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If you are the type of person who plans trips based on the historic sights in the area, consider hopping in the car and embarking on a road trip through New England. This area of the United States is not only known for its beautiful scenery, but is home to some of the nation’s history-making towns and landmarks. Any history buff would be lucky to experience all that New England has to offer, and the best way to do this is by hitting the open road and creating an itinerary filled with historical stops along the way.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

If you live near the northeastern United States, making your way to the New England region will be a piece of cake. Even if you live on the complete opposite side of the country or are traveling internationally, don’t let this deter you from a life altering road trip. Fly into one of the many airports in New England; the adventure will  begin after you rent a car and hit the road. For those travelers renting a vehicle, get prepared by securing car rental insurance (I’ve heard quite a few stories lately that made me start to look into this for road trips). Once you’ve crossed this off the list, be sure to check out these 7 historical landmarks throughout the New England region.

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Touring a college campus may not seem like an exciting kick off to your trip, but this is not the case when it comes to Brown University in Providence. This Rhode Island university was founded in 1764, and has educated well-known Americans such as John F. Kennedy. When you arrive on campus, you should start your tour at Van Wickle Gates on College Hill, and make your way through the brick buildings one by one. Venture off the campus grounds into Providence to see other historic attractions like the John Brown House Museum and the Rhode Island State House.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut

The famous architect Philip Johnson created the innovative Glass House 1949, and the architecture behind the house was truly ahead of its time. It has been dubbed a sight for the National Trust of Historic Preservation, and you can sign up for tours that will take you through the house and grounds.

Photo: Carol Highsmith

The Mohawk Trail in Western Massachusetts

If you are interested in doing some hiking, one of the best spots to do this is Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts. This trail extends 63 miles throughout the state, and is surrounded by green forests and state parks. Not only will you find yourself in touch with nature here, there are several historical landmarks along the trail. Some of these include the Quaker meeting house in Adams, the birthplace of Susan B. Anthony, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. So put on your hiking boots and check out the Mohawk Trail for outdoor adventures and educational opportunities. If hiking isn’t your thing, you also have the option to drive along the trail.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

Cog Railway in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

The highest peak in New Hampshire is Mount Washington, so hop on the mountain-climbing Cog Railway to reach the top and take in some stunning views. Once at the top, you can peruse through Mount Washington Observatory Weather Museum and the Sherman Adams Visitor Center. The most exciting attraction here, however, is the 1853 Tip Top House. This stone house at the summit was originally used as a hotel for visitors to Mount Washington.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

Maine Art Museum Trail through Maine

The best way to explore the historic art scene of Maine is to drive along the state’s Art Museum Trail. Not only is it the best way to experience the charming towns of Maine, but you’ll also pass by art hotspots like Bates College Museum of Art, Portland University of Maine Museum of Art, and Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford not only allows you to explore the past and take a look into Beecher’s inspirational life, but also follows the lives of other social justice icons who lived their lives promoting positive chance for all. So if you’re wanting to learn about the great change makers of the past, including Stowe, check out the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip
Photo: Midnightdreary

Farm Heritage Trail through Rhode Island

Visiting the historical farms throughout Rhode Island will give you an in-depth look into the agricultural history of the state. Some of these farms have been around since the state’s birth, and a few have even made the it on the National Register of Historic Places. The must-see farms on the trail are Mount Hope Farm and Dame Farm, but there are plenty to choose from.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

Dame Farm is the perfect setting for children; kids get to participate in a wide range of activities depending on the season. Right now the farm is featuring a 4 acre corn maze, with about 2 miles of trails looping throughout. You can add an extra challenge for hunting down the 4 stations within the maze before finishing. Each year in the summertime the farm has a huge sunflower field where you can go and pick your own flowers. If you are passing through in the fall, consider apple or pumpkin picking instead.

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine

Once you’ve made it to Maine’s Atlantic Coast, spend some time in nature at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. In the park you’ll get a taste of everything, including shorelines, mountains, lakes, and forests. The main attraction here is Cadillac Mountain, and is best known for being the first place to see the sunrise in the Eastern United States. The views up here are pretty spectacular since you’ll be exposed to everything from oceans to pine woodlands.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip

Total, there are seven peaks that include 158 miles of hiking trails for beginner and novice hikers. You can choose which trails are best for you, depending on if you want to walk along the coast or adventure up to the tallest peak. Other than hiking, Acadia offers camping, bicycle and boat tours, fishing, birdwatching, and horseback riding.

Top 7 Historical American Landmarks for Your New England Road Trip


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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