Explore the beauty of New England wildflowers at Garden in the Woods in the morning. A place visitors often describe as magical, the Garden’s 45 acres were sculpted by retreating glaciers into eskers and steep-sided valleys, with a brook, pond, and wetlands that showcase native plants of the region. Wander the paths, say hello to the turtles and fish in the pond, and check the schedule for special talks and events. When you’ve looked your fill, head to Silk Global Cuisine for lunch.
With an eclectic menu of unique dishes from all over the world, Silk offers something for everyone. We hear everything is delicious, but the homemade pita is a must-try!
After lunch, head to Ashland to check in to your hotel, the Warren Conference Center and Inn, a cozy alpine-style lodge. Located on over 100 wooded lakefront acres, you can spend the afternoon indulging in a variety of outdoor activities…take a kayak out on the lake or swim from the beach, hike in the woods, play horseshoes or bocce on the lawn, try your skill at their ropes course, or create a little friendly competition with a game of tennis, volleyball, softball or soccer. Or simply pull an Adirondack chair up to a fire pit and roast a few marshmallows before snuggling down for the night in their comfortable rooms.
For dinner, try Stone’s Public House, just 5 minutes from the hotel. Blending an Irish-American heritage with the newer concept of the Gastropub, Stone’s chefs create each dish from scratch, complementing the unmatched intimacy, warmth and casual elegance of their pub and dining room, housed in the original inn built by John Stone in 1832.
Grab a great picnic lunch at the Marathon Deli to take with you to Hopkinton State Park, where you can spend the day immersed in a wide variety of outdoor activities. The park’s 1,500 acres of forest are crisscrossed by trails, beaches, stocked fishing, and more. (Opening May 6 for the season, The Boathouse rents sailboats, kayaks, canoes, rowboats, pedal boats, and paddleboards, but feel free to bring your own!) Complimentary beach wheelchairs are also available. The bucolic forest offers amazing trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. After a fun day in the sun, head back to the Warren Center for a cozy drink and s’more in front of their outdoor firepits and a great night’s sleep.
Photo credit: Newton Court
After breakfast, explore the beauty of the Upper Charles Rail Trail, which you can do on foot or via bicycle. If you get on the trail in Holliston, just a short drive from the Warren Center, you can cross the famous 8-arch bridge that spans Bogastow Brook. The well-maintained trail offers great opportunities to view wildlife in the adjacent forests and bogs, as well as ample spots to hop off the path for a coffee, lunch or to take a peek in one of the little shops and boutiques in town.
Drive to Framingham in the afternoon for a kayak, paddle, or hike along the scenic Sudbury River, starting at the Carol Getchell Trailhead and heading north to Heard Pond, a location lush with vegetation and excellent for birding. The entire river basin was formed by glacial activity 10,000 years ago, leaving behind unique geography and geological formations, and a landscape bursting with wildlife. The river runs for miles, with various stops along the way for ponds, lakes and wildlife refuges, providing hours of outdoor enjoyment.
Want to extend your visit in MetroWest? Find more outdoor rec opportunities on our website.
Post pics of the fam having a great time in the spring sunshine with #WeAreMetroWest, and make plans to come back and do it all over again!
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