Shrewsbury, Massachusetts – To those who have grown up and in and around the Shrewsbury area, there are always the things we all do with our families, and then there are the tourist-things we do when folks come to Massachusetts to visit us all.  For example, few of us get in the car and walk around Quincy Market, unless we have visitors in town.  What’s funny, is that when we go to visit our friends and relatives in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, etc., we go out to do those very same tourist things that exist right here in one of the most vacationed spots in the world, Boston Massachusetts

There are many things I’ve had the opportunity to do in Boston, but yet there are still so very many that I haven’t gotten to yet.   I’ve not been to the observation deck at the Pru, never took the Fenway Park tour, never visited Paul Revere’s home or the JFK library, and have yet to make it onto a Duck Tour.   In fact, the list of things I want to do seems to grow longer, not shorter, each and every year.   This weekend, I was able to pluck away at a few of them, and as the dog days of summer heat up, I encourage you all to do the same, and pop into Boston for the day.  Strap a camera around your neck, put on your tourist clothes, and see the town that so many travel thousands of miles, just to visit.

 

On Saturday, I took the opportunity to knock one more thing off of my bucket list, touring the bell tower and underground crypts of the Old North Church.  It seemed particularly appropriate on this Independence Day weekend, to visit the very place where Paul Revere worked as a bell ringer, and where the Lanterns were lit that historic night in 1775.  While  in the North End, how about a quick visit to Copp’s Hill burial ground just up the street, and of course, a canoli at Modern bakery, if the line isn’t too long.

 

For a great day at the beach head down to Scarborough Beach for a wonderful day in the sun at one of the prettiest beaches in Rhode Island.  No trip to that beach would be complete without dinner in one of the most amazing local cities, Newport.  For a great evening of sites, shopping, and yes even people watching, nothing beats the streets of Newport.  I recommend dinner at Benjamin’s, right off Thames and opposite the wharf.

 

 

Back to Boston one of my favorite things to do is the Boston Harbor Cruises whale watch, which leaves from the pier outside the Longwharf Marriot.  I’ve been on many, many whale watches over the years, even though I get seasick before we even leave the dock, but 2011 is shaping up to be one of the best years ever for seeing whales in their natural habitat just an hour from Boston Harbor.  Stellwagen Bank is filled this season with whales galore. Unlike many trips where you merely spot a whale or tow swimming by, this year, many have been able to view “bubble net feeding” up close for the first time.  Working together, a group of whales dives deep down in the ocean, and blow a circle of bubbles to coral their prey into the center.  Then, in unison, they rise up the center of the circle, mouths open, and gulp in hundreds of pounds of fish at a time.  It was just incredible to witness this first hand, and goes a long way towards illustrating just how smart these animals are, and why we need to work so hard to protect them.

Of course, while you’re there anywhere coming back from your whale watch, stop by the Aquarium and check out some of the amazing new exhibits, including the shark and sting ray petting zoo.  In fact, if you become a member, you get unlimited admission, which we use all the time, and passes to the IMAX theater next door.  Cap off your perfect day at Legal Seafoods, right next door, be back home in Shrewsbury before 10.  What more could you ask for than to have a plethora of sites to see right at your front door.

Next time you’re in the mood for something fun to do, why not just put on your tourist hat, and hit the sites of Boston