Why not make 2017 the year that you break out of your daily routine and explore somewhere new? Luckily, Massachusetts residents won’t run out of spectacular places to discover. We profiled spades of amazing towns in 2016, and these are a few communities that really shined. You won’t regret checking out some or all of these unique Massachusetts destinations.
The Most "New England" Town in Massachusetts: Chatham
In 2016, we highlighted Chatham as being one of the most "New England" towns in Massachusetts. Its charming downtown, historic architecture and classic seaside feel makes this coastal town one of the most scenic towns on the Cape, and one of the most quintessentially New England towns around. Visit in the summer if you don't mind a bit of company, or stick to the fall and spring for less-crowded experience.
The Happiest City in Massachusetts: Westfield
According to a recent study by CreditDonkey, Westfield is the number one happiest city in Massachusetts. Violent crime is rare, divorce rates are low, and this place is swimming in great places to eat – there is one restaurant per 567 residents. You may want to visit Westfield to scope out potential new digs (if you have a hefty paycheck), or to just take in the greenery.
Best Time-Travel Town: Historic Deerfield
While there is a difference between Deerfield and Historic Deerfield, this charming community invites visitors to walk along the 350-year-old street and explore life in the 1700s in their fully-preserved colonial town. Beautiful oak trees are everywhere, the smell of woodsmoke fills the air and the sound of horses can be heard just around the corner. Take a historical tour, or just wander amongst the beautiful buildings.
Best Fall Day Trip Town: Newburyport
Newburyport may be right on the water, but this waterfront community is actually a stellar destination in the fall as well as the summer. The town comes to life with charming autumn crafts, golden leaves framed against the historic brick buildings, and plenty of classic New England fall decor. Take a stroll in one of the town’s many parks, or hunt for retro treasures in Oldie’s Marketplace.
Winter Wonderland Town: Concord
When the cold weather hits, Concord transforms into a winter wonderland. This is one of the most historic towns in Massachusetts, and is an amazing winter destination due to its commitment to classic Christmas activities, picturesque holiday events and the natural splendor of places like Minuteman National Park.
The Most Underrated Massachusetts City: Worcester
Worcester was recently ranked as one of the best cities in Massachusetts in terms of cost of living, good education opportunities, health care and culture by Livability. It has also been named one of the top ten cities in America for families by the Telegram. It's pretty much the perfect balance of nightlife, art, family opportunities and scenic beauty. Give Worcester a shot in 2017.
The Oldest Town in Massachusetts: Plymouth
Everyone should stop by the oldest town in Massachusetts in 2017. While you may remember it from a disappointing field trip to Plymouth Rock, this town has so much to offer in the way of beaches, shopping, scenic strolling and historical sites. Historical sites that aren't just a giant rock, that is.
The Pretty, Quiet Fishing Town: Rockport
Rockport is most famous for the iconic, red shack dubbed Motif No. 1. However, the town itself is full of unique shops, tranquil spots and gorgeous views. Pick up a bauble or two for the house at the Pewter Shop, in business since 1935. For a peaceful evening, be sure to wander down to the harbor and watch the fishing boats come in against the sunset.
Most Magical Christmas Town: Attleboro
Attleboro is the home of the LaSalette Shrine's Festival of Lights celebration, which draws thousands of visitors and is a magnet for Christmas cheer. Head to this town for a heaping dose of holiday magic in 2017.
Safest Town in Massachusetts: Chesterfield
In 2016, NeighborhoodScout.com conducted a safety study of Massachusetts towns. Chesterfield came out on top as the safest community in the state. With a population of 1,239 and an extremely low crime rate, it might be worth visiting this tiny town in 2017.
A Charming, Unique Massachusetts Town: Great Barrington
Great Barrington is an underrated by wonderful destination in Massachusetts. The Smithsonian called it “the best small town in America,” and we’re not arguing. It’s a quirky place with plenty of local art and character, not to mention some amazing food spots. This town proves that Western Mass. can give the East a run for its money.
Please note that we’re not demographers, world-class chefs or art professors. Plenty of wonderful Massachusetts towns would have fit right in on this list. These are just some of our favorites.