08/19/2012 09:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Explore America: Boston Tea Party Ships And Museum

An ongoing story in Boston is the continuous development of the waterfront, with new restaurants and other places to explore. The Big Dig, the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, which was established almost four years ago, has played a big part in opening up the city, encouraging pedestrians to venture out to the waterfront and stay awhile. And in these summer months, this area has been one of the happening places to be.

One of the newest tourist attractions here is one that celebrates the old, our country's early history. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, which tells the story of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, re-opened in June and has been on the must-do list for many families visiting the area this summer.

With the help of technology and actors, history comes to life here. This is where colonists famously threw 340 tea chests overboard in a rebellion, which was the most important act that led to the American Revolution.

This was an eagerly awaited re-opening because the museum was struck by lightning and destroyed in 2001 and then in 2007, it caught fire from sparks at the nearby bridge construction site. It is now a state-of-the-art building, with fire suppressant systems and materials. The new museum is also more than twice the size, and there are now two ships instead of one, both of which are historically accurate.

Visitors here learn about the events that led to Dec. 16, 1773. They go onto the decks of the ship for a re-enactment of the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor

Unlike the old museum, there's lots of re-enactments with actors. Each guest is taken through the museum by an actor from the Boston Tea Party cast who explains the events and museum. There's a high tech image of two women on the wharf talking about the Tea Party from a women's perspective, and then they disappear, similar to a hologram.

There's a portrait gallery in the museum, with portraits of people such as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere and two of the portraits "come to life." King George and Adams "talk to each other" a la the paintings in the Harry Potter movies. Although these two portraits have an argument with one another in the museum, the two men never actually met in real life. These conversations are based on their writings to one another.

Also prominently featured in the portrait gallery is the Robinson Half Tea Chest, one of only two existing tea crates from this historical event. And if all this talk of tea makes you want to enjoy a cuppa, there's a tea room for tea and scones.

This is a great place to take the family if you're looking for something fun and educational to do this summer or any time of year. The museum is open seven days a week 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours, which take place every 15 minutes, last about an hour.

The museum is giving a free pair of tickets to our blog readers here on CarsTravelFood.