Five Things to Know About Mass Audubon
While its name evokes birds, Mass Audubon's work goes beyond ornithology to cover all aspects of wildlife, nature, and the preservation of the two. Whether it's working with city parks, forests, or the state's massive coastline, Mass Audubon's goals stay the same: conserve, educate, and advocate. Read on to learn more about the society:
It predates the National Audubon Society. Two women founded it as the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1896 (the National Audubon Society began in 1905). The founders worked to persuade women not to wear bird's feathers in their hats, as the fashionable plumes were decimating bird populations.
More than 300 species of birds live in or fly through the state. And each year, birders compete in a Mass Audubon fundraiser to see who can spot the most in a 24-hour period.
It protects more than 26,000 football fields worth of land. With more than 35,000 acres, the society is the largest private owner of conserved land in Massachusetts.
330,000 people are educated each year through Mass Audubon programs. These include classes, camps, and events geared toward kids, families, and adults at its sanctuaries and in the community.
Some of its trails are ADA-accessible. A grant allowed Mass Audubon to add multisensory content such as Braille text, audio tours, and wider boardwalks to trails in eight of its sanctuaries.
When all was said and done, the infamous 1692 Salem Witch Trials resulted in the execution of 20 people—primarily women—accused of witchcraft. On Witch City Walking Tours' 60-minute Witchcraft Hysteria tour, a certified historian brings to life the true story of this dark historical chapter. Of course, plenty of spooky things have occurred in Salem since the colonial era. During the 90-minute Mysteries & Hauntings of Salem tour, attendees explore graveyards and murder sites by the glow of lantern light while learning lesser-known anecdotes of the city's haunted past. For an alternative to the macabre, check out the tour offered every weekend afternoon that focuses on the town's historical architecture, which dates as far back as the 17th century.
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Five Things to Know About Boston Duck Tours
One of the best parts about taking a Boston Duck Tour is the cheesiness. Passengers are encouraged to quack as they board these bus-boat hybrids that navigate both the city streets and the Charles River. But despite the frivolity, guests still get a good overview of the city and learn about the history that seems to permeate every block. Read on to learn more about what makes the tours so interesting:
The ducks are based on WWII vehicles. These amphibious vehicles were used during the war to transport troops over both land and water.
Tourgoers see more than 30 landmarks. Depending on the route, sightseers may spot the USS Constitution, Beacon Hill, and the bar where exterior scenes for Cheers were shot.
The tour guides all have flamboyant personalities. Called "conDUCKtors," the guides go by punny names such as "The Codfather" and "Amelia Airhead."
ConDUCKtors know how to quack in 10 languages. Tours are led in English, but an audio program can impart info in nine other languages, including Spanish, German, and Mandarin.
The tour includes discounts at spots all around Boston. Just show your ticket to save money at the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and all sorts of stores and restaurants.
An antique paddleboat churns the water. Its gleaming white hull cuts through gentle waves and reflects the sun. Passengers gaze out of lower-level windows or rest their arms along the railings on an open upper level, where they stand sheltered from the weather by a striped fabric canopy. Cruise Boston_’s captains ferry visitors through the Boston Harbor along the city's waterfront and up and down the winding Charles River aboard this antique vessel and the _Henry Longfellow, a powered one-story tour boat. On sightseeing tours guides divulge the history behind the city and its waterfront buildings, explaining why most opted to construct stairs instead of water slides, as they pass the USS Constitution, Long Wharf, Bunker Hill, Back Bay, and Fenway Park. During warmer weather captains also pilot tours at sunset—during which bartenders sling cocktails from a full on-board bar, and summery music wafts from the deck and into the night.
Launched in 1948 by Chicago shipwright Henry C. Grebe, the Full Moon is an antique, 65-foot motor yacht that ravels constantly. In the winters, it cruises the waters of southern Florida, but it returns to New England once it gets warmer, taking passengers on voyages throughout Boston Harbor. Onboard the Full Moon, passengers can take in skyline views and sunset vistas from the sea.
The refitted vessel features wooden decks and varnished rails, as well as intimate gathering areas and seating scattered across the boat. A sun-soaked bow presents passengers with unblocked views of the surroundings. The covered aft deck and indoor salon areas let passengers relax away from the elements.