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Massachusetts; History & Beauty Await In Historic Seaport Cities and Towns    by Iris Dean


A short drive north of Boston is Marblehead where we stopped to take in a panoramic view of the harbor at Fort Sewall. The elegant town of Marblehead is known for its lush gardens and beautiful historic homes like the Jeremiah Lee Mansion and the King Hooper Mansion.

The Heritage Trail

A drive a few miles inland and we're in Salem, Massachusetts to visit the Heritage Trail downtown. Here, we step back to in time to an age of misunderstanding at the Salem Witch Museum before letting our imagination take us to the high seas at the New England Pirate Museum. For a bit of literary inspiration visit Nathaniel Hawthorne's birthplace and The House of Seven Gables Historic Site, which draws visitors to its seaside gardens and complex of restored houses, including and the house made famous by his novel.

Boston's Freedom Trail

Near the waterfront park we find the Salem Maritime National Historic Site where we discover the Derby House; home to the country's first millionaire. When it comes to the stylish life of a millionaire one man comes to mind; Ralph Lauren, whose collection of rare cars can be seen at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston. This was one of many exciting and creative exhibits held at the world-class museum located at 465 Huntington Ave in Boston. (www.mfa.org.) While in Boston we also toured Boston's Freedom Trail to visit the many historic sights in town that include Paul Revere's house and the Old North Church.

The beauty of the coast came to life when we spotted one of the many lighthouses, of which some date back to the 18th Century. We imagined what life was like for sailors at America's oldest seaport, Gloucester, Massachusetts. The active seaport city earned its claim to fame in the movie "The Perfect Storm."

Arts & Antiques

Nearby in Rocky Neck, located on the outskirts of the city is a working art colony where we met local artists and browsed through the many unique galleries. In Rockport we dined on fresh-caught Lobster and enjoyed a stroll along the town's wharf, which is well known for its beauty and one of the most painted seascapes in the world.

The best part of driving through Massachusetts is you get to wander of the highways and see so many sites you would otherwise overlook. This is especially true when it comes to searching for arts and antiques, like those we found in shops on a stop in Essex and Rowley, Massachusetts.

The "Shot Heard Round The World"

It's hard to describe every one of the amazing sites we visited while in Massachusetts, although there are those which moved us. American history is filled with triumph and tragedy that books cannot bring to life. Only when you visit a site of historic significance and take a second to realize what happened does it hit home. This was the case on our visit to Battle Road; the site of numerous clashes between the Minutemen and the Redcoats, and the Lexington Green, the location of the "shot heard around the world."

To experience the history and marvelous beauty of Massachusetts on your next trip visit www.massvacation.com or call 800-447-MASS ext. 300 for a free Massachusetts Getaway Guide.

Save Money When Planning Your Vacation

Finding ways to save money when planning a vacation is always a bit tricky. Especially when the kids want to visit practically every attraction while we would rather take it nice and slow. We enjoy strolling through beautiful gardens, taking in exhibits at museum and historic sites. Okay, maybe that's not everyone cup of tea, yet we have found a way to save money on vacation with the USA Go Cards that give us FREE Admissions to attractions in several cities across the country. Go Card USA offers Unlimited Admission to Top Attractions, Tours, Sights, Museums, Activities and more for 1 Low Price! Go Cards are available in 9 exciting cities, including: Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Orlando, Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami and Hawaii.

Explore Attractions In Boston

The USA Go Cards offer travelers FREE Admission to Major Parks, Historic Sites, Excursions and Tours like the Foxwoods Casino Tour, Day Trips, Popular Attractions including the New England Aquarium and World-Class Museums like Boston Children's Museum, and much more. Find out more about the GO Boston card at: http://www.gobostoncard.com/index.html?img=17&kbid=1902.

About the Author

Iris Dean is a Journalist for USA Travel Magazine. Discover places to dine, shop, and vacation destinations, check local weather, play Sudoku, read tidbits of News, book and travel product reviews, and order a Free State Vacation Guides at http://www.usatravelmagazine.com.






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