Writer Meaghan Agnew and our friends at Thrillist recently came up with their recommendations for getaways to small towns of Massachusetts. It’s a fun list, and – we concur! Here are the towns Thrillist suggested:
Rockport for Beauty — Most of us have seen the famous Motif #1 – the red fishing shack painted and photographed by generations of visitors – in pretty Rockport. The Motif could be symbolic of the beauty of the town, with a main street that protrudes into Rockport Harbor. Another attraction is Bearskin Neck, a warren of tiny streets packed with charming shops and restaurants.
Good dining: Feather and Wedge serves delightful cocktails; My Place by the Sea serves seafood by the sea; The Lobster Pool is a basic and classic clam shack with outdoor seating and BYOB hospitality. Drive time from Boston: An hour and a half. Map.
Wellfleet for Great Food — Arriving by land or by the Boston-Provincetown ferry, you will find the remote end of Cape Cod has beautiful towns and lots of places to get out into nature at many places, including the Wildlife Sanctuary and Cape Cod National Seashore. The Wellfleet Flea Market runs on weekends through mid-October.
Good dining: Mac’s Shack might surprise you with sushi alongside its very good oysters; The Wicked Oyster is the go-to place for chowder; PB Boulangerie Bistro serves delicious pastries; and Truro Vineyards welcomes you for wine tasting. Drive time from Boston: Two and a half hours. Map
Deerfield for history — Central Massachusetts has a fine living history museum at Historic Deerfield. The museum consists of 18th-century houses, many hosting live art and cooking demonstrations. Foodies can poke around the Cooks’ Garden, which grows veggies and herbs used in on-site culinary classes. The renowned Deerfield Inn is picturesque and comfortable, and it hosts some very cool events, like multi-day guided bike rides in the region.
Good dining: Champney’s for beer-braised short ribs and, if it’s a cold evening, a fireside drink; Berkshire Brewing for taproom drafts. Drive time from Boston: Two and a half hours. Map.
North Adams for Art Viewing — MASS MoCA, a museum of modern art, is the fulcrum of a rebirth for this city. More great art awaits at The Clark in Williamstown. Outdoors, you can wander the Natural Bridge State Park; and a drive to the top of Mount Greylock (through October). Pittsfield has two fine boutique hotels: Porches and the riverside Tourists.
Good dining: Bright Ideas Brewing is your place for beers and barbecue; The Airport Rooms for cocktails and sophisticated bar snacks; Jack’s Hot Dog Stand for what the name tells you; and Gramercy for farm-to-table food.
Drive time from Boston: Three hours, 15 minutes. Map.
Pittsfield for Culture — Pittsfield is very close to many Berkshires attractions. The Hotel on North is a super-groovy boutique hotel in two 19th-century main street brick buildings. There’s a farmers’ market, a monthly arts walk, the Hancock Shaker Village , a cultural district boasting an indie movie theater, and the Berkshire Museum. Pittsfield State Forest offers hikes to waterfalls and a look at Balance Rock.
Good dining: Eat on North for oysters and tacos, Methuselah for cocktails and craft beer, Mission Bar & Tapas for snacks and live music, and Dottie’s for a breakfast/brunch burrito. Drive time from Boston: Three hours. Map.