The long Labor Day weekend seems to always mark the unofficial beginning of fall, as many people flee the city for one last summer fling. There aren’t many special events going on around in Somerville this weekend, so instead of my usual recommendations about what to do around town over the next few days, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite places to visit when I’ve got some extra time. I hope they provide inspiration for you to have some late summer fun during the long weekend!
Somerville Restaurants, Cafes & Bars: I’ve visited lots of local eateries and encourage you to check out some of my favorites when deciding where to dine during the long weekend. From the new Southern-style M3 and the vegetarian-friendly Dosa Temple to breakfast at 3 Little Figs and craft cocktails at Backbar, I’ve got all of your dining needs covered!
Taza Chocolate Factory Tour: Tucked away in an industrial corner of Somerville is the center of Taza Chocolate’s operations. You may have smelled the factory from one of the surrounding streets, but if you’ve never been on a tour, it’s worth a trip down to headquarters. Visit the store while you’re there to stock up on tasty treats for the long weekend and beyond.
Mount Auburn Cemetery: Just over the city line in Cambridge lies a beautiful place where history and nature intersect. Mount Auburn Cemetery has tons of paths that make for great walking on a beautiful afternoon. Visit the final resting places of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, cookbook author Fannie Farmer and painter Homer Winslow (among many others). There are lots of excellent places to eat near the cemetery, so make a day of it!
Jamaica Plain: Though it’s not far away in miles, sometimes Jamaica Plain can feel like the other end of the earth when you live in Somerville. But this funky, relaxed area of the city is well worth visiting. Hit the Sam Adams Brewery and the Arnold Arboretum for entertainment and head to Ula Cafe or City Feed and Supply for a delicious lunch.
Salem, Mass.: I used to work in Salem, so I’m quite familiar with this seaside town. My best advice is to skip most (but not all) of the witch stuff and enjoy Salem’s cultural side at the Peabody Essex Museum. Just walking around this historic city is a treat, as it boasts some beautiful, old homes and buildings. Grab lunch or dinner at one of Salem’s tasty eateries and if you go via car, stop by Richardson’s in Middletown for ice cream on the trip home!
Portsmouth, N.H.: Located about an hour-and-a-half north of Boston, Portsmouth is a vibrant little city on the ocean. One of my favorite things to do there is visit the Strawbery Banke Museum, where excellent exhibits take you back in time. Portsmouth also offers some terrific dining, boutique shopping and lovely green spaces to spend an afternoon enjoying.
Meredith, N.H.: Situated on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in our neighbor to the north, Meredith has a special place in my heart. My parents live there and I got married there last summer. The town is New England quaint with lots of great restaurants, shops and fun to be had outdoors. A two-hour drive from the city (beware of holiday traffic though), it’s great for a long weekend or a day trip. (One your way, stop by Cafe Indigo in Concord for a tasty vegan lunch!)
P.S. The Brimfield Antique Fair is in town again next week (Tuesday, September 4 through Sunday, September 9) and I’ve got some pro tips so you can do the mile-long show like an expert!