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Massachusetts is not only part of the earliest history of the United States, but is also full of hidden gems and amazing places to visit and experience. Below are a few that are truly fascinating.

From her travels for over three decades through Europe, the Middle East, Asia and more, Isabella Gardner found herself addicted to bringing back strange and beautiful objects from foreign lands. It all started when she lost her first and only child to pneumonia, Isabella suffered a two-year-long depression. Her husband decided to take her on a trip across Europe, sparking a love for life and collections. Isabella collected over two thousand artifacts from paintings to sculptures, drawings, manuscripts, and photographs. 

Her private life remains somewhat of a mystery as she burned thousands of her letters before she died to leave little behind about her personally. What we do know of Isabelle comes from her life as a socialite with a passion for eclectic and rare esoteric possessions from foreign lands.

The House of Paul Revere is the oldest remaining building in downtown Boston Massachusetts.
What you might not have known and about Paul Revere is that he was a silversmith, making everything from belt buckles to 900-pound bells for the town of Boston. He also worked as a dentist which was typical for silversmiths. To prevent demolition, Revere’s great-grandson helped found the Paul Revere Memorial Association and opened the house to the public, in 1908, making it one of the earliest historic house museums in the United States. Representative of colonial architecture, the house sits with period furnishings and a Colonial era garden. In the courtyards lies one of Paul Revere’s silversmith bells.

On a side note: the engraving of the Boston Massacre by Revere was less a piece of art and more to be used as a court document against the British showing exactly where citizens were shot in the square.

The Bulb River consisting of bright purplish-blue grape hyacinths follows a curvy path, not unlike a stream of running water, on the grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts. It's bordered with bright yellow daffodils which flow down a gentle hill winding around trees on the grounds of the museum to create the illusion of a flowing river. Aside from the brilliant vibrancy of these flowers in springtime, the fragrance is quite remarkable and beautiful to experience. The brain behind this incredible creation is Les Lutz, the Director of Horticulture and Facilities Management at Heritage. On Mother’s Day, when the bulbs are in full bloom typically, mothers get to enter for free.

Important to note that the bulb river is only in full bloom for about a week. The Heritage opens on April 15th.

Polcari’s Coffee on Salem Street in Boston Massachusetts, established in 1932 by Ralph Polcari, has an enormously wide assortment of herbs, spices, nuts, and coffee beans. Polcari's Coffee is not your average coffee shop. The current owner and virtual son of Mr. Polcari, Bobby Eustace, considers himself a museum keeper, committed to running the business with Mr. Polcari’s intended vision.

If you’re there traveling through during the summer months, be sure to get their Lemon Slushes made fresh outside the shop.

It was during the war of 1812 that the USS Constitution earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” when her crew witnessed shots hitting the ship merely bouncing off the side. The USS Constitution in Boston Massachusetts, which was commissioned by the first US president, George Washington, is the America’s Ship of State. The Ship today can be found at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, at the end of the Freedom Trail. Old Ironsides was one of size her size, built in 1794 and was designed more specifically to be heavily armed and better constructed than the ships of the time.

Over the decades the ship has undergone many restorations to maintain the integrity of the vessel and prevent further deterioration. The ship currently keeps a crew of 60 active duty Navy sailors that help promote its mission and the understanding of the Us Navy’s role in war and peace.

The visitation of the USS Constitution is on a first come first serve basis and does require proper identification, such as a driver’s license, though visitors under the age of 18 do not require proof of ID.

In North End Boston Massachusetts, an area of Italian culture and heritage from many regions of Italy, a celebrated with throughout the year with food and parades, St Anthony’s Feast is the largest Italian religious festival in New England. Coordinated by the San Antonio Di Padova Da Montefalcione social club, one of the most vibrant “Little Italy” communities, this event is held annually on the weekend of last Sunday in August. In the North End where the festival is held, you can enjoy over 100 food items, souvenirs, parades and religious services.

There is easy access to the festival right off the Freedom Trail in the North End of Boston.

Massachusetts is so rich with history, both popular and more obscure and every bit worth the visit and tour.

All of these fun facts and more can be found at https://www.atlasobscura.com/things-to-do/massachusetts

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