Pot tourism is a new and growing industry in Massachusetts. If you find yourself traveling to a town you know next to nothing about, fear not: We scoped out what to do, where to stay, and where to eat.
If you’re headed to Rise Holdings Inc. (169 Meadow St., 413-825-9770, risecannabis.com/dispensary-location/massachusetts/amherst) know Amherst offers a full weekend of activity. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art isn’t just for kids. This gem offers a fascinating look into the life and iconic works of the famed author/illustrator, plus other thoughtful book-related exhibits (125 West Bay Road, 413-559-6300, www.carlemuseum.org). Discover dinosaur skeletons, Ice Age fossils, meteorites, and more at Amherst College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History (11 Barrett Hill Drive, 413-542-2165, www.amherst.edu/museums/naturalhistory/collections). While on campus, explore the free-admission Mead Art Museum (41 Quadrangle, 413-542-2335, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead). Poetry-lovers, tour the Emily Dickinson Museum (280 Main St., 413-542-8161, www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org).
Walk, picnic, and bird watch at Puffers Pond (off State Street). Sip local fruit wines in a 19th-century post-and-beam dairy barn at Amherst Farm Winery, and BYOP — picnic, that is (529 Belchertown Road, 413-253-1400, www.amherstfarmwinery.com).
Hungry? You’ve got options. Antonio’s Pizza is a long-held favorite in this college town, and for good reason. (31 North Pleasant St., 413-253-0808, antoniospizza.com). For tuna tartar with truffle oil, raw oysters, mango salad, rack of lamb, squid linguini tossed in peanut sauce — hit up Bistro 63 (63 North Pleasant St., 413- 259-1600, www.bistro63.com). At Johnny’s Tavern, you might start with a Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese spread, or truffle fries with pecorino romano, then dig into a Chicken Pesto pizzette or fried shrimp tacos with avocado (30 Boltwood Walk, 413-253-8000, www.johnnystavernamherst.com/food).
Area hotels include Inn on Boltwood, with farm-to-table menu, by Amherst Common (30 Boltwood Ave., 413-256-8200, www.innonboltwood.com).
Shop Insa (122 Pleasant St., 413-206-6339, myinsa.com) then you hit up the nearby indoor urban hydroponic park. Inside the greenery-filled restored mill building that is Mill 180 Park, you might play cornhole, sip beer, hear live music, join in game night, or take a yoga class. “Through the use of hydroponics, computerized sound, and HVAC systems, we’ve brought the outside in” with a “soundscape influenced by local weather,” its website states. Onsite, M180 Park Grounds and Refrectory offers espresso, wine, beer, plus fare for vegans and meat-lovers (180 Pleasant St., 413-203-1687, www.mill180park.com).
Imbibe at New City Brewery, a 19th-century mill-turned-craft brewery. Relax with a ginger beer, full-bodied Pioneer Valley Porter or Fenway Froth Session IPA (180 Pleasant St., 413-529-2000, www.newcitybrewery.com).
You and your crew pick a themed room, and solve puzzles and clues to escape at Puzzled Escape Games (116 Pleasant St., 413-203-5519, www.puzzledescapegames.com/faqs).
Hike past forest, meadows, and marsh at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary (127 Combs Road, 413-584-3009, www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/arcadia). Bring your bike — or use ValleyBike Share — to ride the Manhan Rail Trail (manhanrailtrail.org). By the way, neighboring Northampton — where you can pick up the Norwottuck Rail Trail (446 Damon Road) — is a day trip in itself, and home to another pot shop: NETA. (118 Conz St., 413-727-8415, netacare.org).
You’ll find a number of area hotels, including boutique Hotel Northampton (36 King St., Northampton, 413-584-3100, www.hotelnorthampton.com).
Shop Northeast Alternatives in Fall River (999 William S Canning Blvd., 508-567-6761, nealternatives.com). Dare to tour or stay at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, site of the infamous 1892 choppings (230 Second St., 508-675-7333, lizzie-borden.com). Explore maritime history at Battleship Cove and Maritime Museum (5 Water St., 508-678-1100, battleshipcove.org/maritime-museum).
Dine on seafood and Portuguese-inspired fare by the water at The Cove Restaurant & Marina. Par for the course: shrimp Mozambique, fresh littlenecks with chourico, peppers and onions; Portuguese steak over yellow rice topped with a fried egg, blackened fish tacos, lobster ravioli with sautéed shrimp (392 Davol St., 508- 672-4540, www.cove392.com).
Make it a beach day: Nearby Westport boasts stunning coastline, including popular Horseneck Beach State Reservation, about 20 minutes from the shop (5 John Reed Road, Westport).
Headed to the Cape? Find Verilife in Wareham, minutes from Cape Cod (112 Main St., 508-538-9070, www.verilife.com/ma). Catch rays and waves at popular Onset Beach (186 Onset Ave.). Shop, dine, and stroll the waterfront village of Onset (www.onsetbay.org). Slip slide the rest of the summer away at Water Wizz, open through Labor Day (3031 Cranberry Highway, East Wareham, 508-295-3255, waterwizz.com). Hike or bike trails in nearby Myles Standish State Forest (194 Cranberry Road, Carver, 508-866-2526). Golfers, tee off at Bay Pointe Country Club (19 Bay Pointe Drive, Onset, 508-759-8802, baypointeclub.com) or Little Harbor Country Club (9 Little Harbor Road, Wareham, 508-295-2617, littleharborcountryclub.com).
Refuel on the extensive menu at The Gateway Tavern, where you might start on poutine or lobster quesadilla, then go for Portuguese littlenecks, blackened salmon tacos, or buttered lobster rolls (371 Marion Road, 508-291-6040, www.thegatewaytavern.com). Dine oceanside at Stonebridge Bar and Grill. You might find grilled Ahi tuna, sirloin tip flatbread, or pan-roasted mussels before your grilled pizza, chicken saltimbocca, or cedar plank salmon with Madeira wine sauce (5 East Blvd., 508-291-2229, stonebridgebarandgrill.com/index.html).
Stay at TownePlace Suites Wareham Buzzards Bay (50 Rosebrook Place, 508-291-1800, www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pymts-towneplace-suites-wareham-buzzards-bay).