Take Your Pick
Adams, MA
As Seen on the Susan B Anthony Dollar Piece
Susan B Anthony Birthplace - The 19th Amendment of the Constitution gave women the right to vote and states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex". Susan B Anthony (1820-1906), through speeches and social activism, was at the forefront of the women's suffrage movement and helped bring about this change. Anthony was the second born of seven children and lived in the Adams house for six years, before moving to New York with her family.
Boston, MA
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Cheers - Originally named the Bull & Finch Pub, Cheers Beacon Hill became famous when its exterior was used in the opening shots of the long running comedy series Cheers (1982-1993). Even though the series ended years ago, people still lineup outside for a "wicked awesome" photo next to the Cheers sign and then head inside for a cold beer with Norm. The interior of the building is a maze of bars, gift shops, and props from the TV show, although the bar isn't an exact replica of the comedy series bar. For that, head over to Cheers Feneuil Hall. They will know your name there too.
Boston, MA
Our 35th President - JFK
John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum - In 1961 John F Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country". From his service in the Navy during WWII to becoming the 35th President of the United States, JFK lived these words as well as spoke them. The John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to his honor with exhibits from the campaign trail including the first televised Presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon; the establishment of the Peace Corps; and the most trying time during his Presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis. The 10 acre park overlooks the Atlantic Ocean where the President loved to sail.
Boston, MA
The Bay State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building - Boston is home to one of the oldest and most opulent State Capitol Buildings (State Houses) in the US. The cornerstone of this beautifully designed piece of architecture was laid in 1795 by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams on land owned by John Hancock. The dome which was originally made of wood was covered with copper in 1802 and gilded in 23-carat gold in 1872 and again in 1997. The Main Staircase has several fantastic stained-glass windows and the House of Representatives displays a massive "Sacred Cod" which is over 200 years old.
Boston, MA
Paul Revere's House on the Freedom Trail
Freedom Trail - The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walking trail through downtown Beantown that links 16 of the city's American Revolution and other significant historical sites. The red brick trail starts at the Visitor Center on Boston Common, goes past the State House, Faneuil Hall (the Cradle of Liberty), the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's House, the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument. Boston also has an excellent trolley system if walking isn't your thing. The trolley includes all the sites mentioned above plus, the incredibly striking Trinity Church, Harvard and Cambridge campuses, and the New England Aquarium to name a few.
Cambridge, MA
Learn the Lies of the John Harvard Statue
Harvard - Harvard is one of the top universities in America and one of eight members of the Ivy League, the others being Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale. Harvard was founded in 1636 and officially name "Harvard" in 1639 when John Harvard left his library and half of his estate to the university. Free student led tours of the historic campus are well worth the money because they point out where actor Matt Damon's former dorm room is and explain the three lies of the John Harvard Statue. On campus sites include the Peabody Museum, Massachusetts Hall, Wadsworth House, and the University Museum. Just off campus is Harvard Square (which is really a triangle) filled with little shops, trendy restaurants, and whacky street performers.
Charlestown, MA
Don't Fire Until You See?
Bunker Hill Monument - The Battle of Bunker Hill is where American officer William Prescott said, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes". Colonial forces were running low on ammunition and were badly outnumber, in this the first major battle between Colonial and British troops of the American Revolution. The Bunker Hill Monument was completed in 1843 to commemorate the battle that ensued here on June 17, 1775. The monument is made entirely of granite, stands 221 feet tall and takes 294 steps to make it to the top.
Concord, MA
The British Are Coming!!!
Minute Man National Historical Park - The Minute Man National Historical Park preserves the first battle sites of Lexington and Concord which initiated American Revolutionary War. The 900 acre park includes the Minute Man Visitor Center; the North Bridge where "the shot heard 'round the world" was fired; a five mile Battle Road Trail where Paul Revere was captured; and the Wayside: Home of Authors (home to Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney).
