The perfect New England venue for your next milestone is right under your nose, and it’s likely steeped in a rich history of its own. Historic spaces transport your guests without a lot of additional planning required. The old world splendor of our top historic venues will entice even the most exacting attendees.
From lush courtyards to colonial clambakes, there’s an option for every occasion and you can rest assured that these historic sites offer modern amenities to make sure your guests are comfortable enough to luxuriate in special celebrations while focusing on critical moments. Whether you are searching for an indoor conference space or the site for an enormous outdoor wedding, there’s a historic New England venue waiting for you.
We believe that New England’s history is something grand and your venue should be too. Our list includes a pre-Civil War performance space with flawless acoustics, an elite athletic hall of fame, a world class car collection, a secret staircase hidden in New England’s oldest mansion, and a cliff walk terrace fit for the Gilded Age.
1. CENTRAL MASS
Bring Down the House at Mechanics Hall
321 Main St.
Mechanics Hall offers legendary acoustic character, rendering it the optimum choice for performance events. Masterful architecture accounts for Mechanics Hall’s home on the National Register of Historic Places. Mechanics Hall is considered the premier pre-Civil War performance hall in America. The Great Hall can accommodate up to 1,500 guests for a reception.
Meet Your Match at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
194 Bellevue Avenue
The International Tennis Hall of Fame includes seven-acres of vast verandas with broad views of a seemingly endless array of manicured grass courts. Begin your visit at the heart of the hall in the Horseshoe Piazza & Court. This horseshoe-shaped covered porch begs for a cocktail party. Inside, guests will enjoy historic architecture throughout the museum, which extends through a wall of glass French doors to the USTA Wing’s magnificent high ceilings.
Surround Your Guests with Vintage Vehicles at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum
15 Newton Street
The Larz Anderson Auto Museum holds “America’s Oldest Car Collection” in their 1888 Carriage House, which was designed by the city architect of Boston, Edmund M. Wheelwright. The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is certainly unique as far as event venues go, accommodating up to 150 guests indoors. Attendees will congregate beneath the vaulted ceilings, surrounded by vintage automobiles and exposed brick. The Great Lawn is attractive to larger parties of up to 500. The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is located just ten minutes from downtown Boston.
Rock Out at the Mark Twain Museum Center
351 Farmington Ave
The Mark Twain Museum Center takes guests on a tour of the towering Great Hall, the Lincoln Financial Auditorium, and the intimate confines of Hartford Financial Services Theatre.
The museum’s cafe includes a breezy patio with a fleet of rockers and umbrellas for sunny occasions. Groups can take advantage of private tours of the National Landmark Mark Twain House as part of their special event.
5. NORTH OF BOSTON
Take the Secret Stairs at the House of the Seven Gables
115 Derby Street
The House of the Seven Gables, built in 1668, gives new meaning to the classification: historic venue. Guests will marvel at seaside gardens and gape at the secret staircase hidden within Turner-Ingersoll Mansion. As the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England, it’s no surprise that The House of the Seven Gables inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ingenius work. The capable events team boasts experience with everything from business meetings to clambakes. Salem is located just a 45 minutes north of Boston.
6. COASTAL MAINE
Arrive by Boat at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
132 Botanical Gardens Way
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens welcome a limited number of guests by boat, offering small boat moorings on a first-come-first serve basis. This venue is suited to all seasons. The Lerner Garden of the Five Senses pavilion or the Kitchen Garden Terrace will offer a sunny location for your gathering. Area nonprofit organizations can apply for free meeting rentals, honored as part of the gardens’ civic commitment.
7. MERRIMACK VALLEY
Go Back to School at the Andover Inn
4 Chapel Avenue
Feeling scholarly? Visit the campus of Phillips Academy, one of the oldest private boarding schools in America, dating back to 1930. You can book the Phillips Room for up to 50 guests and enjoy sprawling views of the Phillips Academy grounds along with the warmth of a private fireplace. The Andover Inn is just a short walk from the charming center of town and just a half hour drive from Boston.
Find Peace on Crooked Steeple Hall
176 Main Street
Crooked Steeple Hall has been providing visitors with a quiet escape since 1850. Feel free to duck away after large events at the Union Meeting House, which overlooks the sleepy village of Winterport and offers views of the Penobscot River. The Union Meeting House’s original granite steps date back to 1820. And, if you really want to step back in time, walk a half mile to the Pierce House, built in 1812, for a Sunday morning brunch gathering.
9. NEW HAMPSHIRE
Set Your Heart Aflutter at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire
27 Navigator Road
Thrill as many as 150 guests at your next reception style function in the Aviation Historical Society’s unique museum. Exhibits are mobile, making for an exceptionally flexible space. In addition, rates for large functions are extremely competitive. Did we mention that parking is free?
10. CAPE COD
Never Stop Exploring at Heritage Museums and Gardens
67 Grove Street
Inspiration is sure to strike amidst the three galleries and immaculate grounds of Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich. Hike wooded trails, admire the vibrant gardens, and ponder unique sculptures with your group. An aerial adventure park calls to bold visitors, propelling them through the trees on zip lines and bridges. Even in winter, the gardens are aglow with ten miles of twinkling lights. Current exhibits include Cars and Stars of the Indy 500 and Wendell Minor’s America. At the end of the day, make the quick trek to Sandwich Boardwalk for a colorful sunset. (And dare to take the leap if it’s high tide!)
Stay Afloat at Basin Harbor Resort and Boat Club
4800 Basin Harbor Road
Basin Harbor has showcased the elegance and adventure of Lake Champlain for over a century. Flexible accommodations and event spaces make Basin Harbor an ideal venue for groups who like to hike, bike, sail, kayak, cruise, and be still with nature. Dine lakeside for a perfect showcase of Vermont’s collective commitment to local and fresh food. Basin Harbor is located less than one hour from Burlington.
Breathe the Ocean Air at the Chanler at Cliff Walk
117 Memorial Boulevard
The Chanler at Cliff Walk allows guests to stay overnight or simply enjoy an afternoon on the
Cliff Walk Terrace while they take in panoramic sights of the shimmering Atlantic. The Chanler is in itself a bold Gilded Age mansion featuring balconies, spectacular seascapes, ornate fireplaces, and a brilliant sunroom.
The perfect venue can give your ideas wings. Plan fearlessly for innovation and explore one another’s dreams at New England’s most unique meeting venues. Great things rarely happen in one’s comfort zone. New England is a region that allows us to ask: “What if…?”
What if your next corporate outing led you to a lush and legendary court?
What if your board members felt what it was like to compete in the Indy 500?
What if your colleagues took a moment to ponder together in the garden?
We know that an unconventional venue can sometimes feel like a risk when planning an intricate event, but without risk you’ll reap no rewards. For a memorable affair, you must dare to travel inside a wooded mansion, atop a roccous cliffside, or beneath a botanical canopy. Plan an event that your guests will never forget. There is no substitute for experience.