Top Tourist Attractions in Massachusetts USA
Massachusetts is a can’t-miss destination with hundreds of top things to see and do. Our Massachusetts attractions are the perfect way to plan a vacation!
The most attractive feature of Massachusetts (for the visitor at least) is its cross-section of America. It has the culture you expect from a state with as many colleges and universities as ours.
It has the rustic charm that clings to New England towns and villages, partly because people who live there pretend that it is not a big city and partly because when people get rich, they tend to leave their mansions behind for smaller ones.
10 best places to visit in Massachusetts for your next vacation
- The Boston Athenaeum
- The USS Constitution
- Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum
- Boston Harbor Islands National Park
- Plum Island
- Salem Witch Museum
- Minuteman National Park
- Cape Cod
- Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
- MIT Museum
In a sense, Massachusetts is like many touristy states: it offers things everyone can do but also tries to make one thing you can’t do too much fun. The result is that it makes visiting Massachusetts feel like an adventure.
Massachusetts’s best attractions are not significant tourist sights but small hidden ones. They are places where you can experience life in a town or a neighborhood that doesn’t have much traffic but still has something of interest.
If you’re going to Boston, you might as well get the most out of it.
You can walk up onto the Washington Bridge in downtown Boston and then four or five miles across the Seaport to Logan Airport. It takes about an hour and a half, but that’s not bad for cross-country touring.
There are other possibilities as well: to see America’s only operating steam locomotive at Penn Station or visit the first house that novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne ever lived in; to admire Boston’s oldest public park, Franklin Park; to ride the subway through one of its most beautiful stations, Park Street.
In Cambridge, south of Harvard Square, there are few attractions as in Boston proper. There are some: Harvard University, MIT, Charles River Boat Tours, and the Museum of Science. If you’re ambitious, you can take a guided tour of Harvard Yard.
The Freedom Trail
A 2.5-mile walking tour, the Freedom Trail weaves its way through 16 of Boston’s most historic sites, including Paul Revere’s home and the Bunker Hill Monument. Start at Boston Common and pick up a Freedom Trail brochure (free), which maps out all the stops along the way.
Home to the Red Sox since 1912, Fenway is one of the most beloved ballparks in baseball history. The 37-foot-tall “Green Monster” left-field wall has been part of the park since 1912 and was initially covered in a tin instead of ivy; it now features a manual scoreboard and seats at its peak.
The park sits atop an urban neighborhood where you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to stop by before or after a game.
Coastal Massachusetts isn’t called the Bay State for nothing. From Cape Cod and Nantucket to Plymouth and Salem, the shoreline defines the area. Bostonians head east to the beaches of Cape Ann or north to Plum Island to swim, fish, and sunbathe.
The beach towns of Cape Cod are a favorite summer destination: The kids love the arcades, mini-golf courses, and ice cream stands; everyone loves the clam shacks and seafood restaurants.
Check out Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, two islands that attract a steady stream of celebrities and politicians seeking privacy for an even more laid-back atmosphere.
Cape Cod National Seashore
This area of sandy beaches, ponds, and marshes has been protected since 1961 by the National Park Service.
Provincetown is the park’s central visitor hub, but there are also great spots to explore along six miles of the Atlantic Ocean coastline at Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. The visitor center at Salt Pond has a wealth of information about local history, culture, and wildlife.
The island of Nantucket is a summer haven for vacationers looking for a peaceful retreat with great beaches, beautiful scenery, and plenty of walking trails.
The most popular attraction on Nantucket is the Whaling Museum which explores the island’s whaling history with exhibits including scrimshaw paintings and whaleboats. Other interests on Nantucket include historic buildings such as Old Mill or Old Gaol, lighthouse tours, art galleries, and craft shops.
Massachusetts is a top-rated tourist destination. Visitors can explore the fantastic beaches, hike in the parks, marvel at the architecture, and visit some of the finest museums in the country.
One of the best places to start your tour in Boston, a city steeped in American history. Some highlights are the scenic harbor, museums, restaurants, and shops.
You’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Massachusetts, from historic sites and art museums to whale watching and sports. Admire the masterpieces of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park; or stroll through Harvard Yard, the heart of Harvard University.
Cruise along the Charles River and enjoy panoramic views of Boston on an authentic Duck Tour; sail out into Boston Harbor past impressive sights like Long Wharf and Georges Island; or take a ferry out to Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, for great beaches.