Concord, MA
Beautiful Walden Pond
Walden Pond - It was at Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" in his 1854 non-fiction book entitled "Walden". Thoreau was a philosophical author and poet with a strong belief in self-reliance and general mistrust of the government. He spent two years in a small cabin near Walden Pond living the simple life and reflecting on society. And it's widely believed Walden Pond is the birthplace of the conservationist movement. The small lake and surrounding woodlands are still a fantastic place to reflect and enjoy a walk, plus there is a replica of Thoreau's cabin.
Dedham Square, MA
Making Bad Art Look Good
Museum of Bad Art - The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) prides itself on finding and displaying some of the worst art people have created. Admittedly calling these venues "museums" is a bit of a stretch, but the art certainly is bad. There are two locations, one in the Dedham Community Theater and the other in the Somerville Theater. The permanent collection has roughly 400 pieces and each location displays about 30 of these at a time.
Eastham, MA
Great Beaches and Hiking
Cape Cod National Seashore - Most national parks in the US contain formations that are millions of years old, but the Cape Cod National Seashore is only about 20,000 years old. The entire peninsula was formed by a glacier from the last ice age, which just reached this area and deposited all the rocks and debris it was carrying. In this 45,000 acre seashore are miles of beaches and dunes with intermittent swamps and ponds that make for great hiking and sightseeing.
Edgartown, MA
Attractions of Martha's Vineyard
Beaches, Lighthouses and John Belushi's Grave - Martha's Vineyard or if you are an island monkey "The Vineyard", is the ideal vacation destination to escape the summer heat. The temperature rarely rises above 90 degrees in summer making a day on the beach perfect. South Beach is the place for big surf and people watching and Menemsha Beach is the place to go for a beautiful sunset. Menemsha Beach may look familiar if you are a "Jaws" fan, as the movie was filmed here. There are three lighthouses on the island that are open to the public, the Edgartown, Gay Head and East Chop Lighthouses. And another big draw to The Vineyard is John Belushi's grave in Chilmark.
Fall River, MA
Stay Here if You Dare
Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast - Lizzie Borden took and axe and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41. This is the rhyme little monkeys recite just after they hear the gruesome story of Lizzie Borden (1860-1927). Lizzie Borden's father and step-mother were brutally murdered and the only suspect was young Lizzie. Although tried, she was acquitted and set free. The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast offers tours of this infamous murder site and if you are brave enough, you can sleep there too.
Hyannis, MA
Hyannis Port and the Kennedy Compound
Hyannis Port - Hyannis is the largest village in Cape Cod and the main hopping point to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island from the mainland. Hyannis Port is most famous for being the summer home of the Kennedys. The six acre "Kennedy Compound" contains three large homes and was the campaign headquarters and Presidential retreat of John F Kennedy. Although not open to the public, the waterfront compound can be easily viewed from aboard a harbor cruise. Another attraction, located in the former Town Hall, is the JFK Hyannis Museum featuring photos and exhibits of the President and his family.
Nantucket, MA
That's a Big Sperm Whale Carcass
Nantucket Whaling Museum - From the mid 1700s to the mid 1800s, Nantucket Island was the whaling capital of the world. The waxy oil from the sperm whale was used to make candles and illuminate lamps, but by the mid 19th century this industry began losing ground to petroleum products. The island's history is detailed at the Nantucket Whaling Museum which exhibits a 46 foot sperm whale skeleton, a rigged whale boat, whaling artifacts, and invites terrific guest speakers. If you have time, take a tour of the island and see a 1746 Mill, the oldest house (1686), and of course a lighthouse. To get to the museum or anywhere on Nantucket, just turn left at the grey house with the white trim. That's a little Nantucket joke - you'll see why.
Oak Bluffs, MA
Cottage Museum
Gingerbread Cottages - Within walking distance of the Oak Bluffs Harbor (the cruise port) are nearly 200 small ornately decorated Gingerbread Cottages. Originally "The Campgrounds" had tents pitched by the Methodist church which held meetings here. As time went by the tents were replaced by these cute little houses. The Cottage Museum & Shop lets visitors see the interior of a typical cottage and displays historical photos and documents relating to the area.
