The U.S. state of Massachusetts may not be one of the larger states, but it is packed with interesting places to visit. History buffs may be particularly delighted to discover the historic landmarks that define New England and its colonial origins. The small towns and scenic regions offer the perfect way to unwind on a vacation. Beautiful beaches are another attractive feature of this state, and those looking for adventure will find plenty of places for fun filled activities suitable for both kids and adults. The proximity to Rhode Island, New Hampshire and the White Mountains is an added bonus as you can explore these places with ease from Massachusetts. Here are some of the best attractions Massachusetts has to offer for all kinds of visitors:
Cape Cod’s National Seashore consists of 40 miles of striking sandy beaches, woodlands, and hiking trails. Nantucket is a Cape Cod settlement famous for its significance in the whaling industry during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today you can visit the Nantucket Whaling Museum, view mansions that once belonged to sea captains and other historical sites.
Martha's Vineyard is another island you must visit for the peaceful environment and beautiful landscapes. Whale Watching is one of the must-see attractions in Cape Cod since it is one of the defining aspects of the area, and your trip would be incomplete without taking a boat to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
The Freedom Trail stretches for three miles in Boston and you’ll encounter 16 of the most iconic sites from Colonial America by following this red brick path. Among these are the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House, while Faneuil Hall is its most popular attraction. This place was constructed in 1740 and is also known as the "cradle of liberty" where revolutionists once met. In addition to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Museum, Faneuil Hall consists of a busy marketplace that is frequented by all sorts of people and features a multitude of food stalls, cafes, shops, pushcarts and restaurants.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the perfect spot to spend an evening playing chess or partaking in a myriad of other interesting activities that take place in this happening hub. You can also pick up some nice souvenirs to take home from here.
Franklin Park Zoo and Southwick’s Zoo
The largest zoo in Boston is at Franklin Park and features animals from all over the globe including lions, giraffes, lemurs, and zebras. There is also an aviary that lets you experience an interactive adventure with free flying birds.
In Southwick, the zoo is a must-see because not only does it have an extensive collection of wildlife, there are also loads of activities and adventures to choose from, including a train ride, sky ride, rainforest maze, carousel, zip line, gem and fossil mining as well as camel and pony rides. You can wrap up a day of fun and education with a wide variety of food options in the zoo.
The original Pilgrim settlement from the 1600s is authentically recreated in this Plymouth location. Everything from the clothes to the tools used by craftsmen are accurately portrayed by costumed guides, who always remain in character to depict the way of life in the original English Village. Also explore Hobbamock's Homesite to discover how the Native Americans used to live in the same era, as depicted by their descendants. Lastly, don’t forget to have a look at the Mayflower II to discover what the original Mayflower looked like when it brought the Pilgrims to New England.
Harvard University is a sight to behold in itself, due to the historically significant buildings and museums within this world-class academic institution, but the area around it is equally worth visiting and exploring. Apart from the various restaurants, shops, bookstores and cafes, some of the best museums can be found here, such as the Harvard Art Museums and museums of archeology, zoology and other research subjects. The glass flower exhibition in Harvard Square is world famous for its hyper-realistic effect, and you can also see displays of Native American artifacts and art. All this can also be explored through the Harvard Campus Walking Tour.
The entire Berkshires region is a destination that you won’t regret visiting in western Massachusetts. It boasts a rich culture with some of the best performing arts and music scenes. The Mohawk Trail, Pioneer Valley and beautiful mountain ranges are some of its most defining features. There are also plenty of historic towns, antique traders and great places to shop and dine, making the region full of interesting things to do.
Have a day of zipping fun at Berkshires East Mountain Resort, one of the top zip line spots in America. There is a choice of three tours so you can choose whichever you’re comfortable with. For beginners, there is the Base Tour, then you can move onto viewing the valley from above with the Mountain Top Tour. The Valley Jump is the third tour that takes it up a notch with half-mile long zips. It’s the perfect destination to enjoy a memorable adventure for both kids and adults.
SoWa Open Market
Soak in the music, food and art scenes at this celebration of urban culture in the heart of Boston. The open market comes alive every Sunday in a neighborhood that is filled with galleries, artist studios, vintage shops and boutiques. Stroll through the various food trucks and shops while enjoying live music and great beer at the Beer Garden.
CoCo Key Water Park
This is New England’s largest indoor water park in Danvers, Massachusetts, and the perfect spot for a fun-filled family vacation. You can opt for packages and discounts that include one night’s stay and access to the water resort. The water temperature is maintained at a moderate 84 degrees all year round, and kids of all ages can enjoy water sliding, splash pads, cabanas, arcades and much more.