Massachusetts Vacation Planner 2021

2021 Massachusetts Visitors Guide

Massachusetts is a great location to enjoy some of the most diverse and beautiful scenery in New England. Boston is a historical city, home to the Freedom Trail, and the U.S.S. Constitution. Plymouth allows a look back at the Pilgrim’s voyage to America on the Mayflower.

A visit to the Springfield Armory National Historic Site reveals one of the world’s largest firearms collections. Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley also contains a wealth of historical attractions, including the Dickinson Homestead, where American poetess Emily Dickinson wrote many of her poems. Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord preserves several sites that relate to the battles of the American Revolution.

The Berkshires (or the Berkshire Hills) region in western Massachusetts is a favored resort destination with several attractive villages and attractions such as the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket are filled with many classic seaside towns whose architecture has been emulated worldwide.

This is a beautiful state with a great history behind it; after all, the Pilgrims have landed in this place in 1620. Massachusetts is also known as “Bay State”, boasts a vibrant cultural scene, due to its written and performing art. This state is also known for its amazing nature. You can enjoy several hiking trails, bird watching or beach activities in this area. Here is a list of the places that you can visit in Massachusetts.

Central Massachusetts Visitors Guide

Dubbed the Heart of New England, Central Massachusetts offers a myriad of attractions, recreation, lodging, and shopping to satisfy a range of tastes. Take advantage of the fruit orchards dotted around the countryside, or pay a visit to Old Sturbridge Village, a historical attraction that re-creates life in a 19th-century village. The coming of fall is an impressive experience in north-central Massachusetts, where mild weather and vibrant colors abound. For the sports fan, check out Worcester’s American Hockey League team, the Sharks. Hockey games are played in the Centrum Centre, a popular venue for various events and exhibitions. A few other attractions that warrant a visit include the Lucky Dog Music Hall in Worcester, the Willard House & Clock Museum in North Grafton, and Davis Farmland and Mega Maze in Sterling. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy a visit to Pine Ridge Snow Park in Barre, which features seven trails and two lifts.

Boston Visitors Guide

Greater Boston is a metropolitan center and one of the oldest and most historically significant areas in the United States—features an eclectic mix of old and new, from historic attractions, such as the Freedom Trail, the USS Constitution, and Boston National Historical Park, to cutting edge restaurants and nightclubs.

Located across the river from downtown Boston, Cambridge is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two icons in American post-secondary education. John F. Kennedy, one of the most influential presidents in the history of the United States, was born in nearby Brookline. His boyhood home is preserved as the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, with rangers offering guided tours.

From September through December the New England Patriots play football in the NFL at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, from October through April both the Boston Bruins play NHL hockey and the Boston Celtics play NBA Basketball at the TD Banknorth Garden, while March through September sees the Boston Red Sox play Major League Baseball at historic Fenway Park.

Other cities to visit while in the Greater Boston area include Newton, Quincy, Waltham, and Brockton.

downtown Boston

Boston is certainly among the top destinations anywhere; its place in American history alone makes it worth a visit. To get a good perspective of the city’s layout and history, take a walking tour along the Freedom Trail. Then, try a memorable trip to the U.S.S. Constitution, see Bunker Hill Monument in nearby Charlestown—which memorializes the efforts of American colonists during the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775—and visit the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum. Boston is more than history though.

The shopping is phenomenal, and visitors should be sure to visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which has a history dating back 250 years.

A host of Boston museums warrant a visit, including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum, the Cahoon Museum of American Art and the Museum of Afro-American History.

For an escape to nature, take in Boston Common, one of the oldest public parks in the United States.

Cape Cod Visitors Guide

This region of Massachusetts is known for its scenic marine setting, fine beaches, country inns, and outstanding seafood establishments. The main town in Cape Cod in Hyannis, which is home to the John F. Kennedy Memorial. Cape Cod also offers a jumping-off point to reach the nearby islands of Martha’s Vineyard, with an interesting whaling heritage and sandy beaches, and Nantucket, with quaint cobblestone streets and Quaker architecture.

