Located in the midst of New England with the lovely Berkshire Mountains to the west and the majestic Atlantic Ocean to the east, the state of Massachusetts is the ideal destination for enjoying spring break. The state’s magnificent scenery and deep historical roots offer amazing attractions for students and families. Near most Massachusetts vacation rentals are abundant opportunities for recreational activities, sightseeing, eclectic shopping, and fine dining. Here are the best spring break vacation destinations in Massachusetts.

1. Boston

boston public park

The city of Boston on the eastern seaboard of Massachusetts is replete with spring break recreational and cultural activities. Join a walking tour of the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile path with 16 historical sites, with the Freedom Trail Foundation. Enjoy the richly colored blossoming foliage on a visit to the Boston Public Garden. View wildlife up close at the Franklin Park Zoo, and marvel at the diversity of marine animals at the New England Aquarium. Check out the Commonwealth Museum for some fascinating displays on the state’s history. Faneuil Hall Marketplace has over 100 specialty shops to browse through. Check out the Taj Boston for a great view along with a mouthwatering selection of Indian and New England cuisine. Sample fine wines with appropriate food pairings on a Boston City Wine Tour.

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2. Plymouth

mayflower ii water st plymouth
Source: Flickr/Robert Linsdell

No visit to the historic town of Plymouth is complete without a pilgrimage to Plymouth Rock, a large boulder that symbolizes the founding of the first colony in New England. Be sure to visit Brewster Gardens, and appreciate the flamboyant spring foliage. The Pilgrim Hall Museum has displays that commemorate the brave voyagers that sailed the Mayflower to the New World, and the Hull Lifesaving Museum tells the story of maritime rescuers. The Mayflower II, a full-sized replica of the original ship, sits at the Plymouth Center State Pier as a museum. For a thrilling experience, explore Plymouth’s paranormal heritage with Dead of Night Ghost Tours. Alternatively, hop in a comfortable van, and tour some of the area’s breweries with Baystate Brew Tours. Look out over Plymouth Harbor while you dine on delicious seafood at the Waterfront Bar and Grill.

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3. Barnstable

hyannis harbor light
Source: Flickr/J. Stephen Conn

The town of Barnstable lies on the north shore of beautiful Cape Cod. Rent a bicycle at Dennis Cycle Center in South Dennis, and explore the many miles of dedicated bike paths on the cape. Join the Cape Cod maritime tradition with a Hy-Line Cruises Deep Sea Fishing tour out of Hyannis. Give your kids the thrilling cruise of a lifetime as they sail aboard the Sea Gypsy with Pirate Adventures. Peruse the displays highlighting the defenders of the U.S. seas at the Coast Guard Heritage Museum. Have some succulent prime rib or fresh seafood on the docks at Hyannis Harbor at the Black Cat Tavern. For dessert, head for Kandy Korner and sample the homemade saltwater taffy.

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4. Nantucket

nantucket harbor mooring
Source: Flickr/Marcy Leigh

Nantucket is a lovely island in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeast corner of Massachusetts. Visit the Nantucket Whaling Museum and the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum for fascinating displays on the island’s maritime history. Enjoy a relaxing guided cycling trip to the island’s historic highlights with Nantucket Bike Tours. Have an experienced captain take you sailing on the surrounding waters with Endeavor Sailing Excursions. Try some unbelievable rack of ribs or pulled pork shoulder at Back Yard BBQ. For dessert, sample some delicious sweets at the Nantucket Bake Shop.

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5. Martha’s Vineyard

aquinnah coast

Famous Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful island just off the coast of Cape Cod. Thrill to the beauty of camellias, rhododendrons, magnolias, and other lovely spring blossoms at Polly Hill Arboretum. Several iconic lighthouses are open to the public for self-guided tours, including Edgartown Lighthouse, Gay Head Lighthouse, and East Chop Lighthouse. Tour the coastal waters and spot local wildlife with Island Spirit Kayak. Try some big game fishing in a comfortable vessel with Done Deal Charters. The Native American Wampanoag Tribe celebrates their heritage at the Aquinnah Cultural Center. Martha’s Vineyard is a shopper’s haven, with a multitude of antique stores, art galleries, jewelers, and other unique venues. To sample some superlative New England clam chowder, head for the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company.

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6. Newburyport

plum island national seashore
Source: Flickr/Bill Ilott

Newburyport is a charming coastal town in the northeast corner of Massachusetts. The town serves as a gateway to the magnificent sandy beaches of Plum Island, an 11-mile-long barrier island that is accessible by road. The Parker River Wildlife Refuge, which provides excellent bird watching in springtime, is on the south side of the island. On the north point, Captain’s Fishing Parties offers whale watching cruises aboard a comfortable yacht. Head for Maudslay State Park to wander miles of walking paths amidst lush spring foliage. The Custom House Maritime Museum has fascinating exhibits on local shipwrecks and clipper ships. The Tannery Marketplace is a cluster of old mills on the south side of town that now house an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Try some first-rate Southeast Asian cuisine at Brown Sugar by the Sea.

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7. Worchester

broad meadow brook worcester
Source: Flickr/claudia snell

The city of Worchester in central Massachusetts is renowned for its artistic heritage. Check out the magnificent paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other artwork at the Worchester Art Museum. To enjoy spring foliage and glimpses of local wildlife, visit the Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which has over five miles of walking trails in its 400 acres. For an eclectic selection of dishes and fine wines, head for Nuovo Restaurant. Have some first-rate dessert at Table Talk Pies.

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8. Springfield

dr seuss museum
Source: Flickr/Davis Staedtler

The city of Springfield, which lies in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley in southwestern Massachusetts, is a great family-friendly spring break destination. On the west side of town is Six Flags New England, an immense amusement park with multiple roller coasters, bumper cars, superhero-themed rides, and many other attractions. The vast Quadrangle Springfield Museums complex includes the fascinating Springfield Science Museum, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. For the adults, Springfield’s Club Quarter features over 60 bars, music venues, and dance clubs.

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