Explore Massachusetts’ Happenings on the Cheap

BOSTON – October 2013 – Columbus Day marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the new world, so it is fitting to spend this national holiday in one of the 13 founding colonies. And why not make a weekend out of it? Columbus Day Weekend is the perfect time for an abbreviated vacation to marvel at the fall foliage of Massachusetts and take advantage of the many happenings of the season – all for less. From music to art to food festivals, the holiday weekend’s lineup is robust. Here are a few ideas for your next Massachusetts micro-trip that will not break the bank.

For more information on fall activities and happenings, visit massvacation.com or check out the “MassFinds” blog at massvacation.com/blog.

What to See, What to Do

Greater Boston

Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands ~ Somerville, MA

October 11 –14, 2013

The Honk! Festival is a revolutionary spectacle of activist street bands (mostly brass) that converges every year in Somerville. It is a multi-day folk street band music fest in its 6th year with 350 eccentrically-attired musicians. Across the country and around the world, a new type of street band has emerged: acoustic and mobile with a commitment to enliven and embolden an audience. For a schedule of events, visit honkfest.org.

Christopher Columbus Day Celebration ~ Boston, MA

October 13, 2013, 11 a.m.

The Christopher Columbus Park is a neighborhood park in Boston’s North End created in 1974 commemorating the explorer. This free event presents music and entertainment by local groups, family activities to celebrate Boston’s Italian heritage and the holiday, in this park overlooking Boston Harbor. Take a stroll around Boston’s Italian District, the North End, for a gelato at Gelateria and then head over to the park. For information, visit bostonharborwalk.com.

Food Trucks at SOWA ~ Boston, MA

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Every Sunday, the food trucks of Boston flock to the South End to cater to hungry visitors of the SOWA market.  Open from May to October, this open market along Harrison Ave. in the SoWa district, offers a farmers market, a designer/art market, an antiques sector and of course, a food truck court. Some of the city’s most popular trucks include BonMe serving up Vietnamese sandwiches, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and The Taco Truck. For more information, visit SowaOpenMarket.com.

Cape Cod and the Islands

Yarmouth Seaside Festival ~ Yarmouth, MA

October 12 – 14, 2013

The Yarmouth Seaside Fest was founded in 1978 in hopes of creating community spirit and pride for this Cape Cod town. As a craft fair featuring more than 125 crafts from all over the country with food vendors, live music, a parade, a kayak and canoe race, a 5k road race, a pie-eating contest, sand sculpting and fireworks, this event runs the gamut in entertainment. This event is free to the public. For more information, visit Yarmouthseasidefestival.com.

10th Annual Columbus Day Festival ~ West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

October 13, 2013, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Celebrating all of the Vineyard’s favorite island artisans, this festival features weaving, fine furniture, pottery, leather goods, oil paintings, pastels, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, photography and more. Fore more information, visit VineyardArtisans.com.

North of Boston

Cape Ann Artists Open Studio ~ Cape Ann, MA

October 12 – 14, 2013

Visit the studios of 21 artists open throughout Columbus Day Weekend. Cape Ann Artisans are part of a vibrant community, located along the scenic North Shore of Massachusetts that includes three important cultural districts. For the past two years Gloucester has been named one of the country’s top ten art destinations by American Style Magazine. For more information, visit CapeAnnArtisans.com.

Central Massachusetts

3 Museums, 1 Great Day! ~ Boylston, Clinton and Worcester, MA

Enjoy BOGO admission to New England’s year-round Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston and then the ever-expanding collection of more than 500 Russian icons at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton. It is the largest collection of its kind in North America and one of the largest private collections outside Russia. After, head to the world-renowned 35,000-piece collection at the Worcester Art Museum. For your free adult admission with one paid admission, pick up the 3 Museums, 1 Great Day card from various venues throughout the area. For more information, visit WorcesterMA.org.

Western Massachusetts

Mohawk Trail, MA

Autumn is a popular time to visit New England for a reason. The season starts in mid-to-late September, and peak color often coincides with Columbus Day Weekend. The Mohawk Trail, which runs 63 miles along Route 2, from Orange to North Adams, is one of the state’s most popular foliage routes. Viewing sites include: the Whitcomb Summit; the hairpin turn before North Adams; the 10-mile drive to the summit of Mt. Greylock; the French King Bridge, Millers Falls; the Bissell Covered Bridge, Charlemont; and the enchanting Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls. For other fall foliage driving routes, visit massvacation.com.

Paradise City Arts Festival ~ Northampton, MA

October 12 – 13, 2013, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and October 14, 2013, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Paradise City showcases the works of some of America’s most prominent craftsmen and artists. It is also home to one of the largest digital image libraries of contemporary craft in the world. At this year’s festival, 275 competitively juried artists from 24 states exhibit original works in ceramics, painting, decorative fiber, art glass and more. Cavernous barns transformed into elegant exhibition halls to host this festival. Admission: $13. For more information, visit ParadiseCityArts.com.

