30 historic places to visit this fall in New England


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These both well-known and more obscure places will take you decades and, in some cases, centuries back.

Portland Head Light, first lit in 1791, has become one of New England’s most iconic lighthouses. David VanHook

You don’t need a lot to convince that New England is an amazing place to be in the fall: apple picking, foliage, and flannel shirts all contribute to the cool, cool wonderland known as autumn name in the northeast.

The area is also full of destinations – from Connecticut to Maine, both well-known and more obscure – that will both put you in a fall vibe and take you back in time. Here are 30 historic places you should take a trip to see this season.

It’s hard to think of a better way to see New England than a steam locomotive: you can see the foliage of the Connecticut River Valley without having to drive your car. The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat takes you on a 2.5 hour, 12 mile journey through the Connecticut River Valley by train and boat. The train departs from historic 1892 Essex Station. You then spend just over an hour of the journey down the Connecticut River on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat.

(The tour takes place on weekends at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.; $ 19 for children and $ 29 for adults)

This undated photo provided by The Glass House shows part of the art exhibit titled

Part of the art exhibit titled “Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden,” at The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut

The Glass House, completed in 1949, is known for bringing a touch of international architecture to American suburban life, according to the house’s website. Architect Philip Johnson designed the house and lived there until his death in 2005. It is now a National Trust for Historic Preservation site, and you can take tours. This fall is the perfect time for one, because a special exhibition titled “Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden”Takes place there until November 30. In addition to a landscape installation with 1,300 floating steel spheres, each about 12 inches in diameter, you will also have the chance to see a large steel sculpture called “PUMPKIN”, another example of Kusama’s work.

(Open Monday to Saturday 9:30 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm; visit the website for information on tours and prices)

Other Historic Connecticut Attractions:

Mount Hope Farm (also known as Gov. William Bradford House) is a historic estate on Metacom Avenue in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Mount Hope Farm (also known as Gov. William Bradford House) is a historic estate on Metacom Avenue in Bristol, Rhode Island.

What better time of year to see Rhode Island’s historic farms than fall, when the leaves are changing and crops are growing? According to Visit Rhode IslandRhode Island’s agricultural history dates back to its founding in 1636. You can tour the Heritage Trail Farms in any order you choose, stopping at Dame Farm and Mount Hope Farm, both listed on the National Register. historic sites for their historic buildings, as well as the Coggeshall Farm Museum, Prescott Farm, Watson Farm, Casey Farm, Smith’s Castle, South County Museum and Abrams Animal Farm.

Brown's Manning Chapel was built in the 19th century.

Brown’s Manning Chapel was built in the 19th century.

The new school year is starting, but you don’t have to be a new student to stop by historic colleges this fall. Brown University, which has been in existence since 1764, offers a self-guided tour of its brick buildings. The tour begins at the Van Wickle Gates at the top of College Hill, where you can see views of Providence, then proceeds to the libraries, green spaces, dormitories, before ending at the athletic center. Afterwards, there are many other historical experiences around Providence that will continue your academic themed day, including tours of the Rhode Island State House, the John Brown House Museum, and the Natural history museum and planetarium.

Other historic attractions in Rhode Island:

David Foster, director of Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA shows an area of ​​the forest where farmland existed on Friday August 30, 2013. New England forests returned after being depleted in the 1800s. (Jackie Ricciardi for the Boston Globe)

David Foster, director of Harvard Forest in Petersham.

Known as Harvard University’s “3,500 acre lab and classroom,” according to its website, Harvard Forest is also home to the Fisher Museum, which features acclaimed dioramas that illustrate information about the forests of New England. Its variety of walking and hiking trails include a self-guided ecological and historical trail and a self-guided nature trail, where you will certainly see the leaves changing.

(Open May to October, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; closed for renovations from November 1, 2016 to April 1, 2017)

The Mohawk Trail opened in 1914 and stretches 63 miles throughout the western part of the state, with 50,000 acres of state parks and forests surrounding it. Although open all year round, the road is all the more beautiful as the leaves begin to change color for the fall. In addition to places to eat, nature to see, and stores to shop, The Mohawk Trail has a variety of historic sites along the route. The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, where you can discover the famous suffragist and abolitionist, falls along the Adams Trail. So does the Quaker Meeting House in Adams, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. If you are more interested in art history, you can head to the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, or Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, also in Williamstown.

Other Historic Massachusetts Attractions:

Mount Washington Cog Railway locomotives cross between the summit of Mount Washington and the base station in Marshfield, New Hampshire on Thursday, September 5, 2013. Photo by Monica Donovan for the Boston Globe

The locomotives of the Mount Washington Cog Railway intersect between the summit of Mount Washington and the base station in Marshfield, New Hampshire.

Atop New England’s highest peak, you’ll find the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Museum, the Sherman Adams Visitor Center, and the 1853 Tip Top House, which was built as the second stone house on top of the mountain and was originally used as a hotel. Go there what the state website calls it the world’s first climbing train and the only cog railway east of the Rockies. It offers a three-hour guided train tour to the top of the mountain.

(The railway runs from April to November and leaves at different times of the day; $ 69 for adults, $ 65 for seniors, $ 39 for children aged 4 to 12, free for children 3 and under; recommended to buy tickets in advance)

Election season is certainly underway. This fall, you can engage in presidential history by visiting the childhood home of Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. Pierce lived in the house from his birth until his marriage in 1834. The National park service explains that her house is a good example of village architecture in New Hampshire because it has a hipped roof and paneled doors.

(Open weekends from September 10 until closing for the season on October 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last visit at 3.15 p.m.)

Other historic New Hampshire attractions:

A view of the Billings Farm and Museum.

A view of the Billings Farm and Museum.

The national parks service encourages visitors to “experience Vermont’s only national park adorned with vibrant fall colors.” This park would be the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, and Billings Farm and Museum are one of them. Discover a museum showcasing the history of rural life in Vermont and learn what it was like to run a farm in the 1890s. Again: a restored 1890 farm and a working dairy farm.

(Billings Farm and Museum is open daily from April 30 to October 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. open weekends from November to February, as well as Christmas and February holiday weeks from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

There’s no better time than fall to experience the history of maple in the foliage-covered state of Vermont. The New England Maple Museum (It Exists!) Maple Syrup Samples are available. There is also a museum shop where you can buy syrup and tons of other maple products.

(Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Other historic Vermont attractions:

28ogunquit - The view from the Lobby Sculpture Gallery of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art has captivated artists and visitors for many years.  (Dan Gair / Ogunquit Museum of American Art)

The view from the Sculpture Gallery in the lobby of the Ogunquit American Art Museum.

Many historic art museums along this trail feature works by famous artists who took a long time to get creative in Maine. The trail includes Bates College Art Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, and the University of Portland Art Museum in Maine. Of course, you can also take in the magnificent fall views and picturesque Maine cityscapes.

Since 1807, it is the last maritime signaling tower in America. It will definitely give you long-standing memories of Maine’s fall beauty. The tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and went on to become a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Monument after undergoing multiple renovations and preservation efforts.

(Guided tours of the observatory run daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; $ 10 for adults, $ 8 for seniors / students / AAA members, $ 5 for children 6 to 16, free for members and children under 6, $ 30 for families)

Other historic attractions in Maine:


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