Six Days in Historical New England
New England is an old and historically-rich area of the United States of America. From before the Revolutionary War to modern day, there are many interesting historical sites to visit. This itinerary will take you on a six-day tour through several notable and interesting sites of historical import from several time periods.
If you need to fly into the region, get a flight to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire. From there rent a car and either go to the Snowy Owl Inn and Resort, or head directly to your first destination: Mt. Washington.
Mt. Washington, New Concord, New Hampshire
Mount Washington, named after America’s first president, is the tallest mountain in New England, and offers great views of the surrounding countryside when it is not too cloudy. However, depending on when you want to visit, the top of the mountain where the observatory is, is prone to inclement weather. Despite this, the mountain is famous for glider flying and hiking, and has available transportation up and down via train.
Start the day out early, around 8AM. If you wish to arrive the night before, the Mount Washington Hotel is right near the mountain for $169 a night and up, and the Snowy Owl Inn and Resort in Waterville Valley, NH is around $79.
Robert Frost House, Franconia (New Hampshire)
The Robert Frost House is the house where the great New England poet Robert Frost wrote many of his works. It is open free of charge from memorial day weekend through the first week in July. Robert Frost is one of the most well-known poets in New England, and his works are still revered by many. At the museum, there is also a half mile nature walk with poems that he wrote at the house on plaques. The house holds conferences on poetry and poetry readings from time to time as well.
From here it is 2 hours to Salem, MA.
Start 9-10 AM, explore the Salem Witch Museum for 1-2 hours. ($6-9 for tour) The Salem Witch Museum is dedicated to the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in New England in the 1600s, and inspired the play The Crucible. While some people may disregard these witches as nothing more than falsely accused people, the town has been permanently marked by the witch trials, and it has become a large part of the town's history. Beyond this, the town is also home to a fair amount of other history.
From Salem, it is 40 minutes to Boston. The Bunker Hill Monument marks the hill where the Americans made their famous stand against the British in Boston during the American Revolution. If desired, one can also climb up the Bunker Hill Monument and look out from the top of the obelisk at the top of the hill, looking over the entirety of Boston harbor, which is a great view if nothing else.
From Bunker Hill to the heart of the city, it is 9 minutes by car or 38 minutes by walking with plenty to do on the way. The tour plus exploring Boston should be 3 hours. (Exploring is free, but the tours have a small price) The Freedom Trail winds through Boston, stopping at many different historic monuments and markers. After one is done with the tour, they can do whatever they want in Boston, including visiting the aquarium, Quincy Market, the Boston Commons, Emerson College, Boston College, Boston University, Berkeley, and many other famous sites. Boston is a large touristy area, so there should be no shortage of things to do.
Battleship Mass Fall River, MA
Optional, museum closes at 4:30, 54 min drive, ($10-16.50 for tours). Battleship Cove is home to several different seacraft from World War 2 to the present, which are open as historic monuments. The most famous attraction out of these boats is the USS Massachusetts, which is said to have fired the first and last shells of World War 2. It is 40 more minutes from there for the night at a hotel in Warwick, near T.F. Green. ($69 and up)
Seabees, North Kingstown, RI
20 minutes to Davisville, RI, 1 hour or more there. (Tours are free) The Seabee Museum is the original home of the Seabees, a corps of US Navy engineers from World War 2 until now. The museum is still owned and operated by the Seabees, who run the tours and tell the history of all the artifacts and memorabilia.
Gilbert Stuart Museum, Saunderstown, RI
From the Seabee Museum, it is a 17 minute drive to museum. (Tours are $4-7) The Gilbert Stuart Museum is the home of the famous painter Gilbert Stuart. Throughout the course of his life, Gilbert Stuart painted over 1000 portraits, including the face of George Washington which is on every one dollar bill. The house remains largely unchanged, and still features many of the original furnishings. Associated with the house are many different events and activities, such as a mushroom walk, bird watching, and boating.
Independence Trail Providence
It is 32 minutes to Providence by car. The Independence Trail winds throughout the city, with parking in various garages for varying rates of $2 and up, or with parking spaces with meters on the sidewalks (Free and up). The Independence Trail follows a similar idea as the Freedom Trail, hitting many historical sites in Providence. The Independence Trail is relatively new, but as one follows the trail, they can make phone calls for information about each location if they dial a particular number. Along with the historic sites, there are places to go for food or entertainment within the city.
Waterfire is a big attraction during the summer, drawing an average of 40000 people each night it takes place. It takes place every other Saturday over the course of the summer, creating a huge social and cultural event for the city, complete with music and performances. The gondolas are a historic part of the city which can be rented out for a ride as well as a romantic dinner and music. With a dedicated boat launch, the gondolas bring a classic feel to the city.
Newport Mansions, Newport (Rhode Island)
Get up early for 40 minute drive to Newport, with tolls. Tours of the mansions, depending on which ones you want to visit. Varying rates. 2 hours (Admission between $14.50 and 24.50). The Newport Mansions are famous mansions which were built and owned by the multi-millionaires of the 19th and 20th century.
The Cliffwalk, Newport (Rhode Island)
Out in front of the mansions, within easy walking distance. <1 hour (Free). The Cliffwalk gives a very nice scenic tour out in front of the Newport Mansions, looking right out over the water.
Fort Adams, Newport (Rhode Island)
Can drive to the fort in 8 minutes. Tours of the fort there for a small price, and a water taxi over to the city of Newport for a small fee. (Can be rest of the day) ($5-10 dollars for museum, $10 for an all-day pass on the water taxi) Fort Adams is a historic fort in Newport Harbor, designed to protect the harbor, but was never actually put to use.
Afterwards, drive up north to Concord for the night. 1 hour 30 minutes.
Walden Pond, Concord (Massachusetts)
15-20 minute drive depending on hotel. Nature walk, gift shop, and site of Thoreau’s house. 1-2 hours ($5 for parking) Walden Pond is the scene of Thoreau’s Walden, and is a prime site of Transcendentalism.
The Old Manse, Concord (Massachusetts)
7 minute drive to the Old Manse, with tour inside. 1 hour ($5-8 dollars) The Old Manse is the home of many famous American writers, and is right next to the North Bridge, where the American Revolution started.
Lexington and Concord, Concord (Massachusetts)
Can walk along a recreation of the bridge where the battle was fought, see various memorials. <1 hour (Free)
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord (Massachusetts)
6 minute drive, walk around cemetery for famous graves, and afterwards enjoy the town. (Rest of the day) (Free) Drive down to Hartford for the night. 2 hours.
Explore Hartford, take a tour of Mark Twain’s house, 1-2 hours. The Mark Twain House is the home of Mark Twain, the famous American writer.
Mystic Seaport and Aquarium, Mystic (Connecticut)
Drive down to Mystic Seaport and Aquarium, enjoy the shops. 1 hour drive, done for the tour. Enjoy Mystic! ($21-29 for aquarium, $25/person for the Seaport.)
Mystic Seaport is largely an outdoor, self-guided museum for the maritime history of Connecticut.
If you had chosen to fly into New England, it is quite easy to reach Bradley International Airport, located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.