A passive New England activity that is as quintessential New England as The Ivy League, New England Patriots, and apple cider donuts.

We pose the case: why burn the petrol and log a couple hundred miles on your odometer heading up North.

Save the fuel cost, the motel expense and reinvest the drive time into household chores and savings towards leaf peeping and a meal out north of Boston.

Some favorites include dinner out at Turner’s Seafood in Melrose, Ledger in Salem, or THE BEST breakfast sandwich at Crave Café in Beverly, or the PIG in Newburyport (Plum Island Grille).

Here is a list of a hidden-in-plain-site locations to soak in the foliage close to home:

Slayton Tower – Melrose, MA.

We hacked through the woods getting lost and hangry to find this place. But YOU can drive almost right to it. Set GPS for Mt. Hood Golf Course. At the clubhouse, turn RIGHT. Feels like you are heading to play 18 holes but press on through the parking lot. Drive until the gate. Park and follow the paved road to the tower. Benches. Open space to picnic.

Washington Tower – Cambridge, MA. 

Mount Auburn Cemetery was inspired by Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and was itself an inspiration to cemetery designers, most notably at Abney Park in London. Mount Auburn Cemetery was designed largely by Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn with assistance from Jacob Bigelow and Alexander Wadsworth. Soak in why Fredrick Law Olmstead was working late at his office 150 years ago and what he had in mind for you in 2017 for his master design in viewable adjacent settings. I’m amazed at how many of my friends have peaked NH mountains but have overlooked this gem accessible by public transportation.

Observation Towers – Newbury MA.

This one will cost you. The gate fee for the Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island is $5*. Three miles of paved road leading to 3 miles of dirt road. Not for the acrophobic as it is an open tower with grated steps. Views that will impact you forever.

*Web site is from 2014 – fairly confident that may have recently gone up.