Massachusets is home to one of the earliest established settlements in the northeast. Pilgrims and Puritans were the first permanent European settlers to the state, establishing Plymouth and Rockport. Despite their age, these eight lovely towns preserve their origins, including their native roots pre-dating the European arrival. If you're looking for the perfect state to explore the origins of the U.S., Massachusets is the place to begin.
Rockport is a seaside town surrounded by the Atlantic on three sides. Its vast history pre-dates the arrival of Europeans in the early 1600s. The Agawam tribe lived in the region for centuries, establishing a permanent residency in modern-day Rockport.
Originally named Aux De Isles by Samuel De Champlain in 1605, permanent European settlers didn't arrive until 1623. Rather than fighting with the native tribes, though, most Europeans got along with the Agawam, and the two people groups helped one another thrive.
While a thriving historic town, it's also an exciting and modern place for tourists to indulge. The seafood is delicious and served along the pristine coastline. Enjoy scuba diving, whale watching, cycling, and hiking throughout Rockports rural wilderness sites.
Boston is one of the best-known cities on this list, but that doesn't mean it has no surprises left for visitors. Most notably, Boston is home to Fenway Park and Harvard University. Although, it's also home to several fantastic Revolutionary War-era buildings and battlegrounds.
Boston's history dates to before the arrival of Europeans, with the native Massachusets tribe inhabiting the region. The Charles River was an important aspect of native existence, with them establishing semi-permanent residencies along its coast. Boston was also an important part of the Revolution, with Paul Revere's ride and the Boston Tea Party taking place within its borders.
Visitors should spend at least 3-5 days exploring this city. Between the historical monuments, vast, beautiful college campuses, and modern infrastructures, you'll have so much to experience.
Plymouth is one of the oldest settlements in Massachusetts. It gets its name from the port town of southwest England, where many of the earliest European settlers originated. However, even before European arrival, the area near Plymouth was home to the Wampanoag Tribe. Sadly, this tribe experienced a series of plagues that annihilated nearly 95% of the residents before Europeans arrived.
Plymouth became one of the earliest English settlements in the U.S., established in 1620. The site known as Plymouth Rock is the legendary landing site of the Pilgrims, although this isn't a historical fact.
Despite the debatable accuracy of the claim, Plymouth Rock is still visited by over 1 million people each year. Although, tourists should also visit the National Monument of the Forefathers and Pilgrim Hall Museum. After exploring the great historic sites, visit the seashore and experience the area's natural wonders.
Agawam gets its name from one of the original tribes in the area. The name is thought to mean "place of unloading" or "fish curing place." However, the name was given to honor the first people who resided in the region.
A fur trader named William Pynchon purchased much of the land from the native tribe in 1636. However, the town was not officially incorporated until 1855, when it was called Agawam.
Provin Mountain is one of Agawam's most notable sites and part of the western boundary. It's the perfect place to hike and experience historic sites. It's part of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, a lovely wilderness trail stretching for 114 miles.
Dover is part of Norfolk County, 15 miles outside downtown Boston. Dover's one of Massachusetts's quietest, safest, and richest towns, with a vibrant history that adds to its overall charm. The Benjamin Caryl House and the Dover Demon are two of the city's most renowned tourist attractions.
While the earliest settlers were said to have arrived from Europe in 1640, they didn't gain notoriety until the mid-1700s. Benjamin Caryl was one of the first official ministers in the town and built the notable house mentioned above. It's still standing today and was home to his family and descendants for several generations.
Dover has its own local legend for any mystery or cryptid lovers out there. The Dover Demon was first reportedly seen in 1977 by two young people who saw the demon while driving and crawling through a local farm. If you're up for an adventure, keep your eyes open.
Dedham is a small, picturesque town in Norfolk County. The neighborhoods are small and quiet, with a lot of surrounding natural beauty to enjoy. However, it's also a prosperous neighborhood with a bustling economy.
Settlers arrived in Dedham around 1635 after a ln order decreed settlers push further inland due to overcrowding. After settling, residents established several trades, including one of the first mills in the area.
While the nature trails are a must-see for any visitors, also ensure you see the Fairbanks House Museum. The log house was built in 1636 and housed one of the first European families to settle there. If you love history, you'll love this majestic old house.
Newburyport is located in northeastern Massachusetts in Essex County. While settlers resided in Newburyport before its official founding, it wasn't officially established until 1764. Newburyport is home to the first tea rebellion in the U.S., even though Boston often overshadows it.
Newburyport was an important city during and before the Revolutionary War. It's best known for its shipbuilding capacities and was one of the top producers of clipper ships.
You'll find several of the oldest, still operational places of business in Newburyport. Newburyport's Five Cent Savings Bank is the oldest bank in the nation that's still in operation. If you're planning a trip, stop by and see this old, beautiful building.
Attleboro is a prominent town in southeast Massachusetts in Bristol County. It's commonly known as the Jewelry Capital of the World due to its thriving industry. While it doesn't still produce large quantities of jewelry, it retains its roots in the industry with several family-owned jewelry businesses.
Attleboro was established in 1694, although it was settled in 1634. Wamsutta, a leader of the Wampanoag people, wrote the original land grant permitting European use of the land. The L.G. Balfour Company was one of the first jewelry manufacturers in the city, which aided in its prominence.
Oak Hill is the highest point in the town and an excellent spot for hiking. Capron City Zoo is also an ideal spot for a day trip and the perfect place to visit with children.
Massachusetts has some of the most diverse and amusing small towns that offer visitors an enchanting peak into the past. From Harvard's campus to some of the oldest-built chapels in the U.S., Massachusetts is an idyllic spot for anyone hoping to dive into the nation's founding. However, Massachusets also gives visitors a fantastic immersion into the natural wonders of the northeast. The coasts, mountains, rivers, and forests still paint the landscape, giving the state a pristine and quiet appearance.