State Love: Why Visit Massachusetts

Today we are continuing our State Love series with a guest post from Kelly.  Kelly writes the blog A Lovely Life, Indeed, and is one of our Massachusetts State Reps!
Massachusetts has it all. Each region of the Bay State has
unique offerings that make it a destination on its own. Home to more than 100
colleges and universities, Massachusetts has a youthful demeanor that, like a
university’s extracurricular activities board, has something for everyone. 
·       Visit Boston, Massachusetts’ capital. Walk the
Freedom Trail and see historical sites made famous for their role in the
American Revolution, like the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house, the State
House and the U.S.S. Constitution.
Take a Duck Tour and hear the truth behind stories like the Great Molasses
Flood of 1919. Tour Fenway Park or the Boston Garden. Sample the best Italian
food in Boston’s “Little Italy,” the North End, or any of the other diverse
neighborhoods and see why Boston is a foodie destination. Soak up the culture
offered in the city’s museums, like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella
Stuart Gardener Museum. Get to know the city’s penguins and sea lions at the
New England Aquarium and channel your inner Einstein at the Museum of Science
and Omni IMAX Theater. Explore the waterfront and the Public Gardens. Take a
ride on the Swan Boats in the spring and summer, or skate on the Frog Pond in
the winter. Give your credit card a workout on Newbury Street and the shoppes
of the Prudential Center and Copley Place. Cross the Charles River and explore
Harvard University and the lively Harvard Square. Take the “T” to get around.
Use your “Charlie Card” to use the color coded subway system; both user
friendly and affordable.
The Western region of Massachusetts is known for
their mountains, The Berkshires, and for the multitude of cultural
opportunities provided by a vibrant theater and music scene. Museums, such as
the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Eric Carle Museum, draw art aficionados, and
music lovers bring blankets and picnic baskets with cheese and beverages to
enjoy the Boston Symphony Orchestra and national stars like James Taylor under
the stars at Tanglewood.  Hipster towns
like Amherst and Northampton draw an eclectic mix of students, academics and
free spirits, who can be found in the downtown shoppes, coffee houses and
ethnic restaurants. The Big E, the New England regional agricultural fair,
draws thousands every fall. If shopping is your thing, check out the outlets in
Lee, or get your game on at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield,
Massachusetts’ 3rd largest city.
Cape Cod, or, “The Cape,” on the elbow and hook
of the state, is known for its National Seashore. The Cape is dotted with
lighthouses, dunes, lighthouses and bluffs. It is a long-time vacation
destination for beaches, antique shopping, delicious seafood, camping, whale
watching, and bicycling along the car-free rail trails. Catch the ferry to Martha’s
Vineyard or Nantucket, just off the Cape’s coast.
North of Boston and Cape Ann is comprised of
towns such as Lowell, Gloucester, Salem and Newburyport. The area is known for
its art galleries, museums, whale watches and seafood, a result of a rich
fishing history. Salem, the site of the 17th century witch trials
and pirating history, draws thousands. Lowell, known for its industrial
history, celebrates a rich music culture with a popular summertime folk
festival and outdoor concerts along the Merrimack River.
In the South of Boston, or the South Shore, you
can channel your inner pilgrim and tour the Mayflower replica and see Plymouth
Rock. You can also tour the Ocean Spray plant and see how cranberries are grown
and harvested. Travel on to New Bedford and learn about the Bay State’s rich
whaling history and eat some of the best Portuguese food this side of Lisbon.
Central Massachusetts is home to the second
largest city, Worcester. Worcester is known for its many colleges and
universities. And the Hanover Theatre boasts national acts as well as a number
of Broadway touring companies. Explore Old Sturbridge Village and see the
workings of a 19th century town, and if you like antiques? Check out
Brimfield, home to the giant Brimfield Antiques show. Follow the Johnny
Appleseed trail and explore a Shaker village. Sample wine at Nashoba vineyard
and winery. Head farther west on Route 2 and explore the flagship Yankee Candle
Company and the nooks and crannies of
the Montague Book Mill. Don’t forget to get yourself a latte at any of the
region’s independent coffee houses and bakeries.

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