Massachusetts Best Adventures 2011
Deerfield River, Franklin County
Outfitters haul their yellow rafts to the banks of the Deerfield River in the spring and summer months to tumble down two stretches: the exhilarating Class IV rapids in the Dryway and the family-friendly Class II and III rapids farther south, in the deep pools of Zoar Gap. Zoar Outdoor offers guided and self-guided trips. 7 Main St., Charlemont. 800-532-7483; zoaroutdoor.com
BEST SALTWATER KAYAKING
Essex River Basin, Essex
The web of estuaries in Essex Marsh, an hour north of Boston on Cape Ann, leads to protected bays and the back side of Crane Beach. These tidal flats are home to thousands of littleneck clams, your entree of choice at nearby Woodman’s seafood restaurant (133 Main St.; 978-768-2559; woodmans.com) after a day of paddling. Essex River Basin Adventures offers a two-hour guided sunset tour for $44 per person. 1 Main St. 978-768-3722; erba.com
BEST BIKE PATH
Province Lands Bike Trail, Provincetown
You can’t go wrong with this undulating eight-mile route on the tip of the Cape. Dipping in and out of sand dunes, weaving through scrub-pine forests and along beaches, it’s one of the most unique bike trails you’ll ever attempt. Race Point Road (Province Lands Visitor Center). 508-487-1256; nps.gov/caco
BEST WHALE WATCHING
Stellwagen Bank, Eastham
Hungry humpbacks, along with smaller minke whales, head to Stellwagen Bank from April to November to take huge gulps of fish attracted to this massive nutrient-rich mesa, seven miles out to sea from Provincetown. See them with a naturalist aboard one of the daily Dolphin Fleet boats out of Provincetown Harbor. 800-826-9300, 508-240-3636; whalewatch.com
BEST STRIPER FISHING
Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown & West Tisbury
Striped bass have voracious appetites, grow to more than 50 pounds, and they fight like champions. On the Vineyard, you’ll find them along the rips leading from the ocean into Edgartown Great Pond and Tisbury Great Pond.
Please Note: This article 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.