Incorporated in the mid-17th century, Braintree is a middle- to upper-middle class town with strong historical connections and blue-collar roots.
1. Braintree Historical Society museums: Braintree was the birthplace of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Founding Father John Hancock, and Gen. Sylvanus Thayer, the founder of West Point Military Academy. It was also site of the infamous Sacco and Vanzetti murders and trial, and the retirement home of the co-inventor of the telephone, Thomas Watson. The society operates the Gen. Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace, the Gilbert Bean Museum, and the Watson Library and Research Center.
2. Braintree Parks: The city's recreational resources include Town Forest Park, Pond Meadow Park, Sunset Lake, Smith Beach, the Cranberry Pond Conservation District, and the MDC Blue Hills Reservation trail system. The Boston Harbor Islands State Park and Cape Cod are a short drive southeast.
3. Adams National Historic Site: This park tells the story of four generations of the Adams family, from 1720 to 1927. The Adamses' experience represented, shaped, and mirrored significant events in the social, cultural, political, and intellectual history of the U.S.
The park has two main sites: the birthplaces of second President John Adams and sixth President John Quincy Adams; and Peacefield, including the “Old House,” home to four generations of the Adams family, and the Stone Library, which contains more than 14,000 historic volumes.
4. Blue Hills Ski Area: In nearby St. Canton, this facility has eight trails on 60 skiable acres, five lifts, and a center for snowboarding. One of the best times to ski Blue Hills is at night, when you can ride the double chairlift and enjoy the winter lights of Boston.
5. South Shore Plaza Shopping center: Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and CSears anchor this upscale center of 180 specialty shops and five restaurants. Other top retailers include The Gap, Crate & Barrel, Coach, Banana Republic, Godiva Chocolatier, and Apple.