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"I bought this travel guide out of curiosity when I went back home to visit my parents. I grew up in N.H., went to school at UCONN, and spent a lot of time in Massachusetts - so I am familiar with the area. Sometimes, when you live in a place, however, you take your home for granted and don't see the sights in your back yard. Traveling 1500 miles back home, however, I felt like I needed to get my moneys worth (the sure sign of a native east coaster). This book led me to some incredible old towns and restaurants and shops that I had missed while living there.I highly recommend the book. It was great to have it on my laptop because after work, I was able plan the remainder of my day in a snap." -- Amazon reviewer. "I've been toting Elizabeth L. Dugger's new Adventure Guide to Massachusetts & Western Connecticut around for about a month now, ever since I received it. I had all the best intentions of being the first reviewer to publish my commentary on the travel guide, but with one project after another eating up my hours, I'm not sure that I can claim that honor. I have, however, really bulked up my biceps by lugging the Adventure Guide around! In a word, the book is "massive," and before I ever lifted the cover, I was perplexed as to how Dugger could possibly have found enough bungee jumping-, cliff diving-, and vine swinging-type adventures in the stately and somewhat subdued states of Massachusetts and Connecticut to fill 496 pages! When I opened to page 113 to find a section on "Antique Shopping on Cape Cod," I was surprised and delighted to realize that the range of adventures Dugger suggests includes those that pose great danger only to my credit card balance. In the book's introduction, Dugger explains that adventure travel "doesn't have to mean hanging from a cliff by your fingernails. " Her enormous catalog of exciting escapes includes family-friendly ideas, outdoor fun for people of all ages and abilities, out-of-the-ordinary sightseeing suggestions, and, of course, the full complement of hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and other recreational opportunities in central New England. "Adventure travel makes you feel alive, wakes you up to yourself as well as to your surroundings," Dugger explains. "Just being in open lands or along the coast, most of the time, can give you that get-away feeling. ...Adventure travel gets the blood flowing, the heart pumping." Also the author of the Adventure Guide to New Hampshire and the Adventure Guide to Vermont, Dugger quickly debunks the notion that Massachusetts is a tamer, less challenging playground than its mountainous northern neighbors. After a brief introductory section that includes a short history of Massachusetts, a map of and information on getting to the region, road rules, and safety information on such important topics as "avoiding bears," the book is broken up into six regional chapters: the Seacoast Region, Boston and Nearby Adventures, Central Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley, the Berkshires, and the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. Within each geographic section, adventures are organized in category groupings: On Foot, On Horseback, On Wheels, On Water, On Snow & Ice, and In the Air. Each chapter has information on Eco-Travel and where to Stay & Eat, as well.While the emphasis of this guide is decidedly on the outdoors and on planning a Massachusetts vacation that takes you to the lesser known attractions that the state offers, it is actually one of the most comprehensive and delightful guides to the region available. While many travel guides contain the obligatory paragraph on each historic attraction and sightseeing venue, the Adventure Guide to Massachusetts & Western Connecticut artfully leads the traveler to those awe-inspiring, stimulating, and unique excursions that are likely to make for a most memorable trip. Detailed maps, black and white photos, cute graphics, and sidebars on special events, kid-friendly and accessible spots, recommended reading, and more break up the text and make it easier for the reader to find terrific tips, even when simply skimming. In just a quick flip through the book, I uncovered a bed & breakfast just for women (Little River Farm in Worthington, MA, 413-238-4261), a cemetery famous for its art and sculpture (The Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, 617-524-0703), and a horseback riding outfit on the beaches of Cape Cod (Nelson's, 508-487-1112). Dugger's enthusiasm for sharing the region's best treasures percolates from every page, and as I've spent time reading her detailed descriptions of everything from trekking with llamas in Great Barrington to sea kayaking in Plymouth Harbor, I've been constantly compelled to ask myself what in the world I'm doing here on the couch with a book when all of these adventures lie just a short drive away! If you live within easy driving distance of Massachusetts and Western Connecticut, Dugger's Adventure Guide for this region will provide an ever-flowing stream of inspiration and encourage you to explore the wonders we sometimes overlook. And, if you're planning only a short visit to this part of the world, the guide will ensure that your moments in Massachusetts are among your most exhilarating and enjoyable." -- Amazon reviewer

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