17 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Massachusetts

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Massachusetts, also known as The Bay State, The Old Colony State, The Puritan State and The Baked Bean State, has a lot to see and explore. Have a look of these awesome pictures of places to visit!

1. Rockport

Rockport, MassachusettsSource: Halee Burg / shutterstock
Rockport, Massachusetts

Rockport is one of the most beautifully charming towns in the state of Massachusetts. Located right at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula, north-east of Boston, Rockport is a popular tourist spot. Many miles of soft sand beaches attract people to the town, which also has some of the best hikes in this part of the United States. Rockport’s coastal locale means it is ideal for kayaking and scuba diving, but many visitors will just want to kick back and relax in this stunning place.

2. Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp TrailSource: Donna Carpenter / shutterstock
Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail

Hiking down the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail is an ideal leisure activity on a hot Massachusetts day. Based around the site of a former US Army base, Cape Wellfleet, the trail is home to a wide range of forest birds. At the end of the walk is the Marconi Station Site, which provides a fantastic place to look out across the Atlantic Ocean, with unforgettable views and a perfect photo opportunity. The trail is flat, making it easy for beginners, and just over a mile long.

3. Sturbridge

Sturbridge, MassachusettsSource: Jeff Schultes / shutterstock
Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Sturbridge is one of the most historic towns in Massachusetts and visiting it is like stepping back in time. Unique boutiques and antique shops are easy to spend hours exploring, while the living museum at Old Sturbridge Village is a must-visit too, where costumed guides give tourists a taste of life in the 19th century. Just outside Sturbridge itself is Wells State Park, which boasts a gorgeous pond where canoeing and swimming is permitted. Sturbridge is one of the best spots in Massachusetts to experience old-fashioned New England charm.

4. North Point Park

North Point Park, Boston, MassachusettsSource: Jon Bilous / shutterstock
North Point Park

Cambridge itself is one of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts, but visitors who want to experience the best the city has to offer should head to North Point Park. Located on the Charles River, the park has only been open for a few years but has already become a very popular spot. The Zakim Bridge and the Museum of Science are among the sights that can be seen from the vantage point within the park’s grounds. A beautiful place to while away a quiet afternoon.

5. Cohasset

Cohasset, MassachusettsSource: DejaVuDesigns / shutterstock

Cohasset might just the quintessential New England town, with its picture perfect sights drawing many tourists every year. But Cohasset is probably best known for its numerous superb beaches, many of which have been kept private to be enjoyed by local residents. Sandy Beach, known as the Jewel in the Crown in Cohasset, is open to the public – although visitors need to be accompanied by a resident. The vintage carousel and arcades at Nantasket Beach are well worth a visit too, while Cohasset’s other attractions include the white clock tower at the beautiful First Parish Meeting House.

6. Cape Cod

Cape Cod, MassachusettsSource: Tono Balaguer / shutterstock
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is one of the romantic places in the United States, drawing countless tourists to Massachusetts every summer. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are among the most picturesque locations in the world, with Cape Cod’s mix of superb cuisine, gorgeous beaches and conservation spots making it an ideal holiday location. Cape Cod Bay is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet, while Falmouth and Provincetown tend to be busier, with lively nightlife options.

7. Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, MASource: Paula Stephens / shutterstock
Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle, found in Gloucester, was the home of one of the great American inventors, John Hays Hammond Jr, who was at the forefront of developing remote control technology. Today, the castle is home to a museum that displays Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts collected by Hammond himself, while every October to mark Halloween the castle hosts a haunted house tour. Self-guided tours allow visitors to explore the castle themselves.

8. Bartholomew’s Cobble

Berkshire, MassachusettsSource: Albert Pego / shutterstock
Berkshire, Massachusetts

A National Natural Landmark, Bartholomew’s Cobble is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in Massachusetts. The highest point of the Cobble – which was created by geological upheavals – provides amazing views across the Housatonic River Valley. There are five miles of trails to try out and the most challenging of them is up to the Hurlburt’s Hill summit. The interpretive center and museum at Bartholomew’s Cobble are also well worth checking out.

