The serene Philbin Beach on the island of Martha’s Vineyard
Winter skiing at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock
The Mayflower II, a full-scale replica of a 17th-century ship, at the Plymouth Patuxet Museum
Gorgeous greens and fairways at Blackstone National Golf Course in Sutton
Salisbury Mansion, a historic house museum in Worcester
Beautiful fall foliage at Bolton Orchards in autumn
Boats on the Charles River with the Boston skyline in the background
The Nauset Light at the Cape Cod National Seashore near Eastham
The ornate interior of the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield
Lobster dinner at Woodman's of Essex
From the ocean to the mountains, Massachusetts offers extraordinarily rich experiences in cities and nature year-round.
Full of Wonder in Boston: Where Old Meets New
A gateway city to Massachusetts and New England, state capital Boston is known as “America’s walking city.” The Freedom Trail traces sites that played a key role in the American Revolution, and the Black Heritage Trail features places important to the 19th-century Black community. The Museum of African American History, with sites in Boston and Nantucket, is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving Black Americans’ contributions. Ride the Swan Boats in the Public Garden, the first public botanical garden in the USA, and marvel at major exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art. See art installations in the Seaport District, a trendy and innovative neighborhood by the Fan Pier and Fort Point Channel. Marquees light up the Theater District, and Newbury Street bustles with galleries, sidewalk cafes and boutiques. Funky Cambridge is just across the Charles River, home to MIT, Harvard University and Harvard Square’s restaurants, shops and bookstores.
Historic Places and Authentic Cuisine near Boston
North of Boston, Lowell National Historical Park showcases the city’s textile industry heritage. Salem is the site of the 17th-century witch trials, and its Peabody Essex Museum includes extraordinary art collections and landmarks. Delve into maritime traditions in Newburyport, Rockport, Marblehead and Gloucester, the USA’s oldest seaport. Drive the 144-kilometer Essex Coastal Scenic Byway for its ocean views and 12 lighthouses. Check out film locations of big-screen movies such as “Little Women” and “Manchester by the Sea.” Waterfront restaurants serve lobster rolls, fried clams and daily fresh catches. South of Boston, Plimoth Patuxet is one of Massachusetts’ four living history museums. Learn about the arrival of the pilgrims and the native Wampanoag people and other indigenous communities. New Bedford, an international whaling center, inspired Herman Melville to write “Moby-Dick.” It's home to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, dedicated to the science and behavior of whales. Westport Rivers Vineyard is a top stop on the region’s wine and cheese trail. Any trip south of Boston must include a cranberry bog tour, especially during fall harvest. Massachusetts is the oldest cranberry growing region in the USA, and the cranberry is the official state berry.
Coastal Escapes: Stunning Beaches and Charming Islands
Cape Cod National Seashore offers nearly 18,000 hectares of coastline with dunes, forests, marshes and ponds to explore via bike paths, swimming and surfing. At the tip of Cape Cod is Provincetown, a creative, welcoming community. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum reflects the town’s roots as the USA’s oldest continuous art colony. Ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard leave from several Cape ports. Nantucket features distinctive architecture, whaling history and magnificent beaches. Martha’s Vineyard’s Wampanoag history, clay cliffs, lighthouses and charming communities provide much to enjoy on foot and by bicycle.
Central and Western Massachusetts: Arts, Entertainment and Nature
In central Massachusetts, Old Sturbridge Village depicts life in New England in the early 19th century via programs, activities and celebrations. In mountainous western Massachusetts, go on thrilling white-water rafting trips and soar through the treetops on zip lines. Take a drive along the Mohawk Trail, one of the first scenic roads in New England. For culture, attend concerts at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and international dance performances at Jacob’s Pillow. See large-scale art in North Adams at MASS MoCA, the USA’s largest contemporary art museum.
In 1891, basketball was invented by Dr. John Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. Today, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame showcases memorabilia, tributes to great players and interactive experiences.
Photo: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The cranberry is the official berry of Massachusetts, the oldest cranberry growing region in the USA and the second-largest producer of cranberries in the country.
Photo: J. Greg Hinson
Massachusetts is home to the USA’s first university, Harvard, and now boasts more than 110 universities and colleges, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Berklee College of Music and Amherst College.
Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism