Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum • Boston

The story of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum begins with Isabella losing her first and only child to pneumonia. When she learned she’d never conceive again, she fell into a deep depression that lasted for two years. Her husband decided to take her on a trip across Europe, which made her come alive. She began to bring home treasures from journeys which spanned Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

After filling multiple warehouses throughout Boston, she decided to build Fenway Court. It would become a beautiful place to exhibit her collection, opened to the public in 1903. Her vast collection includes framed textiles, signed letters from celebrities, and odd artifacts – like the 17th-century silver German ostrich. Wandering through her collection shows an interesting woman, for sure.

Visit: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA; 617-566-1401;