7 Things To Know About Whale Watching Trips

In order to get out to the deep water that whales love, expect to be out on the boat for three to five hours. It will take at least an hour or more to get out and back, which will leave you one to two hours of hunting and watching.

We recently went on a Whale Watch with a new-to-us charter called Captain John Boats out of Plymouth, MA. I hope you find these 7 things to know about whale watching helpful. If you are visiting Plymouth, find more things to do by visiting my review of Delightful Plymouth Massachusetts.

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Humpback Whales

1. What To Expect

In order to get out to the deep water that whales love, expect to be out on the boat for three to five hours. It will take at least an hour or more to get out and back, which will leave you one to two hours of hunting and watching.

If you are prone to motion sickness, be prepared. The ocean swells will have even a large boat rocking as you move over them. The rear of the boat will have a smoother ride than the front, so head there if you are a bit queasy.

2. What To Bring

Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat


Camera or your charged phone

Your patience, and something to entertain the munchkins

Water and snacks, many boats will sell libations, water, and snacks on board.

An extra layer of clothing

3. What To Wear

Wear sturdy shoes – i.e. sneakers. You will see guests in flip flops and if the deck gets wet, you will also see them slipping around.

Wear weather appropriate clothing and then pack one more layer i.e. a jacket. It can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler out in the open water.

4. How To Take Great Photos With your phone

Use video instead of stills, with the free iMovie app, you can isolate a still photo from your video. This gives you a much better chance of capturing that Instagram perfect pic.

Make sure you have a wrist strap or shoulder strap on your phone, you don’t want it going in for a swim. This Joto Waterproof Pouch from Amazon is inexpensive and offers waterproof protection.

5. Sonar And Radar

If a whale watch says they use sonar and radar to track whales, be wary.

Sonar detects what is under the boat – hopefully you will have spotted the whales before they are under your boat!

Radar locates items on the surface and will detect large schools of fish, which can indicate a feeding place for the whales.

However, a good captain will have an idea where the whales are feeding, will be in contact with other captains out on the water, and have great vision for spotting whale splashes.

6. Arrive early

Arrive early, you don’t want to be running for the boat as they are pulling up the gang plank. Entertaining for the passengers on board, but not so much for you.

If you have your heart set on riding the front or the rear of the boat, and it’s a large touring boat, arrive very early, the best seats fill up quickly.

7. Bring cash

Cash (and usually cards) can be used to buy for snacks, drinks, and ship sponsored photos you may wish to purchase.

Cash tips for the crew are always appreciated.

I hope you get to enjoy a Whale Watching trip very soon. It is a wonder way to spend a sunny afternoon. If you use these 7 things to know about whale watching, they will help you have a whale of an adventure.

Happy Travels,


P.S. If you love to travel and are looking for a good credit card to help you travel for free, the Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card has a great offer that will deposit points in your account for free hotel stays. I have stayed in many luxury hotels for little or no cost, most recently the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa.

Where To Dine In Marlborough MA

Welcome to Marlborough. Trying to decide where to dine in the area? Reviews of the local restaurants are listed here.

Whether you are visiting as a hockey family at our world famous New England Sports Center or you are visiting one of our high-tech companies; you will want to know where to dine in Marlborough MA and the surrounding area.

The reviews of these restaurants reflect my personal opinion. I have not received compensation from the establishments directly.

Travel With Sandi is a participant in an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

Here is what I know about travel. Everyone’s taste is different. The opinions expressed here are mine alone.

Reviews of most of these restaurants can be found on Trip Advisor

Delivery through Grubhub is available for many restaurants.

Family Dining

If you are looking for a restaurant that offers family style dining with a waitstaff and bar, this list is for you.

110 Grill

Part of the new Apex Center, the 110 Grill is the anchor restaurant for the complex. They also have a location in Hudson at the Shops at Highland Commons. The food is high quality, the atmosphere is loud and busy, and the outdoor firepit is a nice draw.