9. Townsend, Massachusetts

Townsend, MassachusettsSource: Paula Stephens / shutterstock
Townsend, Massachusetts

Townsend, Massachusetts

10. Palmer Island Light Station

Palmer Island Light StationSource: Dan Logan / shutterstock
Palmer Island Light Station

Palmer Island is home to one of the most historic lighthouses in America. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Palmer Island Light Station can be found at the northern point of Palmer’s Island in New Bedford Harbor. After undergoing an extensive refurbishment project, the Palmer Island Light Station is being used once more, now as a private aid to navigation.

11. Martha’s Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard, MassachusettsSource: Mark Martins / shutterstock
Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is probably the most famous tourist location in the state and it is the jewel of the improbably gorgeous Cape Cod region. Typically referred to simply as The Vineyard, it takes a bit of an effort to reach but it is well worth the trip. The ferry to Martha’s Vineyard can be a rough ride, but the difficult journey is all part of the charm of the tiny island. Sunsets on The Vineyard are particularly beautiful, with the East Chop Lighthouse in Oak Bluffs one of the best places on the island to watch the sun go down. The beautiful small towns of Chilmark and Aquinnah are also worth visiting for anyone who wants to see Martha’s Vineyard at its most authentic and unspoiled.

12. Fall in Massachusetts

Fall Colors at Boston Public Garden,MassachusettsSource: CO Leong / shutterstock
Fall Colors At Boston Public Garden,Massachusetts

Fall is perhaps the best time of the year to explore Massachusetts as this is when the Bay State looks at its finest. The beautiful river valleys that are dotted all over the state are ideal places to watch the leaves steadily change colour and drop from the trees. The Central region of Massachusetts and the Berkshire Mountains are the best places to experience fall in Massachusetts, while Route 2, otherwise known as the Mohawk Trail, is a must-visit.

13. Provincetown

Provincetown, MassachusettsSource: Joseph Sohm / shutterstock

Provincetown has a tiny population in the off-season, but in the summer months as many as 60,000 people live in this gorgeous New England town. Sometimes referred to as P-town or P’town, the LGBTQ community particularly adore Provincetown because of its laid-back, accepting, relaxed feel. The Atlantic House in Provincetown is regarded as the oldest gay bar in the whole of the States, while many of Cape Cod’s best beaches are also located here, with Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach particularly highly recommended.

14. Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth PlantationSource: Rolf_52 / shutterstock
Plimoth Plantation

Anyone interested in history should make time to spend a day at the Plimoth Plantation living museum, which gives visitors the chance to experience what life was like in the 17th century. Among the most interesting of the attractions at the museum is a re-creation of a Wampanoag home site, where Native People explain all about how the Wampanoag’s ancestors lived. The museum is also home to the Mayflower II, which is docked near the purported Plymouth Rock. The incredible ship is among the world’s oldest wooden vessels that still sails.

15. Old State House, Boston

Old State House, BostonSource: Sean Pavone / shutterstock
Old State House, Boston

Boston’s Old State House is one of the oldest surviving public buildings in the United States. Dating back more than 400 years, the building – sometimes known as Boston’s Towne House – is now run as a Boston history museum by the Bostonian Society. The Old State House is among the landmarks on Boston’s Freedom Trail and visiting is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the colonial history of the country. Most famously, The Declaration of Independence was made from the balcony of Boston’s Old State House.

16. Longfellow’s Wayside Inn

Longfellow's Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MassachusettsSource: Major42 / shutterstock
Longfellow’s Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn claims to be the oldest operating inn in the country, with the building featuring a mix of British colonial and Greek Revivalist architecture. The inn dates back 400 years and one of its key features is the ancient grist mill outside. The last private owner of the Wayside Inn was Henry Ford, who wanted to develop the site into a historically oriented village and museum. The inn remains open as a restaurant and guests can even stay over in historically accurate rooms.

17. Farm

Farm, Carlisle, MASource: Christian Delbert / shutterstock
Farm, Carlisle, MA

Farm, Carlisle, MA

17 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Massachusetts:

  • Rockport
  • Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail
  • Sturbridge
  • North Point Park
  • Cohasset
  • Cape Cod
  • Hammond Castle
  • Bartholomew's Cobble
  • Townsend, Massachusetts
  • Palmer Island Light Station
  • Martha's Vineyard
  • Fall in Massachusetts
  • Provincetown
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Old State House, Boston
  • Longfellow's Wayside Inn
  • Farm