Massachusetts Overview

With 1500 miles of wide sandy beaches beckoning along the eastern seaboard, green mountains inland, rich culture, amazing history and some of America’s oldest architecture, Massachusetts really adds to the near endless touring opportunities in the United States.

Bounded by the states of Vermont and New Hampshire to the north, New York to the west, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, and the boundless Atlantic Ocean to the east, Massachusetts enjoys a pivotal location in the centre of New England.

Boston, the state capital, is rich in history, culture, entertainment, and sophisticated cuisine. It is the state’s commercial hub and a major centre of American history and culture.  The Freedom Trail winds through the city’s sites that played a key role in the American Revolution; the African American Heritage Trail explores Boston’s 19th-century African American community.

Cross the Charles river and you’ll reach Cambridge where you’ll find the twin educational powerhouses of Harvard and MIT, whose leafy walks and redbrick buildings house internationally acclaimed museums.

Beach and island lover’s head along the eastern seaboard to Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard where you’ll find scenic seascapes and picturesque villages abound. Head to Cape Cod where three hundred miles of shoreline, dotted with golden sandy beaches, frame some of America’s best-known retreats. Prominent of those is Martha’s Vineyard, an island favourite among America’s elite. Rich in Native American history, Martha’s Vineyard clay cliffs, distinctive lighthouses and charming small towns provide visitors with lots to explore on foot and by bicycle. You’ll also find boutique farm-to-table restaurants, verdant landscapes and grand beaches.

For a historic alternative, head a little further out to sea to the delightfully restored townships and cobbled carriageways of Nantucket Island. Although it’s a small island, it has highly distinctive architecture, a rich whaling history and magnificent beaches.

In western Massachusetts, adventure seekers will find thrilling white-water rafting trips and zip lines. In Massachusetts, it truly is all here.



Must See Places in Massachusetts

Boston Freedom Trail

Take a journey through Boston’s streets to see 16 sites related to the American Revolution, among them the Paul Revere House, USS Constitution historic warship, burying grounds, Old State House and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Among the top ten whale-watching sites in the world, the Stellwagen Bank has one of the world’s most biologically productive ocean environments. At this underwater plateau in the Atlantic, at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, you may spot several different species of whale, along with Atlantic white-sided dolphins, harbor porpoise, seals, and other marine life.

Cape Cod Beaches

Cape Cod is a long, curving peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic, protecting Cape Cod Bay with its northward curve. Most of its 560 miles of shoreline is long white-sand beaches, often backed by dunes of waving sea grass.

Martha’s Vineyard

Nowhere in the state can you experience a more idyllic laid-back island life than on Martha’s Vineyard, only five miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod. You’ll feel the island’s relaxed vibe almost from the moment you board the ferry from Woods Hole or New Bedford. “The Vineyard” has six small towns, miles and miles of beaches, lighthouses, weathered shingle houses, sand bluffs, protected waters for kayaking, and a plenty of ocean for sailing.


Founded by colonists in 1659, the town of Nantucket is the main settlement of Nantucket, a 15-mile-long island 30 miles south of Cape Cod. The island is popular with tourists for its beaches and miles of cycling paths, as well as its sea captains’ mansions and other historic attractions.

Old Sturbridge Village

One of the state’s most visited tourist attractions, Old Sturbridge Village re-creates life in New England as it was in the early 1800s, in more than 40 historic homes, craft shops, stores, mills, and farm buildings brought from various places to this 200-acre site.


Video Credit: VisitMassachusetts

Suggested Itineraries, Escorted Tours and Accommodation for Massachusetts

View our suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Massachusetts, and see itinerary routes and escorted tours we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

View holidays