One of the oldest states, Massachusetts is an interesting blend of the historical and the modern, the rural and the urban.
In Boston, the state capital, visitors can follow Freedom Trail—a 3.5-kilometer walk linking 20 historic sites, starting with the Boston Common. Visit the oldest building in Boston, the Paul Revere Home. For living history, watch pilgrims go about their daily lives in Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, featuring the Mayflower II. In Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, see 1830s New England come alive. And visit Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield to see eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Shaker buildings.
Massachusetts is where you'll find the Computer Museum, featuring the history of information technology. The state is home to America's oldest university, Harvard, as well as the leader in technology education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In contrast to the modern living of the eastern Massachusetts Bay area, more laid-back lifestyle can be experienced in Cape Cod, a popular vacation spot known for its beaches, art, and antiques. Provincetown, one of America's oldest artist colonies, features unique shops as well as beautiful beaches, including Race Point Beach, which has been described as one of the top beaches in the country.
Unique state attractions include the Whaling National Historical Park in New Bedford, "the whaling city," which showcases the height of the fishing and whaling industry. In Salem, don't miss the House of the Seven Gables, which provided the inspiration for Hawthorne's novel. The Salem Witch Village takes visitors back to the days of the witch-hunts and provides a history of witchcraft.
Other interesting sites are Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, the small towns and vineyards west of Boston, and the beautiful Berkshire Hills. For hiking, try the Appalachian Trail or the Bay Circuit Trail, 200 miles of interconnected trails.