Holidays and mansions. Sounds like a pretty good combination to me. That is what the folks at the Newport mansions are offering all their patrons. As part of the holiday season, the Newport mansions have been decorated for the season. The $29 tour includes 3 of the mansions (The Elms, The Breakers and The Marbles). But, I was only able to see The Elms Mansion.
The mansions aren’t the only ornate buildings in the area. Some of the homes in the area are very pretty as well. Before you arrive at the mansions, you can peak at the pretty houses in the neighborhood.
When you enter the mansions, you are given an audio player with headphones to use as part of the self guided audio tour. Indoor photography is limited to certain rooms (usually they don’t allow photography at all in the mansions but they relaxed their policy slightly for the holiday tours). I might have sneaked in a few more photos from the rooms that weren’t authorized for picture taking. It’s actually kind of a good thing that they limit photography because you could easily be inundated with things to photograph. One room seemed more beautiful or interesting then the previous room.
Photo taking is allowed on the exteriors of the mansions and the grounds of the buildings.
The mansions are available for tours throughout the year. So, if you can’t make it there during the holiday try going another time when it is less busy. If you go to the holiday mansion tour, it is only during daylight hours. Parking can be difficult, especially if you arrive later in the day. But, you should be able to find parking somewhere in the area if you can’t find a spot in the parking lots at the mansions.
There’s something magical about Halloween. It’s a time when adults can still pretend to be a kid again, even just for one night. Even the most mature, sober person can forget their responsibilities and relive their carefree days just a little.
For the remainder of the week, I will be posting the remaining photos from my trips to Salem, MA. In this edition, I am posting photos of the various decorations, some other miscellaneous things and, of course, a few dogs from my travels in Salem.
Salem is known world wide for getting into the spirit of Halloween. Everywhere you look, there are decorations of the season.
Besides the vendors selling merchandise there are also games and other fun types of activities. This particular activity was meant to see if people could maintain eye contact with a complete stranger and possibly make a connection, even on just a platonic level. It sounds like a good ice breaker to me. The comments about the activity on the board are very interesting and humorous.
Salem is also creative in how they tie the season to other causes like this witch who encourages people to keep Salem “wicked” clean.
The last leg of our summer’s swan song at Cape Cod was spent at Waterfront Park in Woods Hole. Waterfront Park has several statues and sculptures. The most recent statue is a memorial to environmentalist Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring and the Sea Around Us. Both books are considered influential books in the environmentalist movement. Carson had worked with Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) which is located in Woods Hole.
The waterfront also has a shaded sitting area for the weary traveler to rest their bones.
There is also a sun dial statue dedicated to Robert Crane, one of the original financial supporters of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The sun dial was constructed so that you could tell what time it is from any direction. And, yes, it is accurate. A somewhat elaborate explanation is included on the ground in front of the sun dial.
The “Flukes” is a bronze sculpture by Gordon Gund. Gund, a successful businessman, was inspired to sculpt The Flukes after seeing pilot whales off the coast. It looks like more of a slide or play thing which explains the sign in front of the sculpture. I suspect it is not much of a deterrent.
The Waterfront is also the main point of embarkment for the ferry to the islands of Cape Cod, mainly Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
The waterfront also has some pretty views of the water and pretty flowers.
The waterfront park is also known for its friendly visitors. I met this friendly guy named Charlie as I was leaving.
After a short stay at Scraggy Neck, it was time for our next stop on our Cape Cod Farewell Summer trip.
Our next destination was the Nobska Beach in the quaint village of Woods Hole in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The Nobska area is so pretty and there are so many attractions because of its sheer beauty, I decided cover the Nobska area in two separate blogs.
The first thing that stands out at Nobska beach are the array of flowers and the makeshift trails at the beach (that and the lack of parking). The only parking available is on the side of the road along the beach and a scant few spots in front of the light house (I’ll be posting photos of the light house in the second part of the Nobska photo blogs).
Nobska Beach offers views of both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island.
Boats and the ferry make frequent trips to the islands
If you hadn’t noticed, one of the treasures of Nobska Beach are the rocks and the rock formations.
But, to capture the real beauty of the views from the beach, it was necessary to walk down a narrow trail down to this modest rocky ledge.
But, the ledge was wide enough for me and my camera. And the views were well worth the extra effort.
Nobska Beach is also home to a variety of wildlife.
At the base of the beach there are two memorials. A memorial for Dennis Jeff Sabo lies under some plants, almost unnoticed. The memorial does not give any more information than his date of birth, date of death and name. A Google search yielded no results. The lack of details about Dennis adds to the memorials’ mystique.
