You may have noticed that I have a thing about culture and, particularly, history. Possibly because I grew up in a somewhat sanitised suburb south of Los Angeles where all the houses, and most of us kids, pretty much looked the same. Sure, there were some neighbourhood parks and the beaches were unkempt, with the odd beach bum and a bit of wild coast, but that would have been the only thing of interest in our whole county.
That's why I have fallen in love with New England. To visit Boston and see the very first common (no, it wasn't a park because everyone could graze their cattle there...doh!) - as well as the old North Church where the early patriots were hatching plots is, well, mind-blowing. Also, spotting the golden cricket weather vane on top of Faneuil Hall and finding out it was used as a landmark during the Revolutionary War was amazing. Created in 1742, it soon fell off during an earthquake and was repaired by the son of its maker, who put a note in its belly. Incredible stuff.
The nearby countryside and mountains are equally fascinating. Inns and pubs in New Hampshire's White Mountains are sometimes hundreds of years old and many are in still in operation. The Christmas Farm Inn in the village of Jackson has had parts of the 300-year-old village annexed to its property over the years. The village's Free Will Baptist Church, built in 1803, was stuck to the back of the lodge when, the then owner, needed more room. The very first building was the red Cape Cod 'salt-box' style house next to the main lodge built in 1778 for the Rufus Pinkham Family.
Everyone should check out the elevator in the Mountain View Grand Resort built in 1856. It was installed in the 1920s and is manually run and still functional. This means an employee must operate it so that, when you arrive at the level where you room is located, it can be made flush with that floor. In the back of the property is the old farm that still houses sheep, alpaca, hens and roosters.
The old farms and eateries are equally interesting. The Woodstock Station & Brewery - near Loon Mountain in North Woodstock - is formerly the rail station. It now has its own microbrewery and creates beers such as Pig's Ear Brown Ale and Lemon and Blueberry Pale Ale.
There is a wonderfully quaint and interesting historic house that is open for visitors and it belonged to the local doctor in the town of Tamworth. The Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm is a 200+ year old homestead where you can see how doctors plied their craft back in the day. The original farm is still a working farm and distils maple to make some of the area's scrumptious maple syrup and sweets.
So, you have a taste of just how many interesting places there are in New England, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. For culture vultures and history buffs, this is the dream destination.
Images author's own except Christmas Farm Inn postcard