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Where would you suggest for a Memorial Day weekend day trip or overnight?

RockportGary Jaffarian provides a few New England destinations as options for a nice day trip or holiday weekend away.

The official kick off to summer is upon us and it is time for summer drives and weekend get-aways! Most people in our area have visited popular destinations including Cape Cod, Rockport, Gloucester, Ipswich, Newburyport, Ogunquit and Kennebunkport (Maine); or the N.H. Lakes Region—which are still among my favorites. (If you haven’t been to these beautiful places already, then I suggest you put them on top of your summer “bucket” list.)

I am a boater and love the ocean, so most of my favorite summer destinations are Tivertoncentered around ocean communities. But I have one favorite place in the mountains of Massachusetts and some favorite places in Southern Rhode Island by the ocean which are often overlooked.

With gas prices averaging about $2.39 per gallon, you can get to some of these beautiful places in a half-day or less for about $20. If some of these places have available hotel rooms on the holiday weekend, I suggest you stay over. Your favorite discounted hotel rooms web sites may be the place to find an available room, such as Groupon, Trivago.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz.com; Booking New England or Expedia.

Berkshire in SUmmerThe Berkshires—This mountainous and historic area is filled with culture, music, beautiful views and charming villages. But most people in the Boston area or Merrimack Valley that I meet have never been there. In just two-and-a-half to three hours, you can be in this beautiful region. There is so much to do and see, a weekend is barely enough time to explore this region known for its many tourist attractions.

Museums: The two most famous are:
1. Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. While I will admit to not being much of a fan of his artwork, he is an iconic artist documenting the history of our country in Rockwell Museumpictures. I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the tour was, as well as learning important facts about his life and passion for civil rights. It’s a great place for children and adults.

2. Mass MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in North Adams was written up on the front page of this past Sunday’s Boston Globe. It has expanded and will be MassMoCA

opening a new building on May 28th. This amazing museum is home to a diverse group of exhibitions representing many forms of multi-media art, paintings, sculptures and so much more. The collections are only on view for a limited time, so it is ever-changing. Boston Globe write Malcolm Gay referred to Mass MoCA as “about the vast and outlandish, an unlikely arts mecca…” The new building will add another 105,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space!

Downtown Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District has a mix of museums, movies, shops and restaurants.

Tanglewood in Lenox is one of the most famous places to visit in the country for classical and orchestral music and is the summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. It is best known for hosting the Boston Pops events in the summer and James Taylor on the 3rd of July, for his annual Independence Day celebration. While Tanglewoodthere are no shows until May 31st, it is worth mentioning if you go between then and Labor Day. Keith Lockhart will be there leading the Boston Pops in John Williams music, there are special performances by the Indigo Girls, Joan Baez and many other nationally-known musicians.

The Berkshires are also home to wineries, breweries, farmers’ markets and orchards, making it a great place to visit in spring, summer or autumn; or for skiing in the winter. Instead of staying overnight in a chain hotel, there are plenty of charming and historic inns and bed and breakfasts. You may want to check out the famous Red Lion Inn.

PEM ExhibitSpeaking of art exhibits, there is a wearable art exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem (MA) that is a short drive and after checking out the exhibit there is plenty to see in this quaint and historic seaside community with many museums, shops and restaurants.

Newport, RI is one of the most sought after travel destinations for New Yorkers, but just south of Massachusetts, many people haven’t been to Newport. Known for its beaches, mansions of Bellevue Avenue and shopping and dining on Thames Street and on two downtown wharfs, Newport is home to the most bed and breakfasts of any city inNewport America! It is the home to the Viking Hotel used for the original filming of The Great Gatsby based on the 1925 American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald; and the center of town was using in the filming of Amistad— a true movie based on events of 1839, when the revolt of slaves aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island and the courts had to decide whether the passengers were slaves or legally free.

Downtown NewportNewport is a great place to visit for the day or weekend whether you’re single and looking for some music clubs; or a family looking for fun things to do with the kids. (There’s a giant arcade with video games for the kids in downtown Newport!) If you are a boater, Newport is home to the International Boat Show every September and is one of the largest boating events in the nation.

Other places to visit in Rhode Island are Jamestown, a historic oceanside town next to Newport; take a ferry to Block Island from Narragansett or Newport; or go over the scenic Newport Bridge,Newport Bridge the longest in New England and away from the crowds to visit Tiverton for beaches or Boating; or historic Bristol. There are many beautiful ocean-view towns in the smallest state in the union, which are often overlooked by most New Englanders. Bristol is home to the oldest 4th of July parade in the entire nation! Coastal Living magazine named Bristol in its top 10 best American beach towns to celebrate the 4th of July!

Before you leave, give us a call (888) 718-4749 or book on line 24/7 for an appointment with Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s Service Department for an oil change and we’ll give your vehicle a great check-up before you leave. If you bring your vehicle in for a service check, our certified technician will even text you a short video of your vehicle and their findings! Or call to book a detail cleaning before you leave or when you return. Service and detail specials are available by using the coupons on our website.

Travel safely and enjoy your long weekend and the unofficial start of the summer season!

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

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