The dramatic history and vibrant present of Massachusetts mingle to form a unique personality. This state in the north-east USA is famous for its capital city, Boston, a colonial beauty with a progressive attitude. Further afield, there are plenty of characterful towns to explore on your Massachusetts holiday before you arrive at the dunes and beaches of Cape Cod. Massachusetts is also the home of New England, where the pilgrims first arrived in the Mayflower and founded Plymouth.
Boston is a great place to begin your holiday in Massachusetts. It has always been a modern and forward-thinking city, with several prestigious universities that stimulate much of the city’s contemporary and liberal culture. Art and architecture abound, but there is an infectious feel of fun that stops the city from taking itself too seriously. Stroll around one of the many world-class museums and galleries or visit the ancient Harvard University to soak up some of Boston’s wisdom. Sports fans should experience the electric atmosphere at an ice hockey match and watch the Bruins play, or see the Celtics play basketball. You can eat all the seafood you can manage and don’t miss the wave of unique fusion cuisine sweeping the city.
‘America’s Home Town’ marks the spot where the Pilgrims first arrived from England in 1620. The historic town of Plymouth has many museums and original buildings that document the early days of the settlers, and the most evocative of these is the Plimoth Plantation. This authentic-looking reconstruction is fun to explore and brings the events of the past to life. A visit to the replica of the Mayflower makes it easy to imagine the perilous journey aboard such a small ship, and the actors in period costume won’t spare you the gory details.
Far out in every sense, this liberal outpost is situated on the very tip of Cape Cod and it is an unmissable part of a holiday to Massachusetts. Provincetown has long been a refuge for creative and quirky outcasts, leading to a strong identity of contemporary art and an exuberant gay and lesbian scene. The nightlife is free and outrageous and the coastline is equally wild. The whale-watching is also fantastic – take a boat trip out to catch a glimpse of the acrobatic humpback whales that come remarkably close.
This picturesque island is a premier destination for the great and good of New York and Boston to get away for the weekend. There is a plethora of outdoor pursuits to enjoy by day and fashionable restaurants to relish in the evening. Don’t miss the Nantucket Whaling Museum, held in a former whale-oil museum, or the stunning beaches of South Shore.
Neighbouring Nantucket, the spectacular beauty of Martha’s Vineyard is untouched by the effects of mass tourism. Independent restaurants and bars and deserted beaches create a remote island feel, and there is something for every kind of visitor. Edgartown is a refined and sophisticated town, and for more childish fun you should try the port town of Oak Bluffs, where ice cream and carousels are the major attractions.