These former Plantations are a complex of museums devoted to early American life. The art museum contains antique toys and the largest collection of Currier and Ives lithographs in the country. A 1912 carousel is a favorite with children. A replica of a Shaker roundhouse contains antique cars. Antique firearms and uniforms are on display in the Military Museum. Charles Dexter, the original owner, spent years here planting and perfecting varieties of rhododendrons. Please note the museum and gardens are open seasonally.
Since 1884 islanders have enjoyed the beauty of this magnificent carousel. Built by Charles W.F. Dare, it is the nation's oldest platform carousel still in operation. Acquired by the Preservation Trust in 1986, the carousel is a National Historic Landmark. Children and adults alike may enjoy a ride from Easter Sunday through Columbus Day. Rides cost just USD1 and if you catch the brass ring, you ride for free. Video games and refreshments are also available.
This state park in Vineyard Haven is truly a natural wonder. The park consists of more than 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) and is located in the center of the island. In the early 20th century, the park was established as a reserve dedicated towards the protection of Heath hens, a now extinct, specie of the Greater prairie chicken family. Today, the park is used for recreational purposes such as hiking, cross country skiing, cycling, horseback riding and more. There are picnic areas, rest rooms and showers available. A large environmental restoration project is underway in an attempt to revive the native grassland ecosystem.
In the 1800s, religious camps were popular on the island. As popularity increased, this open-air wrought iron structure was built, which is believed to be the largest of its kind in the US. With seating for 3,000 people and exquisite woodworking and stained glass, it is truly a magnificent sight. In 1979, its centennial year, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Tabernacle is used today for concerts, Sunday church services, community sing-alongs and special ceremonies.
A classic 17th-century timber-frame house, the Jabez Howland House is located on 33 Sandwich Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This historic house also has the unique distinction of being the only heritage property in the whole of Plymouth where Pilgrims once resided. Featuring a porch, massive hall and a hall chamber, this house served as the living quarters of John Howland and his family. This historic residence was turned into a museum post-1912 when extensive revamping and restructuring work was carried out on the house with the aim to restore its original look.
The National Monument to the Forefathers or the Pilgrim Monument is the world's biggest solid granite monument and one of the tallest statues in the United States. Built between 1907 and 1910, the 81 foot (25 meters) was designed by sculptor Hammatt Billings in memory of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The sculpture is surrounded by lush green gardens, making for a peaceful and refreshing visit.
Located in the heart of Osterville village, the Osterville Baptist Church dates back to 1837. For more than 250 years, this humble structure has been serving as the sacred home of the Baptist Christian community in Osterville. The church was designed in Gothic Revival and Greek Revival style by architect Simeon Deyo. The church is a simple white structure with a steeple at its front entrance. Check website for schedule of masses and other events.
The Village of Barnstable has long been the administrative seat of Cape Cod. One of the seven villages of the Town of Barnstable, the village lies along the north shore of the cape with a bustling core that boasts a variety of historic attractions, specialty shops and quaint B&Bs. At the top of the list of attractions is the stately County Courthouse, followed closely by the 17th-century Sturgis Library. If you're in the market for a good laugh, head to the Barnstable Comedy Club. Other popular activities include waterside dining at the Mattakeese Wharf and whale watching tours aboard the Hyannis Whale Watcher. There are several small beaches, as well, just waiting to be explored.
Peter Rabbit (the American version) loved his briar patch, as did his creator, Thornton W. Burgess. Burgess, a native of nearby Sandwich, was a naturalist as well as a storyteller, and the Burgess Society runs this center adjacent to the 57-acre briar patch in his memory. There are nature trails, a wildflower garden, a host of programs, the Robert S. Swain Natural History Library, and a jam kitchen and gift shop. Admission by donation The Thorton W Burgess Museum, filled with Peter Rabbit memorabilia, is three miles to the west, in Sandwich.
Built during the 16th century, Old Jail in Barnstable is the oldest jail in Massachusetts. Listed on the National Register of Historic places, this famous landmark is also known to be a haunted house that conducts several ghost tours throughout the year. An interesting landmark where in you can see the prisoners names engraved on the walls, age old doors with locks, charred wood and other interesting exhibits and elements. Entry to this spot is free. However, donations are accepted.
This old grain mill has seen many years of work and still continues to serve its purpose. This grist mill attracts visitors wanting a peek into the olden ways . Do call ahead for more details.
The Hoxie House is an historic structure in Sandwich. The house is regarded to be one of the oldest standing saltbox house.