Massachusetts is one of the rare places on Earth that boasts both mountain and water landscapes, and has simultaneously amazing coasts and beautiful peaks. The centuries-old fishing traditions now cater to deep-sea charters and whale watching tours off Cape May. After a little adventure, it’s easy to find a pretty stretch of sand along the cape or even right in Boston itself.
Head inland and the state offers rolling countryside that is perfect for hiking, biking and boating in the valleys that lead up to the Berkshires in the far western region. Massachusetts has converted miles of old railroad tracks into trails dedicated to fun and scenic biking excursions. In the winter, the mountain resorts fire up the state’s downhill ski scene and cross-country trails.
The waters off Cape Cod and Cape May are among the top 10 places in the world to spot whales. There’s a reason Gloucester was such a busy whaling town in its day, but the boats leaving the harbor now only carry tourists on whale watching excursions. Charters like 7 Seas Whale Watch and Cape Ann Whale Watch will take you 25 miles off Stellwagen Bank where it’s likely you’ll find a blue or pilot whale between April and October.
The coast of Massachusetts has a myriad of options when you feel like heading to the beach, and you don’t have to venture far to track down some sand. The best stretches tend to be on the outer islands like Cape Cod’s Nauset Beach and Nantasket Beach. Boogey boarding, swimming, and other water sports are a great way to pass the time in the summer months. There are even sandy beaches right in urban Boston, such as Revere Beach and Crane Beach.
From the mountains of the Berkshires to the rolling countryside of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a great destination for biking. One of the highlights is the network of trails that have been converted from old railroad lines. Firms like Concord Bike Tours and Great Freedom Adventures can rent you all the gear or lead you on epic long rides like the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail or the Minuteman Bikeway which passes through Revolutionary War sites.
Whether it’s salt water or fresh water, Massachusetts has endless places to cast your line for world-class fishing. The state boasts over 500 lakes, rivers, and streams to fish, as well as the entire Atlantic Coast where charter boats head out from cape harbors in search of bluefish, haddock, tuna, sea bass, and more. Gloucester Fleet, Yankee Fleet*, and Black Rose Fishing Charters are just a few of the dozens of professional guides working along the coast.
From Cape Cod all the way to the Berkshires, Massachusetts is home to hundreds of beautiful and challenging golf courses. There are more than enough public courses to tickle your fancy, whether you want to tee up along the coast at Martha Vineyard’s Farmneck Golf Club or challenge the rolling hills of Taconic Golf Club in the west.
From summer through the end of fall, Massachusetts offers visitors a chance to hike some of New England’s prettiest trails. The western Berkshires are ideal for tackling a section of the famous Appalachian Trail or exploring Mt Washington State Forest. Use an outfitter like Berkshire Hiking to guide you along the way or try it on your own - the state maintains all its trails in top condition.