In 1949, the USS Salem began its 10-year career patrolling the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. A flagship of the 6th Fleet during the Cold War era, it served as a “Lady of Diplomacy,” using its massive canons to impress ambassadors, not to fire on enemies. The ship also made headlines in 1953 when it harbored refugees from Greece following a massive earthquake.
Today permanently docked in Quincy Fore River Shipyard, the Salem is one of the last preserved naval heavy cruisers in the world. Three quarters of the ship is used to honor the history of those who served, with features including a Navy SEALs exhibit, the USS Newport News Memorial Room, and a US Navy Cruiser Sailor Memorial. In addition to memories, the Salem also hosts birthday parties and overnight adventures filled with simulated battles and real-life survival instruction. If they listen closely, visitors might even hear some of the spooky sounds that earned the ship a feature on the SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters in 2009.
Where the Charles River winds into Boston, anglers stand on its banks, casting their lines into the current. Charles River Charters' owner and head guide Greg Miner can often be seen with them, teaching the basics of catch-and-release freshwater fishing from the shore. He can also be found on his boat, showing fledgling fishermen how to cast lines or pointing out famous landmarks. A Boston-area native who holds a safe-boating certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, he uses his knowledge of the river to usher visitors to fishing spots in the nearby wilderness or within the city, where the fish hop into boats after mistaking them for water taxis. His vessels also tour the Charles River's scenes, from Brighton to the downtown Museum of Science, and conduct specialty excursions for nature photographers and landscape artists.
Film buffs across six states stare wide-eyed at large cinema screens, losing themselves in first-run Hollywood movies and the smell of fresh, buttery kernels within Your Neighborhood Theatre's 17 locations. Though all theaters prioritize comfortable seating, old-fashioned friendly service, and high-stakes preshow trivia slideshows, each location encompasses its own distinct charm, be it through arthouse décor, 3-D screens, or Rhode Island's vintage 1950's drive-in setting.
Mount Sunapee, hosting snow bunnies for more than 60 years, sprawls before gliding greenhorns as professional instructors lead ski or snowboard newbies toward downhill proficiency with a full schedule of daily lessons. During two-hour beginners’ sessions, students strap into provided gear, including skis or specially designed learning boards that are easier to handle than traditional snowboards made of live, rabid huskies. Groups then trudge out to the slopes, where instructors demonstrate introductory techniques and help snow-pounding protégés cultivate a well-balanced understanding of the fundamentals of their chosen downhill medium.
The Kingsbury Club, a multi-purpose health facility with a restaurant and multiple fitness/athletics options, ups the net worth of humankind with tennis programs for both raw and rehearsed racketeers. With the one-hour private tennis lesson ($78), taught by a certified senior tennis professional, and a one-day guest admittance ($15) to the Kingsbury Club, guests will refine backhands, polish up volleys, and learn how to properly grunt in spite of headband-wrought cranial pressure. The instructor will offer tips and suggestions on techniques and skills, helping students polish giant-scale ping-pong ability in time for summer's street-corner tennis showdowns.
Though Westgate Lanes has been open for more than half a century, you'd never know it from just looking at the Brockton institution, which benefited from a pre-Millennium face-lift in 1999. Today, all 62 lanes feature automatic scoring, new furniture, and modern lighting, which casts a celestial aura during prize-packed cosmic bowling on Saturday nights. Open 365 days a year, the facility swings open its doors to challenge sphere-flinging friends, leagues, and parties with frames of tenpin or candlepin, a variation of bowling that uses smaller balls and requires more concentration than teaching a mechanical bull long division. High-definition TVs orbit the center's 13 billiards tables, and, between competitive rounds, players can refuel fatigued fingers at Harry's Pub and Grill.
Back and Body Pilates Studio is helmed by accomplished instructor Mary Kim-Garrity and supported by a staff of Pilates Institute–educated trainers who nudge students in the direction of galvanized cores, stretched-out flexibility, and ousted aches and pains. During private classes, you'll glean foundational knowledge from the masters on postures and movements. The group sessions are designed with small-class dynamics in mind, allowing participants to reap the motivating benefits of peer fitness while still receiving individual attention and tailored workouts from the teacher, making bodies more supple, more self-aware, and less inclined to hug bears.