The other memorial is dedicated to Neilie Anne Heffernan Casey. Neilie was a passenger on Flight 11 on September 11, 2001. A memorial and bench bearing her name lay in the area now dubbed “Neilie Point”. A beautiful reminder of an awful day.
One last summer weekend. One last chance to soak up the dwindling magic of summer. What better way to laze away the remaining summer bliss than at the iconic Cape Cod Canal?
The canal stretches for 7 miles for Sandwich, MA, to Buzzards Bay. There are several entrances to the canal. We chose the entrance near the end of the canal at Buzzards Bay.
The views at the canal are one of the main attractions.
Fishermen and fisher women dot the rocky edges of the canal and it is a popular starting point for bikers, runners and walkers. The canal also is a bustling point for ships carrying a variety of cargo, particularly since it is so close to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. I caught one as it passed under the railroad bridge.
Ducks and seagulls also find the canal too be a fun place to enjoy the summer.
This lady thought I was spying on her.
Well, until next summer…I’ll meet you at the canal.
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The bridges of Western Massachusetts are not just the ones you see on the roadways. But, don’t let the name fool you. The Natural Bridge State Park has so much more to offer.
Before you reach the natural bridge, a brook greets you at the entrance.
Formed through series of continental collisions, erosion and the meltwaters caused by the Ice Age, the natural marble bridge is the only one of its kind in North America.
Deep crevices and chasms were carved through the years of erosion and warming and cooling.
The only marble bridge in North America, the natural bridge in North Adams is located just off the The Mohawk Trail.
Adding to the beauty of the natural bridge, the park has a waterfall.
The Natural Bridge State Park also has impressive views of the bridge and the park it overlooks.
There are many flowers, trees, rocks, bridges (a bridge on a bridge of all things) and even David’s Bench that give the Natural Bridge State Park a special charm.
During our travels, we met Sasha.
Just as you think you’ve seen all the Natural Bridge State Park has to offer there is a small park area atop the walking bridge. Statues and other structures made from the materials mined from the one time quarry rest along the top of the lofty bridge. It capped off a perfect visit.
If you want to feel on top of the world, or at least on top of Massachusetts, there’s no place like Mount Greylock.
Clocking in at 3,491 feet and about an hour and a half west of Springfield, MA, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. With its miles of hiking trails and scenic views, Mount Greylock is the perfect destination for hikers and nature lovers. There is also a paved road to the summit with places to pull over to view the scenic beauty.
There are also some cute and pretty attractions off the main trails.
Even the views and flowers at the Visitor Center were captivating.
Along the trails
But, the pinnacle of Mount Greylock is the tower that sits atop the summit. First built as a tribute to the veterans of the first World War, the tower now serves as a memorial to all service members who have served the country. When it is lit each night, the tower is said to be able to be seen from 70 miles. The granite from which the tower was came from my hown city, Quincy (pronounced kwin-zee), Massachusetts.
Mount Greylock State Reservation is a dog friendly park. During my visit there were many dogs out enjoying the views.
Izzy was patiently waiting for his mom outside the visitor’s center.
Peanut was getting ready for his big hike.
Max was tired from hiking the trails at Greylock.
This fella was enjoying some rays.
Most of the wildlife at Mount Greylock was hidden during the day. But, I did see this grasshopper.
Mount Greylock is also a popular spot for paragliders. In fact, several paragliders took off from Mount Greylock during the day.
Mount Greylock is also a stop on the Appalachian Trail. It’s a long way to Georgia. Maybe I’ll try it sometime.
Granville State Forest is 2,000 plus acre state forest and campground located in, you guessed it Granville, Massachusetts. Be advised, the trails are long in between the various ponds, brooks and various other attractions. But, you can drive on the unpaved roads if walking isn’t your style.
Located about 45 minutes from Springfield, MA, Granville State Forest was once a popular hunting spot for the Tunxis. I didn’t run into Tunxis during this visit. But, I did see some stunning views. Take this waterfall, for instance.
But, to really get a sense of the beauty of the Hubbard River, one must get off the beaten path, or bridge as it were in this case.
It’s amazing the things you see when you get off the main path. Like this Frog with his lunch.
Or this artful graffiti, especially the curse words. It’s vary quaint. Oh, you crazy kids. At least I hope it was kids who wrote it.
There are also an abundance of pretty flowers and trees.
About a mile from the bridge over the Hubbard stream, there is the two acre Bahre Pond. Bahre Pond has some pretty views.
It is also teeming with wildlife, like this water snake.
And this frog who thought he could hide from me.
Granville State Park also has some paths off the main trails that have some hidden gems.
The main attraction at Granville State Forest has to be the waterfall. Below is a short video of the waterfall in all its splendor.