Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fall River's Hidden Sights

Fall River, Massachusetts is one of the places in the world that I had never thought of until I met a really great friend of mine, who happens to be from there.  It sits not far from Providence, Rhode Island, on the Taunton River which separates the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  It's a beautiful city, full of Portuguese immigrants, which means great Portuguese food.

There are many Portuguese restaurants in town, but a local favorite is Gina's.  It's a small place, but the cooking is great and the Chourico is fabulous.  One of the other recommended restaurants is Estoril, who's seafood fare is well known throughout the area.

One of the truly great things about Fall River is the waterfront.  Heritage State Park hugs the shore of the river and is a beautiful place to spend some time.  There are walks along the bank, beautiful grounds to enjoy, and at the bridge end of the park, there's a wonderful building with a beautiful antique carousel.  I don't care how old I get, I'm never too old to ride a great old carousel.  New England has a lot of them in parks, malls, and theme parks.  They also have museums.  New England is a great place to find antique carousels.

Now, one of the adventures in Fall River is right next to Heritage State Park and right under the enormous bridge that brings you into Fall River.  It's Battleship Cove.  Battleship Cove is a marine museum of war ships.  They have the largest collection of retired warships in the world for public display.  They even have a Russian boat and a submarine.

The best part about Battleship Cove is that you get to wander all over the boats.  You can see where the torpedoes went.  You can try out a seat in the gun bays.  You can eat in the mess hall.  You can arrange to stay overnight with a group if you wish.  When I was there last, I spoke to a man on the submarine that had worked on that submarine in WWII.  He was the real McCoy, and if you ever wanted to know what it was like first hand, he's a great guy to talk to.

There are indoor exhibits too.  There's so much to see and do in this place that you could easily spend the whole day right there. 

I've been on boat museums.  I've been to most kinds of museums, and this one is unique.  Every where you turn is a different gadget to play with or a different room to see.  There are five major ships here, and several minor ones.  The volunteers who staff the place, or mostly volunteers, are wonderful.

You won't be bored here, and you won't see a lot of this stuff anywhere else.  The view is pretty good too.
Now, Fall River has more than one adventure for this blog.

One of the most talked about murders in history was the murder of the parents of one Lizzie Borden.  Reportedly she killed her parents in 1892 with an axe.  Today, the infamous house in Fall River is a tourist attraction and, yes, a bed and breakfast.  You too, can stay in the room where Lizzie supposedly committed these crimes.  If you show up on August 4th, you can see the murders reenacted.  It is on the macabre side, but it is a thrill for many people who are fascinated by haunted houses.
That's right, Lizzie Borden's House is supposed to be haunted, so if you make a reservation to stay in this place, you might want to bring some extra undies!
So, to sum this one up, haunted Lizzie Borden House, Battleship Cove, Heritage State Park, and great Portuguese food.  Fall River is one of those places that few but the locals here in New England really know about.  It's a treasure, and it shouldn't be missed.

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