Wanderlust (n.): a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world
With summer on the horizon, the feeling of wanderlust is present now more than any other time during the year. However, if you’re like me, you’ve reached an age where your summers are dedicated to a part-time or full-time job . Traveling the world isn’t really an option when you’re stuck in an office Monday through Friday, but don’t worry! Without even realizing it, you could be missing out on some hidden gems right in your own backyard. Whether it’s a day trip or a local hangout, you can still make the most out of your summer.
I grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts where there wasn’t much to do in the summer unless you headed east towards Cape Cod or Boston. Over the years, however, I have found some places and events in both MA and surrounding states to get your summer traveling fix.
One of the top places on my list of travels this summer is Mystic Aquarium. Located in Mystic, Connecticut, the aquarium was founded in 1973 to serve as a living laboratory and major public exhibit.Whether you enjoy larger animals like whales and sharks or more laid-back animals like turtles and penguins, Mystic is filled with a variety of different exhibits showcasing your favorites. I don’t know if it’s the fact that Finding Dory is coming out soon or the need to learn something while out of school, but recently, I’ve had the desire to spend the day at the aquarium, just relaxing as I watch fish of different shapes and sizes swim around. You can learn more about what the aquarium has to offer on their website.
Once you’ve made you’re way through the aquarium, you can’t leave Mystic quite yet. You can also spend some time strolling through Olde Mistick Village, which features many shops and dining opportunities, each with their own unique New England flair. You can also visit Mystic Seaport, the museum of America and the sea. Here you can learn all about America’s maritime past, viewing their collection of historic watercraft.
Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods
For as long as I can remember, music has always been a huge part of my life. My parents used to tell me that I would dance around in my carseat as a baby when we would go on drives with the radio on. As I’ve grown, so has my love for music. Therefore, concerts have become a must, especially during this time of year. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, both located in Connecticut, have become my go-to venues when it comes to concerts. Over the years, I have visited both of the places to see artists ranging from One Direction and Big Time Rush to Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato. Boston is also home to its fair share of venues, including TD Garden and House of Blues.
If you’re in the Vegas area or have the time/budget to travel around mid-September, I also highly recommend the iHeart Radio Music Festival. This three day festival showcases an impressive lineup of your favorite artists from all genres at both the Daytime Village show as well as two night shows located in the MGM Grand. With artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Fall Out Boy, Sam Smith, and the Weeknd at last years show, I am dying to head back there this year.
The Big E
The Big E has become one of the most popular end-of-summer festivities for those in the Western Mass area. Also known as the Eastern States Exposition, it is billed as "New England's Great State Fair.” The fair grounds is every food-lovers dream, filled with every kind of fried food you could imagine. It also features an array of farm animals as well as crafts from local businesses. Be sure to check out the state houses, where each state showcases popular foods and products that originated in their state. Each year, the fair also hosts multiple music artists for both free and ticketed shows. You can see this year's lineup here.