Local history is waiting to be discovered at several venues in the area, including Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum, The Old Atwood House Museum, and Falmouth Historical Society Museum.

The arts are also well represented in Cape Cod, and local galleries display everything from glass art to paintings and sculptures.

Guided whale watching adventures, a major draw to the area, are offered by a number of local tour companies.

Cape Cod
Cape Cod (Photo Source: grayline.com)

This beautiful place is an arm-shaped peninsula situated on the easternmost part of Massachusetts. Cape Cod has turned into one of the most popular places to visit in Massachusetts in the summer. This peninsula offers cranberry bogs, lighthouses, biking trails to the Cape Cod National Seashore, and also swimming beaches.

The most famous resort in town is Provincetown, being the site of the first landing of the Pilgrims. Cape Cod is highly known for its odd villages and colonies. To be mentioned that Cape Cod is the summer home of the Kennedy family.

Northampton

Northampton is a lovely college town, situated in the Pioneer Valley. This beautiful place is a picturesque and vibrant downtown, featuring several restaurants, art galleries, coffee shops, and performing arts venues. In Northampton, you will also find Smith College, a prestigious and famous women’s college. Northampton homes a variety of cultural activities, such as annual film festivals and vibrant music scenes.

Northampton
Northampton (Photo Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Plymouth, MA Visitors Guide

American history as it is known today began in Plymouth in December of 1620 with the landing of 102 pilgrims. Although Plymouth Rock is only a symbol of where the pilgrims landed and has not yet been confirmed as the actual location, it is one of the town’s most popular historic sites.

Due to its long history, Plymouth is bursting with historic sites and museums, including Plimoth Plantation, which is a re-created 1637 pilgrim village with a replica of the Mayflower ship and plenty of costumed characters. A plethora of historic mansions and buildings line the streets of Plymouth, such as the 1749 Courthouse—the oldest wooden courthouse in the United States.

Besides historic attractions, Plymouth offers outdoor recreation at Ellisville Harbor State Park, where birdwatching, beachcombing, hiking, and fishing are popular pastimes.

Those seeking a relaxing seaside getaway appreciate Plymouth’s array of charming accommodations and its cornucopia of seafood restaurants.

Pioneer Valley Visitors Guide

Located in western Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley is home to a number of contiguous municipalities, each providing ample activities for visitors. Hampshire County is often referred to as the Five College Area, since the region is home to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as Hampshire, Amherst, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges. In Amherst, tour the homestead of famous American author Emily Dickinson at the Emily Dickinson Museum. Outdoor recreation abounds in the Pioneer Valley and Charlemont boasts whitewater rafting, kayaking, and hiking opportunities, as well as downhill skiing at the Berkshire East Ski Resort. J.A. Skinner State Park in Hadley also attracts the adventurous as it is located atop Mount Holyoke and is an ideal place to picnic and hike. The largest center in the area and the birthplace of basketball, Springfield hosts attractions such as the Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center, the Springfield Science Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Berkshires Visitors Guide

Rivers, lakes, and hills abound in this region that borders New York State. The Berkshire Hills, or simply The Berkshires, is an idyllic destination with dozens of unique townships and recreation areas. Williamstown—a terminus for the scenic Mohawk Trail—proudly bears the nickname Village Beautiful. Stockbridge was the scene for many Norman Rockwell paintings, and the Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge is dedicated to this famous artist. Every summer the trendy town of Lenox comes alive with the sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which performs its summer series at Tanglewood. Herman Melville, the celebrated author of Moby Dick, once made Pittsfield his home and tours of his historic mansion are offered. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy skiing at one of the several hills found throughout the area, including Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. The famed Appalachian Trail—the longest continuous mountain trail in the United States—also extends through The Berkshires, drawing hikers wishing to challenge their physical endurance.

