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Massachusetts Local Secrets 2010

by in May 2010
Massachusetts Local Secrets 2010
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)
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Best Ocean Stroll
This public path provides a front-row view of the Atlantic’s ceaseless undermining of the island’s sandy foundations. Dawn to dusk, you’ll stroll like an accidental gate crasher through the hedgerows and wind-sculpted arboreal bowers of neighboring seaside mansions. Begins at north end of Front St. 508-228-3643;

Best Pressed Panini
Tucked off a side street, this small shop might elude the casual passerby, but almost any local can provide directions in a heartbeat. Pressed tuna panini ($6.50), made from oil-packed fish and fresh ciabatta baked next door, are so good they deserve their own aria. 18 Winthrop St. 413-732-1055;

Best Slice of Tranquility
The serenity on this hilltop is inspired by Japanese landscaping, complete with koi pond, a fitting complement to the surrounding pastoral beauty. 100 Cave Hill Road. 413-367-2202

Best Trappist Preserves
For 50-plus years, the monks here have been creating jams, jellies, marmalades, and conserves. The gift shop carries all 30-some varieties. 167 North Spencer Road. 508-885-8720;

Best Panoramic Ocean View
A 10-acre public park protects a sharp cleft in the granite bluff, rising some 40 feet above Massachusetts Bay. Trail begins at the small fenced roadside parking area, 400 feet east of Old Salem Path. Grounds open dawn to dusk. Free. Hesperus Ave. 978-283-1601,; 978-281-8865,

Best Ice Cream

Dozens of flavors, made on the premises in small batches, attract a steady stream of ice-cream lovers, in weather both fair and foul. The shop’s creativity is best displayed in the honey-accented flavor with chunks of baked baklava blended in. Delicious! 393 Lowell St. 781-245-4946;

Best Hot Dogs
Among historic diners, few have the pedigree of this 10-stool 1922 Worcester model, with its stained glass, oak interior, and original hot-dog steamer. That copper vat never rests: Order a couple of dogs “all around” (mustard, onions, relish), and you, too, will appreciate why there’s rarely an empty seat. 36 South Ave. 508-655-3761

Best Excuse to Go Local
Gathering weekly at the bathing beach parking lot, locals appreciate regional foods, including smoked fish, organic granola, artisanal cheeses, and live shellfish. Open late May to mid-November, Wed. and Sat. 10-2. Jct. Otis St. & Route 3A;

Best Friday-Night Lobster Rolls
GRACE CHURCH, Vineyard Haven
Join the happy throngs at the parish hall for stuffed-to-overflowing lobster rolls, prepared to order by church members at a price that can’t be beat. Jct. Woodlawn Ave. & William St. 508-693-0332;

Best Salvadoran Cuisine
Hearty dishes for not a lot of dinero. The out-of-town location keeps the pupusas, tamales, and other platos tipicos of El Salvador hidden from the island’s summer throngs, so no need for reservations. 17 Old South Road. 508-332-4749

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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Updated Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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One Response to Massachusetts Local Secrets 2010

  1. Eric Schatzlein June 1, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    IMHO you missed the best Ice Cream in New Englan by mile. Head on over to England’s Microcreamery at 109 washington St in Haverhill MA to find the best Ice Cream in New England. As well as the normal flavors of vanila, chocolate and straweberry they also have flavors like Mango, Cantalope, Guinness, Sweet Cream and others, all make from 100% fresh ingredients.

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