New England takes its name from its founding fathers who came from England, the Puritan Separatist Pilgrims who moved to America in 1620. Their successful settlement was followed by a series of European migrations and eventually gave birth to the United States of America.
The region is therefore deeply influenced by history and US culture and is a great starting point for those who are discovering the country for the first time. Here are the top things to do when visiting New England:
Explore Acadia National Park
One of the U.S. most beautiful national parks, Acadia Park is composed of many stunning natural spots. The name comes from French settlers in exile from Canada.
This national park is a gateway to explore the coastal landscape of New England and discover its rich biodiversity. The park is 49 acres big and visitors on schedule may visit it with their own vehicles for a one-day tour. A few stops to include in your visit are a hike on Bar Island Land Bridge and a tour of the Abbe Museum to learn more about Native American culture. The village of Bar Harbor is also recommended for those interested in whale-watching and eating delicious lobster snacks.
Walk the Freedom Trail
Visitors keen on learning about the origins and the creation of the United States of America have to include the Freedom Trail in their trip. New England is home to 16 historical landmarks, and the Freedom Trail will take you to 11 of them located in Boston. Highlights of the tour include US National Historic Landmark, Massachusetts State House. Built-in 1798, it is considered a “masterpiece of Federal Architecture.”
The tour also includes the infamous Benjamin Franklin Statute and the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It’s a great spot to have a taste of Boston’s food and discover the local crafts and culture.
Attend an NFL game at Gillette Stadium
A great way to grasp the local culture is to talk to locals and join community-gathering events. New England’s people are passionate football fans and proud supporters of the New England Patriots. The local team are winners of the most Super Bowl championship titles, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL).
Football is deeply ingrained in the identity of New England and probably the best way to start a conversation with locals. The Gillette Stadium - in the southwest of Boston - is where the football-curious will learn about the history, success, and passion that has been driving the New England Patriots team and where they can attend one of their games. The best time to see them in action is in September when the 17-week regular season starts or in February for the Super Bowl.
Discover Martha’s Vineyard
Located in the coastal area of Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most visited spots in New England. Two breathtaking sites attract people there: Aquinnah Cliffs and Gay Head Light.
Aquinnah Cliffs are massive white cliffs facing the majestic Atlantic ocean. The deep marine blue and white rock creates an artistic contrast and provides a great opportunity to take stunning pictures. On top of the cliffs, visitors have the opportunity to visit Gay Head Light, the lighthouse where the first Congress of the newly formed United States government convened in 1789.
Visit New England Aquarium
Located in the coastal area of Boston city, New England Aquarium is a pioneer in marine life education. More than just a place to watch the oceanic wildlife, the aquarium includes exhibitions and educational experiences to teach visitors about the fragile marine ecosystem. This includes a Giant Ocean Tank showcasing Caribbean reef biodiversity and its vulnerability to climate change as well as the Olympic Coast featuring the marine life in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The aquarium is also committed to informing its visitors about the damaging impacts of climate change on marine life and the ocean. Home to thousands of marine species, the aquarium has made it their mission to find solutions to protect endangered marine species.
New England is home to some of the country’s most beautiful natural spots and rich biodiversity. Visiting the region is a great way to learn about the birth of the United States of America and understand the culture that has driven the development of the nation. The historical landmarks will help you to understand its origins and the community-gathering events are moments to capture what it means to be American today.