New England tour: an itinerary on the road from Boston as far as Cape Cod. Stages, cues, tips and deepener links to not miss the best of the Southern Massachusetts. An intense and variegated trail among history, literature, legends, traditions and nature.
A journey to the Southern Massachusetts, many – unique, different and exciting – experiences to enjoy.
A variegated trail into the history, literature, cultural and gastronomic traditions, and to some of the most heartbreaking and fascinating landscapes in the United States of America.
Discovering the places where the first Pilgrim Fathers arrive to, those ones where the American Revolution was born and where some among the greatest and most famous US Presidents lived and worked before and after their office.
Chasing the footsteps of Herman Melville and his Moby Dick or the Whale, listening to the old stories of Fall River – tied to the creepy figure of Lizzie Borden – discovering the lighthouses on the background of Edward Hopper’s paintings and David Thoreau’s words. And then the fishermen villages and the boundless beaches, maybe stopping right there where in 1620 the Mayflower berthed. And there where “our” Guglielmo Marconi made the first transoceanic wireless communication between the United States and Europe.
Sometimes stopping tasting lobster roll, boiled lobster, mussels, clam chowder and crab claws – all typical specialties – between one tour and the other.
These ones and many other emotions and experiences to enjoy during a journey to the Southern Massachusetts, inside a wider and more variegated New England itinerary.
A trail of 350km about, to divide into more days (3-4 at least) to enjoy the journey and the single experiences at their best.
Recommended overnight stays: Nantasket, New Bedford and the Cape Cod area, with a chance to extend the stay – recommended if you are travelling in Summer above all – between the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket islands.
Boston. William Tudor, famous Bostonian lawyer and literary man of 1800, defined it “the Athens of America” quite bluntly.
The first real, free, open, literate and eclectic American town. The place where all was born and where all – despite the passing of time and the development of technology – stays. The town where history, art and culture keep existing perfectly in a great balance among past, present and future.
From the Old State House, from the Freedom Trail and all the symbols of the Revolutionary War as far as the first American Public Library – strongly wanted in mid 1800s to allow everyone to get free access to knowledge, science and literature. And then some among the most fascinating art collections of the country – among all that one of the female collector Isabella Stewart Gardner who purchased, removed and took again to Boston an ancient Venetian Palace in ruins, in order to fill it literally with artworks and turn it into what is still today the wonderful Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
From the locations related to the unforgettable President Kennedy as far as those ones dedicated to culture and innovation – among all the Harvard University and MIT.
From the public markets as far as the restaurants where to taste the best local specialties – lobster roll and clam chowder first of all – as far as the sports stars of the Red Socks and Patriots.
Find here a wide dedicated section with itineraries, unusual path, things to see, to do and to eat.
Before keep going southwards don’t forget to stop in Brookline to visit President Kennedy’s birth home, and immediately after in Columbia Point to discover the JFK Presidential Library & Museum, one of 10 prestigious American Presidential Libraries and the only one in New England: a museum that goes over faithfully – thanks to the short films never seen made available by the family, the objects and historical relics – the era of the Kennedy Presidency.
Quincy is a very ancient small town of the South Shore, located 16km to the south of Boston.
It was founded in 1625 by a community of “rebel” colons coming from Plymouth, but it became a proper town only at the end of 1700, named after one of his most famous citizens – Colonel John Quincy.
Today – not by chance nicknamed “Town of presidents” – it keeps one of the most original, fascinating and unusual American National Parks of the whole country – the Adams National Historical Park.
A trail of historic dwellings – with original furniture of the White House of the time – and presidential graves, entirely dedicated to the memory of two great presidents of the United States of America, second and sixth in line of succession – and even more curious thing, father and son – John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and of their two First ladies – great women and wives, beloved by the American people still today.
About 20km far from Quincy – directly on the Atlantic coast – you’ll find Nantasket Beach, the ideal place where to relax, tasting lobsters, seafood and crabs just caught and stop for a few days at one of the charm hotels near its long beach. Don’t forget during Summer Nantasket turns into a lively and elegant resort.
Find here a detailed report about what to do and to see in Quincy and Nantasket.
About 50km to the south of Quincy you’ll find another really important historic town of Southern Massachusetts, Plymouth.
