January- Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge
Sachuest is my favorite place to go for a winter hike. Deer are always visible. There is also a good chance to see an owl. I go there multiple times each winter. The photo ops of the deer, coastline and ducks are pretty good.
My favorite thing to do in February is go to outdoor shows. since I am keeping this as "free" things I'll say snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is just an excuse to get outside during the long winter. I love ice fishing. Snowshoeing has one thing ice fishing doesn't, it keeps you warm. Snowshoeing is pretty strenuous exercise. You will build up a sweat no matter how cold it is.
March- Race Point
|You will probably see a seal on the beach if you walk|
to the Race from the parking area
This is a new favorite destination since 2016 was the first year I have ever been there. The main attraction is seeing whales from shore. You get closer to them on a whale watching boat. But, there is something special seeing them without paying someone to take you to them with two hundred people you don't know. Seeing them alone from shore is just more wild, more surreal.
April- Trout fishing in Plymouth, MA or the Cape
I look forward to my daytrips to fish the trout ponds down the Cape or Plymouth. Trout are stocked everywhere, including a half mile from my house. It's more fun to catch them in the kettle ponds. Places like Fearings and Russell Sawmill are pretty settings to catch fish. Also, the state stocks the hell out of these ponds, so you can get big numbers of fish. Of course trout are stocked all spring. I choose April as the month I most enjoy this trip. In May, there is too much going on and I forget about the trips to the Cape. Although I also take these trips in March, the water is still really cold and fishing isn't nearly as good.
May- Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
If I took a non-birder to Plum Island in May, even they would not get bored. There are so many colorful birds. So many species migrate through this area. I'm only going a couple times this May.
|Common Yellowthroat at Parker NWR|
June- Prudence Island
I enjoy taking the ferry to Prudence during the summer. I choose June to go the most because there is a "lull" in my fun activities. Prudence is beautiful. I snorkel there and eat a raw little neck or two. The quiet roads are perfect for exploring by bike.
July- New Hampshire
I go to New Hampshire as often as I can, so I love going there during any month, not just July. I can't say enough about how great the state is. The mountain views, waterfalls, and mountain lakes in the Whites are awesome. I used to spend a lot of time in the lakes region catching smallmouth also. When I'm not there, I miss it.
August- The mudflats at Charlestown Breachway
In Ninigret Pond behind the Charlestown Breachway are some large mudflats. Thousands of returning shorebirds going south stop there to rest. There is nothing like being on those flats. I get to walk barefoot through the mud. I can get wet in the canals around the flats. The birds are easy to see and the other birders are really friendly. There is a good chance of seeing a Peregrine falcon blow another bird out of the sky while hunting
|There is never a bad time to think about albies|
Any day off in mid-September means I will be in Narragansett looking for false albacore. If the bay anchovies are around, then there is the chance to catch albies, blues, and stripers in the same day. The weather is usually perfect in September. Fishing from dawn until after dark goes by way too quickly
I try to spend more time in October just looking at the leaves. Laurie and I take a trip to New Hampshire to see the peak if good weather coincides with our days off. One year we went up, it was snowing on Oct 3, so we monitor the weather report now. Even when I'm not in NH, I try to enjoy the last few weeks of color, since the next six months will be dull.
My other option, and the one I choose on days off are trips to the ocean to catch migrating blues and stripers. I try to go for walks after work looking at the leaves on local trails. On days off, Surf fishing!
November- Museum of Fine Art
The MFA is free (donations accepted) on Wednesday nights throughout the year. I love the MFA, but I'm not wasting a day off during the warmer months. The place is not just an "art gallery". It is loaded with history such as mummies, Greek shields, and swords and much more. The MFA is one place we should all cherish.
December- Christmas stuff
Call it the Christmas Season or the Holiday Season, I don't care. I really try to enjoy the holidays. Without them, I'm sure I'd be dwelling on the fact it is dark at 4:30 pm. I try to go to a Church Bazaar and LaSallette. Although not free, going to Holiday Concerts, Sturbridge Village and other things I have written about the last two Decembers is more fun than opening presents.
During any warmer month, Concord is awesome. There is so much to see that an out of stater could
easily plan a week vacation there. The Revolutionary War started in Lexington/Concord. Much of the battlefield has been preserved. There is a "Battle Road" and the North Bridge where shots were exchanged. The Concord Museum is terrific. Many authors lived in Concord including Emerson, Alcott, Thoreau, Hawthorne. Their houses are open for tours. Great Meadows NWR is a great place to see wildlife. There are two man made ponds that support all kinds of turtles, snakes, birds, etc. Concord is my favorite town in MA
Cape Cod Baseball League
During the summer the CCBL hosts college kids in a great summer league. Most towns on the Cape have a league. We go to the games in Wareham, because they are closest to us. You want to feel like a character in Field of Dreams, go to a game
You could make a case for just about any town on the Cape. For example, Hyannis has a ton of stuff to do. The thing that Provincetown doesn't have is the crazy Cape traffic.
It would be hard to spend a day in P-town and have it be free. However Commercial Street is a great place. There is tons of shops and art studios. More importantly to me, lots of food. Laurie and I went last year and drank pina coladas on an outdoor deck while eating key lime pie. Also, P-town has the best bike trail I have ever been on. It goes up and over hundred foot sand dunes.
Block Island is awesome. I didn't make it part of the list because the ferry is so expensive. Once there, you can have a great day without even spending money. The beaches are beautiful, the fishing is amazing, there are two lighthouses and the scenery is spectacular