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14 Things You Need To Know About New England

If you're not from here, there are a few things you need to know. And it’s wicked important that you do.

First, we know you hate the New England Patriots, and we don't care (PS: Tom Brady was hung out to DRY).

Now that that's out of the way, we can focus on the culture of New England beyond its amazing sports teams and familiarize you with the locals and our environs. In no particular order, key insights include:

  1. Everyone anticipates and loves the foliage. We don't even need the L.L. Bean catalog (although we probably have a copy).

  2. It's "CHOW-dah."

  3. The Museum of Fine Arts (locally pronounced as "AHts"), the House of Blues, Tanglewood, the New England Aquarium, Fenway Park, Mohegan Sun, the Ben & Jerry’s factory, Connecticut College, and the Peabody Essex Museum combine to form the cultural center of the Universe. Stephen Hawking said so (and they can prove it at M.I.T.).

  4. You can't park your car in Harvard Yard. If you do, you'll get tasered and your car will get towed. And don't ever, ever, say that in a bar in Southie. Or at least the non-gentrified bars in Southie. Or anywhere, really.

  5. In Massachusetts, we do drive that badly.

  6. And yet we can have entire conversations consisting mostly of traffic routes (“Keene? From Plymouth? Go 3 to 44 to 495 to 90 to 140 to 12 to 9.”).

  7. In the movies, an extreme few can properly execute the Boston accent. Most tank spectacularly.

  8. Jaws was filmed here. So there.

  9. Maine is only creepy in Stephen King novels. And in like, the DEEP woods. There, it's creepy.

  10. Vermont is always that beautiful because there really aren't that many people per square mile and the ones that are, are "colorful" (read: daffy).

  11. If you're from New Hampshire, eventually, you'll return there.

  12. If you haven't been to the Newport Jazz Festival, join the club (although we really, really want to).

  13. Western Connecticut (pretty much west of Hartford) is considered "The Frontier" to Red Sox fans.

  14. The world does, in fact, run on Dunkin'.

How and why do we at Sea Heritage hold these truths to be self-evident? We're from here.

We grew up on the South Shore, that stretch of coast between Boston Hahbah and the Cape, and now call beautiful Duxbury our home and headquarters.

Duxbury, Plymouth, and Kingston Harbor, 1877

Once upon a time, it was a shipbuilding hub of the young nation. What's now relatively dense forest was stripped bare two centuries ago, harvested to produce ships which the bay's depth couldn't sustain and the exploding demands of global, ocean-going commerce rapidly outgrew. It was a rough stretch for a while there, after the epicenter of nautical trade drifted down south to New York Harbor (not pronounced "hahbah").

But don't worry about us. We've long since adjusted. Nowadays we toast our seafaring past at local colonial-era haunts like the Winsor House and Sun Tavern, with oysters harvested from the same shallows, or wile away long summer afternoons on our internationally famous beach. And if not on or near our beach, then at any number of the fantastic beaches along the hundreds of miles of New England coastline, each with their own story, history, and location.

Beyond hamlets like Duxbury, New England is a state of mind. It’s as Willem Lange described it:

“What New England is, is a state of mind, a place where dry humor and perpetual disappointment blend to produce an ironic pessimism that folks from away find most perplexing.”

It's Harvard at its founding in 1636, and when it hosted the founding of Facebook in 2004. It's clam shacks with water views, overlooking Cape Cod Bay or Nantucket Sound (once you’ve beaten the summer traffic) and stately Beacon Street brownstones. It’s where Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" were banned but Emily Dickinson was born, Chinua Achebe taught, and Jack Kerouac is buried. It’s stubborn, welcoming, antique, progressive, peaceful and bustling, all at once.

It’s long and stunning road trips from the mountains to the national seashore. Some of our charts feature ink reliefs, depicting the shore as seen from several miles out, and if you look closely, you can see ships, boats, and people at work and play, as they were in centuries past. If you listen, you can hear the faint yet authoritative chime of the nearest lighthouse.

Old Boston Harbor Chart, 1857

In the coming months, we’ll take a deeper dive into as much of this coastline as possible, and in the meantime, invite you to view our collection of top-selling New England charts. With new charts arriving every month, we look forward to sharing New England’s stories and secrets with you.

And as always, if there’s a particular clambake, wedding, sunburn, family reunion, or vacation you wish to memorialize on a chart that’s not currently on then by all means email us at with your request. We have every inch of the New England coast covered and are always at the ready and happy to connect you with yours.



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