Massachusetts is a seafaring state, and the beautiful harbors that are scattered across the coast are a testament to our nautical history. Check out some of the most scenic harbors this state has to offer.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Edgartown Harbor
Take the Chappaquiddick ferry from Memorial Wharf in Edgartown Harbor to explore the tiny island connected to the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard.
2. Boston Harbor
This is definitely the busiest harbor in the state, and perhaps the most historic. Boston Harbor was the site of the famous Boston Tea Party, and was a crucial trade and military asset during the revolutionary war. Today, it's a great spot to stroll and grab some local seafood. The Boston Harbor islands are only about a 30-minute ferry ride away.
3. Quisett Harbor
Quisset Harbor is one of the best-sheltered harbors in Massachusetts, thanks to The Knob, a beautiful outcropping of boulders and vegetation at the mouth of the harbor. This area is a great spot for some relaxing boating.
4. Beverly Harbor
This harbor is convenient to the open ocean, which makes it a great place to set sail for Boston and beyond. The harbor is also one of the deepest in the area. The first commissioned ship in the US military, the schooner Hannah, set sail out of this harbor in 1775.
5. Westport Harbor
Just past the bridge overlooking the Pacquachuck Inn, the docks of Westport Harbor come into view. This is a great spot to catch a waterfront sunset, spread out a picnic, or just sit and contemplate.
6. Nantucket Harbor
Nantucket is definitely one of the loveliest towns in the country, and its harbor is equally charming. Peruse the shops along the water or sit on the docks and chew a handful of delicious, local saltwater taffy.
7. Plymouth Harbor
Plymouth Harbor is the site of the Mayflower landing, and of the historical Plymouth Rock. There are plenty of grassy spots near the harbor to spread a blanket or stroll near the waves.
8. Gloucester Harbor
Gloucester Harbor is a working harbor, and a great place to check out the catch of the day. Check out the many local seafood restaurants clustered around the docks. Make a reservation at the Gloucester House Restaurant for a tasty meal on the historic Seven Seas Wharf.
9. Scituate Harbor
The Scituate Harbor is actually an entire district full of amazing things to do and see. Grab a fresh catch at Mullaney’s Fish Market, or stroll the jewelry shops and art galleries in sight of the water.
10. Provincetown Harbor
This harbor is located at the tip of Cape Cod and affords some spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and town. If you're coming from Boston, the ferry will take you right to the docks.
11. Rockport Harbor
The most photographed spot in the area is definitely Rockport Harbor's "Motif #1," which is a small, red shack near the water. This is certainly one of the most scenic harbors in the state.
12. Newburtyport Harbor
Serving on the most most charming coastal towns in Massachusetts, this harbor is only steps away from scenic downtown Newburyport. Grab a scoop at Haley's ice cream shop, or just stroll the boards near the water.
13. Marblehead Harbor
Just 17 miles north of Boston, this harbor is considered the birthplace of the Continental Navy. Sitting in the grassy park overlooking the water is one of the best ways to take in the sights and sounds of the harbor.
14. Salem Harbor
Salem was once one of the most active seafaring towns in New England, and the sixth-largest port in the United States. Today, Salem Harbor is a great spot to learn about the history of the area and take in the salty air.