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2016 marks the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, and there’s never been a better time to soak up the splendor.
From the Berkshires to the Cape, rugged trails, historic landmarks, and picture-perfect lookouts abound. With 16 of these national treasures in Massachusetts alone, the hardest part will be deciding which to check off your list first.
Plus, it’s National Park Week!
Organized by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, admission fees are waived now through April 24, 2016. Most parks in the Commonwealth are free year-round. But for those that generally charge for entry, like Adams National Historic Park, this opportunity is not to be missed.
Take part in America’s largest celebration of U.S. heritage by visiting one (or more!) of these incredible sites. Here are just a few of the gems…
New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park
In the mid 1800s, New Bedford was the epicenter of the whaling industry and the wealthiest city in the world. Today the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park features 13 city blocks of structures and artifacts, including the world’s largest whaling ship model.
New Bedford Whaling Historic Park | Photo credit: National Park Service
Cape Cod National Seashore
Over forty miles of seashore on the Cape, dotted with sweeping views, lighthouses, wildlife, and marshes, have long drawn visitors seeking relaxation and respite in the outdoors.
Cape Cod National Seashore | Photo credit: National Park Service
Salem Maritime National Historic Site
An assemblage of historic wharves, buildings, and a stately tall ship, Salem Maritime tells the story of Revolutionary-era economy in cargo trade, through the eyes of merchants and seafarers.
Salem Maritime National Historic Site | Photo credit: National Park Service
Minute Man National Historic Park
The site that kicked off the Revolutionary war, Minute Man National Historic Park in Lexington, MA offers visitors a chance to live history through reenactments, writings, and exploring the grounds of battle.
Minute Man National Historic Park| Photo credit: National Park Service
Springfield Armory National Historic Site
Once the forefront of engineering and innovative weaponry, Springfield’s Armory holds the world’s most prolific collection of U.S. military small arms, and upholds the preservation of historic archives, architecture, and grounds.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site | Photo credit: National Park Service
For the full lineup of National Parks in Massachusetts and visitor information, head over to the Find a Park listings. And don’t forget to mark your calendar with more free admission dates this year:
- August 25 through 28: National Park Service 100th Anniversary
- September 24: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day