Everyone knows about Cape Cod and Boston as great travel destinations. But, there are lesser traveled gems like Cape Ann and Western Mass. Below, I have suggested some of my favorite holiday trips. Explore Massachusetts and keep coming back for more!
Gloucester / Rockport - Gloucester and Rockport are the gems of Cape Ann. Both towns offer art communities, real fishing communities, great beaches, whale watches, and more. Gloucester has recently become famous as the real life and hollywood home of the Perfect Storm. If you are looking for history (these towns were founded shortly after the Pilgrims landed), great seafood, art, beaches (try Good Harbor Beach or Wingaersheek Beach), festivals such as St. Peter's Fiesta, the Folklife Festival, or the Fish Festival. . . . visit Cape Ann and be amazed!
Salem - Travel to Salem and learn a little bit about America's sad and scary past. Due to the hysterics of two young girls, the town of Salem (which at that time was actually located in what is now Danvers) began the Salem witch trials in 1692. Sadly, at that time, persecution of witches was not uncommon, but these trials are among the most famous. 24 people eventually died as a direct result of the Salem witch trials. Today, you can visit several museums dedicated to this piece of history. Among them are, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, and the Witch Dungeon Museum. Salem is now a popular destination for present day witches.
National Seashore - Travel to see the dunes at Cape Cod's National Seashore, and you will see a federally protected sea shore. There are over 40,000 acres of dunes sprawling across 40 miles running the length of Cape Cod. To truly enjoy the views, the salt air, and the crashing waves. . . . rent a bicycle and ride along an old Indian trail. The ride will also give you a glimpse of old new England wealth and summer spirit as you pass by historic mansions and towns.
Martha's Vineyard - Martha's Vineyard as long been a popular holiday destination for travelers around the world and across the continent. Charm is overflowing on this island. Take a ferry from Wood's Hole and explore the cranberry bogs, sand dunes, and New England architecture of Martha's Vineyard. For an alternate trip, check out Nantucket.
Pop Goes the Fourth - Nowhere in the United States is the Fourth of July as big a holiday as in Boston. Every year the Boston Symphony Pops Orchestra plays outdoors, synchronized with the fireworks display along the Esplanade. Travel to Boston for the 4th of July and you will not be disappointed.
The Freedom Trail - No Boston holiday is complete without a trip down the Freedom Trail. A red line known as the Freedom trail circles around the city of Boston, leading you to some of the most important historical sites pertaining to the United States’ Independence. Highlights of the walk include, Old Ironsides, Boston Common, the Paul Revere house, and the Old State House. You can pick up the Freedom Trail at any point and walk a part or walk the whole thing. Travel the Freedom trail and realize why Boston is a great city for history and walking.
Foliage Tour - Mohawk Trail, otherwise known as Rte. 2, is by far the most popular foliage tour in Massachusetts. Fall is an unbelievably beautiful time in New England, and Massachusetts is certainly no exception. No matter where you travel during the fall foliage season, you are sure to seem some amazing colors. Apple picking goes hand in hand with leaf peeping, so feel free to get off the beaten trail and wander around some of the more rural areas. If you have time, join in a hayride and drink some great hot apple cider!
Mount Greylock / Appalachian Trail - Mount Greylock has long been the inspiration for American writers. Today the protected lands cover 12,000 acres including the highest point in Massachusetts. Features include the Bascom Lodge, over 70 hiking trails, and amazing views. If you are interested in hiking a portion of the Appalachian trail, there is access through this park.
You can explore the nature and history of Massachusetts for years and never see at all. The beach will continue to call you, the foliage with amaze you year after year, and the museums and history will keep you thinking and learning. Enjoy the state and realize why the locals never need to leave!
Michelle is a travel buff who has recently moved away from Hawaii, but is anxiously awaiting the day when she can return. In the meantime, she occupies her time by helping others compare and select vacation options.
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