The place where in 1620, 102 pilgrims coming from Europe landed from the Mayflower giving life to the first stable settlement of colons on the American soil. And where – supported by the precious help pf the Wampanoag Natives – a year later they celebrated the first successful harvest, so giving origin to the secular tradition of Thanksgiving.
Today Plymouth celebrates its important past – this year it is 400 years since its foundation – through a series of focused trails and locations, among them the chance to go over the Pilgrim Trail and visit the Mayflower II and the Plymouth Plantation.
Here you can look up a detailed report about what to do and what to see in Plymouth.
60km far from Plymouth, keep going southwestwards, you’ll run into Fall River, a small town at the mouth of the Taunton River, near the Narragansett Bay.
The small town became sadly famous following a creepy murder occurred on August 4th, 1892 at the Bordens house. Andrew and his second wife Abby Borden were brutally murdered with several blows of an axe to the head and suspicions fell upon their second born Lizzy Borden: she was always bitter towards her father – even if he had great financial chances, he forced her and her older sister Emma to a life of hardship, on the contrary favoring his wife Abby’s wishes.
The long trial ended with the total absolution of Lizzy from all the accusations, but the doubts and rumors of the inhabitants of Fall River kept increasing the mystery of what happened. Lizzy took the secret of that day with her until her death.
Lizzy Borden’s history kept in the collective imaginary thanks to a baby rhyme become extremely popular – “Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks; when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”
About the whole story even two movies were shot: the first one in 2014 with Christina Ricci (you can see the trailer here) and the second one in 2018 with Kirsten Stewart, besides a TV series and a documentary film.
Today the Bordens house have been turned into a creepy – and it looks like very requested – B&B: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum.
For those who love the thrill, you can choose to sleep in the room where Abby was murdered, or in Lizzy’s one, take part into séances, meetings about the paranormal activity and ghost tours day and night.
Just about 20km far from Fall River you’ll run into New Bedford, located on the banks of the Acushnet River where it flows into Buzzards Bay.
It was founded in mid-1600 by a community of English colons – strong of its privileged geographical position – and it developed quickly becoming – starting from late 1700 – the main mall of the country for the Whale Hunt.
New Bedford fame as Whalers Town grew exponentially thanks to the fact that right here on January 3 1841, the famous writer Herman Melville embarked on board the Acushnet Whaler towards the Pacific Ocean for a voyage of almost two years. This experience contributed in a decisive way to the writing of his most famous novel “Moby Dick or the Whale” and over time made New Bedford an important stage of a literary itinerary throughout Massachusetts tied to Melville’s life and works.
It’s impossible not to stop for a couple of nights to discover the town and its New Bedford Whaling Museum not to be missed.
Find here a detailed report about what to do and what to see, where to sleep and to eat in New Bedford.
Don’t forget that from the State Pier Maritime Terminal the ferries towards Martha’s Vineyards and Nantucket island leave.
“A storm in the fall or winter is the time to visit it; a lighthouse or a fisherman’s hut the true hotel.
A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”
(Henry David Thoreau – Cape Cod)
Cape Cod, a thin hook of land and sand of 120km insinuating into the Atlantic Ocean and that over time inspired painters, writers, historic characters and scientists, giving boundless landscapes, emotions and one-of-a-kind views.
A path which dedicate time to and more days, if possible.
What about the stages not to be missed?
The ancient small town of Sandwich, Hyannis – “el buen retiro” of the Kennedy clan (the tour of the JFK Museum not to be missed) in Summer and other harbor to leave from towards the Martha’s Vineyards and Nantucket islands.
And then Chatam and its old lighthouse, and the Cape Code National Sea Shore with a stop at the Marconi Beach, in Wellfleet: it is the place (today it is possible to get access to a small memorial near the beach) where Guglielmo Marconi made start the first wireless transoceanic communication between the United States and Europe on January 18, 1903.
And even the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse, one of the lighthouses painted by Edward Hopper – find here an itinerary throughout the New England discovering the most beautiful lighthouses – and the lively and colorful small town of Provincetown, located right on the tip of the Cape Cod’s hook.
The perfect place where to stop for a bit, walk and glance at the eccentric vintage stores and antiques stores in Commercial Street.
And where to taste the best lobster roll, crab claws and clam chowder of the famous The Lobster Pot, run by the McNullys for over 40 years.