As one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts is famous for being the landing place of the Mayflower and The Pilgrims. Visitors can dive deep into this historical background with a visit to the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock where the settlers were believed to have landed or a trip to one of the many living history museums scattered about the state.
“The Bay State'' is also home to one of the largest state park systems in the country with 450,000 acres of forests, parks, greenways and historical sites. Travelers can enjoy beautiful, seasonal landscapes, seashores of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, and lakes and ponds like Walden Pond.
The state of Massachusetts is also rich in world class arts, culture and entertainment from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to the Museum of Fine Arts. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated trip full of five-star meals and high-end galleries, or you’re after nature-inspired adventure, Massachusetts has something for everyone.
Best Places to Visit in Massachusetts
The tenth largest city in the United States, Boston is a world class city offering arts, culture, entertainment, nature, and education.
Boston Symphony Orchestra: As one of the five major American symphony orchestras, the Boston Symphony Orchestra offers over 250 concerts a year.
Boston Common: This 50-acre central public park, the oldest city park in America, features concerts and carousel rides, and ice skating in the winter.
Cambridge: Just across the Charles River, the college town of Cambridge is home to Harvard University and MIT and many cute cafes and shops.
Quincy Market: A designated national historic landmark, this famous market place offers over 100 different shops, restaurants, and pubs.
Cities in Massachusetts
Cape Cod: This popular summertime destination is just an hour away from Boston, and provides scenic beaches, boardwalks, and coastal towns like the artsy town of Provincetown and the historic town of Barnstable.
Martha’s Vineyard: Just south of Cape Cod, this small island is only accessible by boat or by air. Visit the beautiful beach town of Edgartown for fine dining, shopping, swimming, and surfing.
Salem: Most famous for the witch trials of the 17th century, Salem today is a popular vacation spot for its beaches, parks, and of course unique history.
Nantucket: This popular summer destination is a small island 30 miles from Cape Cod. Visit one of its historic lighthouses or bike around to one of the many shops, restaurants, and dune-backed beaches.
Massachusetts State and National Parks
Adams National Historic Park: Located in Quincy, this park preserves 11 historic buildings including the home of Presidents of the United States John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Cape Cod National Seashore: 40 miles of scenic beaches, marshes, ponds and bluffs offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy Cape Cod’s national seashore.
Lowell National Historical Park: Lowell is a living monument to the Industrial Revolution.
Pilgrim Memorial State Park: This popular waterfront park is home to Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II Museum.
Walden Pond State Reservation: The 400-acre reservation is most known for the modestly beautiful pond, where Henry David Thoreau wrote his famous book Walden.
The scenic beauty of Western Massachusetts has long been a favorite for locals and tourists alike. The area is known as the Berkshires.
Lenox: One of the Berkshires’ more popular getaway destinations, Lenox has a walkable downtown and countless museums, galleries and artist studios.
Pittsfield: Enjoy the lively music, theater, and dance scene in the Upstreet Cultural District or go for a dip in beautiful Lake Onata.
Stockbridge: Take in the world’s largest collection of Norman Rockwell’s art at the Norman Rockwell Museum.