Tag - MA

The History of Provincetown

Provincetown;MA Credit-Douglas B. Hanson

Provincetown;MA Credit-Douglas B. Hanson

1602: The first recorded visit to Cape Cod was by European explorer Bartholomew Gosnold. Provincetown’s well-protected harbor offered excellent shelter from storms and, as a result, was a common stop for explorers, who landed to rest and repair their vessels.

1620: Pilgrims arrive on the Mayflower and make the first landing in the New World in Provincetown Harbor.  The Pilgrims stay in Provincetown for five weeks, where they create and sign the Mayflower Compact.  They then continue on to their ultimate destination of Plymouth.

1727:The first permanent settlement in Provincetown was established with fishing being the primary draw for settlers.

1800: Provincetown’s population swelled by the middle of the 19th century.  It had developed as the prime maritime, fishing and commercial center of Cape Cod. Portuguese sailors, who joined American ships in the Azores and Cape Verde Islands, moved to Provincetown by the 19th century to continue working on whaling and fishing boats. The Portuguese became an integral part of the community, bringing their families and traditions to the New World. A strong Portuguese community in Provincetown began to flourish.

1875: Provincetown became the state’s most populated harbor, boasting 25 coastal and 36 ocean vessels, which was more than any other port in Massachusetts.

1898:The Portland Gale sweeps away half of the town’s wharfs and decimates the fishing industry.  Provincetown embarked on a tourism campaign to fill the economic gap.  Artists and bohemians were among the early visitors.  They were attracted to the incredible natural beauty, eclectic population, and sense of acceptance found in Provincetown.

1899: Painter Charles Webster Hawthorne arrived in Provincetown. Shortly thereafter, he founded and taught painting at the Cape Cod School of   Art for the  following 30 summers. Prominent art students and teachers followed Hawthorne to Provincetown and established their own schools.  New art schools  were spawned, which eventually led to a year-round art community of young, aspiring artists working under the watchful eyes of established mentors  and teachers.

1910: The Pilgrim Monument is dedicated by President Taft commemorating the Pilgrims’  landing in Provincetown.

1915:  Eugene O’Neill, considered the father of modern American theater, mounted his  first play on an East End Provincetown wharf, thus establishing Provincetown as the  birthplace of modern American theater.

1916: Provincetown’s place as an active art colony was cemented when The Boston Globe ran a front-page story titled, “Biggest Art Colony in the World in Provincetown.” Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Blanche Lazzell, Milton Avery, Jack Tworkov and Edward Hopper are some of the other artists who have ties to Provincetown.

1920’s: Provincetown’s art and theater productions were creating an international reputation. The abandoned sites of maritime businesses became the new homes of the seasonal visitor and warehouses and barns became studios, galleries, and shops. The gay & lesbian presence flourished as contingents of artists, writers, playwrights, poets, novelists, and journalists begin to summer in Provincetown.  They were instrumental in developing and growing Provincetown’s famous art colony.

1961: Creation of Cape Cod National Seashore by act of the U.S. Congress

1970’s: Marked Provincetown’s rise as the gay and lesbian mecca that it is widely considered today.

1992: Creation of the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary by act of the U.S. Congress

2004: Gay marriage became legalized in Massachusetts.  Shortly thereafter, Provincetown became “the place to get married” with over 1,400 marriage licenses issued to date.

Today:  Today, Provincetown is a haven for artists in every medium – painting, sculpting, theater, writing, and music. The vibrant arts community, atmosphere of experimentation, vast teaching and learning opportunities, and palpable energy draw artists year after year to share and deepen their talents.

Located at the base of the Pilgrim Monument, the Provincetown Museum pays homage to the town’s fascinating history through featured exhibits on the Pilgrims, the building of the historical Monument, its rich maritime history, and the early days of modern American theater.

Destination Boston, Massachusetts

Boston- cr-www.copaair.com

Boston- cr-www.copaair.com

Where can you see the Green Monster, enjoy a tea party, board the “Constitution,” watch a whale, take a midnight ride, tour with a Duck and ride a Swan in the Park?  Well, Boston, of course.  As one of the world’s best and most popular places to visit, Boston has it all for visitors of all ages.

