9 places to visit in Massachusetts that aren’t Boston

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martha's vineyard

  • Even though Massachusetts’ capital city Boston is a popular place for people to travel to, the state has so much more to offer visitors.
  • Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket are popular summertime destinations that are known for having stunning views and delicious food.
  • Cambridge is home to two of the country’s most notable higher-education institutions. .

Massachusetts is home to pristine coastlines, famous universities, and good eats. Even though it’s known for its impressive capital city Boston, the state has a ton of other areas that are also worth exploring.

Here are nine places to visit in Massachusetts that aren’t Boston.

Nantucket is known for its beautiful beaches and delicious seafood.

Nantucket is a small island located off of the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Known for its picturesque dune-swept beaches, high-end shopping, and delicious seafood restaurants, there’s plenty to do on this quaint island.

The area is also known for hosting impressive wine and food festivals and it has even been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Martha’s Vineyard is a beloved warm-weather destination with gorgeous ocean sunsets.

Martha’s Vineyard, a popular summer destination, is a ferry ride away from Nantucket.

Check out Aquinnah, a coastal town colorful sunset views that is located in the western portion of Martha’s Vineyard. Edgartown is another popular spot on the island that has boutique shopping, bookstores, coffee shops, brick-lined streets, and more.

When you’re done, head over to Menemsha on the other side of the island. It’s where part of the movie “Jaws” was filmed. Hungry? Stop by the Menemsha Fish Market for a fresh-caught meal.

Cape Cod has miles of nature trails, beaches, and other outdoor spots for adventure lovers.

Cape Cod, which jets out into the Atlantic Ocean, is another popular summer destination for tourists and was famously frequented by President John F. Kennedy and his family.

If you’re looking to learn more about the former president and his family, stop by John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.

Ready to relax? Head on over to the Cape Cod National Seashore where you’ll find over 40 miles of nature trails, coastline, and more outdoor activities. The peninsula is also full of great seafood eats, lighthouses, and breweries.

Plymouth is a coastal town with some historical ties.

Situated on the coast of Massachusetts, Plymouth’s culture is deeply rooted in US history. The town, which was founded in the 1620s, is home to the first colonial settlement in New England.

Usually, you can visit the Plimoth Plantation to see a replica of the Mayflower II, however, the 17th-century model is currently away for repairs right now and is expected to be returned in 2020. While at the Plimoth Plantation, you can also walk around a reproduction of a 1600s village.

Salem is known for its history.

Salem, which was incorporated in the 1600s, is located less than an hour north of Boston. The area is often known for its infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 1600s.

If you’re a first-time visitor, a good place to start is at the Salem Heritage Trail. There are several walking tours in Salem, but this one is free and self-guided. You can just follow the red line that connects Salem’s top historical sites.

Other historical sites worth checking out include the Salem Witch Museum, House of the Seven Gables, and the Old Burying Point Cemetery.

10 Best Places to Visit in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is made for history lovers. After all, the Pilgrims landed here in 1620; its colonial residents were a force to be reckoned with during the American Revolution. But the “Bay State” also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, through the visual, written and performing arts. And nature isn’t forgotten either, with an abundance of hiking trails, bird watching and beach activities. An overview of the best places to visit in Massachusetts:

10. Plum Island [SEE MAP]

Plum Island

dsearls / Flickr

Plum Island is a great destination for nature lovers. It’s a bird watcher’s paradise; a haven for migrating birds and a breeding ground for shorebirds. Joined to northeast mainland Massachusetts by a single bridge from Newburyport, even the island’s name suggests a connection with nature: It was named after the beach plums that grow on the sand dunes.

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Public beaches are plentiful, and the fishing, whether from the shore or boat, is great. The coastal ecology is delicate; visitors can only access the sand dunes by boardwalk. There are numerous lodging options on the island, including bed and breakfasts, inns, and rental cottages. In addition, there is a population of year-round residents.

9. The Berkshires [SEE MAP]

The Berkshires

Massachusetts Travel & Tourism / Flickr

Nature and the arts exist compatibly in the Berkshires, a hilly area in western Massachusetts. Most of the hills are under 1,200 feet (360 meters) high though a couple do climb higher to the sky. The Berkshires are filled with hiking trails, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.

