Bucket list summer adventures at Distinctive Inns in Massachusetts

Jane Howard, at Deerfield InnIt may still be spring, but summer travel is increasingly on everyone’s minds.  With lower gas prices and warmer temps already underway in the six New England states, travelers are looking toward New England summer vacations. The 12 Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) are ready with both hard core and soft adventures awaiting.  Outdoor fun packages at DINE inns are filled with everything from ziplining to hiking, biking and always with a little good ol’ New England romance thrown in too.

We’re planning to explore all of the summertime active and soft adventure in the upcoming blog series. Today we’ll focus on summer time adventures at the distinctive inns in Massachusetts. This summer, try these summer must-do adventures – some hard core and some on the softer side – when you visit any of the four Massachusetts inns or the other eight Distinctive Inns of New England in Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut.

In Massachusetts

Bikes for guests at Deerfield Inn.

Guest bikes at Deerfield Inn

Visit Deerfield Inn and be sure to explore the historic homes and living museum that make up Historic Deerfield. Historic Deerfield Inc., founded in 1952, is an outdoor history museum that focuses on the history and culture of the Connecticut River Valley and early New England, and offers the ideal look back at history for those of all ages.  Looking for something a little more active?  Zoar Outdoor, in Western Massachusetts, offers up a boatload of adventures – from white water rafting to canoeing, SUP’ing and ziplining, all in one location within an hour of Deerfield Inn.  There are plenty of wonderful hikes to nearby rivers and streams.  Simply ask innkeeper, Jane Howard, for suggestions and she’ll offer up a number of her favorite ideas. The inn offers bikes for guests’ use so you can tool around town or pedal down to the river, past farms offering local fare often found in the restaurant. And you’ll always find a liquid adventure when you return to the inn for a drink at Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern, the perfect way to and a day of adventure.

Continuing deeper in the Berkshire Mountains, a trip to Gateways Inn in the summer time offers up opportunities for fabulous musical and theater entertainment at the renowned Tanglewood Music Center. Classical, popular, and jazz concerts from June to Labor Day at the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center are a real draw here.  Just make sure to get your tickets early because these shows sell out quickly.  Additionally, the Shakespeare and Company productions are a must-see too.  Afterward, return to the Gateway’s Piano Bar open late during the theater season for a post-performance bite, and you’ve got the perfect soft adventure.  For hikers, the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary offers seven miles of trails that wind through hardwood forest, meadows, wetlands, and along the slopes of Lenox Mountain. Canoe trips are offered regularly on the Housatonic River and area lakes from mid-May through Columbus Day too. You’ll find a full list of active and soft adventure ideas on the Gateways Inn website.

Visit Captain’s House Inn on Cape Cod, and you have all the adventures of Chatham, MA within walking distance.  Stroll down to the Chatham Fish Pier and just watch the boats come in and unload their bounty.  It’s a great view into the fishing life on Cape Cod.  Better yet, for those who love fishing, the waters surrounding Chatham offer some of the best striped bass fishing in the world and no permit is required. The Captain’s House Inn’s website offers up a number of suggestions for fishing charters including Rocking Robin’s Fishing Charters and First Line Fishing Travel.  And for those who love biking, probably one of the best rails-to-trails project in New England can be found on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  Bring your bike and use this fabulous trail to explore Cape Cod.

Chart on wall at Harbor Light Inn tavern

This chart at Harbor Light Inn Tavern shows all the lighted bouys in Marblehead harbor.

Heading north of Boston, your next stop in Massachusetts for summer adventure is the Harbor Light Inn, in Marblehead, MA.  Some might say that watching the boats come in and out of the harbor, especially on race days, is an adventurous activity.  Indeed, there’s plenty of suspense on the starting line during races.  And for those who want to spend some time on the water, the Harbor Light Inn’s website offers a few options for sailboat rentals and yacht charters.  Back at the Harbor Light Inn’s tavern afterward, be sure to check out the lighted chart on the wall and if you’re lucky, you may get in on a few boating adventures offered by owner Peter Conway, former commodore of the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead and avid boater. Additionally, two fabulous museums offer up some soft adventure nearby.  The Peabody Essex Museum offers up a fabulous collection of artworks reminiscent of its New England location.  Additionally, the Salem Witch Museum provides great insight into the tales of witchcraft making neighboring Salem so famous.  For those seeking a little softer adventure, these cultural offerings are unbeatable.

In the next few weeks, we’ll explore ideas for bucket list adventure in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Visit each of the Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites.  Better yet, visit them in person and take advantage of their value-added packages.

In Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic.

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton