Kaitlyn is a local — or almost local, given that her home area of Cape Cod is a region unto itself.  For her final post of this academic year, she has suggestions for summer fun to share with incoming students or anyone else in the region.

The warm weather is here!  And the sun’s returned with it.  It’s surreal to think about, but as of Wednesday, May 9th, I’m a Fletcher second year.  The last month of the semester was quite hectic, but we’re past it, and with half of us having graduated, it’s high time for celebrations — and taking advantage of the wonderful summer weather.  There are plenty of exciting things to do in Boston in the summer time.  Here’s my top five ways to take advantage of the sun.

1. Hiking in the Middlesex Fells

The Boston skyline from the Middlesex Fells.

Just a 15-minute drive from Fletcher, the Middlesex Fells consists of beautiful hills and forests that surround reservoirs and ponds.  This state reservation has bike and walking trails of varying difficulty, so you could do what I did in March and take an easy stroll around the lakefront, or you could try what we’ll be doing this week and hike up the hills for beautiful views of Boston.  The area is quiet and tranquil, with a visitor center, a zoo just to the north, and a boathouse that opens at the end of May for anyone interested in renting a kayak or canoe.  All the trails are loops, and the Fells website has estimated hiking times for each one.  Pack some snacks, some water, and a camera, and enjoy the great outdoors.

2. See Shakespeare on the Common

Every summer in July and August, the Boston Common (easily accessible by Park Street Station on the Red and Green line) hosts Shakespeare on the Common, where open-air Shakespeare performances go on in the early evenings.  It’s the perfect outing for anyone staying in the area for the summer or returning early from an internship.  This year, they’re performing Richard III.  Go early, bring a blanket or folding chair, and grab a good seat.  You can buy snacks from one of the vendors on the Common or cross the street and pick up something from one of the surrounding restaurants.

3. Kayak the Charles

The activity I most looked forward to during the week before graduation was joining other students for kayaking the Charles River.  It’s a fun daytime activity.  You can rent a kayak by the hour and see Boston from the river.  The closest starting place is in Kendall Square, just a few T (subway) stops from Tufts.  Go on a warm sunny day and be prepared for your Fletcher friends to splash you.

4. Take a tour on the Duck Boats

If you’d like to spend a day being a proper tourist in Boston, a duck boat tour is one of the best ways to do it.  The signature boats that carry our sports teams in parade processions will bring you all around the city to view historic sites.  Then, most exciting, they’ll drive right off the road and into the Boston Harbor (it never gets old).  So you’ll see Boston from the water, too, and maybe hear a story or two about the Boston Tea Party.

5. Walk the Freedom Trail

If you’re interested in being a tourist, or learning more local history, or if you liked my hiking suggestion earlier but would rather hike in the city, check out the Freedom Trail!  Just follow the red-brick road!  The Freedom trail is a 2.5-mile red-brick line that leads you down Boston’s sidewalks and to many of its historical sites and museums.  Go with friends or with a tour guide.  Who knows — you might even see a pilgrim or a revolutionary soldier.

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