Museums & Galleries in New England

The museums of New England offer a window into the astonishing variety of art, history, culture, and science that is typical of all of New England. Every state has museum exhibits and images that are famous across the nation and the world: the historic homes of Mark Twain and Harriett Beecher Stowe in Connecticut; the paintings of Winslow Homer in Maine; Early American and maritime history along the coast. Specialized or quirky subjects – museums of Russian icons or American urban trolleys – can be found around any corner. Museum visits are a great indoor thing to do on a family vacation.

Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, MA - New England Museums & Galleries

Museums by State:

ConnecticutMaineMassachusettsNew HampshireRhode IslandVermont
Center of Revolution - Concord Museum - Concord, MA
Concord Museum

35 Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Road Concord, MA, 01742 Phone: 978-369-9763

Paul Revere’s lantern, Thoreau’s writing desk highlights of museum’s vast collections

The lantern that was used to signal exactly how the British were coming on the night of Paul Revere's famous midnight ride, the desk where Henry Thoreau penned “Walden,” and the kettle that Louisa May Alcott used while serving as a Union Army nurse during the Civil War are just some of the highlights of the 45,000 objects in the collections of the Concord Museum. Finely crafted timepieces and furniture and rotating special exhibits help visitors experience the Concord, MA area’s rich history. Its popular April 19, 1775 gallery features items from the Revolutionary War era, including muskets and powder horns, as well as a digital map that lays out, step by step, what happened on that important day. The museum offers scavenger hunts and interactive stations.
Clouds Hill Museum Closeup View - Warwick, RI
Warwick Office of Tourism

3275 Post Road Warwick, RI, 02886 Phone:

Warwick showcases its rich history, celebrates the work of area’s many artists

With its rich variety of museums and art galleries, Warwick, RI celebrates its past and looks to its creative future. Today’s art scene is the focus of YJ Contemporary, and the Warwick Center for the Arts features the work of local artists. The Victorian Era comes to life at the magnificent Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum, and visitors who schedule a trip to the Steamship Historical Society of America will feel a new appreciation for the grand age of those vessels. You can also tour Warwick City Hall, built in 1894 and featuring a six-story clock tower. The Warwick Historical Society offers several public open house exhibits and tours where you can step inside the village’s oldest house or ring the bell at the Old School Baptist Meeting House.
Cotton Gin - Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge, MA
Old Sturbridge Village

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20 Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 508-347-3362 Toll-Free: 800-733-1830

Making a museum come alive is the goal at this lovingly re-created New England village

At Old Sturbridge Village, the idea is to make history, and a 200-acre museum in Sturbridge, MA, come alive. As you stroll through heirloom gardens, admire textiles being made on a loom or a barrel being crafted by a cooper in his shop, you’ll be transported back to a typical rural New England village of the 1830s. Costumed historians will be happy to answer questions or demonstrate crafts as you explore everything from the 1810 general store to the Greek-Revival bank to the functioning gristmill, cider mill and sawmill. Check the website for special exhibits and daily activities, including guided tours, musical performances and talks on everything from dentistry to the life of a peddler. At the Freeman Farm, kids especially will enjoy getting to know sheep, cows, pigs and chickens.
House of the Seven Gables - Salem, MA
The House of the Seven Gables

225 Derby Street Salem, MA, 01970 Phone: 978-774-0991

Celebrate the storied history of the home that inspired a great American novel

You could say that The House of the Seven Gables, on the waterfront in Salem, has a storied history. The house, now called the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, hosted Nathaniel Hawthorne often, inspiring his classic novel. Now you can visit that house and other homes on the property, including the 1682 Hooper-Hathaway House, the 1655 Retire Beckett House, Hawthorne’s birthplace, and the Kids Cove in the Counting House, with its hands-on activities for kids to learn about maritime history. A rich collection of objects and archival material from the late 1600s to the present includes first-edition Hawthorne works, postcards and ephemera featuring Salem, MA and the The Gables over the years, paintings and embroidery. Lush gardens capture the charm of four centuries of gardening and vibrant colors. Lush gardens offer a beautiful seaside view or place to enjoy a book!
Modern Art - Worcester Art Museum - Worcester, MA
Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA, 01609 Phone: 508-799-4406

Museum noted for vast, varied collections and, now, new ways of viewing art

Since it first opened its doors in1896, the Worcester Art Museum has been amazing visitors with its vast collections, now encompassing 38,000 objects from around the globe and from ancient to modern times. With newly imagined ways of presenting art and engaging visitors, the museum continues to delight, from newly reinstalled medieval galleries with an expanded arms and armor collection to modern ways of looking at Old Masters. Visitors can contribute “alternative labels” to different works via iPads, create their own art on community days or just stroll through galleries featuring the contributions of Paul Revere and stunning Japanese folding screens. Upcoming exhibit topics range from kimonos to the history of stolen art to baseball jerseys. See the website for timed-ticket admission information and safety protocols.
D-Day Exhibit - American Heritage Museum - Hudson, MA
American Heritage Museum

568 Main Street Hudson, MA, 01749 Phone: 978-562-9182

From trenches to battlefields, museum exhibits will bring you into the heart of America’s greatest conflicts

The museum is now open! Wednesdays-Sundays from 10am-5pm. Advance ticketing is preferred - Please call or visit our website.

