• African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School
46 Joy St. Boston, MA 02114 (617) 725-0022
<www.afroammuseum.org>: The 1806 Beacon Hill meetinghouse and adjacent school, part of the Museum of Afro-American History, were centers of Boston’s free African-American community. Visit the Web site to learn about black heritage trails in Boston and Nantucket.
• The Freedom Trail
Starts at Boston Commons Visitors Center 147 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02111 (617)426-3115
<www.thefreedomtrail.org>: This 2.5-mile walking path, marked by a red line, connects 16 Boston historic sites in Beacon Hill, downtown, the North End and Charlestown. Costumed guides depart the visitor center three times a day.
• Hancock Shaker Village
Route 20 Pittsfield, MA 0120 (800) 817-1137
<www.hancockshakervillage.org>: Learn about Shaker architecture (including the famous Round Stone Barn), crafts, heirloom crops and heritage animal breeds at this living history museum. Visit the Web site to search a database of known Hancock Shakers.
• Harrison Cray Otis House
141 Cambridge St. Boston, MA 02114 (617) 227-3956
<www.historicnewengland.org/visit/homes/otis.htm>: Charles Bulfinch — America’s first professional architect — designed this Federal-style home for Otis, who developed Beacon Hill and later was Boston’s mayor.
• John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Columbia Point Boston, MA 02125 (866) 535-1960
<www.jfklibrary.org>: The 35th US president’s 26-foot sloop Victura welcomes you to this I.M. Pei-designed building. Exhibits on Kennedy’s life and political career include a re-creation of the TV studio where he debated Richard Nixon in 1960 and video of his famous inaugural address.
• Lowell National Historical Park
67 Kirk St. Lowell, MA (978) 970-5000
<www.nps.gov/lowe>: Stop by the visitor center in Market Mills to get a map of this early industrial city-turned-national park, then step into 19th-century mill life. See textile factories, worker housing and canals, as well as exhibits on the people — many of them immigrants and women — who made the mills hum.
• Old Sturbridge Village
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road Sturbridge, MA 01566 (800) 733-1830
<www.osv.org>: Costumed guides at 40 restored buildings — including a meetinghouse, bank, cider mill and tavern — re-create daily life in a New England town between 1790 and 1840. At 200 acres, this outdoor museum is the largest in New England.
• Plimoth Plantation
137 Warren Ave. Plymouth, MA 02360 (508) 746-1622
<www.plimoth.org>: Sit back as everyday life in 1627 Plimoth unfolds around you — or help colonists pull weeds and ask a housewife what she’s cooking. In the nearby Wampanoag home site, modern American Indians in traditional dress depict their people’s experiences.
• Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
10 Park Plaza Suite 4510 Boston, MA 02116 (800) 447-6277
• Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau
2 Copley Place Suite 105 Boston, MA 02116 (888) 733-2678
From the August 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.