Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge and Watertown
Boston is chock-full of historic graveyards, many dating back to the 1630s and many more serving as a who's who of prominent puritans and seminal statesmen.
However, across the Charles River stands the nation's first rural cemetery, Mount Auburn. True, you won’t comes across surnames like Adams and Revere at Mount Auburn Cemetery, but you will find 175 acres of gently rolling hills, woodland gardens, tranquil ponds, winding footpaths and poetic epitaphs aplenty. (And yes, there are familiar names, too, including Winslow Homer, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Buckminster Fuller). Established in 1831 as a wildly bucolic nondenominational departure from dour churchyard burial grounds, Mount Auburn Cemetery was a true game-changer in that it was the first American cemetery to more closely resemble a lushly planted park than a cramped of land dedicated to the interment of human remains. Today, Mount Auburn functions as one part urban wildlife sanctuary/one part working cemetery that, come springtime, attracts birders by the busload. Ultimately more serene than somber, Mount Auburn is also a popular, if a wee bit unconventional, place to say "I do."