Detailed and engaging exhibits at the American Heritage Museum will make you feel you were there for the battles that have defined America’s defense of freedom. Dioramas and exhibits include a World War I trench experience, with a Ford Model T ambulance and German machine gun; D-Day, with a Higgins Boat landing craft; the Battle of the Bulge, with a Sherman Jumbo tank; the Korean War, with a Pershing tank; the Vietnam War, with an exhibit detailing the Hanoi Hilton prison camp; and the War on Terror, with a structure from the World Trade Center. The museum also includes vintage aircraft, autos and other vehicles and weaponry. Arrange ahead of time to ride (or drive) a tank. Check the website for special event weekends, including re-enactments.
Steamship Historical Society - Warwick, RI
Steamship Historical Society of America

2500 Post Road Warwick, RI, 02886 Phone: 401-463-3570

Society celebrates history of steam-powered vessels with artifacts, artwork

At the Steamship Historical Society of America, the world’s leading organization dedicated to preserving and sharing history of steam engine-powered vessels, they would like to take you on a trip through history. Go to the society’s website and enter a virtual museum. Archives go back to 1807 with the first commercially viable American steam engines successfully powered ships and include thousands of photos, ship plans and blueprints, brochures, newspaper clippings, tickets, advertisements, iconic posters, video and audio recordings, ship logs and other amazing artifacts. See the first-class deck plan of the Titanic and a brochure from a cruise down the Amazon. You can visit and see the society’s building and archives by making an appointment through its website.
Fitchburg Art Museum - Fitchburg, MA - Visit North Central Massachusetts
Visit North Central Massachusetts

1000 Route 2 West (between Exits 103 & 102) Lancaster, MA, 01523 Phone: 978-534-2302

Steeped in history and culture, the region offers a variety of interesting museums and galleries

Not surprisingly, North Central Massachusetts is an area rich in history and culture with a variety of museums and galleries that celebrate its past and its current cultural offerings. The Fitchburg Art Museum’s permanent collections include the work of Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams, John James Audubon and John Singer Sargent. The Museum of Russian Icons’ current and upcoming exhibitions include “Artists for Ukraine” and costume pieces and playbills from international performances of “Swan Lake.” The Fruitlands Museum features 210 acres of walking trails and buildings celebrating Shaker, Native American and New England art. Gallery Sitka is a woman-run art gallery that focuses on abstract art. Student art is displayed at the Hammond Art Gallery at Fitchburg State University. - Read more about North Central Mass. here!
Clouds Hill Museum - Warwick, RI
Clouds Hill Museum

4157 Post Road Warwick, RI, 02886 Phone: 401-884-9490

Gothic Revival home, carriage house, grounds invite visitors to step into 19th century

Built as a wedding present for Elizabeth Ives Slater, the daughter of William Smith Slater, the House at Clouds Hill is the stately centerpiece of the Clouds Hill Museum, where visitors can experience life in the late 19th century. In addition to the Gothic Revival-style home, with its original interiors and furnishings as well as fine porcelain, textile and glass collections, the museum includes a carriage house with over a dozen carriages (including a “gypsy wagon”), and a Center for the Outdoors. The grounds are home to 70 species of trees and shrubs. Call to arrange a tour or check the website for a prescheduled opening. No reservations are required. The home is decorated for the holidays starting in early December.
Tour Group - Canterbury Shaker Village - Canterbury, NH
Canterbury Shaker Village

288 Shaker Road Canterbury, NH, 03224 Phone: 603-783-9511

National Historic Landmark Celebrates the Shakers

The Shaker religious sect is considered by many historians to be the most successful communitarian society in America. This beautiful outdoor museum and National Historic Landmark was once home to 300 Shakers. Today, expert tour guides share the story of the Shakers’ 200-year history on this site and their beliefs in simple living, gender equality, pacifism, and work as worship. Explore the architecture and collections in the Village’s 25 restored historic buildings, learn about Shaker inventiveness and industry, and explore 700 acres including organic gardens, orchards, and scenic mill pond. See craft demonstrations of oval box making, letterpress printing, and broom making. Enjoy a simple lunch at the Horse Barn Cafe and shop New Hampshire’s premier store for Shaker reproductions. Richly authentic, Canterbury Shaker Village is a place for learning, reflection and renewal of the human spirit.
Locomotive - Railroad Museum of New England - Thomaston, CT
Railroad Museum of New England

