Who it’s for: Beer nerds. Hikers without cars. People with cars who don’t like hiking but do like mountaintops. Families.
What you get: A tiny nook of the state that nonetheless has everything you could want for the perfect autumn day, and it’s only an hour from Boston by car. You can also -- finally! -- take the commuter rail to the Wachusett stop on the Fitchburg line, then grab a Lyft for the remaining few minutes to the trailhead. Wachusett Mountain State Reservation offers 17 miles of trails that will take you by lakes, streams, and rolling hills. Much of it is friendly and approachable, perfect for those of us who only see a trail once or twice a year. While you can drive to the summit, you don’t have to. The 5-mile summit loop has some tough bits if you’re into that sort of thing.
After your hike -- or, er, grueling drive? -- stop for a beer at Wachusett Brewing Company. Only a few minutes down the road from both the reservation and the commuter rail station, they’re famous for their Green Monsta IPA and strangely good Blueberry Ale. They have a relaxed taproom surrounded by trees and if you go on a weekend, you may catch live music in their fire-pitted, Jenga-tabled brew yard.
Lazy Level: 9/10 if you drive to the summit. 7/10 if you do a bit of hiking and then get a beer, which, why wouldn’t you.