Massachusetts

Things to do in Massachusetts

There are plenty of things to do in Massachusetts, but most activities and attractions will depend on the season you choose to visit. Warm, sunny days are best spent along the coast as the Cape Cod area is known for its miles of sandy beaches. Or skip the beach and hop on a ferry to nearby Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island to explore historic seaports and lighthouses by bike. If you’d like to work off last evening’s sumptuous dinner, you can rent all types of water sports equipment in most coastal towns. If you’re a history buff, chances are you’ll know what to do in Massachusetts —head for Boston, of course! Known as “The Cradle of Liberty,” Boston has dozens of historical sites and tours.

If you can’t decide what to do first, just jump on a tour trolley and get your bearings while someone else does the driving. You can hop on and off at numerous sites around the city as often as you please. Should the weather be disagreeable, there are still many things to do in Boston like take in a show in the lively theater district or visit the world renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra. If you’re wondering what to do in Massachusetts during the colder months, the answer can be found in the Berkshires. In autumn, nature puts on a magnificent display of colorful foliage, and in colder months, the mountains come alive to accommodate winter sports enthusiasts, making Massachusetts a great vacation destination for all seasons.

Jobi Pottery, in Truro, has been making its retro pieces, decorated with small black fish, since 1953.

Drivers of four-wheel-drive vehicles can get an over-sand vehicle pass to Chappaquiddick’s refuge for a cookout. Or, set aside at least two hours to explore the sanctuary’s flora and fauna on foot. Open year-round, daily, 24 hrs. Gatehouse open May 30–Oct. 15, daily, 9am to 5pm.

Calico is a women’s clothing store located in the waterfront district of New Bedford, an hour south of Boston. More boutique than consignment store, Calico displays its closely curated products on bright white shelves and wooden hangers.

With three levels of hands-on exhibits, the Boston Children's Museum offers a day of fun and education for little ones. Aiming to help children understand the world around them, the museum features exhibits on everything from science to culture to the arts.

Four-wheeling out on Nantucket’s remote, northeastern sand spits (which together form the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge) lets you experience the island’s most pristine land- and seascapes.

In the center of Sandwich, the Weather Store carries barometers, thermometers, and everything else weather-related, both old and new.

In an imposing Georgian mansion on Newbury Street, Louis Boston is a local institution with international import. With only four floors, the store is small and carefully considered.

Easily recognizable by its lavender-colored façade, Christina’s is a popular spot for homemade ice cream. Located in Inman Square between Harvard and MIT, the small shop is decorated with exposed brick, antique church pews, and displays of local art.

Lying between the Chatham mainland and Tern Island, Aunt Lydia’s Cove and its sandbars and island beaches can be viewed from Shore Road and the Chatham Fish Pier.

Founded in 1630 as the colonial village of Newtowne, Cambridge's thronged central square today is filled with chain stores and roving students—not exactly the cauldron of American intellectual life that it was in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Three times a year, the 18th-century town of Brimfield is overwhelmed by a series of antiques shows set up in humongous open fields for a six-day stretch. Virtually anything you collect, no matter how obscure, will likely turn up among the merchandise at the 5,000-odd tents.

If Ralph Lauren had married Lilly Pulitzer, their sons would shop here. Ties in nautical patterns, woven belts, madras shorts, and lobster-print totes are equal parts preppy and cheeky.

The whimsical shop carries affordable housewares and furniture like an Offi birch coffee table for $180.

The property isn’t quite a museum; rather, it’s the atelier of the artist, who creates 3-D paintings inspired by her travels and Cape Cod scenery.