The highest waterfall in Massachusetts, Bash Bush Falls, is located here. Travelers who get tired of hiking can take in an art museum or two, including the Norman Rockwell Museum, or a concert at Tanglewood Music Center. The Boston Symphony Orchestra makes its summer home in the Berkshires.

8. Northampton [SEE MAP]

Northampton

Trace Meek / Flickr

Northampton is a charming college town in the Pioneer Valley with a picturesque and vibrant downtown, consisting of numerous art galleries, restaurants and quirky shops sprinkled among coffee shops and performing arts venues. It is home to Smith College, a prestigious women’s college.

The presence of college students and their professors gives the town a distinctly liberal political atmosphere. More than 20 percent of Northampton is devoted to open space and greenways, which make strolling a delight. Cultural activities include a vibrant music scene and annual film festival.

7. Nantucket [SEE MAP]

Nantucket

Chris Frailey / Flickr

In the early 1600s, Nantucket Island was a refuge for Native Americans who wanted to escape the European settlements on mainland Massachusetts; its name is derived from an Algonquin word. Today it is a playground mainly for the wealthy, having one of the highest home property values in the United States.

Nantucket is a popular summer tourist destination with a population that jumps from almost 11,000 year-round residents to 50,000 in the summer. It offers quiet harbors, dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, lighthouses, beautiful old mansions and gardens. The island is popular also with artists and writers, as well as visitors who for the annual summer music festival.

6. New Bedford [SEE MAP]

New Bedford

Massachusetts Travel & Tourism / Flickr

New Bedford, the 6th largest city in Massachusetts, is known as “the whaling city” as it was one of the most important whaling cities in the world during the 19th century. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the largest museum in the United Sates devoted to whaling; it has whale skeletons on display. Across the street from the museum, Seamen’s Bethel is the chapel that was immortalized in Moby Dick.

Visitors can also tour a whaling merchant’s home as well as museums devoted to art and firefighting equipment. The city also has its quaint side with several districts that are deemed historically valuable.

5. Martha’s Vineyard [SEE MAP]

Martha

m01229 / Flickr

New England’s largest island, Martha’s Vineyard is a popular summer destination for the wealthy, including numerous celebrities who have homes here. Martha’s Vineyard was the setting for the first Jaws movie in 1974, with some scenes also included in the two sequels.

Located 7 miles (11 km) off Cape Cod, the island is accessible by boat (public ferries leave from several places on Cape Cod) or air. The island boasts great beaches for swimming or surfing, panoramic views of the Atlantic from cliffs on the island, an outdoor tabernacle and several notable lighthouses, including at Edgartown.

4. Salem [SEE MAP]

Salem

Elizabeth Albert / Flickr

Travelers who aren’t afraid of ghosts and goblins may want to spend Halloween in Salem, home of the famous witchcraft trials in the days when Puritans ruled the city. Haunted happenings take place all over Salem then, but those who visit at other times can learn about witches at a special museum devoted just o them.

Salem also was the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables, which is an historic house worth visiting. Oysterfest, which celebrates the bivalve, takes place every September. Art shows and theatrical productions are popular events throughout the year.

3. Plymouth [SEE MAP]

Plymouth

Vix_B / Flickr

Plymouth is where it all began back in 1620. Travelers can transport themselves back in time at Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum that shows how the Pilgrims lived in 1627. Next comes a tour of Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World.

Or they can be one of the estimated one million visitors a year to Plymouth Rock, the site where the Pilgrims supposedly stepped ashore. Travelers can also tour a cranberry farm, visit historic homes or play a round of golf on more than a dozen courses.

2. Cape Cod [SEE MAP]

Cape Cod

hdreisler / Flickr

Cape Cod is an arm-shaped peninsula located on the easternmost part of Massachusetts. It has developed into one of the most popular places to visit in Massachusetts in the summer. Lighthouses, cranberry bogs, swimming beaches, and walking and biking trails dot the Cape Cod National Seashore. The popular resort town of Provincetown, at the very tip of the peninsula, is the site of the first landing of the Pilgrims.

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While Cape Cod is known for its artist colonies and quaint villages, its village of Hyannis, part of the cape’s largest town of Barnstable, put the cape on the map because it is the summer home of the Kennedy family. It is also a good jumping off place to reach Massachusetts’ outer islands.