Stockbridge, MA Visitors Guide

Referred to by the area—s Mahican Indians as W-nahk-ta-kook, meaning the great meadow, Stockbridge was incorporated as a city in 1739. Located within The Berkshires, this center is commonly recognized for long-time resident Norman Rockwell. In fact, Main Street is immortalized in Rockwell—s famous painting titled Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. As part of the city—s Christmas holiday celebrations, Main Street is transformed to re-create the setting that inspired this painting. Exhibiting the unique history and residents of Stockbridge are the Chesterwood Estate and Museum, the Merwin House, and The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy perusing the gardens at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, cross-country skiing at the Notchview Reservation, and exploring the walking trails at Bartholomew—s Cobble. Every summer Stockbridge comes alive during the Berkshire Theatre Festival, a three-month celebration of American performing arts.

Martha’s Vineyard Visitors Guide

Located just 7 mi (11 km) south of Cape Cod lies the year-round island destination of Martha’s Vineyard. Each town on the island offers an individual charm and makes an ideal home base when seeking a relaxing or recreation-filled vacation. Vineyard Haven is the island’s major entry point, receiving ferries from Woods Hole and New Bedford, Massachusetts. As the name suggests, Martha’s Vineyard is home to numerous wineries, including the popular Chicama Vineyard located in West Tisbury. The town of Oak Bluffs is a trendy destination that is host to the Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival, a family-friendly event that occurs in June. Located on the southeastern side of the island, Edgartown boasts numerous homes built in the Greek Revival style that is reminiscent of the once-prosperous whaling industry. The Aquinnah Cliff and Lighthouse, located on the southwesternmost tip of the island, is a popular attraction that has great historical significance.

Martha's Vineyard travel guide

Nantucket Island Visitors Guide

The maritime town of Nantucket was once the whaling capital of the world. Almost as if frozen in time when the industry declined in the 17th century, the town continues to boast many original structures. In fact, Nantucket has more historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places than the larger, mainland city of Boston. Visitors enjoy exploring the Nantucket Whaling Museum, which boasts a collection of unique artifacts, many of which inspired Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick. Adults and children alike enjoy learning about the area’s aquatic life at the Nantucket Aquarium, where hands-on activities keep everyone entertained. Outdoor activities are also prevalent in Nantucket, ranging from relaxing on one of the area’s many beaches to embarking on a seal cruise around Nantucket Harbor. Nantucket also hosts a number of events throughout the year that draw crowds, including the Harvest Fair, the Nantucket Arts Festival, and the esteemed Nantucket Wine Festival.

Nantucket
Nantucket (Photo Source: ghamasan.com)

Somewhere in the 1600s, this island was a refuge for Native Americans who intended to escape the European settlements on mainland Massachusetts. The name “Nantucket” is derived from an Algonquin word. These days, Nantucket Island is used as a playground mainly for the wealthy, featuring one of the highest home property values in America. Also, this island is a major tourist destination with a population that kicks from 11.000 residents to 55.000 in the summer. Nantucket Islands have to offer dramatic cliffs, quiet harbors, lighthouses, sandy beaches, gardens, and wonderful old mansions.

Located just 30 mi (48 km) off the coast of mainland Massachusetts, this pristine island has long been a desired vacation destination. With an abundance of fascinating attractions, beautiful beaches, and annual festivals, it is easy to see why. Getting to the island is simple, with ferries departing from Hyannis and arriving in the village of Nantucket on a regular basis. Most visitors make Nantucket their home base while on the island, as this town offers a wide range of charming accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. Nearly half of Nantucket Island is a conservation land that aims to protect the many plant and animal species that are unique to the area. One such sanctuary, located near Wauwinet, is the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, which spans 1,117 acres (452 ha) and is home to a variety of birds and seals. With Nantucket Sound to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, water sport activities are popular on Nantucket Island.