New England harbor towns fascinate me. The charming architecture, the history, and the seaside sights of fishing boats and sailboats dotting the skyline seem so peaceful and Norman Rockwell-esque. Massachusetts embodies all of this charm with seaside towns all along the Boston Harbor and Cape Cod Bay.
Home to Ivy-league universities, Massachusetts constantly tops the lists for best schools: Harvard University, Cambridge, Amherst College, the University of Massachusetts, and the top-ranked Williams College are all located in this small state.
As the cradle of our nation, historic sites are interwoven into the fabric of Massachusetts. From the time the Puritans settled in the 1630s, through the Salem Witch Trials, and during the course of the American Revolution, Massachusetts has been the location of some of this country’s most pivotal moments. These moments are celebrated and preserved in the historic sites, National Heritage Areas, and National Historic Parks.
The first named historic site in the US is the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which contains a replica of the 1797 East Indiaman called the Friendship of Salem. It also contains some historic homes, such as Narbonne House (1675) and the Derby House (1762), as well as the historic Derby Wharf, home to the Derby Wharf light, built in 1871.
Nantucket’s cobblestone streets and vineyards are just one facet of this historic island. Someday, I’ll take the ferry boat to this tiny gem and go bike riding along miles of bike paths, feel the salty breeze from the 14 miles of pristine coastline, and I’ll tour one-of-a-kind sites, such as the Old Mill. The Old Mill was built in 1746 and is the oldest windmill in the country still in operation.
I want to stroll along the beach at Cape Cod National Seashore and go shopping in downtown Boston. I want to tour the Freedom Trail, see the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and catch a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I want to walk in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. And, of course, no trip to Massachusetts would be complete without a trip to Pilgrim Memorial State Park to see Plymouth Rock.
Now, I just have to start planning.