Massachusetts Travel Guide

Massachusetts is located in New England. It is a scenic and historic state that is famous for its culture, history and natural beauty.

If you are planning a vacation or trip to Massachusetts, then check out this guide to Massachusetts travel:

Massachusetts Places to Visit:

Some of the most popular towns and places to visit in Massachusetts are:

Amherst: a charming town known for its literary history and educational institutions

Boston: a historic city famous for being the birthplace of the American Revolution

The Berkshires: a rustic and beautiful mountainous region in the western part of the state

Cambridge: a suburb of Boston known for its ivy league schools

Concord: a small historic town famous for Walden Pond and for being the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau and as well as being the location where the shot heard round the world was fired during the Revolutionary War

Deerfield: a historic town known for its historic first period houses

Fall River: a mill town famous for being the home of Lizzie Borden

Gloucester: a small fishing town known for its maritime history and for being the home of the Perfect Storm fisherman and the Wicked Tuna fisherman

Lexington: a small historic famous for being the location of the Battle of Lexington during the Revolutionary War

Lowell: a historic mill town famous for being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America

Martha’s Vineyard: a charming island off the coast of Cape Cod

Newburyport and Plum Island: a charming small town with beautiful brick buildings and a quaint neighboring small island

Nantucket: a charming small island off the coast of Cape Cod

Plymouth: a historic small town famous for being the place where the Mayflower Pilgrims landed and established Plymouth colony

Provincetown: another historic small town famous for being the place where the Mayflower Pilgrims first landed before being chased off by natives and forced to settle in Plymouth. The town is now a popular gay tourist destination.

Rockport: a charming small fishing town on Cape Ann

Salem: a historic small town famous for being the location where the Salem Witch Trials took place

Sturbridge: a small town known for being the home of the old Quaker settlement Sturbridge Village

Springfield: a charming small town in the western part of the state

Massachusetts Geography:

Massachusetts is about 10,555 square miles in size and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, by Vermont and New Hampshire to the North, by New York State to the West and by Connecticut and Rhode Island to the South.

Major geological features in Massachusetts include the Atlantic Ocean, white sand beaches, the Berkshire mountains, various islands such as Martha’s Vineyard, Plum Island and Nantucket, dense deciduous forests that produce beautiful colors in the fall as well as many large bays which have earned it the nickname “The Bay State.”

Massachusetts Travel and Adventure Guide

The landscape is also dotted with unique geological formations created during the last ice age such as kettle hole ponds like Walden Pond, drumlin hills and islands like Bunker Hill and the Boston harbor islands as well as glacial erratics like Plymouth Rock and Dighton Rock.

Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns. Boston is the capital of Massachusetts and is the most populated city in the state.

Massachusetts Weather & Climate:

Massachusetts has what is known as a humid continental climate. This means it has large seasonal temperature differences with hot summers and cold winters.

The average temperature in Massachusetts in the winter is 27 degrees F. The coldest month of the winter is January while February is the second coldest.

The average temperature in the spring is 45 degrees F. Spring is typically rainy with cool temperatures throughout the state. The warmest month of the spring is May while March is the coolest.

The average temperature in the summer is 68 degrees. The hottest month of the summer is July while August is the second hottest.

The average temperature in the fall is 50 degrees F. Fall is typically dry with cool temps throughout the state. The warmest month of the fall is September while October is the second warmest. November temperatures fluctuate a lot and it can be cold and snowy sometimes but mostly cool and dry. Peak foliage season in Massachusetts is typically in mid-to-late October, depending on the weather that year.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Massachusetts:

Summer is definitely the warmest time of the year so it is a great time to visit but New England summers can also be very hot and humid and it is often crowded with tourists this time of year so keep that in mind.

Fall is the most comfortable weather of the year and you also get to see some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the country which is an added bonus. The fall foliage does draw a number of tourists to the region during this time but far less than the summer tourists so it will be a lot less crowded.

If you are a fan of winter, New England winters will definitely appeal to you. December is a great month to visit because it isn’t too cold or snowy and everything is decorated for Christmas.

Massachusetts Sightseeing:

Some popular tourist attractions in Massachusetts are:

The Freedom Trail in Boston, Mass
New England Aquarium in Boston, Mass
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass
Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass
Salem Witch House in Salem, Mass
Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass
Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass
Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, Mass
Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass
The Paper House in Rockport, Mass
Springfield Museums in Springfield, Mass

Popular Foods in Massachusetts:

Lobster rolls
Steamed lobster
Steamers
New England clam chowder
Fried clams
Boston baked beans
Boston cream pie
Maple candy
Apple cider
Frappes
Cider doughnuts
Parker House Rolls
Beach pizza (Northern Massachusetts/Southern NH)

Popular Places to Eat in Massachusetts:

The following are some popular restaurants and bakeries in Massachusetts:

Mike’s Pastry in Boston
Union Oyster House in Boston
Kowloons in Saugus
Clambox in Ipswich
The Lobster Pot in Provincetown
Gloucester House in Gloucester

Massachusetts Hotels & Accommodations:

The following are some popular and iconic hotels in Massachusetts:

Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston
Buckminster Hotel in Boston
Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston
Hawthorne Hotel in Salem
The Merchant in Salem

Massachusetts Transportation:

Rail:
Amtrak: Nationwide

Bus:
Bolt Bus
Boston Express
C&J
Dartmouth Couch
Dattco
Greyhound Lines
Lucky Star Bus
Megabus
Plymouth & Brockton Bus
Peter Pan Bus Lines

For more information on the Northeast, check out our Northeast travel guide.

Sources:
“Massachusetts Travel Guide.” Travel & Leisure, www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/massachusetts
Van Buren, Alex. “What To Eat in Massachusetts: The Bay State’s Most Iconic Eats.” Food Network www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-in-massachusetts
“Fall Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-fall.php
“Summer Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-summer.php
“Spring Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-spring.php
“Winter Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-winter.php