My second Guest Blogger is the lovely Laura Hanna! From the moment I met this classy lady, I knew we were going to be good friends. Anyone who approaches exploring central Illinois with the same enthusiasm she would for a major city is an extremely valuable friend, in my book. She’s a world traveler but in this post she’s taking us home with her for the holidays and telling us a little about what’s good on the East Coast…
You often don’t appreciate the places that are close to home. Here are a few ‘must see’ places from where I call home- New England.
NYC is a city of mind blowing oddities that easily become your norm. There are ample coffee shops, restaurants, retail, commercial, and museums to visit. Museums – every time I head to NYC, I visit one of the many. This time it was the Guggenheim in the upper east side of Manhattan. The Guggenheim is almost as well known for its unique architecture as the artists that rotate through it. This winter, a black and white exhibit of Picasso’s work was on display along with a medley of other world renown artists like Velazquez, van Gogh, and Kandinsky. Pictures are not allowed inside but the view from lobby is not bad, displaying the distinct spiraling staircase that transcends the museum. Coffee shops and subway rides always make for good people watching too.
Side note- most cities have a plethora of museums to offer, potentially very random, but from my experience, there is always a story you can tell about it after. For example, the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Vermont which exhibits anything and everything. Seriously – name the most random thing you can think of and they have it on display. Another good museum is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Jaw dropping. You don’t expect an old brownstone to host the contemporary art collection, indoor garden or historical architectural preservation work that is found here under one roof.
One of my all-time favorite places is New Hampshire. Almost anywhere in NH is high on my list. You have the ocean, mountains, and city all very close together in Portsmouth, NH. The downtown is a quaint, historical New England distinct built around industry and the port. Off the beaten path is Newmarket, NH, which has been revived in the past five years. It stands as a small town on the Lamprey River where the old mills have been recently renovated and now boast shops and apartments. The Big Bean restaurant which has great veggie options for breakfast and the Stone Church bar/music venue are worth the trip inland.
You have probably heard of Lexington and Concord, think back to 7th grade history class. This is where the fight for American’s freedom began on April 19, 1775 along the Battle Road at the North Bridge. And so begun the Revolutionary War. The battlefields are now a mix of wetlands and forests of stonewalls. The Minuteman National Historical Park is a walking trail paying tribute to the soldiers and people that fought against the British. Fun tidbit: you can run/bike the trail that Paul Revere rode from Boston to Concord to warn the colonists that the British were coming.
New England is well worth the visit if you have the chance!