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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Labor day adventures

Published: September 3, 2010
Section: Arts, Etc.

In order to celebrate the end of the first week of school and the long weekend, go on an adventure. This weekend take advantage of the beautiful (and very hot) summer weather. Boston and the surrounding area offer many opportunities to explore the outdoors, here are a few suggestions which are all accessible via the MBTA.

1. Arnold Arboretum

Location: Forest Hills stop on the Orange Line

Harvard University’s 265 acre arboretum is the perfect place for a picnic or hike. The arboretum, situated in Jamaica Plain, is one of the top centers of botanical research and features more than 15,000 different kinds of plants. In September, you can encounter red maples, dawn red woods and rose lanterns, as well as numerous other flora. Most of the plants and trees are labeled for the curious and can make the trip an educational one if so desired. Be sure to stop by the visitor center in the Hunnewell building to learn more about the arboretum’s enormous collection. The shade offered by the trees makes the arboretum ideal for taking leisurely walks or for relaxing against a tree trunk with a good book.

The nearby area also features cute, independently owned bakeries, so if you forget to pack a lunch, you should check out their sweets.

2. Revere Beach

Location: Revere Stop on the Blue Line

Don’t want to let go of the summer yet? Head to the beach. America’s First Public Beach is right across from the T making it relatively easy to get to. The best time to go to the beach is early in the day as its convenient location tends to draw huge crowds in the afternoon. Revere Beach offers many fun and free events. Most recently, a Bocce tournament was held at the beach and in July there was a sand sculpting festival. Alongside the beach there are many tasty lunch and dessert options. The original Kelly’s Roast Beef is located at Revere Beach, serving their well-known gigantic sandwiches as well as seafood and salad options. For ice cream, I’d recommend Twist And Shake which offers a huge selection of 24 different flavors of soft-serve along with scrumptious shakes and refreshing lemonade.

3. Boston Harbor Islands

Location: Aquarium Stop on the Blue Line

Try something different, island hop! Take a 20 minute ferry ride from Long-Wharf North to one of the 12 Boston Harbor Islands available for visitors. Round-trip ferry tickets cost only $14 for a round trip ticket and on Sundays there are free connector ferry rides between islands. On Spectacle Island stretch out on the beach and catch some rays or hike around and explore the island. While hiking, be sure to take in the gorgeous view of Boston and check out the local fauna. The island is also undergoing an effort to go green featuring environmentally friendly facilities. Be careful to bring your sunscreen, though, there is very little shade. While Spectacle Island is great for hiking, Georges Island is the destination for history buffs. The island has a Civil War fort, Fort Warren, and plenty of nice areas to stroll around.