1. Boston [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Massachusetts

David Paul Ohmer / Flickr

Boston is loaded with history, from being one of the oldest cities in the United States (the city was founded in 1630) to hosting the world’s most famous tea “party.” Visitors can relive Boston’s participation in the American Revolution by walking the Freedom Trail. But the commonwealth’s capital is so much more than history.

The capital and largest city in Massachusetts as well as the largest city in the New England also is home to successful professional athletic teams as well as the Boston Pops Orchestra. Whether travelers are visiting Paul Revere’s house or Fenway Park, cultural activities and fine dining opportunities abound in this eastern city by the bay.

Map of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Map

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

17 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, also known as The Bay State, The Old Colony State, The Puritan State and The Baked Bean State, has a lot to see and explore. Have a look of these awesome pictures of places to visit!

Rockport

Rockport, Massachusetts

Source: Halee Burg / shutterstock Rockport, Massachusetts

Rockport is one of the most beautifully charming towns in the state of Massachusetts. Located right at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula, north-east of Boston, Rockport is a popular tourist spot. Many miles of soft sand beaches attract people to the town, which also has some of the best hikes in this part of the United States. Rockport’s coastal locale means it is ideal for kayaking and scuba diving, but many visitors will just want to kick back and relax in this stunning place.

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail

Source: Donna Carpenter / shutterstock Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail

Hiking down the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail is an ideal leisure activity on a hot Massachusetts day. Based around the site of a former US Army base, Cape Wellfleet, the trail is home to a wide range of forest birds. At the end of the walk is the Marconi Station Site, which provides a fantastic place to look out across the Atlantic Ocean, with unforgettable views and a perfect photo opportunity. The trail is flat, making it easy for beginners, and just over a mile long.

Sturbridge

Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Source: Jeff Schultes / shutterstock Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Sturbridge is one of the most historic towns in Massachusetts and visiting it is like stepping back in time. Unique boutiques and antique shops are easy to spend hours exploring, while the living museum at Old Sturbridge Village is a must-visit too, where costumed guides give tourists a taste of life in the 19th century. Just outside Sturbridge itself is Wells State Park, which boasts a gorgeous pond where canoeing and swimming is permitted. Sturbridge is one of the best spots in Massachusetts to experience old-fashioned New England charm.

North Point Park

North Point Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Source: Jon Bilous / shutterstock North Point Park

Cambridge itself is one of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts, but visitors who want to experience the best the city has to offer should head to North Point Park. Located on the Charles River, the park has only been open for a few years but has already become a very popular spot. The Zakim Bridge and the Museum of Science are among the sights that can be seen from the vantage point within the park’s grounds. A beautiful place to while away a quiet afternoon.

Cohasset

Cohasset, Massachusetts

Source: DejaVuDesigns / shutterstock Cohasset

Cohasset might just the quintessential New England town, with its picture perfect sights drawing many tourists every year. But Cohasset is probably best known for its numerous superb beaches, many of which have been kept private to be enjoyed by local residents. Sandy Beach, known as the Jewel in the Crown in Cohasset, is open to the public – although visitors need to be accompanied by a resident. The vintage carousel and arcades at Nantasket Beach are well worth a visit too, while Cohasset’s other attractions include the white clock tower at the beautiful First Parish Meeting House.

Cape Cod

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Source: Tono Balaguer / shutterstock Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is one of the romantic places in the United States, drawing countless tourists to Massachusetts every summer. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are among the most picturesque locations in the world, with Cape Cod’s mix of superb cuisine, gorgeous beaches and conservation spots making it an ideal holiday location. Cape Cod Bay is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet, while Falmouth and Provincetown tend to be busier, with lively nightlife options.

Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, MA

Source: Paula Stephens / shutterstock Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle, found in Gloucester, was the home of one of the great American inventors, John Hays Hammond Jr, who was at the forefront of developing remote control technology. Today, the castle is home to a museum that displays Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts collected by Hammond himself, while every October to mark Halloween the castle hosts a haunted house tour. Self-guided tours allow visitors to explore the castle themselves.