Aside from all the fun attractions Boston has to offer, it is a living history museum.  This is where the American Revolution began and if you want to be a part of it, take the Freedom Trail and go back in time.  The Freedom Trail is a red brick path that meanders through the city and takes you to sixteen historic sites.  The trail starts on State Street at the National Park Service located across from the Old State House.  Guided tours through the park service leave every thirty minutes and take two-three hours.  The guides, dressed in 18th century era clothes, portray historical figures and make history come alive with their stories and reenactments.  Or, you can do a self-guided tour with a free map from the park service.  Just be sure to follow the red brick road!  Either way you will be immersed in the history and culture of Colonial Revolutionary Boston.  Some of the following sites are not to be missed.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is Boston’s central meeting place.  Faneuil Hall is often called the Cradle of Liberty because this is where the citizens of Boston debated the issues that led to the American Revolution.  This unique marketplace includes Quincy Market, which was built in 1826 and is filled with over forty food vendors offering every imaginable and delicious dining experience.   The area is a collection of boutiques, restaurants, outdoor vendors and street entertainers.  The famous Durgin Park Restaurant is located here where it has been serving New England boiled dinners, chowder and baked beans since Revolutionary days.  Part of the fun of dining here is interacting with the wait staff that is famous for their rudeness.  It’s all part of the atmosphere.

Cross the street to the North End, the Italian section of the city.  Famous for its restaurants and eateries, this is also the home of Paul Revere and the Old North Church.  Paul Revere’s house is the oldest building in Boston and it is from here in 1680 that he made his midnight ride to alert the American Troops of the British invasion.  Now, “one if by land, two if by sea” is an enduring part of American history.

Next cross the bridge to Charlestown Naval Yard and home of the “USS Constitution,” the world’s oldest warship.  Commissioned by George Washington, and launched in 1797, it is still sailed on special occasions.  But while at dock, it is a visitor’s delight.  Navy personnel attend the ship and serve as on-board guides.  When it defeated 4 British frigates, it was nicknamed “Old Ironsides,” because the cannon balls would bounce off the thick hull!  From here, you can go to Bunker Hill, where the Bunker Hill monument commemorates the major battle of the American Revolution actually fought on near-by Breeds Hill. The “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” was the famous slogan of this battle.

Back on the Boston waterfront, visit the site of the Boston tea party where the Revolutionaries dressed up as Native Indians and threw the British tea overboard to protest the stamp tax.  Today, you can see a re-enactment of that famous event.

While you’re on the wharf, visit Boston’s world famous aquarium, home to 20,000 animals and 600 species.  The aquarium has a central open atrium with a Giant Ocean Tank that contains a Caribbean coral reef.  The 200,000 gallon tank is open at the top and has a walkway that winds around the tank allowing views at all levels.  The aquarium has seals and penguin exhibits, a newly opened shark and ray touch tank as well as other rotating exhibits.  There is also an IMAX theater.  For whale watching, you can take the New England Whale watch complete with a naturalist on board.  It departs from the aquarium dock.

For a unique and fun view of Boston, take a Duck Tour!  These WWII amphibian vessels take you for a guided tour of the historical sites of the Back Bay and Cambridge, with a splashdown in the Charles River for a spectacular water view of the city.  These “Ducks” are fun for everyone….but you do have to shout “Quack, Quack” as you travel thorough the streets.  The tour lasts 80 fun-filled minutes and departs from the Prudential Center with a pick-up at the Museum of Science.

Speaking of museums, Boston boasts many fine museums for everyone’s taste.  The Museum of Science is a favorite for everyone.  Here you can visit Dinosaurs, see Mummies and enjoy a Butterfly Garden.  Or you can enjoy the 3D Omni Theater and planetarium.  The Children’s Museum is a hands-on learning experience.  There are many art museums to enjoy as well, including art at the Boston Public library.  In addition to having over 6 million books, it has a collection of John Singer Sargent murals.

No visit to Boston is complete without a visit to the Commons and the Park.  The Commons was established by the Puritans in 1634 and is the oldest public park in America. Charles Street divides the park into half with the Commons at the bottom and the Park at the top.   The Commons has the Frog Pond which becomes an ice skating rink in the winter and the Park has the famous Swan boats.  A ride on the Swan boats has been a Boston tradition since 1877.

The Park has Beacon Hillon one side with the Bull and Finch pub, the inspiration for Cheers, and the theater district on the other.  At the top is Newbury Street, Boston’s answer to 5th avenue.  Newbury  Street is lined with old brownstones that have been converted into shops, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants.  This is definitely the place to browse and be seen.

