At the heart of New England, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a rich heritage as a hub of colonial America and fledgling democracy. Founded by Puritans in the 1600s, Massachusetts was more recently the first state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage. Its geography is similarly disparate, from bustling Boston on the Atlantic coast to the forests and small farms of the central and western regions.
The Boston area offers a nearly inexhaustible array of cultural and historic treasures, from colonial-era landmarks like Paul Revere’s home and Faneuil Hall Marketplace to the hallowed halls of Harvard University in nearby Cambridge. On the state’s western border, the Berkshires are home to Tanglewood, the summer residence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In the southeast, Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have drawn generations of summertime leisure-seekers to their maritime villages, sweeping beaches and grand estates.