Every U.S. schoolchild learns of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in 1620, establishing an early European settlement in the New World. This and other attractions make Massachusetts a fascinating historic state. Add the area’s exciting metropolitan centers and beautiful natural seashore and you’ll find plenty to do.
Visit Boston, the state’s capital and largest city, for both history and excitement. Follow the Freedom Trail along cobblestone streets to see over 50 landmark sites memorializing Revolutionary War events. Stroll through two-and-a-half-century-old Faneuil Hall near Boston Inner Harbor for boutique shopping, street performances and numerous cafés and fine restaurants. Sample Boston’s famous seafood.
Travel to Cambridge along the Charles River to Harvard’s campus, with its ivy-covered nearly 400-year-old buildings, and nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known as MIT, with its resident geniuses. Walk or bike along the Minuteman Trail, retracing Paul Revere’s path as he raced on horseback shouting, “The British are coming!” as the Revolutionary War began.
Drive to Salem, north of Boston, to learn about its notorious history during the 1692-1693 Salem witch trials, which generally ended with burning at the stake. The modern city treats its witches more civilly; feel free to be a bit wild.
Cape Cod’s arm extends into the Atlantic Ocean, providing many miles of rugged shoreline on the east and protected inner harbors on the west. Enjoy summer on the Cape; swim, boat, shop, visit art galleries and attend performing art productions. Walk along peaceful dunes at the Cape Cod National Seashore and be hypnotized by waves and clouds.
For a relaxing several days in Massachusetts, make an overnight island trip. Whale-watch or enjoy the smell of sea spray on the ferry ride. Rent bikes to explore quiet streets and swim in the ocean waters. Nantucket provides a peaceful getaway with shopping and galleries. Look for celebrities on Martha’s Vineyard, a frequent presidential vacation spot, or find your own private places to de-stress along the quaint streets of the old-fashioned towns.