From the Pilgrims to the first shot in the American Revolution, Massachusetts has something for every history enthusiast. You can spend days wandering the Freedom Trail in Boston or visiting Plimoth Plantation to learn about the Pilgrims. From the Cape Cod beaches to the Berkshire mountains, Massachusetts is a wonderful place to visit with children, especially in the summer months.
I lived in Massachusetts for two years in the late 1990s and early 2000. While it definitely was different from my home state of North Carolina, I grew to love its culture, people, and especially its history. Every weekend, we would explore a new little town just a few hours from our home in Cambridge. From the village green in Lexington where the “shot heard round the world” was fired to the solemn memorials to victims of the Salem Witch Trials, there is history around every bend in the Commonwealth!
See my list below of historical sites, most of which are located within an easy day trip of the tourist hub, Boston. This list is by no means exhaustive but gives you an idea of historical sites to see in each area. Check back often for more of these sites to be reviewed by The History Mom! Note that only sites reviewed by The History Mom are marked with *. Other links are external links to the museum’s own website.
No trip to Massachusetts is complete without visiting Boston. Boston has played an important role in American history from the 18th century when the Sons of Liberty first lit the sparks that led to the American Revolution here.
- Freedom Trail – a walking trail throughout the city that takes you to must-see historical sites from the American Revolution, including:
- *Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
- Black Heritage Trail
- Boston Public Garden (don’t miss the Make Way for Ducklings statue)
- Fenway Park
- Presidential History
- Abigail Adams Historical Sites
- Abigail Adams Birthplace
- Adams National Historical Park – home of 2nd President, John Adams, and his son, the 6th President, John Quincy Adams
- John F. Kennedy National Historical Site in nearby Brookline, MA
- John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
- Louisa Catherine Adams Historical Sites
Southeast Massachusetts/Cape Cod
- Cape Cod
- New Bedford
- North Oxford
- Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (my kids’ favorite!!)
Books to Read:
All links are Amazon affiliate links.
- 14 and up:
- 10 and up:
- What Was the Boston Tea Party?
- The Boston Tea Party (Graphic History)
- Paul Revere’s Ride (Graphic History)
- ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SUBMARINE: A Revolutionary War Time Travel Adventure!
- Dear America: A Journey to the New World
- I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembly, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts Bay Colony 1691
- So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847
- 6 and up: