The Old Dartmouth Historical Society established the Whaling Museum in 1907showcase the history of American whaling and to describe how New Bedford became the whaling capital of the world in the nineteenth century.
I first visited this museum as a kid and enjoyed every part of it. Now I am taking my nieces and nephews. There are many kid friendly exhibits. Some of the old whaling pictures (ie how they were killed) may be frightening to younger children.
While most of the exhibits deal with hunting whales there are also exhibits dedicated to preservation of whales as a species.
One special event that draws crowds is the Moby-Dick Marathon, a nonstop reading of the American classic.! (In January)
PROS: Great exhibits
CONS: can be crowded in summer and during school vacations
Highland Light, was the first lighthouse built on Cape Cod in 1797. The present 66-foot brick, however, tower was built in 1857. Adjacent to the lighthouse is the Highland House. The Highland House was part of resort complex that first served tourists in the late 1800s.
The museum has exhibits on the native Americans who have lived here in the past, shipwreck mementos, early fishing and whaling gear and more.
I was last here last summer. The place was not crowded and the view from the light house is not to be missed.
Admission is inexpensive and there is plenty of parking.
PROS: The gorgeous coastal view
CONS: long walk from museum to lighthouse
Thornton Waldo Burgess, was a naturalist and conservationist, who loved the wonder of nature and its wildlife. He wrote about them for more than 50 years. He is best known for his Old Mother West Wind Stories which feature Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit and Bily Mink, among others.
The museum is in a house that was once owned by his Aunt Arabella. The museum exhibits artifacts, art, writings and other personal memorabilia of Burgess.
The grounds are a treat to walk through too! There is a nice herb garden and the kids will surely enjoy a walk to the duck pond to feed the ducks.
Admission is inexpensive.
PROS: Nice history of American author
CONS: can be crowded in summer
The Sandwich Glass Museum celebrates the history of glassmaking in Sandwich, MA. In 1825, Bostonian Deming Jarves decided to start his own glassworks, the Boston and Cape Cod glassworks. Fordecades this company was the premier glassmaking company in America until the railroads came in and the west coast couldmake glass cheaper.
The museum traces the history of glassmaking and gives live demos of how glass is made. The collection has over 5000 pieces to look at. I first went here with my grandfather as a kid and have revisited the museum several times.
The admission price is inexpensive... can be crowded in summer.
PROS: Lots of glass to see!
The Bennington Museum 1875 to showcase Bennington's Colonial past and to commemorate the historic Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington in 1777. The museum over the last century has expanded its collection to not only include military memorabilia but also Vermont artworks, maps, literary works and furniture.
The part I liked the most was the exhibition of Vermont's most famous artist - Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses ). Her collection is housed in an old school house that she attended in New York and was moved to Bennington. In this special exhibit there are many interactive exhibits for children - including a a "make-your-own Grandma Moses painting wall."
PROS: Enjoyment for the whole family
The Norman Rockwell Museum is a wonderful place to explore a piece of Americana as expressed by the works of Norman Rockwell. The museum was founded in 1969 by the family of Rockwell.
Through the art of Rockwell we revisit American life of the past as well as controversial issues (such as segregation.) The museum has a large collection of original works... most impressive is the collection Saturday Evening Post covers. The collection is large so they tend to rotate the art works.
Parking is ample but it is a long way to the museum from the lot. The gift shop is quite varied and is suited to all pocketbooks!
PROS: Great works of art
CONS: Parking could be closer
The House of the Seven Gables was built in 1668. It is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England. The House of the Seven Gables was the inspiration for the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne. (In fact, Hawthorne's birthplace home was moved nearby to this house. We had great fun trying to find the "hidden" staircase!)
The building houses a museum (also known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) of over 2000 pieces of photographs, paintings and rare literary volumes. Be sure not to miss a stroll of the grounds which include gorgeous flower paths with a nineteenth century flavor.
PROS: Great history
CONS: can be crowded in summer
The Butterfly Place is an indoor atrium which is designed to house some of natures most colorful living beings: butterflies! Within this atriums living environment can be found a variety of colorful plants, shrubs, bushes each of which has been selected as a source of nectar (food) for the butterflies. There is also a goldfish pond inthe middle to give the scene a natural look.
I went with my mother as part of a girls' day out. She had worn some bright colors (bright green hat and hot pink slacks) that day. Apparently butterflies love bright colors. I had such fun watching as butterflies kept landing on her left and right!
The place is small but definitely worth a couple of hours of your time!
PROS: Very different place!
Chesterwood, was the 1920's summer home, studio and garden of sculptor Daniel Chester French. French is best known for sculpting the seated Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Tours are available of the house and exquisite grounds and scattered throughout are French's scultures and working models. Every fall there is an outdoor exhibition of local art and sculpture. This exhibition features some museum quality pieces of art and other "art" that you just stand stare at and wonder why it is there! One piece of art was "arranged Tonka trucks in a dirt pile" and another were bedsprings stuffed with rotting paperbacks! Interesting but they over shadowed the niced garden statues!
All in all it makes for a very interesting and enjoyable trip!
PROS: lots of art to enjoy
Kahians Furniture is a small town furniture and appliance store. It is struggling tostayafloat against the larger furniture companies and Walmart. Their merchandise includes beds, sofas, chairs, wide-screen tvs, refridgerators, stoves, etc. They of course do not have the inventory of a Walmart or Besy Buy but what they do have is tasteful and a decent price range. The dervice is pleasant and sales persons are knowledgible. Please support your small town stores!
PROS: tasteful selection
CONS: small selection