Plymouth, MA
Plymouth Rock
Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock - Anchored in Plymouth Harbor is the Mayflower II, a replica of the 17th century sailing ship the Mayflower that carried the first settlers to the new world. When touring the cramped vessel, costumed role players describe the hardships of the voyage as you explore the ship and imagine the brutal journey. Near the Mayflower II is Plymouth Rock, the site where the Pilgrims are said to have first stepped off the ship (after spending a little time in Provincetown). Plymouth Rock, is marked with the date of the landing "1620" and is easily accessible.
Plymouth, MA
The Plantation on the Sea
Plimoth Plantation - The Plimouth Plantation is a wonderful location to learn the history of first English settlers. The site includes a Visitor Center, 1627 English Village, Wampanoag Homesite, Crafts Center, Nye Barn and Eel River Boardwalk. At the English Village you can interact with role players dressed in 1627 period clothing as they perform their 17th century chores. Don't miss the opportunity to try some authentic 1600s style meals of venison, stuffed quahog, and corn pudding at the Patuxet Cafe.
Provincetown, MA
Next to the Pilgrim Monument
Pilgrim Monument - Completed in 1910, the Pilgrim Monument commemorates the 1620 landing of the Mayflower in Provincetown and the signing of the Mayflower Compact (the first governing articles of the colony). The monument stands over 250 feet tall and it takes a series of 116 steps and 60 ramps to make it to the top. It is the tallest structure in the US made entirely of granite. Thanksgiving is a special time for the monument as the lights that decorate the monument from top to bottom are illuminated from that day through New Year's Eve.
Quincy, MA
Generations of Adams
John Adams National Historic Park - The John Adams National Historic Park not only contains the birthplaces of our 2nd President John Adams and our 6th President John Quincy Adams, but also the "Old House" where four generations of Adams lived, the Stone Library, and several others. The Adams' birthplaces, built in the early 1700s, are the oldest presidential birthplaces in the United States. And it is in the the John Adams home is where the Massachusetts Constitution was drafted. The Old House, sometimes called Peacefield is beautifully maintained and contains original furniture and hundreds of original artifacts.
Salem, MA
The Dungeon
Salem Witch Museum - A visit to the witch capital of the world wouldn't be complete without stopping in at the Salem Witch Museum. Back in 1692 hundreds of people were accused of being a witch in Salem and twenty nine of them were convicted of the offense with nineteen of those being hung. The Witch Museum, complete with a jury room, re-enacts a trial of an accused girl and then you head down to the dungeon. The best time to visit Salem is during its Haunted Happenings month running from Oct 1st through Nov 1st. During this time the streets are filled with vendors and all sorts of spooky people.
Salem, MA
Three of the Seven Gables
The House of Seven Gables - Nathanial Hawthorne (1804-1864) made this 1668 mansion famous in his 1851 novel "The House of Seven Gables". In the book, the owner Hepzibah Pyncheon had a small shop in the house and the book mentions a secret staircase in the chimney. Both of these were added to the "real" house to make it true to the book. The house and the property are both beautifully maintained, and Hawthorne, who was born just a few blocks from here, had his house moved to the property in 1958.
Stockbridge, MA
The Studio of Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell Museum - The Norman Rockwell Museum houses the world's largest collection of Norman Rockwell art and the Studio offers and insider's perspective of the talented artist. Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) is probably most widely known for his illustrations that graced the cover of the Saturday Evening Post for nearly 50 years. Rockwell was a prolific artist, in addition to his over 300 Post illustrations; he produced over 4,000 other original pieces. The museum has all the favorites including "Home for Christmas" and "The Four Freedoms", and the studio is set up just as Rockwell left it, with furnishings and personal items.