242 East Main Street Thomaston, CT, 06787 Phone: 860-283-7245

This museum has something others do not: train rides through the Connecticut countryside

At the Railroad Museum of New England, they don’t want to just tell you about the region’s rich railroading history – they want to show you, too. After exploring educational exhibits at the historic Thomaston, CT Station, and checking out the museum’s impressive collection of diesel and steam locomotives, passenger and freight cars and cabooses, including a bright red Boston & Maine C-72 caboose built in 1921, you’ll want to board one of the vintage trains for a scenic ride on the Naugatuck Railroad. Ride in style as the train rumbles through woods, alongside rivers and over the famed Thomaston Dam. Special excursions include the Easter Bunny Express, the Pumpkin Patch train, the Chocolate Decadence Tours and, for the holidays, the daytime Santa Express and evening Northern Lights Limited.
Salem Witch Museum with Roger Conant - Photo Credit North of Boston CVB
Salem Witch Museum

19 1/2 Washington Square North Salem, MA, 01970 Phone: 978-744-1692

Stories from the Salem Witch Trial are brought dramatically to life in this museum

Learn the stories of the 14 women and six men who were found guilty of, and executed for, witchcraft as a result of the 1692 witch trials when you visit the Salem Witch Museum. The stories, and the web of lies and intrigue that brought them about, come dramatically to life through 13 life-size stage sets, figures, lighting and narration. A second immersive exhibit, “Witches: Evolving Perceptions,” explores the meaning behind the word “witch” and the evolution of its image over time, discussing the emergence and power of stereotyping to this day. Presentations occur every half hour, and visitors should plan to stay about an hour. The museum store offers everything from tarot cards and spell books to apparel and locally made treats. Several parking garages are nearby.
Warwick Center for the Arts - Warwick, RI
Warwick Center for the Arts

3259 Boston Post Road Warwick, RI, 02886 Phone: 401-737-0010

Arts center, site of former armory, a hub for area artists, performers and their audiences

A welcoming gathering place for artists, artisans and performers and those who appreciate their work, the Warwick Center for the Arts showcases a rotating art exhibit in its main gallery that features the work of emerging and established artists. In addition to exhibits from student art to juried plain-air paintings, the center offers art demonstrations, gallery talks and classes for children and adults. There are two improv club sessions on Friday nights, and cultural experiences include concerts, poetry readings and dance troupe performances. The center’s stately brick building, a National Historic Landmark, is on the former site of a 19th century armory and houses replicas of two Revolutionary War cannons. An annual winter market sells the work of local artists.
Spring Entrance View - Pilgrim Hall Museum - Plymouth, MA
Pilgrim Hall Museum

75 Court Street Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-746-1620

Artifacts, programs illuminate the stories of Pilgrims, indigenous people

At the Pilgrim Hall Museum, visitors will discover the story of families of different cultures and the great difficulties they faced from the arrival of the Mayflower to the end of the Plymouth Colony in 1692. Opening its doors in 1824, the museum is the nation’s oldest continuously operating public museum, with a vast collection of Pilgrim possessions, including Myles Standish’s sword, William Bradford’s Bible and Peregrine White’s cradle. The museum’s focus also encompasses the experiences of the Wampanoag people, who lived in the area for over 13,000 years before the Pilgrims. Exhibitions and programs trace the interrelationships between the Wampanoag and early colonial settlers. Begin your historical journey with a 15-minute orientation film and end it in the gift shop with items from corn husk dolls to Mayflower replicas.
New Sundial 500x250 - America's Stonehenge - Salem, NH
America's Stonehenge

105 Haverhill Road Salem, NH, 03079 Phone: 603-893-8300

The hidden truths of America, right in your backyard

Did other Europeans with knowledge of astronomy and stone construction reach North America a thousand years or more ahead of Columbus? Some say they came and left evidence of their visits -- megaliths and stone chambers -- throughout New England. You can explore one of the largest collections of artifacts at America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire. Some believe the site includes a stone astronomical calendar, like the one found at Stonehenge. A video in our museum gives you all the background you'll need. Then it's time to hit the half-mile trail through the pine forest to see for yourself. Along the way you may meet a few alpacas who share the property. Don't worry -- they're gentle creatures who enjoy greeting visitors.
Classical Sculpture at the Mark Twain House & Museum - Hartford, CT
Mark Twain House & Museum

351 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT, 06105 Phone: 860-247-0998

Step into the home of the author who created “The Gilded Age”