South of Boston

Spicy Lime ~ New Bedford, MA

This pint-sized restaurant offers the best San-Francisco style Thai cuisine on the South shore. Chef owner, Lita Sawang, encourages customers to trade their garden yield for dinner ensuring that she uses local produce and supports the local growers and fishermen. Beer and wine are from neighboring towns to match. Try the sticky wings and som tum or green papaya salad.

Horseneck Beach State Reservation ~ Westport, MA

This quintessential New England beach is breezy all year round, providing a dependable respite from sweltering summer temperatures. It attracts plenty of sunbathers and swimmers all summer, but when the weather cools off, it encompasses a more serene, desolate beauty that necessitates a long afternoon of exploring. Spread across nearly 600 acres of barrier beach and salt marsh, Horseneck Beach is one of the most popular facilities in the Massachusetts State Forests and Parks system. The combination of ocean beach and estuary habitat makes Horseneck one of the premier birding locations in New England. For more information, visit mass.gov/dcr.

Cranberry Harvest Celebration ~ Wareham, MA

October 12 – 13, 2013

A.D. Makepeace hosts their annual cranberry harvesting festival to celebrate the harvest of this popular fall fruit from mid-September to early November. Tour the cranberry bogs, sample eats from local vendors or peruse the creations of many artisans and crafters, all to the sounds of live bands.  Admission: $10 for adults, free for children. For more information, visit CranberryHarvest.org.

Where to Stay

Greater Boston Area

W Hotel ~ Boston, MA

Stay at the posh W Hotel in Boston’s theater district for two nights and receive a $50 credit at any of the hotel’s amenities. This could mean $50 off an elegant dinner at Market Restaurant Boston, cuisine inspired by culinary legend Jean-Georges Vongerichten, $50 off your spa treatment at Bliss Spa or you newest hairstyle at James Joseph Salon. For more information, visit this website.

Charles Hotel ~ Cambridge, MA

The Charles Hotel is located in the heart of bustling Harvard Square. The hotel describes their home square as a place where “heads-of-state cross paths with Harvard students, while industry leaders share sidewalks with a host of Cambridge musicians.” Follow the hotel on Twitter @CharesHotel or become a fan on Facebook and each Tuesday, you will receive information on an exclusive one day only sale.

Cape Cod and the Islands

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club ~ Brewster, Cape Cod, MA

To coincide with the falling leaves, the breathtaking Ocean Edge Resort offers falling rates as low as $235/night. Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Cape Cod in the fall and stay in luxe accommodations in a recently renovated mansion guestroom or a one-bedroom villa. They will even throw in a bike rental for two complete with a picnic basket basic “starter kit.” For more information, visit OceanEdge.com.

Chatham Bars Inn ~ Chatham, Cape Cod, MA

Chatham Bars Inn was originally developed in 1914 as a semi-private hunting lodge for wealthy Boston vacationers. After a $100 million renovation, the hotel speaks old world charm, but with modern touches in an idyllic Cape Cod setting. Spend two nights in its elegance and receive $150 credit to spend anywhere you would like on the resort. For more information, visit ChathamBarsInn.com.

North of Boston

Salem Waterfront Hotel ~ Salem, MA

The Salem Waterfront Hotel is Salem’s newest boutique hotel with the largest rooms on the North Shore of Boston. The nautical-themed hotel’s Peabody Essex Museum package offers guests two complimentary passes and a special room rate. PEM features an unrivaled collection of art and culture from around the world and New England. It is also one of the nation’s major museums for Asian art. For more information, visit SalemWaterfrontHotel.com.

Central Massachusetts

Chocksett Inn ~ Sterling, MA

This cozy New England Inn stands in the Wachusett region, popular for ski getaways, but should not be discounted during the fall season. Take advantage of the region’s antique shops, hiking trails and the Wachusett Brewery. Their Romantic Inn Getaway Package includes nightly accommodations for two, a gift certificate to their restaurant onsite and complimentary bubbly for the room. For more information, visit ChocksettInn.com.

Western Massachusetts

Cranwell Resort~ The Berkshires, MA

High on a hilltop in Lenox, MA, Cranwell Resort offers spectacular views of the Berkshires. It is also home to one of the largest spas in the NorthEast. Take advantage of the spa getaway package that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation. The package includes one-night accommodations, $125 spa credit, 10% discount on spa treatments, $25 dining credit at any Cranwell restaurant and more. For more information, visit: Cranwell.com.

About MOTT:

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $16.9 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 124,700 in-state jobs. massvacation.com


For more information, contact:

Lisa Simmons, Director of Communications

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

(617) 973-8508

[email protected]