99 Restaurant

There are two 99 Restaurants – one in Hudson and one in Marlborough. They serve traditional chain-style American fair that is priced reasonably.


For finer dining, try Bullfinches in Sudbury. They also offer cooking classes on Tuesday evenings.

Chill Kitchen and Bar

Located on the East side of Marlborough, Chill Kitchen and Bar offers good American cuisine. The patio is the place to be in the summer months and is dog friendly.

Evviva Trattoria

A fun, lively atmosphere awaits you at Evviva Trattoria. They are conveniently located in the Apex Center and are always busy. The patio is in the parking lot, but it’s still a fun place for a drink and some fabulous Italian food.

Fireflys BBQ

Great southern BBQ in New England, Fireflys BBQ is home to ribs paired with classic sides and Dante’s – an over 21 dance club.

Fish Restaurant and Wine Bar

Beautifully presented, classic seafood dishes are the star of the menu at Fish.

Fix Burger Bar

Fix Burger Bar is the new kid in town. They offer fabulous burgers and when the weather is good, a view of the lake.

Fugakyu Cafe

Fugakyu in Sudbury offers classic Japanese cuisine: sushi, sashimi, tempura.

Horseshoe Pub and Restaurant

The Horseshoe Pub in Hudson offers fun pub fair and a separate bar area that has wide selection of draft beers for your enjoyment.

Kennedy’s Restaurant and Market

Kennedy’s Restaurant is where the townies go. A longtime, family owned establishment, you will find classic American favorites on the menu.


Family friendly Italian dining at its best, that’s Linguini’s in a nutshell. I once recommended it to a visitor; their comment “The braciole is better than my Italian grandma’s!”

LongHorn Steak House

At the Longhorn you know what you will get, since each location offers the same great steak and proprietary seasonings.

Lotus Blossom

The Lotus Blossom restaurant in Sudbury is the perfect spot to enjoy Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

Marlborough Country Club’s Eastside Grille

The Eastside Grille offers indoor and patio dining overlooking a beautiful 18 hole semi-private golf course.

Okami Sushi hibachi

Okami is located in the Apex Center.

Olive Garden

Just beyond the Mall is the Olive Garden offering classic, tried and true Italian dining.

Rail Trail Flat Bread Co.

Great flatbread, fabulous entres, and fresh draft options make the Rail Trail in Hudson a great casual dining spot. Delivery offered by Grubhub.

Silk Road Bistro

The Silk Road Bistro is a family run downtown restaurant offering Northern & Szechuan-style Chinese food

Sofia Restorante

A staple in the downtown Hudson restaurant scene, Sofia’s has been serving authentic Tuscan inspired Italian cuisine for over 20 years.

Tavern In The Square

Offering gastro pub fair, Tavern In The Square is lively and has lots of TVs in the dining room.

TGI Fridays

Everyone knows TGI Fridays, Marlborough’s is in the Mall. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

Wayside Inn

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn is a traditional wayside inn and tavern that has been serving the since 1716. It is a nice spot to enjoy a comfortably upscale meal.

Welly’s Restaurant

Welly’s is like Cheers – frequented by locals and offering amazing weekday specials. They are so popular, they just opened a new spot in Hudson. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

Grubhub Delivery Available


More of a sports bar, the Westender offers sandwiches, darts, and sports.

Wildwood Steakhouse

Wildwood embodies relaxed finer dining where the focus is steaks done expertly.

Zarape Mexican Restaurant

Zarape offers yummy classic Mexican entres and has indoor and patio seating.

Casual Dining

Below are dining options that are classic takeout and may have seating and some have a small waitstaff.


Chick fil a in the Apex Center. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

China Taste

China Taste is the best place to get excellent, classic Chinese food. Make sure to call ahead, they are usually very busy.

