Bijou Travels: Coastal & Historic Massachusetts

Some say that my intrinsic sense of curiosity is too much, but I beg to differ.

If it wasn’t for my spontaneity and love for the macabre, I would have never stumbled upon my first travel destination when I visited Massachusetts in August.

I really love learning about those sort of things, but I also wanted to see what coastal Massachusetts had to offer besides its many beaches and lighthouses. So I researched (obviously) and found two more hidden gems!

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

The Crane Estate (Castle on the Hill)

This 1920’s mansion and estate is a shout-out from fellow Chicagoan, Richard T. Crane Jr, who was an industrialist. He commission the famous David Adler to design the house. It was inspired by Stuart Mansions, which are very stately yet quaint. We drove up a long and winding trail up a hill when we reached this gem. The hill overlooks acres of land and you can see Crane Beach below. Visitors to the Crane Estate also get to enjoy touring the casino, gardens, and have the option to stay at the cottages just below.

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Unfortunately, we were a bit in a pickle on this particular visit. The Boston Pops was set to play that weekend and there were a lot of people setting up – which meant a lot of places we couldn’t go to and take pictures from. In one of the photos above, you can even see their stage and big truck on the lawn.

The first floor of this great estate was free admission, but the second floor was paid. Strapped for time, we opted out of the paid tour and only got a few photos of the rooms and estate. The mansion also had a no photography policy in the prettiest part of the building (the staircase) as a painting on loan to them was displayed on the wall behind it. Also, out of the 200 photos I took on this trip, only the ones above survived my evil card reader. Nest time around, I’m using this one instead.

If you are planning to visit this great estate, i highly recommend taking the paid tour. It’s much more informative and you get to see things that are generally off limits. Plus, the tours are led by volunteers and employees in costumes. Yes, this means dapper flappers and gents in tailcoats and slicked back hair. Ladies, wear your best beaded dresses and pearls.

I also got invited to their Roaring Twenties Lawn Party by one of these dapper gents. The lawn parties happen on the weekend and are full of swing music, dance lessons, champagne, classic cars, and more. For more information, check out their website.

 

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Hammond Castle

On the next stop that day, we traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts to visit Hammond Castle. It’s literally King’s Landing meets East Coast. Basically, a history nerd’s biggest dream. This castle is a medieval inspired castle that houses hundreds of medieval and historic artifacts. I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw it online.

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou
Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

The view from outside the castle is stunning.

We first stopped here and took dozens of pictures (which most of them perished. RIP Memory Card) and I managed to save a handful from this trip as well. The very first thing you heard stepping out from the walkway was the cry of a falcon or hawk up above. Then you heard the clashing of waves from down below. This was truly a spectacular experience and you definitely get a very medieval vibe even though just across the road are normal houses! Isn’t that magical?

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

Bijou Travels: Coastal and Historic Massachusetts | The Petite Bijou

My trip to Massachusetts wasn’t a vacation, so I was really lucky to have some time off between appointments to explore. We stayed in Needham and everything was about an hour away (more with traffic). We also fortunately got a lucky day of sunshine as it had been raining all week! I was so glad to have been able to visit both of these places as they were truly stunning and kind of hidden gems from the standard beach or Boston trips people often take. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beaches and the city, but I also like to see things that a lot of people don’t really think about when visiting. Both of these places are historical and coastal so they are definitely worth checking out.

 

Have you ever been to Massachusetts or live in MA? What are your destination recommendations? Leave them in a comment below!

xo Mariam

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77 Comments

  1. September 22, 2016 / 11:21 AM

    Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! What a wonderful place to stumble upon!
    XX-Samantha | chicserendipityblog.com

  2. September 21, 2016 / 9:41 AM

    I have never been to Massachuetts let alone a castle! These places are so cool and full of history. Great post and beautiful photos!

    xo Rachel
    To Hell in a Handbag

  3. September 19, 2016 / 6:34 PM

    Next time you visit Boston, you must see the Museum of Fine Arts, walk around Newbury and Charles St. I have lived here for awhile and the shopping and beautiful old neighborhoods and brownstones never get old!!

  4. September 19, 2016 / 9:20 AM

    How amazing and what beautiful photos! I would’e never known this existed if it wasn’t for this post… one of the reasons I love blogging som much!
    xo
    Lauren
    The Fashionista’s Diary

  5. September 18, 2016 / 11:53 PM

    UMM these are such beautiful photos that make me think I definitely need to visit! I love that architecture!

  6. September 17, 2016 / 7:54 PM

    How amazing to find such cool places! Your pictures of them are beautiful!

    Karen

  7. tasha
    September 17, 2016 / 7:59 AM

    WOW! That place is absolutely gorgeous!

  8. Bailey
    September 16, 2016 / 12:45 PM

    These photos are absolutely stunning! It’s a bloggers dream for photos! thanks for sharing!

    xoxo,
    Bailey

  9. September 16, 2016 / 10:46 AM

    I absolutely love Massachusetts but I’ve only visited Boston & Cambridge area! I don’t know too much about the coastal historic part, unless that includes a little Boston πŸ˜‰ Your photos are so beautiful and I love scrolling through them. There’s something so beautiful about the history on the east coast! xx Adaleta Avdic

  10. September 16, 2016 / 10:45 AM

    This looks like an incredible place to visit!

  11. September 16, 2016 / 10:19 AM

    Wow looks amazing

  12. September 16, 2016 / 10:16 AM

    These pictures are gorgeous! I would love to visit! Xo

  13. Robyn
    September 16, 2016 / 9:52 AM

    WOW! Beautiful!