Walk in the rooms and hallways where Samuel Clemens walked and reconnect to the author who gave us Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and other beloved characters. At the Mark Twain House & Museum, daily tours take you through the richly decorated rooms of this lovingly restored Victorian home, which Clemens said was the site of the happiest years of his life. The museum’s collection of 16,000 artifacts includes period furniture, paintings, photos, first editions, and books by other authors with notes from Clemens in the margins. Rotating special exhibits and talks on everything from the Gilded Age to abolitionists make the National Historic Landmark a must for history and literature buffs. There’s an extensive museum store and a cafe serving food from local vendors.
View from the Cliff - Rough Point Mansion - Newport, RI
Rough Point

680 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI, 02840 Phone: 401-847-8344

From couture fashion to fine and decorative arts, this museum a treat for those who admire history and art

Featuring fashion and decorative fine arts from around the world collected by heiress and preservationist Doris Duke, Rough Point Museum is a must see. From room to room, from the grand Music Room to state-of-the-art Kitchen to the cozy Pine Room, you will encounter objects from a Tiffany swan centerpiece, portraits by Anthony Van Dyck, gilded Rococo screens, and a Yuan dynasty jar. Yearly special exhibitions highlight the variety of Doris Duke’s interests, from her philanthropy, to preservation, to collecting art and fashion. The mansion’s grounds, designed by the firm of F.L. Olmsted & Co., offer stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Open seasonally March-early January - For information about operating hours please check the Rough Point website.
Early American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, MA - Photo Credit Avery Samuels & VisitNewEngland
Meet Boston

Information Centers on Boston Common and Prudential Towers (Center Court) Boston, MA, 02116 Phone: 888-733-2678

Art, science, history and so much more celebrated in the eclectic museums of Boston

Gaze at the gardens of Monet, hobnob with dinosaurs, admire a Venetian courtyard: Boston’s museums are waiting for you! From the Museum of Fine Arts, with its collection of Impressionist art, to the Museum of Science with dinosaurs and a butterfly garden, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. See tea getting tossed at the Tea Party Ships & Museum, or let the kids climb a three-story structure in the Boston Children’s Museum. Check out sculptures at the Institute of Contemporary Art in the bustling Seaport district, walk through the Paul Revere House or take the Black Heritage Trail. Visit the gorgeous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, modeled after a Venetian palazzo, or learn inspiring stories at the Museum of Afro-American History.
Museum - Mount Washington Cog Railway - Bretton Woods, NH
Mount Washington Cog Railway

Off Route 302 Bretton Woods, NH, 03589 Phone: 603-278-5404 Toll-Free: 800-922-8825

This exciting railway ride up Mt. Washington also comes with museums at both ends of the trip

Not many train rides can boast museums at either end of the ride. When you travel up majestic Mt. Washington on the historic Cog Railway, the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world, you begin at the Marshfield, NH Base Station, which houses the interactive (and free) Cog Railway Museum. Open year-round, the museum shows you how the railroad, celebrating its 152nd season, was built, with examples of technology from past eras, including steam engines. Up at the summit of Mt. Washington, you’ll have time to explore the Sherman Adams Visitor Center and rooftop observation deck as well as an interactive weather exhibit, “Extreme Mount Washington”. Adjacent to the center is the Tip Top House, an original summit hotel dating back to 1853 and now a museum. Trains run from late April through November.
The Turtle Submarine - Connecticut River Museum - Essex, CT
Connecticut River Museum

67 Main Street, Steamboat Dock Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-8269

Artifacts, artwork, activities and adventures: It’s all happening at this river museum

Artifacts and artwork that tell the story of the importance of the Connecticut River and the river valley are just part of what makes the Connecticut River Museum well worth a visit. Permanent and special exhibits show the lives of Native American communities along the river and convey the excitement of the speed-racing era, in the first half of the 20th century. There’s a three-floor river mural and an operational model of the Turtle, the first submarine to be used in combat, in 1776. The museum also hosts live entertainment with its Thursdays on the Dock series, offers cruises aboard an eco-tour boat and a re-created 1614 sailing vessel as well as drop-in Summer Fun Days for kids 6 through 12.
Art Gallery at the RISD Museum in Providence, RI - Photo Credit PWCVB
Go Providence

1 Sabin Street Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: 401-751-1177

Providence’s many museums open their doors to lovers of art, science, history, nature

From natural history to the history of Rhode Island, the Providence, RI area offers visitors a variety of fascinating museums. At the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, you can learn about urban wildlife; at the Providence Children’s Museum kids can play in the innovation lab. The John Brown House Museum allows visitors to step into the world of 18th century wealth and power. The Woonsocket Museum of Work & Culture tells the story of immigrants who settled in 19th century mill towns. The Governor Henry Lippit House Museum’s Victorian interior and original furnishings reflect the city’s Golden Age. Art aficionados will appreciate exhibits and programs at the RISD Museum, and Gallery Night on the third Thursday of the month, with a free bus stopping at galleries, art shops and museums. For more info, visit GoProvidence.com

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