Hear about travel to Massachusetts as the Amateur Traveler talks to Henry Suski about the state where he was born and where he has traveled his entire life.
Henry says, “It represents America. We’ve had people who have come to Massachusetts over 400 years ago. If you know where to look you’re going to see all sorts of different movements, ideas, institutions, museums. Also, the nature is stunning too.”
We do a whirlwind trip of the state from the Berkshires in the west to the Cape and islands in the east. The only thing we don’t talk about is Boston which we have covered in a couple of other podcasts.
The Berkshires is not only a great place to find a hike (including a segment of the Appalachian Trail), but in the summer you can also find culture here. This is where the wealthy families used to flee the cities in the summer-time. Now the Boston Pops spends the summer at Tanglewood. You can find live theatre at the Barrington Stage Company, Shakespeare & Company, or the Williamstown Theatre Festival. You can see dance at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
For art, you can visit the Norman Rockwell Museum or the home, studio, and gardens of American sculptor Daniel Chester French (Chesterwood) both in Stockbridge. In Lenox, you can visit the home (The Mount) of the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize Edith Wharton. Or you can visit the home of Herman Melville in Pittsfield. When you have had enough culture, Henry sends us to a spa at Cranwell or Kripalu.
Visit the home of the Shakers in Hancock Shaker Village to learn about this sect of Christians known for their shaking worship style, their celibacy, and their fine crafts.
In Williamstown, you can find one of Massachusett’s many colleges, Williams College as well as the Clark Institute of Art and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Further east in Springfield is the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Springfield was one of the army’s handful of armories at the time of the Civil War. Springfield is also the home for both Basketball and Volleyball. Visit the Basketball Museum and the Volleyball Hall of Fame. This is also where the American experiment met an early test in Shays’ Rebellion. Learn about the contributions of Polish immigrants at the nearby Polish Center in Chicopee or come in the fall for New England’s multi-state fair the Big E.
Amherst has 4 more Massachusetts schools of higher learning as well as the Emily Dickenson house and the Eric Carle Museum of storybook art.
Today Northampton is one of the most liberal cities in the U.S. but in the early 1800s, it was a center for the religious revival of the Second Great Awakening. Further north in Historic Deerfield you can find a recreated 18th-Century New England Village, while Old Sturbridge Village further east has an open-air museum that is a 19th-century village. Yet further east in Oxford the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum remembers the founder of the American Red Cross, the “Angel of the Battlefield”.
We talk about hikes in the Great Marsh. We visit two historic sites that celebrate America’s earliest industries at the Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site and the Lowell National Historical Park.
As we head north of Boston we find the homes of authors Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. We will see maritime history at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and on historic Cape Ann.
South of Boston, we remember the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and Plimoth Plantation (Plimoth Patuexet) before heading down to the beauty of Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
We talk about a museum dedicated to bad art, the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission, an ax murderer, a collection of WWII battleships, and more as we explore Massachusetts. There is too much to see in Massachusetts in a week or maybe in a lifetime but we will steer you to some of the best sites of The Bay State.
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Travel to Boston, Massachusetts – Episode 630
Tanglewood Music Center Boston Symphony Orchestra
Jacob’s Pillow | Dance Festival
Barrington Stage Company
Shakespeare & Company
Williamstown Theatre Festival
Norman Rockwell Museum
The Mount | Edith Wharton’s Home
The Trustees of Reservations
Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort
Arrowhead (Herman Melville House)
Hancock Shaker Village
Clark Institute of Art
MASS MoCA | Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Springfield Armory National Historic Site
Basketball Museum Springfield
Volleyball Hall of Fame
The Polish Center of Discovery & Learning
The Big E
Emily Dickinson Museum – Amherst, Massachusetts
Eric Carle Museum
Second Great Awakening
Treehouse Brazilian Food
Clara Barton Museum
Old Sturbridge Village
7 Year’s War
Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site
Peobody Essex Museum
Salem Maritime National Historic Site
House of Seven Gables
Halbot Popint State Park
Castle Hill (Ipswich, Massachusetts)
Lowell National Historical Park
Minuteman National Historic Park
Louisa May Alcott House
Ralph Waldo Emerson House
Henry David Thoreau’s Cabin
Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Museum Of Bad Art
Museum of Russian Icons
Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History
6 National Parks Near Boston
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Lizzy Borden House
Cape Cod National Seashore
Marconi and the South Wellfleet Wireless
Lightship Basket Museum
Edge of Darkness (2010) – IMDb
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