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Found 373 entries published by Mark Washburn.

woodmans - essex maPhoto: Gail Frederick

For fresh seafood, antiques and more, make time to discover the quaint Town of Essex. This tiny North Shore town may not be large in size, but it’s filled with antique shops, specialty stores and plenty of history.

In fact, the picture-worthy, coastal town is said to boast more antique shops per square mile than anywhere else in the nation. Whether you’re in search of handcrafted items from New England artisans, Victorian, Mid-century modern or American antiques, you’ll likely find it all on display at one of the many antique shops in Essex.

While the small town doesn’t have much to show in terms of traditional chain stores, it does have some other charming additions. Tourists are often drawn to the town for its for its

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osterville - cape cod ma

Described by some as an upscale Mid Cape village, Osterville is a fantastic place to live and visit. Ocean views, waterfront homes and a quaint downtown all come together to make this such a desirable location.

Whether you spend your afternoons out on the water, out on the beach or strolling through one of Osterville’s galleries and boutiques, the village has plenty to offer. From upscale shopping on Main Street to its sand and water, the location proves a great place for everything from paddle boarding and kayaking to relaxing.

While community events are often planned throughout the year, summer is an especially fun time to visit Osterville Village. Some of its waterfront estates date back to the 19th century and serve as second homes to

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brant rock - marshfield maPhoto: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

While some of the names are more obvious in origin like Mayflower Lane, there are also some street names that were inspired by tribes, famous citizens, landmarks and monuments. It’s said Black Mount Drive was named after a hill where American Statesman Daniel Webster once made an important speech.

There’s also a Webster Street, plus there are several streets named in tribute to his family members, including an Appleton Way, named for his daughter, and Fletcher Drive, named for his son. There’s even an Oxen Drive, named in tribute to Webster’s oxen.

Some streets take their cue from other landmarks in the area. Church Street is the roadway that locals once took to reach religious services. School

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calib nickerson house - chatham ma

The oldest house in Chatham is about to get a new address and a new purpose. Believed to have been built sometime around the late 1600s to early 1700s, the old one-room home can be traced back to the son of the town’s founder, William Nickerson.

After failed efforts to sell the property, the owner recently agreed to donate the oldest section of the home to save it from likely demolition. According to records, the home may have been built around 1700, but it was added onto several times, including in the early 1800s, the early 1900s and the 1920s.

Only the oldest portion of the home is being saved for now. It’s been donated to the Nickerson Family Association.

Plans call for moving it from its current location on Shell Drive to the Nickerson

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boston marathon 2014 elite women runnersPhoto: JD

Considered one of the nation’s best cities for runners, Boston offers plenty of opportunities to lace up your running shoes. Whether in the park, on the sidewalk or off the beaten trail, the Greater Boston area enjoys some great running routes.

While you’ve likely heard of the Boston Marathon, it’s certainly not the only opportunity for runners. Whether you’re training for the next big race, or you just want to keep in shape, some of Boston’s best running routes also offers up some fantastic views.

If you want to experience scenery along the way, consider the one-and-a-half-mile loop around Chestnut Hill Reservoir. This route offers up views of the city skyline and Boston College.

Around the same length, some runners enjoy the loop

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cape cod rail trail

If you’re looking for a great way to experience the best scenery on the Cape, one way to do it is to hop on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Running from Yarmouth to Wellfleet, the trail follows an old railroad right-of-way.

At 25.5 miles long, the paved trail is relatively flat, well-marked, and is said to be a great experience for those of all ages and experience. Bicyclists, walkers, runners and even horseback riders can use the trail.

To understand the history of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, though, you need to step back in time. During the 1800s it was extremely difficult to reach Cape Cod. That began to change when railroad tracks connected up Boston to Provincetown, leading visitors from places like Boston, New York and Connecticut to the Cape.

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falmouth ma beachPhoto: Putneypics

With beaches, boating and a location that’s convenient enough to Boston, Falmouth offers a great option for visitors and locals alike. Nearly surrounded by water, the Cape Cod town enjoys the appeal of sitting close enough to a big city, supplemented by the added bonus of an island lifestyle.

With Buzzards Bay to the west and Vineyard Sound to the south, Falmouth is a great launching point for boating, sailing, kayaking or paddle-boarding. Whether you set sail on your own or join a tour, it’s easy to get out on the water and enjoy some fun in the sun.

Like many other towns on the Cape, Falmouth is home to some great beaches and dozens of miles of coastline. It’s the kind of place to go to explore tidal pools, do some

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jp licks - jamaica plainPhoto: Wally Gobetz

As it continues to gain new restaurants and craft breweries, Jamaica Plain is quickly evolving into Boston’s hidden culinary gem. From fine dining establishments to trendy hotspots, a place to grab a quick bite on the go or a spot to pick up a meal for the family, you’ll find it all in Jamaica Plain.

This thriving neighborhood is full of delectable options, from Dominican-inspired food to Ethiopian creations. Whether you’re craving a traditional Irish pub, some Scottish food or something with a little Cuban flair, it’s likely an option in Jamaica Plain.

Other possibilities include indulging in tapas and live entertainment at a combined restaurant, book and music store, or picking up some street tacos to go. If you’re in need

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art gallery - wellfleet ma

Filled with art galleries and studios, Wellfleet is quite literally the Cape’s artsy town. While many are drawn to the area for its beaches and natural beauty, you could also spend days simply exploring Wellfleet’s artistic side.

While only a few thousand people live in Wellfleet year-round, its population really takes off during the summer months. That’s when many visitors and seasonal residents flock to the Cape, in search of summertime fun and adventures.

While outdoor recreation and relaxation is certainly an option, some come to stroll through the dozen or so art galleries found in Wellfleet. In operation for nearly 40 years, the Wellfleet Art Gallery Association helps to promote the town as a center for arts and crafts galleries.

Many

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ross playground - hyde park maPhoto: Ed Lyons

As the southernmost point in Boston, the Hyde Park neighborhood is said to feel more like “A Small Town in the City”. While far enough from downtown to give off a suburban vibe, in reality Hyde Park is only a couple of stops away from downtown via the Commuter Rail.

The neighborhood offers quiet streets and easy highway access, too. It also provides plenty of enticing things for families to do and enjoy.

In the old days, many people flocked to the Hyde Park neighborhood to escape some of Boston’s cramped urban neighborhoods. Generations later, some continue to praise Hyde Park for its easy access to available green space.

Whether exploring the trails of Stony Brook Reservation, casting a line at Turtle Pond or using one of the

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