Even though I live in Georgia and I’ve never even visited New England, I consider myself a New Englander at heart. Perhaps it is the history of the region or the fantastic stories and legends. Or maybe it is the historic locations filled with amazing architecture. Perhaps it is the picturesque sight of boats dotting a New England harbor. I would love to live in Maine or Vermont. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have topped my “must visit” list for years. So when I see the New England Patriots playing football, I find myself quietly pulling for them, even though I have no real connection to the team.
The Patriots will meet up with the Giants on February 5th. The New York Giants also represent a fascinating area – not just New York, but also New Jersey, where they play. I visited New Jersey over the summer and fell in love with the area. It is appropriately named the Garden State – I was surprised by how beautiful the state actually is.
Even though the Patriots represent a six-state region, they’re based in a charming little town near Boston. Foxborough, Massachusetts is one of those quietly-perfect New England gems. It is about 20 miles southwest of Boston and it is home to Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots. The stadium opened in 2002, replacing an older stadium. Patriot Place, a large entertainment center with shops, a movie theater, a hotel, a mall, and several restaurants, wraps around the stadium. This large, modern facility is located not far from reminders of Foxborough’s long history, which began with a small settlement in 1704. Foxborough is home to several historic sites, including Grange Hall, built in 1807, and Memorial Hall, built in 1868.
Foxborough (sometimes spelled Foxboro) contains the vast F. Gilbert Hills State Forest. This beautiful area contains 23 miles of trails on over 1,000 acres. Hikers can access the Warner Trail from this park, a long-distance trail that leads to Rhode Island. Park activities include mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing, and there are areas designated for off-road vehicles.
Perfectly located, Foxborough is halfway between Boston and Providence, offering residents two amazing cities to choose from for work or weekend fun. Lakes and parks dot the landscape, perfect for all types of outdoor activities year-round. Foxborough features a charming downtown wrapped around an open green space. Shops, restaurants, and theaters line the wide sidewalks, inviting residents to window-shop on a sunny afternoon. The Orpheum Theater, built in 1926 as a silent movie house, is now home to live performances.
With two great teams representing two amazing locations, it will be difficult to choose a side in this year’s Super Bowl. Perhaps I’ll annoy my friends and family and cheer for both. No matter what, it’s going to be a great game.