There’s nothing like stumbling across a beautiful sight and being truly awestruck. That’s the kind of feeling these Massachusetts spots will give you. Whether you prefer man-made or natural beauty, the places on this list are real showstoppers.
1. Castle Hill at The Crane Estate
A trip to Europe not in the cards this season? Fear not. This place can deliver a dose of Old World elegance and drama that will have you wondering why they didn’t check your passport at the door. Bring a picnic basket and a parasol to maximize the Downton Abbey feel.
2. The Cape Cod National Seasore
The CCNS boasts over 40 miles of protected coastline and natural splendor. Forget a beach day; you’ll need a beach month.
3. Chatham Lighthouse Beach
This stunning expanse of white sands and shimmering beach grass is crowned by a lighthouse that's straight out of a postcard.
4. The Berkshires
Snow-capped mountains, fiery fall folliage, spring festivals, and summer hikes. The Berkshires are an all-season Massachusetts playground. This mountain region was named one of the "Last Great Places" by The Nature Conservancy.
5. Bish Bash Falls
These crystal waters plunge 80 feet into a beautiful forest pool. Visit in early spring rather than the height of summer to beat the crowds and snag that perfect Instagram shot.
A boomerang-shaped island with a rich maritime history, Nantucket is the quintessential seaside retreat. Take in the cobblestones and hydrangeas while working on your island state of mind.
7. Martha's Vineyard
The Vineyard (as the locals call it) is a proud sponsor of bike rides, beach days, and the best fudge around. This island is also a pretty popular presidential hangout.
8. Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation, which even adopts the original spelling of Plymouth for authenticity, is a fully recreated colonial village. Seriously, the detail is out of this world. Livestock wandering around, authentic meals being cooked on kitchen hearths tended by spirited reenactors, and even a TO SCALE replica of the Mayflower ship.
One of the nation’s oldest cities, Boston is a beautiful blend of historical sites, modern attractions.
10. Gay Head Cliffs
These beautiful and rugged clay cliffs will take your breath away.
11. The Back Bay
If rows upon glorious rows of Victorian brownstone structures are your thing, this Boston neighborhood will be heaven on earth.
12. Boston Harbor Islands
This series of islands is actually a national park. Go for the camping, beaches, and incredible wildlife spotting.
13. Mohawk Trail
What used to be a Native American trade route has become one of Massachusetts most scenic drives. Think old country bridges and serene river views. If you can get here during the autumn, you're guaranteed an all-you-can-gawk foliage buffet.
14. Provincetown Dunes
An otherworldly expanse of glittering sand dunes as far as the eye can see.
15. White Cedar Swamp
Don't let the "swamp" part fool you. This place is a gorgeous natural hideaway. Take the self-guided tour along the raised boardwalk and meditate on the beautiful surrounds.
16. Heritage Museum and Gardens
Walking through this massive collection of woodland gardens feels like exploring a fairyland. The grounds also feature a 26-foot waterfall and a world-famous vintage automobile museum.
The Halloween celebrations in this historic town are wild and weird enough to wake the dead.
18. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Spanning the distance between Cape Cod and Cape Ann, this protected marine area is home to a crazy amount of sea-dwellers. Seals, birds, whales, and dolphins of all flavors gather in the sanctuary. This is also one of the only places you can catch a glimpse of the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. They're understandably shy.
19. Minuteman National Historic Park
This national park was the site of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. Today, the former battleground is a collection of beautifully maintained grounds gracing both sides of the Concord river.
20. Historic Deerfield
Take a quick trip back in time to colonial America. This picturesque town features countless historical buildings and over 14 real homes that have been preserved as they were when the nation was young. Minus the British soldiers.
They say variety is the spice of life, and that’s definitely something Massachusetts has in spades. In this state you’ll find beaches so lovely they’ll make you shiver, wintery retreats to warm your heart, and everything in between. What’s your favorite jaw-dropping Massachusetts spot?