For whatever length of time you stay in Massachusetts, a range of options awaits you!
THE GRAND TOUR
Since Boston is usually the international point of entry, a tour of the whole state can conveniently start here! Spend a day or two taking in the historic sites, absorb some culture at a performance or a museum, and make sure to consume and imbibe the best of Boston’s cuisine! From there, you can head to Cape Cod to get some of the coastal flavour of some of the oldest colonial settlements in North America. Or head to the southern shore and hop a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. After a few days on the coast, head west. As you pass between Worcester and Springfield, stop at Old Sturbridge Village to get an authentic feel for colonial life in the historically preserved settlement. Travel north along the western edge of the state to the lovely small towns of Stockbridge and Lenox in the Berkshires. Take a bike ride on a local rail trail or hike the nearly 3,500 feet up Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak. To come back across the state, drive along the Mohawk Trail, America’s first scenic auto route built along a former Native American trail. The North Shore can be your last stop, where you can choose to take in the fishing history in Gloucester, or the artistic atmosphere of Rockport, or the maritime heritage of the Witch City of Salem.
CAPE COD AND THE ISLANDS
A summer trip to Massachusetts could be well-spent on the beautiful coast! Start by taking advantage of the new Cape Flyer weekend rail service from Boston to Buzzards Bay or Hyannis – the site of the Kennedy family home. From there, drive to the outer arm of the Cape to soak up the sun on Chatham‘s beautiful beaches before heading all the way out to the tip of the hook to enjoy the eclectic atmosphere of Provincetown. Book a whale watching tour here, or in Barnstable. As you work your way back southward, spend some time on the Cape Cod National Seashore, taking in the preserved natural beauty of the beaches on both the Atlantic and Cape sides of the peninsula. The islands are another must during a visit to the Cape. Catch a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard to see the natural beauty of the Aquinnah Cliffs, or to Nantucket to visit picture-perfect Siasconset. Rent a bike, lounge by the beach, or visit the numerous historic lighthouses. As you move back toward Boston, don’t miss Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth. In the reconstructed colonial settlement, you can see what life was like for the first intrepid European settlers in North America.
THE BERKSHIRES & PIONEER VALLEY
Start your tour of this beautiful western region of Massachusetts in Deerfield, where the living history museumHistoric Deerfield features 18th century homes for touring. Head southfrom here to visit the Yankee Candle Flagship Store. Further south, the college towns of Northampton and Amherst draw visitors for their bookshops, cafés and multicultural cuisine. From Deerfield, head west along the Mohawk Trail, making a stop in Shelburne Falls to see the Bridge of Flowers. Further west is Williamstown, home to the prestigious Williams Collegeand the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, which boasts one of the best collections of Impressionist paintings in the world. After taking in artistic beauty, absorb some of what nature has to offer when you head south to ascend Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak. You can either hike or drive to the nearly 3,500-foot summit, camping along the way, or staying overnight at Bascom Lodge. You can also hike part of theAppalachian Trail that cuts through near here. During a winter visit to the region, skiing is an option at Jiminy Peak in Hancock or Butternut in Great Barrington. Further south, make short stops in Lenox and Stockbridge, where, respectively, Edith Wharton and Normal Rockwell lived. Wharton’s gorgeous estate, The Mount, is surrounded by beautiful gardens designed by the author herself. And Rockwell’s former studio sits on the grounds of the world-renowned museum of his work. Take the time to explore the antiques shops and outstanding cuisine in Sheffield and Great Barrington. A stop in Springfield at the Basketball Hall of Fame is sure to please the sports enthusiast. In addition to these attractions, as with much of New England, visits in mid to late autumn promise foliage in eye-popping colours!