27 Things Massachusetts Is Known And Famous For

Please note that some posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn a commission should you choose to purchase using these links but at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Massachusetts is a state located in the Northeastern region of the United States. This beautiful New England state is home to a variety of interesting attractions and landmarks that are sure to impress. If you’re looking for an exciting and unique travel experience, consider visiting to explore all that Massachusetts is known for.

What Is Massachusetts Known For?

Massachusetts is famous for its colonial history, as well as its significant role in the American Revolution. It is a progressive state that has recorded several “firsts” throughout history including the first state constitution. Massachusetts is also known for its diverse landscape, which includes mountains, forests, and coastal areas. The state is home to several large metropolitan areas, including Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.

Here are some of the famous things that Massachusetts is known for.

Famous Food In Massachusetts

apple-cider-doughnut

Apple Cider Doughnut

One of the best things about fall in Massachusetts is all the apple cider doughnuts you can eat! Apple cider doughnuts are a popular treat throughout New England, but Massachusetts definitely has some of the best.

You can find them at most farmers’ markets and apple orchards, and they’re the perfect snack to enjoy while exploring all the beautiful fall foliage. Just make sure you save room for a pumpkin spice doughnut too!

Massachusetts is home to many apple orchards, and each one has its own delicious recipe for these sweet treats. Many orchards also offer other fall activities like hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin picking.

These delicacy are a famous staple of Massachusetts cuisine and food scene.

Cranberries

Massachusetts is known for being a leading cranberry-producing state in the country, and the fruit has been grown there for centuries. Cranberries were actually a staple food of the Native Americans who lived in the area long before the Pilgrims arrived.

Today, you can find cranberries being grown all across Massachusetts, and they’re used in all sorts of products, from cranberry sauce and cranberry juice to cosmetics and even some types of livestock feed.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fruit, there are several cranberry bogs open to the public for tours and picking, and many farms host festivals and other events throughout the year.

dunkin-donuts

Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts is one of the most popular coffee chains in the world, and it all started in Massachusetts. The first Dunkin Donuts shop opened in 1950 in Quincy, and today, there are more than 11,000 locations in 36 countries.

If you’re a fan of coffee or donuts (or both), be sure to stop by Dunkin Donuts while you’re in Massachusetts. This is after all the brand’s place of origin. However, don’t sleep on other more artisanal donut outlets and brands as well.

>Check Boston Donut And Downtown Tour

History, Culture, And Traditions

Salem Witch Trials

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. The trials began in February 1692, and by the end of that year, 19 people had been convicted and executed.

The witch trials were a dark episode in American history, and they have been the subject of many books, films, and plays. The witch trials have also been used as a symbol of intolerance and persecution.

The town of Salem is now a popular tourist destination, and it has several museums and historic sites related to the trials. The best way to really know about the history and exciting stories is through the Salem Guided Walking Tour.

Landing Place Of The Mayflower And The Pilgrims

In 1620, the Mayflower set sail from England carrying over 100 passengers, including the Pilgrims. After a treacherous journey that lasted nearly two months, they finally landed in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts.

This event is significant not only to Massachusetts history but to American history as a whole, as the Pilgrims were the first Europeans to settle in the country. Plymouth is now a popular tourist destination, and you can visit sites like Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, and Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum.

celebration-graduation-ceremony

Large Population With Higher Education Qualifications

In 2015, Massachusetts was ranked as the state with the third-largest population of college graduates. The state is also home to many prestigious universities, including Harvard University, MIT, and Boston College.

This higher education level has helped create a strong economy in Massachusetts, with the state consistently ranking in the top 10 for GDP per capita.

The state’s highly educated workforce has also attracted many high-tech and life sciences companies, which have helped create jobs and drive economic growth.

If you’re looking for a state with a strong economy and plenty of opportunities, Massachusetts is definitely worth considering.

Unpredictable Weather

Massachusetts is known for having unpredictable weather, and the state has a saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

The state has four distinct seasons, and you can experience everything from hot summers to cold winters. Massachusetts is also susceptible to hurricanes and nor’easters, so be prepared for some extreme weather if you’re planning a visit.

However, no matter what the weather is like, there’s always something to do in Massachusetts. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the outdoors, the state has plenty of parks and hiking trails. For indoor activities, you can visit one of the many museums or check out some of the charming cafes and restaurants.

The Boston Tea Party

Another significant moment in American history took place in Boston when colonists staged the Boston Tea Party in protest of the British government’s taxes on tea. In December 1773, a group of colonists boarded three ships docked in Boston Harbor and dumped all of the tea into the water.

