The term tourist sometimes gets a bad rap. Of course there are instances where it is deserved. I will admit to not being very well traveled but have vacationed in some very nice places and have always been acutely aware of not coming off as a tourist. This summer I have had no plans for a week long vacation to some exotic locale but I do have time off from work. My husband and I have taken day trips and enjoyed it. We have become tourists in our own state/region. People come to New England all the time for vacation to museums, gardens, parks, the shore, things they don’t have where they live. So we decided to investigate those places ourselves. We went to Fruitlands Museum one of the homes of Louisa May Alcott, had a great tour(something I normally don’t like), walked some lovely quiet trails and a had a delicious lunch at their small cafe with a gorgeous view. Really a lovely day.
When you live in eastern Massachusetts, the western part of the state seems like such a long way to go, but on a recent VERY hot day we decided to go to Shelburne Falls to see The Bridge of Flowers. Glorious! In 1929 a woman’s group took over this abandoned bridge and made it into a walking garden. I highly recommend this to any who are interested in gardening or seeing a small quirky town with beautiful scenery nice restaurants and wonderful galleries and artists cooperatives. We walked around, visited lovely stores and saw a natural rock formation by the falls called Natures potholes ( I think). We had lunch in a small cafe near the garden and made our leisurely way home after a stop for ice cream at an antique store lunch counter. We wanted to buy one of their homemade pies but we would have had to reserve the day before. Oh well, ice cream was great.
This past week we went to Warren, R.I. to have lunch. Blount’s Clam Shack is great! It is on the river, boats can pull right into a slip and grab lunch or dinner. We hadn’t had our fried clams (whole belly, of course) yet this summer and they serve great ones. They have covered tables or ones with umbrellas and a spectacular view. You stand in line to order at one food truck and they give you a little vibrating thing that tells you when it is ready for pick up and you get your drinks from the other truck. They really are permanent and the company sells soups and chowders from a large retail building on the road. Warren is doing over this small section down by the water and there are some great places already. My favorite fried clam is from Woodman’s in Essex, MA (they invented it in 1916), but Blounts is really a close second.
I have really had a lot of fun seeing my state and region through the eyes of a tourist and will continue to investigate more wonderful spots, but I will not wear a fanny pack or wear sock with my sandals!