Before supermarkets and sprawling malls, a town’s main street was the center of community life and business. Massachusetts is lucky to still have plenty of bustling, beautiful main streets that ooze old-fashioned charm. Check out these main streets across the state that are packed with places to shop, eat and people-watch.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Stockbridge inspired the classic paintings and illustrations of Norman Rockwell so, of course, it's going to have one of the most charming main streets in the state. Browse the shops, stop by the historic Red Lion Inn, and grab a tasty meal at Once Upon A Table.
This is a lively and happening main street that is filled with plenty of shopping and places to eat. Catch a show at the Iron Horse Music Hall just off the main drag, and then head to Osaka for tasty hibachi and sushi creations.
Main Street in Hyannis is the perfect mix of quaint shops, delicious places to eat and great proximity to natural beauty. There's a large park right in the middle of Main Street, including a path set into the street that will lead you straight to the harbor in a matter of minutes. Stop by Common Ground Cafe for a whimsical and cozy dining experience, and be sure to stock up on sweets at Kandy Korner.
Known for being one of the liveliest towns on the Cape, Provincetown has an equally colorful and fun main street. The nightlife opportunities here are almost endless, and there are plenty of nice places to get cheap or fancy seafood. Don't forget to check out the art galleries scattered all around.
5. Great Barrington
Great Barrington has one of the most popular main streets in the Berkshires, and it's a wonderful spot to do some shopping and indulge in a hot drink. Stop by Fuel Coffee Shop to recharge, browse fantastical playthings at Tom's Toys, and when you're done on Main Street, head over to Railroad Street (pictured) for even more cool shops to explore.
6. Historic Deerfield
Main Street in Historic Deerfield is unlike the other the other central avenues on this list, but it's a must-visit destination nonetheless. Here you'll find countless historic homes, shady trees and an atmosphere that feels like stepping back in time.
Main Street in Lee is loaded with cool shops, great dining spots and places to watch the crowd roll by. Check out the Starving Artist Creperie and Cafe for a sweet snack, and then head to Moe's Tavern for an evening drink.
Falmouth has a quintessentially Cape Cod main street area. There are lots of little shops where you can peruse nautical knick-knacks, jewelry and local crafts. It's also a great place to simply take a stroll on a warm summer day.
9. North Adams
North Adams is way out in the Berkshires, and its main street packs a ton of stuff to do into a relatively small space. Stop by Jack's Hot Dog Stand (it's actually a brick-and-mortar shop) for a delicious bite to eat, peer into the quirky ships, and then head to Mass MoCA for a fun dose of culture and art.
Edgartown in Martha's Vineyard is a beloved island hotspot, and the main street here is filled with the most charming businesses and dining opportunities. Stop by Edgartown Books to find your next favorite beach read, and indulge in a delicious dinner at Alchemy.
Most of Nantucket feels like a charming main street, so you really can't go wrong with your wanderings. Main Street winds all the way down to the sea through the Nantucket Historic District, so you'll be surrounded by beauty and history on all sides.
Concord is a historic Massachusetts community that also happens to be incredibly picturesque. Its main street is a great place to take in the beauty of autumn foliage, or treat yourself to a decadent snack at Patti's Homemade Whoopie Pies.
Lowell isn't exactly a sleepy hamlet, but it has a downtown that combines the best of old-fashioned charm with plenty of great places to shop and eat. The area is filled with red brick buildings, fun sidewalk cafes, and cool boutiques.