This act of defiance helped spark the American Revolution, and you can learn all about it at the Boston Tea Party Museum. You can also take a tea party cruise, which is a fun and unique way to see the city.

beautiful-fall-foliage

Beautiful Fall Foliage

One of the best things that Massachusetts is known for is the beautiful fall foliage. The state is home to many different types of trees, and the leaves change color in a stunning display each autumn.

To see the fall foliage at its best, you can take a drive through one of the many scenic routes or go for a hike in one of the state’s many parks. You can also find plenty of fall festivals and events happening

turkeys-in-massachusetts

Turkey Population

The history of the wild turkey in Massachusetts is a long and complicated one. Wild turkeys were once very common in the state, but they were nearly wiped out by hunting and habitat loss.

In the mid-1900s, the state began a program to repopulate the wild turkey population, and today there are an estimated over 30,000 birds in the state. These large birds have grown to be an important part of the state’s natural ecosystem.

While Turkey hunting is allowed, it is also controlled and you do need a permit when hunting during the season. If you want to see these magnificent birds up close, there are several wildlife management areas and state parks where you can find them.

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) long trail that runs through Boston and passes by 16 historic sites that are connected to the American Revolution.

The trail starts at Boston Common and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument, and along the way, you’ll learn about the city’s rich history and see some of its most important landmarks. If you’re interested in American history, the Freedom Trail is a must-do while you’re in Boston.

>Check Boston Freedom Trail History Tour

Series of “First’s” In Massachusetts

first-railroad-in-massachusetts

First Railroad In The United States

The first railroad in the United States was built in Quincy, Massachusetts, and it ran from Boston to the town of Quincy. The Granite Railway was constructed to transport granite from a quarry in Quincy to the construction site of the Bunker Hill Monument.

Although the railway was only about 3 miles long, it was an important step in the development of mass transportation in the country. The first regular passenger service in the country began in 1830, between Boston and Worcester, and by 1834, there were already over 500 miles of track in operation.

Today, the state is home to a number of important railroads, including Amtrak and the MBTA Commuter Rail. It shows how certain historic facts about Massachusetts can also impact modern times.

First Subway In The United States

While New York might be known for its more modern subway system, Massachusetts can lay claim to the very first subway in the United States.

The Tremont Street Subway opened in Boston in September of 1897, making it the first underground rapid transit system in North America.

Nowadays, the MBTA (or “T” as locals call it) is made up of five different subway lines, making it one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the country. If you’re visiting Boston, the “T” is a very convenient way to get around!

lgbtq-flag

First State To Legalize Gay Marriage 

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage. This was a huge step forward for the LGBTQ+ community and helped pave the way for similar legislation in other states.

Today, Massachusetts is known for being one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. In 2017, Boston was named the “most LGBTQ-friendly city” in the U.S. by the Human Rights Campaign.

If you’re looking for a place to be yourself and feel welcomed, Massachusetts is certainly a place for you.

boston-public-library

Nation’s First Public Library

The Boston Public Library is the first public library in the United States and one of the largest libraries in the world. Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library houses over 23 million items in its Central Library and branches.

The library has something for everyone, with a wide variety of books, movies, music, and even e-books and audiobooks available. If you’re looking for a place to study, work, or just want to browse some books, the Boston Public Library is a great spot to visit.

First State Constitution 

The Massachusetts Constitution was the first constitution written in 1780 and adopted in the United States. It was a model for other state constitutions and served as a major influence on the federal Constitution.

The Massachusetts Constitution is still in use today, making it the oldest functioning constitution in the world. To learn more about constitutional law or the history of the United States, the Massachusetts Constitution is a great place to start.

Cities And Travel Destinations

boston-in-massachusetts

Boston

Boston is the capital and largest city in Massachusetts, and there’s plenty to see and do here.

Famous attractions include Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, Quincy Market, the Freedom Trail, and the New England Aquarium. There are also several museums in Boston, like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Exploring the famous neighborhoods and districts in Boston. From the historic Back Bay and Beacon Hill to the trendy South End and Seaport, each area offers its own unique charm and character. One must-visit neighborhood is North End, which is Boston’s oldest residential community and is known for its vibrant Italian-American community.

Stroll through the narrow streets lined with charming brick buildings and iconic bakeries, and indulge in some of the best Italian cuisine in the city. Take advantage of the North End food tours in Boston to satisfy your inner foodie and even historian.

And no matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something going on in Boston. The city hosts several popular annual events, like the Boston Marathon, the Fourth of July celebration on the Esplanade, and First Night, a New Year’s Eve celebration.

The Berkshires

The Berkshires is a region in western Massachusetts that’s known for its picturesque scenery and outdoor recreation. In the fall, the leaves change color and create a beautiful landscape, and in the winter, the Berkshires are popular for skiing and other winter sports.

