When planning our day in Boston, the one thing I knew I wanted to see was the Freedom Trail. Boston’s Freedom Trail is a two and a half mile route throughout the city marked with a red line that leads to 16 sites from the American Revolution. The trail begins at Faneuil Hall where we caught a free walking tour led by the National Park Service. Throughout the years, Faneuil Hall has had many purposes. The lower level is a marketplace. The second floor served as Boston’s Town Meeting Hall (above) and the third floor held the town’s armory (NPS).
Boston Common (bottom right), Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, Paul Revere’s House, the Site of the Boston Massacre, and the U.S.S. Constitute (left) are just a few of the sites along the Freedom Trail. The trail ends at the Bunker Hill Monument which commemorates one of the first battles of the American Revolution. Unfortunately it was closed during our visit due to extreme heat.
We were able to tour the U.S.S. Constitution. The U.S.S. Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat and was named by George Washington. Interestingly, “Old Ironsides” is made entirely of wood. She was given the name during the War of 1812 when British cannonballs seemed to bounce right off of her. The ship’s copper fastenings were made by Paul Revere (Freedom Trail).
If you are planning on visiting Boston, I highly recommend the National Park Service Tours. For one it doesn’t cost anything and the tour guides are highly knowledgeable. Our guide wrote her Doctoral Dissertation on Paul Revere. I’m sure those other tours don’t have guides with that kind of expertise!
There is so much to see and do and Boston and one day is really not enough time to explore it all. Boston is definitely on my list of places to return with more time!
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Before our trip, we weren’t planning on stopping at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but then we heard that they had the largest collection of Monets outside of Europe and we had to check it out. Gallery 252 is dedicated exclusively to works of Monet. Grand Canal, Venice hangs on the wall in there as well as Meadow with Poplars. They also have a large collection of American Impressionists and the most complete collection of John Singer Sargent anywhere. If you enjoy impressionist paintings, this museum is a must see!
Of course, the MFA is a large, urban art museum and has more to offer than just impressionists. They have a large wing full of modern art and as well as ancient art. One of my favorite galleries in the museum is the musical instrument collection. They had crazy instruments I had never seen before! Of course, this bass clarinet player had to take a picture of the small, curvy bass clarinet on display! They also have galleries dedicated to jewelry and textiles. If you enjoy art, there is something for you to see at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston.
If you plan to visit the MFA, plan to get their early or you will have to wait in line outside. It was 90 degrees and sunny on our Boston day and they didn’t have an awning or anything to stand under. It got pretty hot and uncomfortable waiting to get inside. We visited through the ROAM (reciprocal admissions) program with our DIA membership and the girl behind the counter was happy to tell that the DIA is one of her favorite museums. That made me smile.
To plan a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, visit MFA.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Minute Man National Historic Park, located just outside of Boston, is home to many sites of significance of the first battle in the battle for American Independence. There are many sites of important historical significance located inside the park. The Battle Road Trail is a 5 mile trail that connects many of the sites within the park and would be a fun way to explore the park. Since this was our third stop of the day, we didn’t have much time to explore the park before it closed, so we drove between sites to maximize time.
The Old North Bridge, one of the sites in the park, is where the “shot hear round the world” was fired. The Minute Man statue (left) is located near the bridge and interestingly is made from seven cannons that were used in the American Civil War (wiki). A monument at the site of Paul Revere’s Capture can be seen along the Battle Road Trail. Hartwell Tavern is another stop on the trail where costumed re-enactors talk about the home turned tavern and life in Massachusetts in the late 18th century.
Pictured above is the Wayside, which is a home that has housed many famous American authors. Louisa May Alcott lived in the home as a child and it is said that her time at the Wayside inspired many scenes from Little Women. The Alcotts sold the home to Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of the Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables among others) who named it The Wayside because it was so close to the road, he worried it would be mistaken for a coach stop. After Hawthorne’s death, the home was purchased by his son-in-law and author, George Parsons Lanthrop. Four years after that, Boston publisher Daniel Lothrop purchased the home with his wife, Harriet who wrote children’s books under the pen name, Margaret Sidney. In 1963 the home was named a National Landmark and joined Minute Man National park two years later (wiki).
The park is full of history and I recommend you take a trip to visit if you are in the Boston area. For more information, visit the National Park Service. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Ever since I discovered that there was a museum dedicated to picture book art, specifically Eric Carle art, I knew this was a place I would have to visit. So, when mapping out our East Coast Road Trip, I was excited to discover it was only about an hour out of the way.
The museum in Amherst, Massachusetts was founded by legendary children’s book illustrator, Eric Carle. The museum is definitely geared towards children and families with interactive exhibits at the children’s level. The museum is home to three galleries: the Eric Carle gallery and two rotating galleries. My favorite was definitely the Eric Carle gallery. It was interesting getting to see unpublished pages from his books as well as a timeline of his life. During our visit, the middle gallery featured the art of Leo and Diane Dillon. I don’t know that I had ever read any of their books, but the art featured was beautiful. The east gallery featured a Paddington bear exhibit that the kids really seemed into. I’ve never read any Paddington books or seen any of the movies, so I couldn’t really relate to it.
Admission to the Eric Carle Museum is only $9 for adults; youth, teachers, and seniors are $6. It is a small museum but it is definitely worth a visit if you have children or are just a fan of picture books like me! Admission includes the galleries, the picture book library (that is organized by illustrator, not author, in case you were wondering), and the art studio where kids can create their own art. The museum is also home to an auditorium that features films inspired by children’s books as well as live music, theater performances, and lectures. Most are included with museum admission. Beginning on September 8, the Eric Carle exhibit is transforming in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! I wish I could go back to check it out!
Thanks for stopping by! To plan your visit to The Eric Carle Museum, visit carlemuseum.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
The first stop on our recent East Coast Road Trip was at the Onieda Community Mansion Museum. This is an interesting place with a unique history. We had first heard about the Onieda Mansion on an episode of Planet Money. You know the Onieda silverware company, right? Did you know that they started out as a 19the century, perfectionist cult and free love commune? The mansion house (now a museum) was the home of the Onieda Community from 1848-1880. Led by John Humprey Noyes, the community “challenged social views on property ownership, gender roles, child-rearing practices, monogamous marriage, and work.” The community was way ahead of its time in the in the rights of women, in that the women of the community were able to participate in community work and they played an active role in shaping policy of the commune. (wiki and Onieda Community)
The mansion house itself is a beautiful building with unique details. There are many community spaces to explore including a beautiful library. There is also a large meeting space where the 300 members of the community would come together for religious purposes as well as community meetings. It is hard to imagine 300 people living together under one roof. Nowadays, the building houses a museum, gift shop, as well as apartments, and guest rooms. It was a very interesting place, but I will admit it had a kind of creepy vibe to it. The Onieda Community may have failed as a cult/commune/eugenics experiment, but they do make nice silverware.
While in Onieda, we also discovered the Wold’s Smallest Church. The Cross Island Church was built for a wedding so it can house a couple with a minister while the guests watch from boats on the water. I wish we had heard about this place earlier because we may have called ahead for a tour, instead we viewed it from the road. More information about this tiny church can be found at RoadSideAmerica.com.
Thanks for stopping by and reading what has to be one of the strangest posts on this blog! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.