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Bartholomew’s Cobble

Berkshire, Massachusetts

Source: Albert Pego / shutterstock Berkshire, Massachusetts

A National Natural Landmark, Bartholomew’s Cobble is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in Massachusetts. The highest point of the Cobble – which was created by geological upheavals – provides amazing views across the Housatonic River Valley. There are five miles of trails to try out and the most challenging of them is up to the Hurlburt’s Hill summit. The interpretive center and museum at Bartholomew’s Cobble are also well worth checking out.

Townsend, Massachusetts

Townsend, Massachusetts

Source: Paula Stephens / shutterstock Townsend, Massachusetts

Palmer Island Light Station

Palmer Island Light Station

Source: Dan Logan / shutterstock Palmer Island Light Station

Palmer Island is home to one of the most historic lighthouses in America. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Palmer Island Light Station can be found at the northern point of Palmer’s Island in New Bedford Harbor. After undergoing an extensive refurbishment project, the Palmer Island Light Station is being used once more, now as a private aid to navigation.

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha

Source: Mark Martins / shutterstock Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is probably the most famous tourist location in the state and it is the jewel of the improbably gorgeous Cape Cod region. Typically referred to simply as The Vineyard, it takes a bit of an effort to reach but it is well worth the trip. The ferry to Martha’s Vineyard can be a rough ride, but the difficult journey is all part of the charm of the tiny island. Sunsets on The Vineyard are particularly beautiful, with the East Chop Lighthouse in Oak Bluffs one of the best places on the island to watch the sun go down. The beautiful small towns of Chilmark and Aquinnah are also worth visiting for anyone who wants to see Martha’s Vineyard at its most authentic and unspoiled.

Fall in Massachusetts

Fall Colors at Boston Public Garden,Massachusetts

Source: CO Leong / shutterstock Fall Colors At Boston Public Garden,Massachusetts

Fall is perhaps the best time of the year to explore Massachusetts as this is when the Bay State looks at its finest. The beautiful river valleys that are dotted all over the state are ideal places to watch the leaves steadily change colour and drop from the trees. The Central region of Massachusetts and the Berkshire Mountains are the best places to experience fall in Massachusetts, while Route 2, otherwise known as the Mohawk Trail, is a must-visit.

Provincetown

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Source: Joseph Sohm / shutterstock Provincetown

Provincetown has a tiny population in the off-season, but in the summer months as many as 60,000 people live in this gorgeous New England town. Sometimes referred to as P-town or P’town, the LGBTQ community particularly adore Provincetown because of its laid-back, accepting, relaxed feel. The Atlantic House in Provincetown is regarded as the oldest gay bar in the whole of the States, while many of Cape Cod’s best beaches are also located here, with Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach particularly highly recommended.

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation

Source: Rolf_52 / shutterstock Plimoth Plantation

Anyone interested in history should make time to spend a day at the Plimoth Plantation living museum, which gives visitors the chance to experience what life was like in the 17th century. Among the most interesting of the attractions at the museum is a re-creation of a Wampanoag home site, where Native People explain all about how the Wampanoag’s ancestors lived. The museum is also home to the Mayflower II, which is docked near the purported Plymouth Rock. The incredible ship is among the world’s oldest wooden vessels that still sails.

Old State House, Boston

Old State House, Boston

Source: Sean Pavone / shutterstock Old State House, Boston

Boston’s Old State House is one of the oldest surviving public buildings in the United States. Dating back more than 400 years, the building – sometimes known as Boston’s Towne House – is now run as a Boston history museum by the Bostonian Society. The Old State House is among the landmarks on Boston’s Freedom Trail and visiting is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the colonial history of the country. Most famously, The Declaration of Independence was made from the balcony of Boston’s Old State House.

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn

Longfellow

Source: Major42 / shutterstock Longfellow’s Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn claims to be the oldest operating inn in the country, with the building featuring a mix of British colonial and Greek Revivalist architecture. The inn dates back 400 years and one of its key features is the ancient grist mill outside. The last private owner of the Wayside Inn was Henry Ford, who wanted to develop the site into a historically oriented village and museum. The inn remains open as a restaurant and guests can even stay over in historically accurate rooms.

Farm, Carlisle, MA

Source: Christian Delbert / shutterstock Farm, Carlisle, MA

Source https://www.insider.com/where-to-go-in-massachusetts-besides-boston

Source https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-massachusetts/

Source https://www.thecrazytourist.com/17-most-beautiful-places-to-visit-in-massachusetts/

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