Your Bar Bucket List: Visit the Oldest Bar in Each New England State, Including the Oldest One in the Entire Country
'Tis the season for road and day trips as warmer weather makes it so much easier to travel around and enjoy New England adventures. And even more so, having a bucket list to check off over time. I have an item for you to add.
One of the most fun parts of day or overnight road trips and getaways is discovering the new or checking off lists, and I think this list of grabbing food and drinks at the oldest bars in New England sounds like a blast. It's mixing fun and good times with family or friends, plus seeing historic landmarks. And just wait until you read some of this history!
Ok, here is the oldest bar in each New England state. Since the oldest bar in the entire country also happens to be on this list, I'll save that for last.
In Hancock we have the Fox Tavern in The Hancock Inn, where Insider says it's the oldest inn and bar dating back to 1789. And get this, our 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, was a regular guest according to Thrillist.
Now remember when I said bucket lists are for checking off, often over time? This is one of those times. You see, The Hancock Inn is waiting on its new innkeepers, so it's temporarily closed right now and planning on a spring 2023 reopening.
According to the Jameson Tavern website, it was a meeting place where the men seeking freedom from Massachusetts would meet and finally signed the papers to secede and obtain freedom from the Commonwealth. There's even a plaque that designates it the "Birthplace of Maine."
Here's another less historic fun fact according to Thrillist; Chef Bobby Flay stopped by in 2003 to learn how to cook a proper Maine lobster dinner.
Warren Tavern, established in 1780, is part of the rebuilding of Charlestown after the British burned it down in the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. George Washington, Paul Revere, and Ben Franklin hung out there often according to the Insider. George Washington's funeral speech was also given at the Warren Tavern according to its website.
The Griswold Inn in the quintessential New England town of Essex is as old as the United States of America, operating since 1776 according to Insider. But get this, the building dates back to 1735 when it was a schoolhouse. Meanwhile, Thrillist adds that it was a British command center during the War of 1812.
Ye Olde Tavern is in Manchester and boasts a sign that says "Wining and Dining since 1790." According to its website, the town's first telephone line was installed at the tavern and of course this beautiful, historic building is on the Vermont Register of Historic Places according to the Insider.
White Horse Tavern in Newport is the oldest bar in the entire country, and the 10th oldest restaurant in the world according to the White Horse Tavern. I learned about this a few summers ago while admiring this historic moment. It's of course a National Historic Landmark. According to Thrillist, it was home to colonial assemblies, criminal courts, and civic government before it became a tavern.