  14. September 15, 2016 / 10:48 PM

    This place is to die for! Your photos are fantastic. You could be a totaly princess 100 years ago. Wouldn’t that have been fun in a place like that?

  15. September 15, 2016 / 7:42 PM

    Wow these photos are stunning!!!

  16. September 15, 2016 / 5:26 PM

    omg what a fantastic castle!! i can’t believe you visited and thanks for sharing, i had no idea this existed!

    Sher
    http://www.shershegoes.com

  17. September 15, 2016 / 3:24 PM

    Massachusetts looks magical! I’ve never been but it’s one of my travel bucket list. I would recommend Seattle which is a trip that surprised me it’s beautiful weather, restaurants and walkability.

  18. September 15, 2016 / 2:24 PM

    OMG that place is so stunning! Love the outdoor area and the water! xx

  19. September 15, 2016 / 1:24 PM

    I absolutely love exploring historic and beautiful places like this! Thanks for putting this on my radar… loads of inspiration and hopefully one day I will get to visit!

    xx, Zoe | http://www.zoewithlove.me/

  20. September 15, 2016 / 10:26 AM

    How beautiful!! I need to visit!!

  21. September 15, 2016 / 9:05 AM

    Absolutely gorgeous! And I’m the same way…incredibly curious! But it has led to some great destinations and experiences!

  22. September 15, 2016 / 6:39 AM

    I want to be invited to a Roaring Twenties Lawn Party! How cool. πŸ™‚ Both of those sites are just gorgeous, but that castle! Wow! I didn’t even know that Massachusetts had a castle!

  23. September 14, 2016 / 11:28 PM

    Wow, wow, wow! So cool. I could totally spend all day there!

  24. September 14, 2016 / 2:47 PM

    Looks amazing! I need to visit!

  25. September 14, 2016 / 12:46 PM

    Mass has so much rich history!! I am so sad I didnt visit this estate when I lived in CT!! Thanks for such an awesome post!! xo

  26. September 14, 2016 / 11:12 AM

    So much history , will love to visit

  27. September 14, 2016 / 10:56 AM

    I just may need to take a trip to this castle. It looks so pretty in the pictures, I am sure it was even more enchanting in person!

  28. September 14, 2016 / 10:40 AM

    Wow! Both of these look so awesome! A roaring twenties party at the Crane Estate would be so fun! And the castle is gorgeous!

    Fizz and Frosting​

  29. September 14, 2016 / 10:33 AM

    Wow! That castle is breathtaking. I had no idea castles like this even existed in the United States.

  30. September 14, 2016 / 10:21 AM

    Oh my goodness, this is such a gorgeous place! xo

  31. Teresa
    September 14, 2016 / 10:12 AM

    Wow! That castle is absolutely stunning. I would have never guessed by photos that this was in Massachusetts! I love visiting Boston!

  32. September 14, 2016 / 10:11 AM

    Such great shots! I live in Boston so I added this to my ‘must check out’ list!

  33. September 14, 2016 / 9:01 AM

    WOW!! Hammond Castle is SO STUNNING. And you’re right– very King’s Landing! LOL! Amazing, definitely adding to my list of places to see. I’m headed to Boston next month, hoping we can make time on our trip!

    xo Steph
    A Sparkle Factor

  34. September 13, 2016 / 9:02 PM

    That castle is absolutely stunning and I had no idea how much history surrounded that destination – thanks for sharing!

    xo, Sara

  35. Renata
    September 13, 2016 / 6:17 PM

    I did not know this place is so rich in history and goes way back in centuries. I love the castles. On my bucket list!

  36. September 13, 2016 / 6:15 PM

    So beautiful. I would love to stroll around in that garden.

  37. Bailey
    September 13, 2016 / 3:14 PM

    These photos are so stunning! I definitely need to take a trip here!

    xoxo,
    Bailey
    Here’s The Skinny

  38. September 13, 2016 / 2:45 PM

    Gorgeous pictures! That roaring 20s lawn party sounds amazing! Massachusetts is high on my travel list for 2017, thanks for the great tips.

  39. September 13, 2016 / 1:17 PM

    Both of these places look magical!!

  40. September 13, 2016 / 10:42 AM

    I went to college in Boston and even though we traveled the state quite a bit, I cannot wait to go back and explore more of Massachusetts because there is SO much to explore! What a gorgeous castle to visit. Looks like a lovely day to be there, too!

  41. September 12, 2016 / 10:26 PM

    I’ve only been to Boston, and never would have imagined that coastal Massachusetts had all those cool castles. I definitely need to venture out that way.

  42. Angelle Marix
    September 12, 2016 / 9:59 PM

    These pictures are stunning. That castle is gorgeous. I would love to visit and tour it myself. Thanks for sharing. I love the adventures that you go on.

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

  43. Liz
    September 12, 2016 / 9:33 PM

    How stunning are these big old homes?! They just mesmerize me!

  44. September 12, 2016 / 4:41 PM

    What lovely views and lovely places to visit! I will have to add this to my list!

  45. Kristina
    September 12, 2016 / 11:30 AM

    This is beautiful! Looks like it could be in Europe!

    xo, Kristina
    Medicine & Manicures

  46. September 12, 2016 / 11:00 AM

    I am lost for words. This place is just stunning . My favorite picture is you standing overlooking at the water by the balcony. What a beautiful post.

  47. September 12, 2016 / 10:39 AM

    Hammond castle looks amazing. I had no idea this place even existed. This is what I love about reading blogs. Getting new ideas for travel. This one has just been added to my list. Spectacular pictures too.

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