If you are a fan of colonial history, music, art, idyllic beaches, and seafood, you should come to Massachusetts as soon as possible. Every street and old building in this State (it was among the first thirteen colonies) will teach you the history. Sometimes, its past was horrible and frightening, but often glorious and marvelous. Let’s explore this fantastic part of the US together.
The only way I can start my story of this small but famous state is to show you all the magnificence of Boston and introduce this significant historical route to you. This trail is a synonym and probably the most recognizable landmark of Colonial America where the American Revolutionary War began. There are numerous organized tours through the city that will help you visit sixteen important locations from the impressive history of the US.
Don’t be afraid. It is not too hard. Actually, it is just 2.5 miles (about 4.1 km) long path of enjoyment that begins at the Boston Common and finishes about four hours later in front of an exceptional historical monument.
Start by finding the Green Line to the location where this path of freedom begins. As soon as you spot the Red Line, you can be sure that you are in the right place! Let’s see what you can expect while following brass medallions and a drawn-out Red Line.
After the Puritans landed the New World in 1620, they made an area here for grazing cows, hanging people, training the soldiers, and finally for socializing. The park was finished only fourteen years later and officially became the first city’s park in the country.
This fantastic old venue (1798) is the oldest state capitol residence in the US that continually exists. The path this place has gone from a simple cottage made of wood to the imposing building with a big golden-copper dome is absolutely fantastic.
This particular church was made in 1809. Through history, residents of Boston protested here against slavery and when they decided to support women’s suffrage. In this special place, the first States’ Sunday school was organized back in 1818. Moreover, in 1831, their choir was the first which sang the famous song ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ on Independence Day, and it was the first time that melody performed in public.
It is the old public cemetery (1660) where you can find graves of three of the five signatories of the Declaration Independence from this state, victims of the tragic massacre in this city, a famous American patriot, Mary ‘Mother’ Goose, one worthy Boston’s legislator, as well as the Benjamin Franklin’s parents and relatives.
Until 1635, when Latin School was opened, there hadn’t been public schools in the whole country. Among the students of this school were five future signers of the American Declaration of Independence. The school, which today exists under this name, is actually new. At the site where the original school was situated, you can find Franklin’s statue.
Once upon the time, it was a bookshop where everyone could buy L.M. Alcott and H.B. Stowe’s books and discuss poetry, popular literature, and actual political questions with Dickens and Emerson. Now, it is a just Chipotle. I don’t know what is more appropriate to say – ‘I am sorry’ or ‘Bon appétit’.
Here is no one who hasn’t heard of worldly significant Boston Tea Party. Well, this is the venue from our history books where our ancestors dumped 242 tea’s chests into the harbor in the middle of December in 1773. Come here (from the first day of April to the end of October) and remind yourself of valuable lessons from history.
This old building, which was built at the very beginning of the 18th century, was the center of the city life of that time. Here was proclaimed the Declaration of Independence that our Founding Fathers gave us for eternity.
This gathering venue was built in 1742, and it was planned to be a marketplace. However, it became famous as the hotspot for protests against the British oppressors. Even today you can admire the famous golden grasshopper weathervane on the top of this hall which was ‘exposing’ spies throughout the wartime between 1812 and 1815.
This is definitely the most appreciated city’s private house, and an impressive ‘must see’ museum where this respectful industrialist and patriot lived for thirty years. It was also a house from which he went for a ‘midnight ride’.
During the conflict of Bunker Hill in 1659, the British occupied the position on the old cemetery and shot the Americans out of their cannons from that place. Robert Newman (who lit the lanterns during ‘Midnight Ride’), Prince Hall (founder of the first American ‘Black Masonic Lodge’), and two participants of the infamous trial in Salem found their eternal peace here.
Since it was constructed back in 1797, the ‘Old Ironsides’ was the first US Navy warship. It started its service at the beginning of the war in 1812 and didn’t lose any single battle until it was withdrawn from use in 2015.
The first significant conflict of the American Revolution took place on this ground. Come and win the memorial after crossing all 294 steps which lead to the top. Don’t forget that a ‘climbing pass’ is required to be able to enjoy this adventure.
Come to spend your vacation at any of numerous white-sand beaches along over 557 miles (900 km) of this curved shoreline overviewing the Atlantic. This fantastic place, which preserves the east coast of the Cape, has remained unchanged since the beginning of the 19th century.
Discover this outstanding piece of land recognized for windswept dunes, swimming beaches, whale watching, lighthouses, Wellfleet Drive-in (one of the 300 remaining drive-in theater in the whole United States), Rail Trail (22 miles/35 km long), and spectacular sunsets. Keep in mind that this magnificent place is considered a natural treasure.
Don’t forget to visit Provincetown, the piece of the ‘Promised Land’ where Mayflower II (with the first Pilgrims) landed in November 1620. A month later, they came to Plymouth and established the first continuous colony of European settlers in this part of the new continent.
Follow the first steps the Pilgrims made on Pzlymouth Rock and visit Plymouth Plantation, a museum that keeps the memory of the history of the creation of this great and powerful country. You can learn a lot about the way how the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe shared everything they had and lived together during the first decades of the 17th century.
The largest island in New England is definitely worth visiting. Nowadays, this background for the movie ‘Jaws’ (1974) is a favorite summer destination for the movie stars and numerous wealthy.
You can come here from Cape Cod by ferry or plane and enjoy surfing, kayaking, and climbing the cliffs overseeing the Atlantic. Don’t miss visiting six lovely towns (including Oak Bluffs with original ‘gingerbread’ cottages older than a century) and romantic old lighthouses. Sunsets here are memorable!
Salem is a world-famous place thanks to the widely known Witch Trials in 1692. Visit the Witch House, the residence of one of the leading judges in those cases. It reminds us of the times when anyone could be hanged because being accused of witchcraft. Come here in autumn (in the time of Halloween) and experience their month-long ‘Haunted Happenings’.
Without any hesitation, I can say that this lovely house is the unique and immeasurably important part of Salem. Nathaniel Hawthorne made this house immortalized after he had published his famous Gothic novel in 1851. Nowadays, it is a center for literature studies and the venue for organizing special events and numerous academic programs.
Useful Tips for International Travelers
One of the most frequent questions international travelers who want to visit the US ask is: ‘What is Visa Waiver Program?‘ The answer is simple. On January 12, 2009, the US government established this automated system. After finishing pre-screening before boarding, every passenger can stay up to 90 days in the US without additional bureaucracy complications.
That precisely means that you, as a citizen of one of 38 Visa Waiver Countries, only need a valid credit card and a passport with a digital chip to stay three months in the United States of America for both business and pleasure reasons. Your only obligation before starting your journey is to check ESTA status. Welcome to the States!
If you have enough time, you should spend it wisely and visit many other great places in this honored tiny country.
Come to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and enjoy watching humpback whales, seals, and adorable dolphins.
Visit the Cambridge town, an academic center founded in 1630. Nowadays, it hosts two universities, Harvard and the MIT.
Stay out of breath in colorful Mapparium, established in the early 1930s. It is a place where you can see the world as it really is, and spend a memorable time while experiencing a ‘whispering gallery’ effect.