Located in the Northeastern United States, New England consists of six states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Four of the six states were among the original 13 colonies and the original 13 states. Connecticut was the fifth state, Massachusetts the sixth, New Hampshire the ninth, and Rhode Island the thirteenth. Vermont, was the 14th state admitted into the Union and Maine became a state in 1820 after the District of Maine was granted its’ independence from Massachusetts. Today, the 6 New England states are a center for education, high technology, insurance, medicine, and tourism.
New England Tourism
An ideal vacation destination, New England offers travelers a rich set of potential destinations and things to do. From mountainous regions such as the Berkshires in Massachusetts, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont, to the coastal regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Cape Code, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts. The region is rich in natural beauty, rich in history, rich in cultural attractions, and rich in things to do.
Things of Unique Interest in New England
While many other regions can also boast beautiful mountains and coastlines, history, and culture, there are many things of unique interest in New England:
- Acadia National Park (Maine) – Acadia National Park was the first National Park east of the Mississippi and is the only National Park in the northeastern United States.
- Birthplace of the American Revolution (Massachusetts) – Several of the events leading up to the American Revolution took place in Boston including the Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770) and the Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773). The Boston Freedom Trail will take visitors past the site of the Boston Massacre and 15 other locations of historical significance, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum preserves the history of that event. The North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts is the site of the “shot heard round the world” (Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn”, 1837) – the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. The Bridge is part of Minuteman National Historic Park. Two months later Boston was the scene of the fourth battle of the Revolution – The Battle of Bunker (Breeds) Hill, which is commemorated by the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
- Cuisine – There are many famous regional dishes and traditions such as the classic New England clambake, New England clam chowder, and, of course, Boston baked beans.
- Easternmost Point in the United States (Maine) – West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, Maine is the easternmost point of the contiguous United States.
- Fenway Park (Boston, Massachusetts) – Home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is the oldest Major League ballpark in the United States. When the first game was played in Fenway Park on April 20, 1912 the sinking of the RMS Titanic was still front-page news. Individual and group tours of the venerable ballpark are available every day.
- Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) – Harvard University is the Nation’s oldest university having been founded in 1636. New England is home to four of the eight Ivy League schools – Brown (Providence, RI), Dartmouth (Hanover, NH), Harvard (Cambridge, MA), and Yale (New Haven, CT).
- John F. Kennedy (Boston & Brookline, Massachusetts) – Boston is home to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and in Brookline you will find the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site that preserves the birthplace of JFK.
- Oldest Carousels (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) – The two oldest carousels in the United States are the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, and the Flying Horse Carousel in Watch Hill (Westerly), Rhode Island. Both were built by the Charles W. Dare Company of New York. The Flying Horse Carousel came to make Watch Hill its home in 1879, while the Flying Horses Carousel moved to Oak Bluffs in 1884. A couple of other very old carousels may also be found in Rhode Island. The Loof Carousel in Slater Park in Pawtucket that was built in 1894, and the Crescent Park Looff Carousel in East Providence that was built in 1895.
- Stonehenge? (Salem, New Hampshire) – Dubbed “America’s Stonehenge“, Salem, New Hampshire is home to a man-made rock maze reminiscent of Stonehenge in England. It is believed to be the oldest man-made structure in the United States.
- USS Constitution (Boston, Massachusetts) – Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution, is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and has been serving the United States Navy since 1797. It can be seen at its home in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
- The Von Trapp Family (Stowe, Vermont) – Made famous in the musical The Sound of Music, when the Von Trapp family escaped Austria before the Second World War, they eventually settled in Stowe, Vermont. Come and be the guests of the current generation of the Von Trapp family at the Trapp Family Lodge.
- Witches (Salem, Massachusetts) – No, not Harry Potter witches, the Salem Witch Trial witches. In 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts 19 people were convicted of witchcraft and put to death on Gallows Hill near Salem Village. Another 80 year old man was pressed to death for refusing to submit to a trial for witchcraft. This history is preserved and presented in attractions such as the Salem Wax Museum & Salem Witches Village, Salem Witch Museum, Witch Dungeon Museum, and the Witch House. While in Salem you may also want to take in other wonderful attractions such as the Peabody Essex Museum, and the House of the Seven Gables, which was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s legendary novel of the same name.
- Northern Forest Canoe Trail – How about going for an epic canoe adventure. Nearly 80% of the 740 mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail passes through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Paddle old Native America routes over sections appropriate for novices to experts.
This is just a small sample of the many wonderful and unique things in New England that keep people visiting again and again. There is always something new to discover and do on a New England vacation.