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Visiting Massachusetts? Destinations to Add to Your List

Aug 16, 2023|

In 2022, tourists generated $1.9 billion in tax revenue by visiting Massachusetts. According to Kate Fox, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the state has partnerships with 16 regional tourism councils to continue attracting visitors. Many people who visit Massachusetts check out the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, the Cape Cod beaches, Boston Common, and the Public Garden Swan Boats.

Whether you call Massachusetts home or are planning a trip to The Bay State, make sure these events, restaurants, and destinations are on your list.

Boston Massachusetts historic skyline at dusk

Annual events in Massachusetts

The Boston Seafood Festival is an all-day lobster bake that happens every September. Festival attendees can participate in competitions like oyster shucking and fish cutting. Chefs host demonstrations during the event, and kids can enjoy face painting and balloons.

Topsfield Fair, the oldest county fair in the United States, takes place from late September through early October. Visitors can pet animals, watch a horse show, watch oxen pulls, and participate in the Demolition Derby. When you get hungry, indulge in culinary treats like the Gobbler Sandwich, apple crisp, or a loaded baked potato. Daring visitors may want to try chocolate-covered bacon.

Also in autumn, craftspeople from across Massachusetts gather at the Castleberry Fall Craft Festival in Wilmington to show off their work. Come to see vendors showcasing and selling jewelry, wind chimes, pet gifts, folk art, wood puzzles, Victorian wreaths, and more.

Like the idea of supporting local craftspeople? There are more craft festivals throughout the year in Massachusetts, such as the Brewster Summer Arts and Craft Festival and the Chatham Liberty Arts & Craft Festival.

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What are the sports teams in Massachusetts?

Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are the most popular sports in Massachusetts. Many popular athletes and sports teams call Massachusetts home.

The Boston Red Sox, housed in Massachusetts, is one of the best baseball teams in the major leagues. They have won nine World Series championships through 2022. And if you want to try spotting the fresh talent that might make it to the pros, you can watch the summer collegiate baseball team, the Worcester Bravehearts.

The New England Patriots are also among the most successful in their league. They have won six Super Bowl championships through 2022. The Boston College Eagles and the UMass Minutemen are two college football teams to keep an eye on.

The Boston Celtics, established in 1946, maintain a passionate fan base and have won 17 NBA championships through the 2022-2023 season. College basketball also has a large following in Massachusetts.

Best restaurants in Massachusetts

The Bay State is synonymous with freshly caught seafood, and one of the best places to enjoy it is the Atlantic Fish Co. in Boston's Back Bay. Favorites include a bountiful captain's platter, linguine with clams, and crab-crusted haddock. If you're not a seafood lover, you can try the filet mignon.

Gibbet Hill Grill is on a 500-acre farm in Groton, offering beautiful scenery and a homey atmosphere. Because it's a farm-to-table restaurant, the menu changes with the season. Menu items change depending on what produce is in season in Massachusetts. Free-range chicken, Scottish organic salmon, and hanger steaks are some menu favorites.

The Bancroft in Burlington is one of the top steakhouses in Massachusetts. It's known not just for steak but also for seafood. Local oysters, Wellfleet clams, and lobster tails are some of the seafood that you can enjoy at The Bancroft.

Mamma Maria in Boston is an authentic Italian restaurant that uses local produce and follows seasonal Italian cuisine. In the summer, their menu is full of seafood dishes. For winter, you can enjoy northern Italian and mountain dishes.

Scenic Cafe Terraces in Newbury Street in the back bay area of Boston Massachusetts

Massachusetts music venues

At Tanglewood in Lenox, music lovers can enjoy summertime performances of the Boston Symphony Orchestra along with pop stars like John Legend, Patti LaBelle, and Jackson Browne. Breathtaking scenery is a bonus for visitors to this venue in the Berkshire Mountains.

Up-and-coming artists often choose Brighton Music Hall in Allston when performing in Massachusetts. Weezer, Imagine Dragons, and Dropkick Murphys have held concerts here.

The Cabot in Beverly is a historic performing arts center where you can attend concerts, orchestras, and other events. You can sometimes see classic and current movies at the center.

The Sinclair in Cambridge is a gastropub and music venue that features an open kitchen and patio. It has a capacity of 525 and is a standing-room-only concert venue.

You can listen to live rock and blues at Citizens House of Blues Boston. This venue features a restaurant and bar that serves Southern cuisine.

Massachusetts national parks

Cape Cod National Seashore has 43,607 acres of land to explore. The beaches and dunes extend from Chatham to Provincetown. In some areas of the park, you can take a drive on the beach as long as you’ve secured a permit. You can also enjoy a fire on the beach with the appropriate permit. Bicycling is another way of experiencing the Cape Cod National Seashore, and there are 11 hiking trails for those who want to walk around and break a sweat.

Adams National Historical Park in Quincy is home to an area that was instrumental in uniting the 13 colonies as one nation. It consists of a small farm at the foot of Penn's Hill and a country estate at Peace Field. You can book tickets for touring the national park up to 60 days in advance.

Other national sites in Massachusetts include:

  • Lowell National Historical Park
  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Minute Man National Historical Park
  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
  • Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site
Old North Bridge at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord Massachusetts

State parks in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has over 150 state parks to keep you busy exploring everything that the state has to offer. All the state parks are free to enter, but some charge parking fees. Residents get lower parking fees. You need to make sure that the plate on your car is from Massachusetts to qualify for the lower rate. Another option for residents to save money is to buy an annual park pass.

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park features stunning views of 34 islands and peninsulas close to Boston's city center. You can view lighthouses at this urban oasis, too. Passenger ferries can take you to the islands where you can check out historic forts and go hiking and swimming.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, one of the first reservations created by the Metropolitan Parks Commission, has a trail that takes you to an overlook point with a view of the Boston skyline. The state park comprises 2,575 acres and has more than 100 miles of trails. You can enjoy a variety of terrain here, including forest, wetland, woodland, and hills.

Secure your home while you're out on a trip in Massachusetts

While you’re out exploring everything Massachusetts has to offer, Vivint's home security system gives you peace of mind while you're away from home. Using the Vivint app, you can monitor your home's exterior and interior from anywhere you choose to be, whether that is a new restaurant or a great national park. Our outdoor security cameras notify you when they detect a person on the property so you can take action quickly. You can also use the app to turn on the lights at your house to make it look like someone is at home while you’re gone. Contact our Smart Home Pros at 855.822.1220 to see how we can help you make your home more secure.

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