Boston’s home state is as much about windswept beaches and romantic islands, as Harvard Museums and spectacular autumn landscapes. It’s a mind’s eye perfect New Englander and even the heritage comes with fun on the side.
Massachusetts is the south easterly New England state where the Mayflower landed in 1620. Its capital, Boston, is one of the oldest cities in America. Cape Cod’s the summer playground for East Coast elite, and an amazing adventure with kids. Sail to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for days on the beach, whale watching expeditions and magical bike rides. Or visit in autumn, head to the Berkshires, and just gaze at the awe-inspiring wonder of a New England Fall.
Direct flights all year round from the UK to Boston take just over seven hours.
Summer weather on Cape Cod is warm and sunny with average temperatures of 25 – 30˚.
Only neighbouring Vermont is more eco-conscious than Massachusetts. Don’t be surprised to find hybrid shuttles and filtered local water stations at hotels.
The most prestigious university in the US is in Boston, and eleven of its galleries and museums are open to the public.
Stockbridge Basin MA is officially the loveliest place in the US to see autumn leaves and try New England ‘leaf peeping’.
New England’s most historic coastline is in Massachusetts. The Mayflower landed here and it’s home to dozens of instantly recognisable holiday towns and islands.
The infamous town of Salem, site of the 17th century Salem Witch Hunts, is less than an hour’s drive from Boston.
Founded in 1630, Boston’s the state capital and one of the oldest cities in the US. With a worldwide reputation for Ivy League universities, gracious Georgian architecture, and stately art institutes, it’s easy to imagine a grand old dame. But here heritage is tucked into a dynamic contemporary city with one of the world’s most exciting waterfronts, a vast collection of stunning 20th and 21st century architecture, and a fresh, original take on everything from politics and baseball to farmers’ markets and festivals.
In July and August every year, the population of Martha’s Vineyard grows from 15,000 to over 100,000. The island’s known as the ‘summer colony’, and wealth and influence are what most of the temporary residents have in common. Surprisingly, it’s still laid back and unpretentious, historic towns are charming without exception, kids can cycle everywhere, and the beaches are beautiful.
Cape Cod is the ‘arm’ around Cape Cod Bay on the state’s southernmost coast. Families from all over New England and New York State, holiday here in summer. It’s the land of the Kennedys, but just as famous for dozens of lighthouses; grand Victorian seaside resorts; historic fishing towns; gorgeous beached; and impressive sailing.
Nantucket Island lies south of Martha’s Vineyard. Another 19th century whaling centre, it’s now a popular holiday resort, and good for whale watching cruises, museums, lovely old New England houses, beaches, seafood restaurants, and more lighthouses.
Public transport is the way to get around Boston and most other cities. Cycling coastal towns and villages is safe and fun with kids, and island ferry services run all year round. But car hire in Massachusetts is highly recommended. Not only is it the safest US state to drive, the scenery’s breathtakingly pretty, packed with historic sights and many areas can only really be seen by road.