We love visiting historic sites on our vacations! Partially, this is probably because Jessie used to be a history teacher, but the other reason is because they are so fascinating and we always learn a ton! We always joke that we like to go to all the places that the older generations visit, because of the dynamics of the crowds that surround us. On stop two of our East Coast Honeymoon series we are going to tell you about our favorite, must see locations for your historic Massachusetts honeymoon or vacation. Boston won’t be included in this post, but if you want to see our recommendations for Boston, check out our post here!
Our first suggested stop on your historic Massachusetts honeymoon would be to visit Lexington and Concord. These two towns are so interconnected that you can cover both in one day, but still have tons to do to keep you busy and entertained. In Lexington you have to make an obligatory stop on the Lexington Battle Green where the “Shot Heard Round the World” happened in 1775. Just take a moment to look around and take it all in. One thing about it that is interesting is that it is now a common area/park for the town. When we visited there were people lounging on the grass enjoying a picnic lunch. Who would have thought that the place where the first shot of the revolution was fired would today be a picnic area! Our other favorite stops in Lexington are the Hancock-Clarke House (the place where John Hancock and Samuel Adams were when they were warned “the Redcoats are coming!”) and the Buckman and Monroe Taverns.
After you’ve made your way around Lexington, follow the path of the battle and take a drive over to Concord. Concord isn’t just home to Revolutionary War history, but is also the home of many of the most famous authors in American history. The Revolutionary War sites you have to visit are the Minuteman National Historic Park and the North Bridge, which is the site where the Minutemen caused the Redcoats to retreat. Leading up to the North Bridge and throughout Lexington and Concord if you look along the sides of the road, you’ll see small rock walls. Those walls were used as cover by the Minutemen as they fired into the British Army!
After visiting those sites, we recommend you visit the home of Louisa May Alcott at the Orchard House, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and Walden Pond. The tour of the Orchard House is outstanding. A lot of home tours are pretty good, and a person will walk away saying it was worthwhile, but the tour guides at the Orchard House made the family’s story come alive. Before visiting the house, Jessie had never read the Little Women books, but after the tour she bought herself a set of books in the gift shop! The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is filled with the graves of authors like Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Emerson family, and Henry David Thoreau. There’s something about old graves and headstones that is eerie and so interesting, and this cemetery was no different.
Do you love Thanksgiving food? The turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, yams, etc.? Well you better thank the Pilgrims and Abraham Lincoln for that! The Pilgrims for the reason, and Lincoln for the holiday! You should probably thank your Grandma or other family members too if they cook the food for you! 🙂
Plymouth, Massachusetts is an awesome place to spend a day or two. It’s a charming city by the ocean, and also filled with tons of American history. Plymouth might ring a bell in your mind and make you remember the lessons you had in elementary school or middle school about the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. Plymouth was the location the Pilgrims landed at when they left Europe for religious freedom in 1620. Some sites you should visit on your historic Massachusetts honeymoon are the Plimoth Plantation, The Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, and the Pilgrim Hall Museum. The Mayflower II is a replica of the original Mayflower and the coolest part of the ship was seeing below deck where the passengers slept. Just imagining being in that confined of a space for weeks on end makes a person feel claustrophobic! Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum/plantation that really lets you see and experience what Plymouth would have been like when the Pilgrims arrived. The building and home models of the Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation are fascinating to see and walk through! They are extremely detailed and we loved interacting with the living history actors who act as though they are frozen in the 1600s. We saw a few tourists try to get them to break character, but they didn’t fall for it! Both of us actually have a few ancestors that came over to America on the Mayflower as Pilgrims, so the next chance we have to go back to visit Plymouth we’re going to a bit of family history! If you’re planning a trip, check your own family history to see if you are related to any of the settlers or natives from the area. It’s things like that that really make a place come alive!
If you are anything like us, you probably have a place in your heart for Hocus Pocus and anything involving Salem Witch Trials history. They even have a tour there focused on the Hocus Pocus movie. We didn’t take it, but they do take you by one of the houses that is used in the movie. Nathaniel Hawthorn’s House of Seven Gables is a must see and we highly recommend you take a tour if you go to visit. We won’t spoil some of the surprises and twists and turns though out the house, but it is an awesome tour! When it comes to the Witch Trials the best places to visit are the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Old Burying Point Cemetery, and the Witch House/Corwin House. Just a short drive outside of Salem is the Rebecca Nurse Homestead, which is a must do if you are looking for Witch Trials history. There aren’t too many homes or building remaining from the 1600s, so getting a chance to visit one with that much history is pretty awesome! Our last two suggestions would be to visit the Salem Village Parsonage Site, which holds the foundation of the Parris house, and Gallows Hill/Proctor’s Ledge. If you know your Salem Witch Trials history it was the Parris’ home was where all the accusations began, and Proctor’s Ledge was recently discovered to be the site of the hangings!
Even though we’ve seen all these awesome places in Massachusetts on our own east coast trips, there are some places we haven’t visited yet, but want to. In case any of these interest you for your own east coast trip, or historic Massachusetts honeymoon, here’s a list of the places we want to visit.