World’s End(submitted by Clémence Bary-Boloré)
What an intriguing name, right? I discovered this peaceful spot recently and fell in love with it at once. The first sight you catch when you arrive is the sea- before you have even parked, you have already started to relax.
What makes World’s End special? Firstly, I would say the view of the Boston skyline. Secondly, the different landscapes you can explore: forest, sea front, beaches, grassland. All of it at the same place! Thirdly, the fauna. There are plenty of different birds, squirrels and even deer! Last but not least, the tree-lined carriage paths designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (of Olmsted Park fame for anyone familiar with Boston’s Emerald Necklace) make for delightful walking trails.
What to do at World’s End? Walking, picnicking, jogging, horseback riding, cross-country skiing (in colder months!), or simply enjoying nature and the outdoors are all acceptable activities. Bring your binoculars, your picnic set, your favorite French book, and enjoy the day!
When to visit? Year-round, daily, 8 a.m. to sunset. Registrations required
Wellesley, MA(submitted by Natalie Collet)
While Wellesley is a town name most Massachusettsans are familiar with, it is a town too dang cute not to add to this list for a little day trip out of the city. The pandemic might have made the town less accessible these days, but it certainly deserves a mention if you are looking for a place to spend an afternoon.
In non-pandemic times, Lake Waban at Wellesley College is a 2.5 mile treat any time of year. Sadly, the lake is closed right now but don’t let that get you down! Brook Path offers a delightful trail of a similar length to the path at Lake Waban, while Boulder Brook and Centennial Reservation give shorter trails for the more time sensitive stroller! When it’s hot, take a dip in Morses Pond, a small yet lovely spot for a swim on a summer afternoon (note: currently the pond is only open to Wellesley residents).
Walking around the sprawling neighborhoods, gawking at the beautiful homes, and sauntering past the Wellesley Square shops is a COVID-friendly way to spend an afternoon. Any francophile will enjoy stopping by French-inspired Wasik’s Cheese Shop on Central Street! After your full day of walking, there are several fast casual restaurants and sit-down dining options for a bite to eat.
Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg(submitted by Maude Mastoris)
Is that a real name? Yes it is! Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg or Lake Chaubunagungamuag or Webster Lake is a 1,297 acre pond located in southern Massachusetts. Webster is situated near the Connecticut border and is the proud home of the state’s largest natural lake.
Historians and Indians have agreed that Chaubunagungamaugg means "Fishing Place at the Boundary". The 45-letter alternative name, Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamauggis, came up later in the 20s, and means "Englishmen at Manchaug at the Fishing Place at the Boundary.” The pond has the longest place name in the United States and has one of the longest names in the world.
Webster Lake offers two boat ramps which are open to the public, and a swimming area at Memorial Beach with a parking fee.
More info about the lake can be found here.
Scituate, MA(submitted by Ingrid Marquardt)
Scituate is a lovely seaside town located around 45-minutes by car (or commuter rail!) from downtown Boston. Front Street offers a variety of shops and several restaurants that either have outdoor, waterfront seating or have been given permission to create outdoor patios using the street in front of their doors. Less than a mile from Front Street (which has plenty of free parking!), you’ll find Museum Beach. Museum Beach is the former location of a museum of collectibles and gives a great view of the harbor and Scituate lighthouse!
Speaking of the lighthouse, they offer some parking, a second public beach, and a stone jetty with a beautiful view of the lighthouse for your commemorative instagram post. A short walk from the lighthouse, you’ll also find Sand Hills beach and the Sand Hills General Store for all your snack and hydration needs. If you’re motivated, you could easily hit three beaches in one day during your visit to Scituate! There are plenty of others, like Egypt and Minot beaches, if you want to make a true BINGO out of Scituate’s beach offerings!
Looking for more seaside fun? There is an MBTA ferry that can take you to a similar destination in Hull or Hingham! The different ferries out of Boston are a great way to explore right now, as the boats tend to be less densely packed than the T and offer outdoor seating - two things that allow for social distancing and safe travel.