westport residents live just twelve miles away but a few times each summer, they pack up their RV and spend several nights at Horseneck Beach. Darcy understands the draw. He came to work at the campground twelve years ago as a summer job in high school and he never left. “I’ve been here since I was 17,” he says, “I understand the need to come back every summer.”


“I’ve been here since I was 17,” Darcy says, “I understand the need to come back every summer.”


Horseneck Beach Camping by Andrew AyerYour insider tip: You need to know there is fierce competition for the sixteen sites directly on the waterfront. John Tripp says that getting a spot in the front row during the busiest months is “like hens’ teeth,” or pretty rare (I needed a translation). According to Tripp, you have to be ready to book the beachfront spots online as soon as they become available 6 months before the reservation date at exactly 9 a.m. No worries, though. There is more flexibility with the other sites, all of which are within a short walk of the beach.

All photos by Andrew Ayer. For more information, go to the MassParks website or call 508-636-8817 (seasonal). Online camping reservations are through ReserveAmerica. Horseneck Beach State Reservation, 5 John Reed Road, Westport.

If you want to be in the know about other great spots and secrets of the South Coast, sign up for our free updates here.

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Our Top Picks for May: 6 Things We’re Really Looking Forward To

May is a lovely month. Just on the cusp of summer, it’s an exciting time of year. Here are some things to pass the time away while we anticipate the best season of the year.

1.  Pass the Popcorn: Fairhaven Short Film Festival

Whoops! This has been postponed and future dates will be announced in the fall — but we’re still leaving it up so you can put it on your radar for later in the year. 

Bring your Junior Mints to the third annual Fairhaven Short Film Festival taking place on May 5 and 6 featuring films collected by Asbury Shorts USA. Academy Award nominated director Jason Reitman (JUNO, Up in the Air, Thank You for Smoking) calls Asbury Shorts, “The best short film show I’ve ever seen.” Forget about watching these films on YouTube or your smartphone, enjoy them on the big screen at the Fairhaven Town Hall Auditorium.

Sponsored by Howe Allen Realty and the Fairhaven Improvement Association, net proceeds will fund a scholarship for a Fairhaven student planning to study film and digital media production.  For more information on the films or to purchase tickets, go here.

2.  Tuesdays with Haskell

A few years ago, the Trustees of Reservations bought the late Allen Haskell’s property right in the heart of New Bedford.  Haskell was a lifelong New Bedford resident and a famed horticulturalist. The six acre property hosts a traditional New England style common, beautifully designed historic gardens and one of the oldest homes in New Bedford.

Celebrate spring by dropping in on Tuesday mornings (through October) from 9 am to 12 pm to help tidy the garden and learn new skills. All you need are gloves and water — no previous gardening skills are required.  For more information, click here. May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30th, 787 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford.

3.  Dust off Your Bike

We just formed our team for the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s annual Watershed Ride. We hope you’ll join us! It’s a beautiful course and the camaraderie among riders is pretty wonderful (the party at the finish line is great, too). If you want to join the South Coast Almanac team, check it out here.

The Velofix Van (Photo courtesy of Marianne Lee)

The Velofix Van (Photo courtesy of Marianne Lee)

Yes, yes, we know the ride is in October but we’re putting it on our May calendar as a reminder to dust off our bikes, get out there and train for it. To that end, we just emailed Mike Lee of Velofix Southcoast. We met Mike at the Watershed Ride last Fall where he handled bike support and were blown away with his mobile bike repair van. When we learned he’ll come to your home or office with his mobile van to tune up bikes, we took his business card. And didn’t lose it. Thanks to Mike, there really is no excuse for not getting your bike in shape for the season. Check Velofix out here.

4. Take a(n Unconventional) Hike

The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) has a couple of cool (and free) walks happening in May. First, a full moon walk on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 at Slocum River’s Reserve where two DNRT members lead an exploration of the evening landscape. The walk lasts approximately an hour and the DNRT suggests a flashlight or headlamp to help navigate the trails as the moon rises and sun sets. If the weather is questionable, call 508-525-9266 or check here on the morning of the walk.

And throughout May, families can enjoy StoryWalk® which celebrates nature and reading all at once (how many events can boast that?). Paskansett Woods features “Watch the Birdie” by Nancy Cote (featured in the 2016 South Coast Almanac) and Ridge Hill Reserve features “Feathers for Lunch” by Lois Ehlert.  Walk the trails and read the story with the family during the whole month of May. See more here.

5. Brahmin Handbags Tent Sale

We’ll have a blog post coming up on this as we get closer to the date because this is more than a tent sale. It’s a great story. The semi-annual sale draws people from all over the country (no kidding!) and has the festive aura of the old Filene’s Basement Wedding Dress sales. Whether you need a handbag or not, you shouldn’t miss it. May 19 and 20, 9 am to 6 p.m and May 21, 10 am to 5 pm. 77 Alden Road, Fairhaven. Tent is located on the lawn next to the Standard Times parking lot. See the Facebook event listing here.

6. Ta Da! It’s launched

Last year's Almanac launch

Last year’s Almanac launch

On May 18, we officially launch the 2017 edition of our print magazine. On the 18th, copies will be on their way to our subscribers’ doors and trucks will be delivering them to newsstands all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Keep your eye out for it!

