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Many people know of the famous Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute for Contemporary Art, but there are plenty of others to see around town that offer everything from nature exploration to battleship touring. Here are five of Boston’s lesser-known museums, each well worth a spot on your itinerary.

JFK Presidential Library & Museum

President John F. Kennedy had deep roots in Boston. He was born in Brookline, attended Harvard University, and represented the state in Congress. Explore exhibits such as The Campaign Trail to hear clips from JFK’s speeches and see campaign memorabilia, and The Space Race, which chronicle.

Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125

USS Constitution Museum

It’s hard to imagine that an entire museum could be filled with the history of just one boat, but with the title of ‘The World’s Oldest Commissioned Warship Afloat’, the USS Constitution deserves it. Follow the Constitution’s life from when it launched in 1797 to its voyages in the War of 1812 all the way to a modern-day restoration. The museum is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, right next to the docked Constitution itself, which you can climb aboard and tour.

Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown, MA 02129

Arnold Arboretum

Founded in 1872, this public garden in Jamaica Plain and National Historic Landmark is part of Boston’s series of parks known as the Emerald Necklace. Though the Arboretum itself isn’t a museum, what many people don’t know is that the Hunnewell Building at the Arboretum offers a Visitors Center with Art Exhibits as well as a library. Don’t forget to check the event calendar out ahead of time to see what’s happening when you visit!

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

Nichols House Museum

Visit Beacon Hill circa 1900 at the Nichols House Museum. Built in 1804, this four-story townhome was once the residence of Rose Standish Nichols, a famed landscape architect and suffragist, and has been a public museum since 1961. It has been preserved so visitors can get a glimpse of how Beacon Hill families in the early 1900’s lived and see the families’ impressive collections of furniture and art.

55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Mary Baker Eddy Library

This museum is dedicated to the life and achievements of Mary Baker Eddy, a 19th century writer and religious pioneer of The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Even if you’re not interested in religion, it’s truly inspirational to learn about how Eddy fought for her beliefs and women’s rights during a time when females were not expected to speak up. The library has exhibits such as the Mapparium, a gorgeous three-story, stained-glass globe that visitors can walk through and explore, and Portraits of Global Caring, an exhibit about young people who are creating positive change around the globe.

200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

image via flickr