Between experiencing the state's early history, catching a ball game and attending your first clambake, there are a million reasons to visit Massachusetts. With a diverse landscape, “The Bay State” is home to the beaches of Cape Cod, the rolling hills of the Berkshires and the cobblestone streets of Boston. The crisp colors of fall foliage are not to be missed, and whether touring the towering lighthouses or having a drink at the original Cheers, there are countless reasons why this New England state is easy to love.
As the cradle of American Revolution, today’s Boston is an eclectic mix of old and new. Prestigious universities pepper the streets in between Paul Revere’s house and the Museum of Science, while just across the river in Cambridge, Harvard stands amongst high-end shops and sidewalk cafes. Its places like Faneuil Hall, the Italian North End and the greens of the Boston Common that make this capital city really special. For a truly memorably Boston experience, take a dinner cruise around the Boston Harbor or catch a Red Sox game at historic Fenway Park.
With over 250 miles of coastline and quaint, picturesque beach towns, Cape Cod is one of the most sought-out vacation destinations on the East Coast. This arm-shaped peninsula makes up the eastern-most point of Massachusetts and features popular getaway spots like Yarmouth, Hyannis, Falmouth, Provincetown and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Every summer, visitors from around the world come to the Cape to spend leisurely time at the beach, go boating and whale watching, fishing, biking and enjoy the freshest seafood available on the East Coast. Other notable tourist spots in the state are Plymouth, where the Pilgrims first settled and both Plymouth Rock and the full-scale replication of the Mayflower II can be seen; Salem, where the infamous 1692 witch trials took place; and the Birkshires in western Massachusetts, where the Appalachian Mountains attract many hikers and campers.
Blessed with a plentiful bounty from the Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts cuisine is spearheaded by the overwhelming love of fresh seafood. For a sampling of prime New England seafood, check out Legal Sea Foods or the historic Union Oyster House in Boston. The best burger in the Bay State can be found at Mr. Bartley’s in Cambridge, where many presidents and celebrities have stopped in and had a burger named for them. The Mews in Provincetown is a contemporary and eclectic café serving up local classics like lobster risotto and fried oysters with pineapple salsa. The northern shore town of Newburyport is known to have excellent restaurants, including Agave Mexican Bistro and River Merrimac Bar & Grill.
Massachusetts’s largest airport is Logan International (BOS) in Boston, and which serves both domestic and international flights. Also highly accessible by train, Boston is the northern-most stop on the Northeast Corridor, and along with parts of Central and Western Massachusetts, is served by Amtrak. Most major cities have a form of public transportation (MBTA), whether it be bus, subway or trolley. In the more rural areas and on the Cape, renting a car is recommended, though the islands are only accessible by ferry.
Characterized by a humid continental climate, Massachusetts has four distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Temperatures on the shore can differ greatly from those inland, though when severe weather hits, it typically engulfs the entire state. In the northwestern Berkshires, average January temperatures are around 22° F (-6° C), while the average in Boston is 30° F (-1°C). The warmest month of July can average temperatures in the mid 70s around the eastern part of the state, though heat waves that soar well into the 90s are quite common in the summer months. Massachusetts is a year-round destination with summers that can be spent on or near Cape Cod, beautiful fall foliage in the autumn months, and both spring and winter bringing out the natural beauty of the western region.