If you want it delivered straight to your door for 30% off the cover price, you only have a few more days to pre-order. After that, we have to raise the online price to the newsstand price. Why do we have to do that? Because we give our mailing list to the printer soon. After that, we lose out on bulk mailing rates from the printer which means hauling copies to the Onset post office and sending it off by priority mail. If you decide to preorder the issue, we pass the savings straight along to you — because we love our subscribers. If you want to join their ranks, click here.

In the meantime, stay up to date with South Coast events, stories and best-kept-secrets by signing up here.

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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!

 

If you want to stay in the know about other cool tips, as well as stories about the people, places, food and other things that make the South Coast special, sign up for our free emails right here.

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Get Out of the House! 6 Fun Things For March

Myles Standish State Forest

In these days before spring really arrives, it’s so easy to stay on the couch and binge-watch TV episodes. We’re trying to resist that temptation (although This Is Us is very good.) Here we give you 6 fun reasons to get out of the house.

Photo courtesy of Buzzards Bay Coalition

Photo courtesy of Buzzards Bay Coalition

1. Get Fit, and Smart (at the same time)

The Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Wareham Land Trust have partnered to bring us fresh air and history with Wednesday Walkabouts: Historical Tour Series. Take a stroll through four conservation properties and learn about their previous lives as cranberry bogs, iron works and mills. Thanks to Southcoast Health,  these events are free. But you should register online. See how to do that here.

 

 

Photo courtesy Ray Drueke

2. Jazzin’ Around

We know we’ve mentioned the South Coast Jazz Orchestra before. More than once. That’s because they’re that good. Get out and listen to this tremendous group of musicians on either March 13 or March 27 (or both!), hosted by the incomparable Gilda. You will be blown away by their talent. You will also need reservations because the place fills up. Gilda’s Stone Rooster, 27 Marion Road, Wareham, 508-748-9700.

 

Photo courtesy of East Wind Lobster & Grille

Photo courtesy of East Wind Lobster & Grille

3. Turn Up the Gas

Jean Lanahan, owner of the East Wind Lobster & Grille, gives us hands-on cooking lessons. On March 8, she offers Fish 101. She’ll teach you Pan Seared Scallops, Rolled Flounder, Poached Salmon and Fried Calamari & Banana Pepper. On March 15, she invites you to play with quahogs. You’ll work with ‘hogs, ‘necks, and cherrystones  to create Stuffed Quahogs, Quahog Stew, and Littlenecks with pasta. Then on March 22, she’ll be teaching easy pasta dishes and wine pairings. Just $30 per class, participants will learn how to cook, eat dinner together and take home the leftovers. You can’t beat that.

You must reserve your space in advance — check out East Wind’s Facebook page here for more info. March 8, 15 or 22 from 6:30 to 8:30. 2 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, 508-759-1857.

Fremantle prisoner Michael Harrington4. Irish Adventures

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, go check out the current exhibit at the New Bedford Whaling Museum: Famine, Friends & Fenians. It’s a fascinating tale of New Bedford/Irish history just waiting for a Hollywood screenwriter to create a swashbuckling movie. We wrote about the Fenians last year on our blog so if you want to get up to speed before going to the exhibit, check that out here. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, whalingmuseum.org

Photo courtesy of Ella's Woodburning Oven Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Ella’s Woodburning Oven Restaurant

5. Farm-to-Table Party

The spring equinox is March 20. Two days later, Ella’s Woodburning Oven Restaurant celebrates with a farm-to-table dinner, featuring meat from Weatherlow Farms and greens from Eva’s Garden (see more about Eva here). Chef Marc Swierkowski of Ella’s teams up with Chef Ed Rosazck from Mattapoisett’s How on Earth to create a delicious celebration of our local bounty. Bog Iron Brewery of Norton rounds out the dinner with local craft beer pairings for the dinner. Contact Ella’s Woodburning Stove Restaurant for more information at 508.759.3600 or [email protected]

 

 

 

6. Page to Stage

Page to Stage at the Z (Photo courtesy of Zeiterion Theater)

Page to Stage at the Z (Photo courtesy of Zeiterion Theater)

For a different kind of pairing, the Z is offering three stage performances with a twist this month. To deepen the theater experience, the Z will offer community book clubs to accompany each performance, delving into the themes of the books before the topics come alive on stage.

A March 1 book club will discuss  Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Suskind, which is linked to Spencers: Theatre of Illusion performance on March 4.  Life, Animated is a twisting, 20-year journey that follows the author’s autistic son Owen, and inspired the Oscar nominated documentary of the same name.

On March 2, the book club discusses The Giver by Lois Lowry before seeing American Place Theatre’s superb adaptation the same night. A Newberry Award-winning book, The Giver has become a staple of young adult reading lists but it’s engaging for adults as well, with a story that will have you thinking about big concepts like ethics and individuality long after you put the book down,

On March 30, prior to the arrival of Argentine company Che Malambo later that night, the Z’s book club will discuss Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron by Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro.

The book groups are free and open to the public but please RSVP here. To purchase tickets to the shows, go here. The Zeiterion Theater,  684 Purchase Street, New Bedford.

 

If you have any other suggestions to tear us away from Hulu and Netflix, leave them in the comment section. And if you want to stay in the know about cool and eclectic South Coast events, sign up for our free emails right here.

 

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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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