There are several ski resorts in the area, including Jiminy Peak, Butternut Basin, and Berkshire East. The Berkshires is also home to Tanglewood, the summer music festival of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Other popular attractions include the Norman Rockwell Museum, The Clark Art Institute, and Hancock Shaker Village.

cape-cod-national-seashore

Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a peninsula that’s located in southeastern Massachusetts and is a popular summer destination. The Cape Cod National Seashore encompasses over 40 miles of coastline and is a great place to enjoy the beach, hiking, biking, and more.

There are also several quaint towns on Cape Cod that are worth exploring, like Chatham, Falmouth, and Sandwich.

And of course, no trip to Cape Cod would be complete without sampling some of the delicious seafood. Lobster rolls, steamers, and clam chowder are just a few of the local specialties that you’ll find on menus all over the Cape.

Famous People From Massachusetts

John Hancock 

John Hancock was a prominent American statesman and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was also the first governor of Massachusetts and served in that role from 1780 to 1785.

Hancock was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and he later moved to Boston, where he established himself as a successful merchant. He was an active supporter of the American Revolution and was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774.

Hancock is best known for his large signature on the Declaration of Independence, which is why he’s often referred to as “John Hancock”.

john-f-kennedy

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, or JFK, was the 35th president of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. He was a member of the Democratic Party and also served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts before becoming president.

JFK was born in Brookline, Massachusetts to a wealthy family with strong political ties. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and then joined the U.S. Navy during World War II.

After the war, JFK returned to Massachusetts and entered politics. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1946 and then to the U.S. Senate in 1952.

Architecture And Landmarks

Fenway Park

No list of things Massachusetts is known for would be complete without mentioning Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

This iconic ballpark opened in 1912 and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium still in use today. Fenway Park has a capacity of over 37,000 people and is famous for its “Green Monster”, a 37-foot high wall in left field.

Visiting Fenway Park is a must for any baseball fan, and even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s still worth checking out this historic landmark.

>Check Guided Tour Of Fenway Park

Mohawk Trail

The Mohawk Trail is a historic Native American footpath that stretches for about 2,500 miles from the Hudson River Valley to Central Massachusetts.

In the 1800s, the trail was used as a trade route between the Mohawk tribe and English settlers. Today, it’s a popular scenic drive with beautiful views of the Berkshires and the Mohawk River.

There are also numerous hiking and camping opportunities along the trail, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

famous-harvard-university

Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and it’s located right in Massachusetts.

Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the United States and has produced some of the most influential people in the world.

Over the years, Harvard has educated at least eight U.S. presidents, dozens of Nobel laureates, and countless business leaders and celebrities. To learn more about the university, you can take a guided campus tour or visit one of the many museums on site.

The Kennedy Compound

The Kennedy family is one of the most famous political families in America, and their compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts is a popular destination for visitors.

The compound consists of several large homes in approx. 6 acres of waterfront property, have been in the Kennedy family for over 100 years. It’s where JFK spent his summers as a child, and it’s where his grandchildren spend their summers now.

You cannot visit the compound. However, if you’re a fan of the Kennedy family, or just curious about their history, check out the Kennedy Hyannis Museum.

Travel Insurance

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the world’s leading research universities. Founded in 1861, MIT has produced many notable alumni, including astronauts, Nobel laureates, and entrepreneurs.

The university is especially well-known for its programs in science and engineering, and it has a strong reputation in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, and nuclear physics.

MIT is located in Cambridge, just across the river from Boston, and its campus is full of interesting architecture and sculptures.

In addition to its academic programs, MIT also has several arts and cultural organizations, including a museum and an orchestra.

john-hancock-tower
Photo Credit: gary718/Depositphotos.com

200 Clarendon Street (AKA John Hancock Tower)

The John Hancock Tower is Boston’s tallest building and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. The 62-story skyscraper, which was completed in 1976, stands 790 feet (241 meters) tall and offers stunning views of the city below.

The tower is home to several businesses and restaurants. It used to have an observation deck, which closed after the Sept 11 terrorist attack due to security considerations. However, you can still get views from some of the bars and restaurants.

If you’re visiting Boston, be sure to check out the John Hancock Tower for some incredible views of the city.

Many More Things Massachusetts Is Known And Famous For

These are just a few of the extensive things that Massachusetts is known for. There are plenty of things to see and do in this New England state. From learning its developments throughout history to exploring the fun and interesting landmarks, you probably need more than a single visit.

No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love in Massachusetts. Spend some time here and uncover more things that Massachusetts is known for and has to offer.


WHAT IS MASSACHUSETTS KNOWN FOR? PIN IT FOR LATER!

PLANNING YOUR TRIP? CHECK THESE RESOURCES!

Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

More Adventures

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

LONG TERM TRAVEL INSURANCE

other stories