City streets and cow-dotted pastures, windswept beaches and forest-covered mountains: Massachusetts offers an incredible diversity of landscapes. The state is small, but its scenery will satisfy your craving for eye candy (surely the foremost requirement for a rewarding road trip).
When you’re ready for a pit stop, the Commonwealth has you covered, with a tantalizing spread of local specialties, such as fruit and vegetables straight from the farm and succulent seafood right out of the ocean. So fuel up, because you have a lot to do.
Massachusetts trips show off four centuries of dramatic history, rich displays of artistry and creativity and thrilling opportunities for outdoor adventure. Here are the six best Massachusetts road trips.
Editor’s note: Please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government advice.
This drive follows the southern New England coast. A week of whale-watching, maritime museums and sailboats will leave you feeling pleasantly waterlogged.
From a pirate’s perspective, there was no better base in Colonial America than Newport, given the easy access to trade routes and friendly local merchants. Until 1723, that is, when the new governor ceremoniously hanged 26 sea bandits at Gravelly Point. This classic trip highlights the region’s intrinsic connection to the sea, from upstart pirates to upper-crust merchants,
Somebody – a New Englander, no doubt – once said that “the humble clam…reaches its quintessence when coated and fried.” The big-bellied bivalve – lightly battered and deeply fried – supposedly originated in Essex, Massachusetts, so Cape Ann is an ideal place to sample the New England specialty.
This North Shore route takes you from clam shack to clam shack, with breaks in between eating for beachcombing, bird-watching, gallery hopping and plenty of picture-taking.
These country roads offer a mix of cultural riches, sweet farmland and mountain scenery. In summer, enjoy music and dance in the open air; in autumn, indulge in apples straight from the orchard.
Pack a picnic of farm-fresh fruit and local cheese, spread your blanket on the lush green lawns, and settle in for an evening of world-class music under the stars. Or world-class dance.
Or Shakespeare. Or experimental theater. Indeed, for every day you spend hiking the hills and photographing the scenery, you can spend an evening taking in a cultural masterwork.
Travel stats: 2-3 days; 46 miles
New England’s oldest scenic highway offers invigorating art and architecture, stimulating action and adventure, and spectacular mountain scenery – everything you need for a weekend getaway.
The road winds ever upward. Suddenly, around a bend, there’s a clearing in the forest and the landscape sprawls out in a colorful tapestry, yielding views across the valley and into neighboring states.
Welcome to the Western Summit of the Mohawk Trail, a 63-mile stretch of scenic byway, showing off raging rivers, idyllic farms and forest-covered mountains. Drivers, beware: it’s practically impossible to keep your eyes on the road.
Style & Beauty Editor / Jennifer Bar
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