Three-Day Weekend Staycation in New England

Assabet National Wildlife Refuge

Instead of our typical Memorial Day getaway, we opted for a staycation! There were a few prior commitments we made for this time period and though that limited how far away we traveled away from home and the ability to stay overnight in any one location, it didn’t inhibit us from exploring and relaxing a bit.

Staycations are becoming more and more popular with our friends and family. Not only are they cheaper, but they force you to be creative and explore what tends to become invisible. Living in a city has its perks: the parks, views, skylines, higher restaurant and coffee shop to population ratio, and recreational activities like sporting events, music festivals, etc. But overtime, these features can become less unique and more mundane. The best part about staycations is how they force you to rethink and discover new experiences in your very own backyard.

When thinking about how we wanted to spend this three day weekend, we knew that it needed to include time outside, a day trip, great food and cocktails, and music. Luckily, all three of these criteria were laid out perfectly before us.

Saturday was our day for fun in the sun; outside time and great food and beverages were up. Our morning started off by exploring conservation land in Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. The miles of trails wove through wooded hills, swampy pond areas, and rushing rivers and streams. While a bit buggy and humid, we waltzed along the Winterberry Way trail to the swamps. Along the way we saw dozens of chipmunks, a few Canadian geese, and even some snapping turtles crossing the road from one body of water to the next. It was great to be outside in the peace and quiet and experience what makes this part of Massachusetts so great.

Assabet National Wildlife Refuge

Assabet National Wildlife Refuge

Assabet National Wildlife Refuge

Assabet National Wildlife Refuge

After the exploring we got ready for the day and headed over to Somerville for some shopping (can’t miss out on the holiday sales) and great food at Southern Kin Cookhouse (check out our date day blog on this establishment here). We each ordered our own sandwich (pulled pork for Phil and a burger for Sarah) with a side of some of the best biscuits in the Boston area. We also each got our own cocktail to complement the hazy heat we were experiencing that day.

Southern Kin Somerville, MA - Pulled Pork Sandwich

Sunday allowed for a bit more food and alcohol consumption made by some of Boston’s finest chefs all while listening to some amazing live music. Boston Calling music festival is one of the youngest festivals of its kind in the country. With three stages, a ferris wheel, and amazing food vendors serving up creative dishes, this is a great option for those looking to hang in the city during Memorial Day weekend (or a great reason to visit if out of town).

We were lucky enough to hang with Chris Coombs, the owner of the award-winning Boston Chops, who was serving up amazing food for the Platinum VIPs guests. This being said, we were now considered the highest of VIPs at the festival. Not only did we get to taste the ‘homewrecker’ hot dog, beef tenderloin sandwich, and a lamb gyro, but we got to watch Khalid’s and Eminem’s set above the massive crowd. It was a great way to hang with family, friends, and rub shoulders with some up-and-coming artists.

Monday, our bonus day, was spent in Portsmouth, NH. Sarah enjoyed an early morning Bikram Yoga session with one of the original instructors, and then, as a couple we meandered in and out of shops, ate and drank (a flight of 8 beers mind you) at Portsmouth Brewing Company, and enjoyed a relaxing day off.

All in all, our staycation was one for the record books. It’s not everyday you get to help make delicious food with an amazing chef, or see live snapping turtles on a hike, or even get a flight of homemade beers for $10. But even more rewarding was the time we got to spend with each other, without the stressors of work and responsibilities pressing down on us. Staycations can have the same effect as a real vacation, if you let it!

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