Surprisingly, Massachusetts has so much to offer in such small a state great beaches, outdoor fun, fresh-caught seafood, and a wealth of cultural activities.

From the wild seacoast that beckoned Pilgrims in 1620 to the stone walls that sheltered Minutemen in 1775, Massachusetts has been the site of some of the defining moments in U. S. history. It’s a land of superlatives. Not surprisingly, most visitors to the state go looking for things that will fulfill their vision of the nation’s colonial and Revolutionary past. Massachusetts easily lives up to the expectations travelers. From its small towns that remain as repositories of 200-year-old homes to the square-rigged sailing ships continuing to bob in the harbors and fine living-history museums, Massachusetts lets travelers experience sights, sounds and activities of centuries past.

This isn’t to say that Massachusetts is all picture-postcard views and well-preserved communities. It’s as contemporary as any state, with a thriving arts scene, bustling nightlife and a well-developed transportation system. Taken as a whole, it’s an enjoyable combination of what’s now and what came before. Massachusetts’ parks, mountains, and rivers offer wide-open spaces and a chance to hike, bike, canoe, or rocket through whitewater rapids on a raft. Or re-live the excitement and drama of America’s past at one of the many historical locations and walking trails that will transport you back in time.

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