The first long weekend of the year is coming up, do you have any plans? Although MLK weekend is traditionally celebrated with people tuned into their television sets for the Presidential Inauguration, it might be a good idea to skip this one and pamper yourself while the weather is still warm-ish. There's also a good chance that you're still perhaps fresh out off the holiday daze, with the season having been barely three weeks ago. If that's the case, then we have just the thing for you - escape the hustle and bustle of the city (without actually leaving its confines) and get some much-needed rest with these rest & recreation hushspots:
A "Smart" Escape If it's been a while since you've gotten lost in our fair city, it's probably a great idea to take a little tour somewhere that will actually "freshen up" your view. Go to Wellesley College, where a brisk walk around a quiet woodsy pond might give you the relaxation you're rearing for. The College welcomes tourists anytime of year to hike their well-worn paths and trails - and if you muster up some appetite, there's always the dining halls where you can dive in to an open-to-all, cheap, eat-all-you-can meal deal.
OM is for "Open Meditation" If hiking doesn't quite fancy your feet, then meditation might tickle it. Shambhala Meditation Center in Brookline offers free meditation programs, with introductions to Buddhist-inspired practices and meditations. The audience is quiet targeted, catering to the LGBT community under 30, people in recovery, or just laypeople with an interest. There are also good yoga and and tai chi classes and art seminars.
Masterpiece Museum If you're the artsy type looking to relax and unwind with masters of classic artworks, then you would be glad to know that there's a hidden gem tucked deep into the heart of Back Bay. Not only does the Boston Public Library have one of the largest collections of books, but it also has a relatively unknown collection of masterpiece artworks ranging from Rembrandt to Goya to Picasso. Looking for these pieces is an adventure itself, since they're scattered throughout the library and its different research rooms.
Hookup With A Hookah Since speakeasys tend to be a good place to relax and just lounge, the underground setting of Stanza Dei Sigari should be a great place to relax and smoke a hookah or two. Not only does its laid back ambiance take away those tensions, it also offers a quiet and cozy place to mingle and just chill with friends.
Urban Oasis Off a quiet street on Beacon Hill is a quaint and largely unknown park that's a respite from the downtown Boston crowds. Decorated by the Beacon Hill Garden Club, the little space called the Peter Faneuil House Gardens, beside the former Peter Faneuil School, was once an abandoned playground. Red benches sit in the shade of tall birch trees and walkways fringed with high shrubbery weave their way around stone-lined garden patches. There's even a half basketball court, also flanked by benches for spectators, though there usually aren't any.
Not Your Ordinary Cafe If you're sick of all the Starbucks lying around the city, and seeking for a restive respite, then Berkeley Perk Cafe is the right place for you. Off the beaten path across the Berkeley Street bridge from Back Bay, their offerings are unique and pleasing to the palate. They have several varieties of hot chocolate too, perfect for the winter season.