Wicked New England–Favorite Summertime Activities

In January, we chatted about our favorite winter activities. If anything, New England suffers from a glut of dizzying choices in the summertime: the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in the Berkshires, camping by a lake in New Hampshire, toodling in and out of the shops on Nantucket, or spending time at the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Choices must be made. Wickeds, what is your favorite New England summer20150810_075843 activity?

Edith: It’s a toss up between going to the beach at the start or end of the day, or going into
my garden to pick dinner – sun-warmed tomatoes, skinny eggplant, lettuce, garlic, carrots,and more! Both activities are so wonderful, and the period in which we can do them in the Northeast so fleeting. Here’s a shot of my early-morning spot at Jenness Beach in Rye, New Hampshire last July. Bliss. (I go home once the sun gets too high. And then I harvest my dinner…)

Liz: It’s not very original, but give me the beach any day. We love the beaches in Rhode Island – Second Beach is the best – and even though it’s a bit of a drive, it’s so worth it. My absolute favorite thing to do is sit by the water and read. I could stay there for the entire summer and be totally happy, as long as someone brought me water and potato chips.

IMG_3798_2Sherry: I love to go down to the North End (the Italian section) of Boston and walk around. Grab a piece of pizza and a beer. Stop by one of the Italian bakeries and have a cannoli. People watch. And, of course, visit some of the historic sites. One of my favorites is Christ Church or The Old North Church as it is more famously known. If we time it right there will be a feast and procession going on. Since I grew up in Iowa, I’d never seen anything like the processions that go on in the North End. Here’s a website with a list of them!

Jessie: I love walking the beach. As soon as it gets the least bit warm I head to the shore and unless there is still snow on the ground I usually take off my shoes for the pleasure of the sand between my toes. Being barefoot is decidedly more pleasant once summer rolls around!

Free-Fun-Fridays-Schedule-2016Julie: In Boston there are a ton of things to do in the summer. Open markets, free Shakespeare thanks to companies like It’s A Fiasco and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. The Highland Street Foundation supports Free Fun Fridays, offering free entry into 10 sites a week for 10 weeks throughout the summer. (This is Massachusetts wide, so check the site.) As Sherry pointed out, there are festivals every week in the North End. The arts are everywhere in the summer–I’m very much looking forward to Outside the Box on the Boston Common July 13-17 this summer. I enjoy the beach, reading on a hammock, eating seafood, ice cream at Christina’s or Somerset Creamery, an annual trip to Canobie Lake Park. But my favorite part about summer is not having to wear layers, eating outside, and being able to walk to great arts adventures.

Barb: At the risk of being boringly repetitious, my favorite summer activity is sitting on our front porch in Maine, in a rocker, with a book in my lap, looking at this view.


Readers, how about you? What’s your favorite summer activity?

22 Thoughts

  1. Hmm sitting with my DH, both of us reading with a good glass of wine or beer and just soaking the day up!

  2. What a joy to read these favorites! For me, it’s eating that Maine Crab Salad at the Oarweed in Perkins Cove and then walking the Marginal Way with those same friends. Life’s good!

  3. Seems to be a beach crowd here! (I have to think twice about that, with a fair Irish complexion.) I enjoy visiting Cape Cod, which is just over half an hour away–with the warning that one should never try to drive there on a Friday afternoon, or maybe even Thursday these days. The traffic can be wicked! But once you get there, there’s Falmouth, with some good restaurants (and Ben & Bill’s Chocolates, which has lobster ice cream!), and Mashpee Commons, for upscale shopping (great jewelry store there, called Elfstone), and Provincetown if you go all the way to the end, and of course, a lot of beaches!

  4. My favorite thing to do in New England during the summer is to visit Old Orchard Beach where I can see Jessie and make stops along the way to see Edith and Liz. Here in Baltimore I love the outdoor movies in Little Italy. It’s a magical place! Twinkling lights hang above the streets and people sit at outdoor cafes eating dinner. Everyone brings their folding chairs and lines them up waiting for the show to begin. They use the side of a restaurant for the screen and the film projector sits in the bedroom window of a house across the street. Moonstruck is always the first movie of the season. The local bank provides popcorn for everyone. It is wonderful and I go to as many as I am able.

  5. My favorite activity is one I don’t get to do often enough. Sit on my porch – or deck – with a book or working on the latest project. With no one to bother me, of course.

  6. Sherry, I love the historical walk in Boston and the Old North Church is one of my favorites too. I am always impressed and amazed by all the artifacts from our history that New Englanders have saved and cherished.

    1. It always amuses me that when Europeans visit, they say, “You think that’s old?” and when Australians visit, they say, “That’s so old!”

      I guess what I’m saying is what we’ve kept and cherished depends on your perspective.

  7. I like the beach, too, but I don’t tend to go that often. I’ve played summer league ultimate Frisbee every summer but one since 1999, and it’s something I always look forward to. This weekend is my 7th annual Camp Pendleton Mud Run, which is one of my favorite mud runs.

    I used to look forward to USA Network shows, but with most of the ones I watched having ended, that means less TV and more reading time, which is also something to enjoy.

    I also enjoy running in the early evenings when it is still hot around here (I’m crazy, I know). And I love to swim, so I enjoy jumping in the pools in my condo complex.

    1. I used to love all the USA network shows too! I can’t for the life of me figure out why they got rid of so many good shows. Probably money.

      1. The shows had been on the air for a lot of years. Monk and psych got 8 years each, and it was time for them to end. White Collar was definitely out of steam. It was painful how they were keeping Neal around. A couple of their shows could have gone longer, but they didn’t seem to have the ratings.

  8. We are looking forward to a real New England treat- a week on Cape Cod with grown kids and grandbabies.We spent a week in Vermont last year, and it was so much fun we decided to do it again in another location. Haven’t been to Cape Cod since our kids were, well, kids, so we are all excited. Here in Brooklyn, a special summer treat is evening concerts in Prospect Park. NY Philharmonic usually does 1 or 2 and there are great popular music concerts of all kinds. A picnic and music – who could ask for more?

  9. I’d get a fried clam roll at the pier on Front Street in Marblehead then walk up to Crocker Park to sit on a bench and eat while looking down on the harbor. If I was very lucky it would be a school day. My mother would be waiting tables at Maddie’s. Uncle Jean might see me from the boat yard, but he wouldn’t tell. My father would be so tired from working all night he wouldn’t hear the phone ring when the school did a truancy check. At all costs I would avoid riding my bike past Mr. Aksnes’ apartment. Not that the would be home. The exchange teacher from Norway would be lecturing my world history class. But, his wife would would see me, and she would tell. The next time I went to babysit, I’d get a lecture and a reduction in pay. Just kidding. He never told or held back the money. I would get the lecture, though, and made to walk the hill on our ski trip. No ski lift for me. Must have my fun in the warm weather.

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