Located on the campus of University of Massachusetts–Boston in Dorchester , the underrated John F. Kennedy Library and Museum (Columbia Point, Dorchester, 866/535-1960, www.jfklibrary.org , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $9 youth 13–17, free children under 13) is dedicated to Boston’s  modern political hero, with artifacts and exhibits that bring alive the 1960 Democratic National Convention in which Kennedy was nominated, his service during World War II, and other periods of his life.
The Kennedy Museum was also the site of a public viewing of the casket of JFK’s brother and longtime Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009. The museum plans to install a new exhibit relating to the life and accomplishments of the younger Kennedy in upcoming years.
In addition to the Kennedy paraphernalia, the museum is also the unlikely home to the Hemingway Collection, the largest collection of Ernest Hemingway memorabilia located in one place. The bulk of the holdings are manuscripts, letters, and other papers available for research; however, the Hemingway Research Room also contains items belonging to the adventurous writer, including his hunting bag, shrapnel taken from his leg during World War I, and an impala shot by Mary Hemingway on safari in 1954.
History buffs should also check out the Commonwealth Museum (220 Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester, 617/727-9268, www.sec.state.ma.us/mus/museum , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., free) across the street, which contains archaeological items unearthed during the building of the Big Dig, including “America’s oldest bowling ball.”