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  • Concord Museum: Always informative, never overwhelming, this thoughtfully organized museum shows and tells visitors enough about the town's history to help them make the most of a visit here.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art: Literally and figuratively a trip — it's on the South Boston waterfront and unlike any other cultural institution in Boston — the ICA is a blast. The architecture is amazing; be sure you walk around to the back of the building, which juts out above Boston Harbor.
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: The Gardner is a magnificent repository of art and nature in a building that's as impressive as anything hanging on the walls. Modeled on a Venetian palazzo, it centers on a glorious plant-filled atrium.
  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum: The exhibits here capture the personality of the library's charismatic namesake through video, artifacts, photos, documents, and more. A visit will help you understand why the Camelot era remains so compelling more than half a century later.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: The MFA made headlines when the Art of the Americas wing opened in 2010 — but it's a great destination even if you never set foot in the new galleries. The whole place overflows with masterpieces so familiar that seeing them is like running into an old friend on the street.
  • Peabody Essex Museum: Yes, it's possible to spend a day in Salem and not give witches more than a passing thought. All by itself, the Peabody Essex is worth a trip to the North Shore. Check ahead for information about special exhibitions, or just take in the marvels of the permanent collections.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.