Five Guys

Five Guys across from the Apex Center. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE


Friendlies in the Apex Center. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

Hot Table

Hot Table in the Apex Center. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike’s next to the Apex Center


Panera Bread across the street from the Apex Center. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

Protein House

Marlborough’s healthy alternative to fast food, the Protein House is located in the Apex Center and will have you feeling good about your meal choices. GRUBHUB DELIVERY AVAILABLE

Mirchi Nation

Mirchi Nation is across the street from the Apex Center


Qdoba is across the street from the Apex Center

Vin Bin Cafe

The Vin Bin Cafe is the place to go if you are looking for great local eats. They are located in downtown Marlborough and Southboro.

Card Options

When you ar dining out, it’s always a good idea to get Marriott points by using the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card. The offer lots of different plans and the dividends are hotel points – something hockey families and traveling visitors need.

Other Places To Visit

If you are looking for something to do, a visit to Tower Hill Botanical Garden might just be the thing. You can check them out and view some of their Orchids here.


If I have missed your establishment or you would like to make a special offer to our readers for the where to dine in Marlborough MA list, email me at Sandi@travelswithsandi.com.

Delightful Plymouth Massachusetts

Plimoth Plantation will keep you busy for an entire day.

Plymouth Massachusetts is a super friendly town that is great for a day trip or a weekend get-a-way. This year Plymouth is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing. You can check out all the festivities at Plymouth400.

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Everyone needs to see Plymouth Rock – it is great, albeit questionable historical accuracy, symbol of the Pilgrim’s landing on America soil. Don’t be too disappointed, since it is truly just a rock; but it is encased in a beautiful superstructure built in 1920. Anchoring a beautiful park along the Plymouth Harbor.

Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock

Where to Eat

Enjoy a lovely lunch at East Bay Grill. You can eat out on the patio overlooking the harbor. We had amazing lobster rolls, loaded with huge pieces of perfectly cooked lobster meat, served with coleslaw and a pile of French fries.

Treat yourselft to an after dinner, vacation-required ice creat at Ziggy’s on Water Street. All I can say is Yum!

Other Fun Things to do in Plymouth

Plimoth Plantation will keep you busy for an entire day, and they have great tours. My favorite viewing at Plimoth Plantation is the Rare Breeds in the Nye Barn, I am a farmer deep down in my soul. There is the Grist Mill, Craft Center, 17th Century English Village, and the Wampanoag Homesite. If you love American History or are looking for a pastoral place to spend some family friendly time – this is the place.

Long Beach in Plymouth and White Horse Beach are two beautiful public beaches if you want to get in some chilly Cape Cod Bay swimming. We were treated to a horseback riding group enjoying the Long Beach surf on a sunny September Sunday.

Plymouth Massachusetts Horseback riding

There are lots of great Airbnb’s in Plymouth.  We stayed in an old Fisherman’s cottage ½ block from the harbor between Water Street and Court Street. Court Street has a lively shopping and bar scene, with most places rocking until late in the evening.

I love Airbnb, it can give you a homey, neighborhood space, with perhaps a separate bedroom and living room, some kitchen space, and room for friends and family.

For something more upscale, there is the 1620 Hotel  it has well appointed rooms, great location and is adjacent to a quaint little shopping center offering small specialty shops.

Art is alive and well in Plymouth

Plymouth Lobster Crawl organized by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce features 29 unique 5’ tall lobster structures through out the waterfront and downtown Plymouth. Make sure you tag your photos: #PlymouthLobsterCrawl

Plymouth Public Art Initiative
Public Art

You will see lots of Art in Plymouth Massachusetts.  The Plymouth Public Art Initiative brings hand-painted Adirondack chairs and picnic tables to the Waterfront for her visitors to enjoy.

Adirondack Chairs

Okay, I couldn’t resist photographing this huge fallen tree.  It’s been here quite a while and I’m guessing that it is part of the art scene on the waterfront.

I hope your enjoyed our weekend get-a-way in Plymouth Massachusetts, where the locals are super friendly, there is lots to do and see, and the restorative nature of the water will have you wanting to go back and visit again and again.

Delightful Plymouth Massachusetts

Get Lost in the Journey!