Norbella+ Staycations

June 05, 2015

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We are an active bunch who love to travel—but living in New England, we have tons of leisurely vacation-like activities right in our own backyard! The benefit of a ‘staycation’ is you can enjoy these activities while getting to come home, sleep in your own bed, and it typically costs a whole lot less.  We asked three of our employees, a millennial, a mom and music/beer enthusiast how they like to spend their staycations.


Corey, Assistant Media Planner: As a recent grad on a budget in an expensive city, there isn’t much room for jetting off to paradise or Cape Cod for that matter. So what better way to enjoy a budget-friendly vacation than spending it in our exciting and opportunistic city…good ole’ Beantown. Living in Boston provides a seemingly endless amount of free to reasonably priced activities.

The Harbor Islands: In my opinion, the best option to get out of the city and feel like you are in a faraway place all together. With over 30 islands, seven are filled with activities including hiking, light house tours, musical entertainment and many more.

SOWA: What better way to spend time in Boston than spending it with locally curated crafts, food, furniture, clothes and more. SOWA is Boston’s gem: it happens every Sunday in the South End and brings together the Boston Community to celebrate the arts. The food trucks are fantastic, which is a nice plus.

Walden Pond: Not exactly in the city, but by renting a Zipcar or taking a bus you can explore the home of Henry David Thoreau. The view is serine and the pond is big enough where it never feels overcrowded. You can take the day to swim in its crystal clear waters, hike the trails, or just lay in the sun on the beaches.


Davi, Media Director: As a working mom, I’ve started looking forward to my Staycations. Even though they are far from exotic or glamourous, staycations give me a chance to take a break from the typical daily grind. I’m able to focus on life at home and spend quality time with my two boys.  Although there are an endless array of local adventures to choose from, I find myself gravitating towards a few staple day excursions every summer:

Local beach: Who doesn’t love a beach day? I’m lucky enough to live close to both Cape Cod and Rhode Island beaches. I’ve found choosing a beach comes down to a few factors.

  • Snack/ice cream stand – even though I usually pack snacks, you can’t beat a nice cold ice cream after playing in the water
  • Changing area – I don’t know about you, but I prefer to not ride home in a soggy bathing suit. I’m also a bit of a clean freak, so washing the sand and seaweed off the kids is a deal breaker for me.
  • Shallow, calm waters – this makes for a more relaxing, fun beach day for the kids (and mom)

Narraganset Beach in RI has been a recent favorite of mine. During the weekdays, crowds are minimal and if you’re there during low tide – the kids have a blast running through the shallow waters.

Wards Berry Farm: This is a great family owned farm located in Sharon, MA. During the summer, the kids love filling their buckets with blueberries! Afterwards, we usually grab lunch from their delicious sandwich counter. (Smoothies are delicious, too!) Even if you don’t opt for picking fruit, there is a vintage playground, sand pit, and petting area. Usually in the late Spring/early Summer, the baby farm animals are brought out to mingle!

Water Country: this one is a bit of a drive for those in the Boston area, but if you have two boys like I do – it’s worth it. We’ve made this an annual summer tradition and my 6 year old son looks forward to it every year! There is a height requirement for most slides, but for little ones there is also a kiddie water play area.


Jess, Media Director: Now that winter is over, the snow has melted (everywhere) and I’m not rushing off to Sunday River (shameless plug) every weekend to ski, I start actually exploring the city I live in.  Summer is deemed concert season in my mind.  Give me a cold drink (IPA perhaps?), live music and the outdoors and I’m set.

Concerts: The pavilion is by far my favorite place to see a concert in Boston.  Not only do they happen to serve oversized draft Harpoon IPAs, but it is also right on the water in the Seaport.  Every seat is a great seat and if you or a friend is the designated driver that night, don’t forget to sign up with Arbella Insurance Foundation’s designated driver program to receive free non-alcoholic beverages (shameless plug #2).

Beach: If there aren’t any concerts happening, I’ll head to the beach.  Wellfleet, in my humble opinion, is by far the best place to go.  It’s on the arm of the cape, the beach is gorgeous, and they just happen to be the home of the Beachcomber.  If you haven’t been to the Beachcomber, you haven’t lived (sorry).  Yes, it’s a beach bar, but they serve the best mudslides this side of the Mississippi.  Not to mention the oyster shooters (gag) that are an annual traditional to kick off summer (at least for me).  It also doesn’t hurt that the Beachcomber also features live music at night (see a theme yet?).

Running: And just so you don’t think all I do is sway and drink at concerts all summer, I do also spend a good amount of time running.  Some of the best views of the city are seen when I’m out for a run.  Most likely my favorite run is along the Harbor Walk behind the Boston Harbor Hotel.  You can run from the North End, Christopher Columbus Park, all the way into Southie (excuse me, the Seaport).  Once you cross the footbridge just past James Hook & Co and turn left near Barking Crab, take a look left at the city skyline. If solo running isn’t your thing, Cambridge puts on Thursday night 4 mile runs that start and end just past the Elliot Bridge at the American Legion Marsh. At the end of the run, there is a live band, free food and free Harpoon IPA.

Ok, so maybe there is a slight theme to my summer activities after all.

How are you planning to spend your summer? Tweet us @Norbella to share your staycation adventures!