1. Lexington

prac_info Massachusetts • Route 2 • Visitor information: 1875 Massachusetts Ave; 1 781 862 1450 •

Peaceful Lexington Green marks the first encounter of British soldiers with organized resistance by American revolutionaries. The rebels fortified their courage with a night of drinking at the adjacent Buckman Tavern.


Minuteman statue, Lexington Green

2. Concord

prac_info Massachusetts • Route 2 • Visitor information: 58 Main St; 1 978 369 3120 •

Rebels put the Redcoats to rout at North Bridge, Concord’s main revolutionary battle site. The town was also the hub of American literature in the mid 19th century, and visitors can tour the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. Henry David Thoreau’s woodland haunts at Walden Pond now feature hiking trails and a swimming beach.

3. New Bedford

prac_info Massachusetts • Routes I-95 & I-195 • Visitor information: 33 William St; 1 508 996 4095 •

During the 19th century, local sailors and whalers plundered the oceans of the world, enriching the port of New Bedford. The National Historic District preserves many fine buildings of the era, and the Whaling Museum gives accounts of the enterprise.

4. Plymouth

prac_info Massachusetts • Routes 3 & 44 • Visitor information: 130 Water St; 1 508 747 7525 •

The recreated village of Plimoth Plantation immerses visitors in the lives of the first English settlers in Massachusetts. At the harbor, tour the Mayflower II (under renovation through 2019). On Thanksgiving, the town celebrates with a parade in Pilgrim dress.

5. Salem

prac_info Massachusetts • Route 1A • Visitor information: 2 New Liberty St; 1 978 740 1650 •

A witch may not have been killed in Salem since 1692, but witchcraft paraphernalia fills many stores, and several sites tell the tale of this dark episode. The city is more proud of its China Trade days (circa 1780–1880), which are engagingly recounted on walking tours. Visit the Peabody Essex Museum to see the treasures sea captains brought home.


Salem Witch Museum

6. Providence

prac_info Rhode Island • Routes 1 or I-95 • Visitor information: 1 Sabin St; 1 401 751 1177 •

Providence is a great walking city. Stroll Benefit Street’s “mile of history” to see an impressive group of Colonial and Federal houses, or visit Waterplace Park with its pretty walkways along the Providence River. Atwells Avenue on Federal Hill is Providence’s Little Italy, bustling with restaurants and cafés.


Providence, Rhode Island

7. Lowell

prac_info Massachusetts • Routes I-93, I-95, & 3 • Visitor information: 246 Market St; 1 978 970 5000 • Adm to Boott Cotton Mills Museum •

Lowell was the cradle of the US’s Industrial Revolution, where entrepreneurs dug power canals and built America’s first textile mills on the Merrimack River. The sites within the National Historical Park tell the parallel stories of a wrenching transformation from an agricultural to industrial lifestyle. A 1920s weave room still thunders away at Boott Cotton Mills Museum.

8. Old Sturbridge Village

prac_info Massachusetts • Routes l-90, 20, & 84 • Visitor Center: 1 Sturbridge Village Rd; 800 733 1830 •

Interpreters in period costume go about their daily lives in a typical 1830s New England village. This large living history museum has more than 40 buildings on 0.3 sq miles (0.8 sq km). Visitors can get a sense of the era at the village common, mill district, and the farm.

9. Portsmouth

prac_info New Hampshire • Routes 1 or I-95 • Visitor information: 500 Market St; 1 603 610 5510 •

Founded in 1623 as Strawbery Banke, the historic houses on Marcy Street document three centuries of city life from earliest settlement through to 20th-century immigration. Picturesque shops, pubs, and restaurants surround Market Square and line the waterfront, and the surrounding streets house fine examples of Federal architecture.

10. Newport

prac_info Rhode Island • Routes I-93, 24, & 114 • Visitor information: 23 America’s Cup Ave; 1 401 845 9123 •

Newport has been a playground for the rich since the late 1860s. Many of the elaborate “cottages” built by 19th-century industrialists are open for tours, including Breakers on Ochre Point Avenue. For natural beauty, hike the 3.6-mile (5.5-km) Cliff Walk overlooking Narragansett Bay and Easton’s Beach.

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