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Best Classic Attractions in Massachusetts | 2013 Editors' Choice Awards

Best Classic Attractions in Massachusetts | 2013 Editors’ Choice Awards
3 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (79% score)
by in May 2013
Best Rural History Lesson at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA

Photo/Art by John Ferrarone
Best Rural-History Lesson at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA

There’s a lot to see in do in the Bay State, but some activities really stand the test of time. Read our picks for the best classic attractions in Massachusetts.

BEST EARLY WHALING MUSEUM
NANTUCKET WHALING MUSEUM, Nantucket
Nantucket was the Houston of its day, when whale oil lit the lamps and greased the wheels of industry. From the majestic skeleton of a sperm whale to delicate scrimshaw, this museum tells of the historic hunt for leviathans and our modern quest to save them. 13 Broad St. 508-228-1894; nha.org/sites

BEST RURAL-HISTORY LESSON
OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE, Sturbridge
Dramatic events are not the only stuff of history. This outdoor museum depicts a rural New England village and does a superb job of capturing the details of daily life from 1790 to 1840. Heirloom gardens feature fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamental flowers. 29 Stallion Hill Road (off Route 20). 800-733-1830, 508-347-3362; osv.org

BEST VINTAGE SUMMER THEATRE
CAPE PLAYHOUSE, Dennis
Many stars of stage and screen have trod the boards at the Cape Playhouse since it opened in 1927 in a former Unitarian meetinghouse. The country’s oldest professional summer theatre knows how to put together an entertaining six-play mix of comedies, musicals, mysteries, and old favorites. 820 Main St. (Route 6A). 508-385-3911; capeplayhouse.com

BEST BICULTURAL INTERPRETATION
PLIMOTH PLANTATION, Plymouth
Days were filled with work in 17th-century New England, whether you were a Native American carving a canoe from a log or an English settler tending livestock. Visitors to this living-history museum can observe both ways of life and decide for themselves whether they’d rather retire to a dome-shaped wigwam or a thatch-roofed cottage at the end of the day. 137 Warren Ave. 508-746-1622; plimoth.org

BEST MILL HISTORY
LOWELL NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK, Lowell
Tours and exhibits at Lowell’s red-brick mill buildings tell the story of the birth of the Industrial Revolution and its impact on our country. For a more personal brush with history, stop downtown at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum (115 John St.) and imagine spending your days engulfed by the clatter of the looms. Visitor Center, 304 Dutton St. 978-970-5000; nps.gov/lowe

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