In 1949, the USS Salem began its 10-year career patrolling the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. A flagship of the 6th Fleet during the Cold War era, it served as a “Lady of Diplomacy,” using its massive canons to impress ambassadors, not to fire on enemies. The ship also made headlines in 1953 when it harbored refugees from Greece following a massive earthquake.
Today permanently docked in Quincy Fore River Shipyard, the Salem is one of the last preserved naval heavy cruisers in the world. Three quarters of the ship is used to honor the history of those who served, with features including a Navy SEALs exhibit, the USS Newport News Memorial Room, and a US Navy Cruiser Sailor Memorial. In addition to memories, the Salem also hosts birthday parties and overnight adventures filled with simulated battles and real-life survival instruction. If they listen closely, visitors might even hear some of the spooky sounds that earned the ship a feature on the SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters in 2009.
It didn’t take long for Robert Bennet Forbes to make a name for himself. He was made a captain by the age of 20, and he quickly amassed wealth and influence as a China Trade Merchant. And despite becoming one of the country’s most prominent businessmen, Captain Forbes still found time to design ships, write, and build an estate that would make Scrooge McDuck molt with envy. Along with his brother John, the Captain commissioned a Greek Revival mansion to be built in 1883. The house was intended for their mother, but over the decades, it would become home to many members of the entrepreneurial family—who collected four generations worth of paintings, artifacts, and various artwork.
Perched atop Milton Hill, the mansion—now a National Historic Landmark called the Forbes House Museum—transports visitors back to key moments in American history. In one part of the house lies memorabilia focused on President Lincoln and the Civil War, collected by the Captain's granddaughter Mary Bowditch Forbes. Her passion for that time period was so strong, she even had a replica of Lincoln's birthplace built on the museum's grounds. Other rooms showcase the valuable Chinese exports collected by the Captain. Sitting atop a table of Cantonese marble and hand-carved rosewood is the crown jewel of this collection, the Election Bowl, a porcelain vessel adorned with two Forbes family crests and two depictions of Scottish castles. In addition to tours, the mansion also hosts various cultural events, including a monthly roundtable discussion on the Civil War.
Fodor's and Frommer's both recommend the museum:
- Even if you think contemporary art isn't for you, the ICA is a blast. The city's first new art museum in nearly a century is a work of art in its own right. – Frommer's
Three Citysearchers give the ICA 3.5 stars, over 150 Yelpers give it four, and TripAdvisors give three owl eyes:
- I went over Thanksgiving weekend and saw the exhibits which i [sic] thought were of high quality and well displayed. The building itself is fantastic. – medusagirl, TripAdvisor
- The experimental/improvisational dance performances I've attended have been awe-inspiring. The lectures are really interesting and the performance/lecture space is quite intimate even when full. ICA consistently attracts extremely talented and interesting artists - and not only to their floor exhibition spaces. – adrienne50, Citysearch
Shouts of “huzzah” ring out from the decks of a restored tea ship on the Boston Harbor, led by live actors costumed in waistcoats and tri-corner hats. Their triumphant shouts urge guests to take part in the events and acts of rebellion that helped spark the Revolutionary War. Inspired colonists meet Sam Adams who encourages guests to take place in a revolutionary act of resistance and throw tea into Boston harbor with the daring Sons of Liberty.
In addition to the array of immersive, high-tech storytelling devices and ornate replicas—the restored wooden ships were constructed by the craftsmen behind the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World—the museum houses a novel artifact: an original tea chest recovered from the shores of Boston after the Tea Party, of which there are only two in existence.
America’s oldest car collection is stowed away inside an exquisite mansion built to resemble the French Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire. A vehicular hot spot for the car-collecting community, the 75-year-old museum showcases dazzling exhibits, such as Britain Can Make It: Postwar Progress through Determination, Innovation & Exportation, conducts educational programs and lectures, and maintains a viewable fleet of carefully maintained machines. Cars on display range from 1920s cruisers to modern Formula One racers. Additionally, museum members have access to all lawn event car shows from May through October.
The museum will be closed from April 15 through mid-May to prepare for a new exhibit.
Make one remarkable discovery after another at the Museum of Science! Visit more than 700 interactive exhibits; watch a large-format film in the Mugar Omni Theater, zoom through space in the newly renovated Charles Hayden Planetarium, experience an indoor lightning storm in the Theater of Electricity; and much more!
The MIT Museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1984 and again in 2002, engages the public with scientific research, design, and a peek into the institution's academic discoveries. The museum's permanent collections, assembled from artifacts the university has collected through scholarly interests, include holograms, a nautical archive, and technological achievements, such as the telephone. Temporary exhibitions storm the museum's towers throughout the year, currently showcasing MIT 150, highlighting 150 years' worth of artifacts–such as race cars and the TX-0 computer–and world domination by MIT students and faculty. The museum also hosts a number of programs for the public throughout the year. Guests can check out the calendar for an up-to-date list of upcoming attractions and events.