For sports fans ,Boston is tops.  Whether it’s baseball, football, basketball or soccer, you can find it here. Boston is the home of the New England Patriots champion football team, the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Boston Bruins, the 5 time Stanley Cup Hockey Champions.  And don’t forget about the Red Sox.  A visit to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and the Green Monster scoreboard should be on every visitor’s list.  The Celtics and Bruins play at the TD Bank North Garden which also hosts concerts and the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.   Every year on Patriot’s Day, Boston holds the Boston Marathon and in October, the Head of the Charles, a rower’s regatta on the Charles River.  Both events attract visitors and participants from all over the world.

If you feel like a little music, check out the Boston Pops.  They play for free on July 4 at the Hatch Shell outdoor Amphitheater.  If you’re lucky to be in town then, take a picnic and enjoy.  They end the concert with an exciting fireworks display.

And then there is the Boston Symphony, Cambridge, Harvard and Harvard Square. The list of things to do and see is endless.  So what are you waiting for, pack your bags and come to visit. Boston is one fun town!

Massachusetts: The Place to Fall Into Outdoor Adventure

Fall in Boston, Cr-boston.com

Fall in Boston, Cr-boston.com

Experience the Great Outdoors With a Variety of Exhilarating Activities

Escape the indoors as you experience an assortment of unique autumn adventures in Massachusetts. Experience firsthand how the shores of the Cape change after Labor Day. Enjoy the fading green summer background and the beautiful autumn colors as you cycle along the back roads and bike paths in many Massachusetts communities from the Cape and Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket to the Berkshires. For those looking for more adrenaline pumping activities, let the rolling waves challenge you as you kayak in the beautiful Essex River Basin or raft the white water rapids in Western MA. See fall foliage from a bird’s eye view as you take a glider flight with Cape Cod Soaring or a Hot Air Balloon over the stunning mountaintops of Western Massachusetts. Push your boundaries and enjoy the Commonwealth’s natural elegance as you fall into outdoor adventure.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) provides adventurous families with all of the resources needed to create the perfect fall getaway. A dedicated microsite to autumn, massvacation.com/fallfoliage, gives you driving routes, up-to-date leaf peeping information, lodging specials and all of the information you need to enjoy autumn in the Commonwealth.

“Fall is the perfect time to spend exploring and experiencing Massachusetts,” said Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel + Tourism. “With all of the fairs, festivals and foliage, there is something for everyone.”

The following is just a sampling of activities across the state:
Greater Boston

Boston Harbor National Park- 34 islands accessible from Boston Harbor comprise this National Park Area. Camp, kayak, picnic, swim, bird watch or explore historic trails and forts. Panoramic views of the harbor and Boston. Camping available on four islands.

Charles River Canoe and Kayak – With five locations in the Greater Boston Area, they offer canoes and stable recreational kayaks, plus faster sea kayaks and a variety of other boat types! Explore all their canoe and kayak rental locations and you’ll find a wide range of paddling experiences and environments.

North of Boston & Greater Merrimack Valley:

Essex River Basin Adventures – Explore nature and discover wildlife paddling around the Essex River Basin. Paddle to Crane Beach to watch the moon rise and enjoy smores, hot chocolate and coffee. Start your morning with a sunrise paddle or take a leisure ride on a family friendly tour.

South of Boston

Capt. Tim Brady & Sons Charters & Tours – This Plymouth Company offers Whale Watching Tours, sports fishing charters, deep sea fishing charters and specialty cruises.

Cape and Islands

Cape Cod Soaring , Marston Mills– Simply take a glider ride or learn to fly on your own.

Central Mass

Columbus Day “Hike and Bike” Weekend, Noble View – Take it easy with a scenic foliage hike in the Berkshire foothills, or take on a challenge with the Great River Ride. We’ll stay at Noble View, with its cozy fireplace heated cabins and state-of-the art bath house. Three nights, three simple breakfasts, three dinners, $95/person.

Jumptown Skydiving, Orange – Skydiving club and drop zone at Orange Airport, birthplace of commercial U.S. skydiving. Jumps and classes for experienced skydivers and novices, as well as exciting competitions and exhibitions. State-of-the-art hangar, plus club and team rooms. Coaching, rigging, and packers available. Spectators welcome in a shaded viewing area.

Western Mass

Worthington Ballooning – A balloon flight in New England is an experience few people ever know. It can be an aerial nature walk where, floating silently above the trees, you may see wildlife in their natural habitat. It can also be the most peaceful, relaxing experience you will ever know, following the contour of the land or dipping down for a close up view of a small lake, pond or stream. Established in 1991, Worthington Ballooning specializes in customized flights high above the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

Article provided by Massachusetts tourism bureau.