Venture Out: An Island, a River and a Hill
Remember your younger days when you'd set out on an adventure for the day? The Sunday Patch Passport maps out where you can go on a 15-, 30- or 60-minute trip from your home.
We list these short adventures in the order of longest to shortest.
60 Minutes from home
Where: Georges Island, Boston Harbor
Why go: Because there's an awesome fort. Because it's farther out than Spectacle Island, and farther out is better. Because you'll feel the Atlantic breeze on your face. Because all summer long there are fun activities: music, plays, puppet bands, Civil War lawn games and more. Because there's a ghost. Because you'll feel you're somewhere else entirely.
What to do: Pack a lunch. Get on the Red Line at Davis Square and take it to Downtown Crossing. From there, walk 15 minutes to Long Wharf, where you can catch the ferry to Georges Island. The ferry ride is 25 minutes, but it takes you a world away. Once on Georges Island, explore the fort. Walk around to the eastern side, below the walls, and stare out at the Atlantic. What's that you see past Little Brewster Island? Europe. Find a rock, a bench or a piece of grass and eat your picnic. Take the ferry home and have some clams, mussels, lobster or other fish for dinner.
Why go: Time outdoors. Getting somewhere by the stroke of your own paddle. Checking out one of the most historic sites in America. Basking in the atmosphere of beautifully landscaped grounds. Stepping back in time. Having a picnic.
What to do: Pack a lunch and a book. Hop in your car and drive 30 minutes to the South Bridge Boat House in Concord. Rent a canoe. Launch it in the Sudbury River and start paddling north toward the Old North Bridge. It was here that the first fighting of the Revolutionary War took place. Beach your canoe and stroll around the beautiful grounds. Visit the North Bridge Visitor Center. Learn something. Eat your picnic. Read your book. Get back in your canoe and explore more of the waterways. Return to the South Bridge Boat House and come home. There; you've done something memorable today.
15 minutes from home
Where: Prospect Hill Park
Why go: Because so many of you know it's there, but you've never been. Because it has the best views in Somerville. Because George Washington first raised the American flag here. Because it's so quiet, and the surrounding neighborhood is so beautiful. Because you can have a peaceful picnic, and you're still in the middle of the city. Because climbing up a hill is an accomplishment.
What to do: Get yourself to Union Square, preferably on a Saturday in summer when the farmers market is taking place. Buy some provisions of fresh farmers-market food for your journey. Find Stone Avenue and walk up the hill. Once you're at the park, take in the views. Find a bench or sit on the lawn and eat your farmers-market picnic. Walk around the monument. Look at the old houses nearby. Yes, you're still in Somerville.