Massachusetts State Overview

Massachusetts state general data

  • Time zone: 6 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Boston
  • Main towns: Brockton, Cambridge, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield, Worcester.
  • Area: 27.337 km²
  • Population: Approximately 6,800,000 inhabitants.
  • Population density: 248,7 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: MA
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on February 6, 1788, it is the 6th state to join the union.

According to, Massachusetts is a relatively mountainous state with two shores overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, one to the east and one to the south, divided by the Connecticut River Valley. The average altitude of this state is 153m, the highest point being Mount Greylock, which is 1,064m.

Generally speaking, the territory can be divided into three physical regions: the region of the highlands and valleys of the central and western area, the plains of the eastern part and the coastal plain of the southeast.

The highlands and valleys region occupies half the land area of ​​Massachusetts, between Worcester and the New York state border. In the western sector of this region are the Taconic Mountains, where Mount Greylock is located. West of the Taconic Mountains is the Berkshire Valley, where the Housatonic and Hoosic Rivers flow. This valley separates the Taconic Mountains from the early reaches of the Green Mountains, which extend into the state of Vermont. The Connecticut Valley separates the central and western sections of the highlands region. The Connecticut River flows into the Long Island inlet, after passing through a valley that has a maximum width of thirty kilometers. The clayey soils eroded by the river have created a landscape of great beauty. Connecticut’s tributaries, the Deerfield, Westfield, Millers, and Chicopee rivers, have formed deep valleys. East of the Connecticut Valley rises an extension of New Hampshire’s White Mountains less steep and lofty than the Taconic and Green Mountains.

The coastal plains of the eastern part is a region on the eastern border of Worcester County, along the Atlantic Ocean. It is an area where hills and plains alternate. The land is rich from an agricultural point of view. The coastline of this region is rocky in the north, and with inlets all along the coast, produced by the mouths of the Merrimack, Nashua, Concord, Charles, Taunton and Fall rivers.

The coastal plain is a small southeastern region, formed by the Cape Cod Peninsula and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Elizabeth. It is a region of glacial origin.

Flora and fauna– The flora of Massachusetts is very varied and includes both the deciduous forests of oaks, carya and maples typical of the south, as well as those of conifers that are widespread further north. Indigenous wildlife has been greatly reduced due to hunting and prolonged human presence. Small mammals abound, such as foxes, rabbits, raccoons, skunks and squirrels, but bears, wild cats and deer are increasingly rare. There are abundant birds, including aquatic ones.

Climate– Massachusetts is a state where there are frequent changes in weather, due to the confluence of cold and dry winds from the north, with humid and warm ones from the south. This feature means that cloud cover and thunderstorms are frequent. Massachusetts enjoys a hot summer, a short spring, a cold autumn and a long winter, the rigidity of which varies according to the region and the proximity of the sea. In fact, the action of the coastal winds attenuate the cold of the invenal months, and reduce the summer heat. Average temperatures in July in the Boston area are 23 ° C and -2 ° C in January. Precipitation, as already mentioned, is abundant, 1,050 mm of annual average, and evenly distributed throughout the year. Snowfall is frequent and most intense in the west of the state.

Massachusetts: what to see

Of all the New England states, Massachusetts has perhaps the widest variety of natural and man-made attractions. Magnificent seascapes and quaint villages enrich the east coast and Cape Cod. Heading inland, you will encounter historic towns where ancient architectural treasures of America have been preserved. To the west, green valleys and mountains and a rich culture characterize the Berkshire Hills.

Boston preserves within itself the riches of a past that all of America respects with a devotion that borders on veneration.

In contrast to the modernity of the new neighborhoods, the center of the Massachusetts capital is enveloped in an atmosphere reminiscent of that of the cities of the Old World. At night, antique gas lamps illuminate the old houses and narrow, sloping streets of Beacon Hill with their faint glow. In this scenario, traveling back in time only requires a little imagination. For the illusion to be perfect, it is necessary to walk, for about four kilometers, the Freedom Trail circuit (Via della Libertà); public buildings, famous churches, houses that hosted celebrities follow one another along a brick-lined path: Park Street Church, where in 1829 William Lloyd Garrison delivered his famous indictment against slavery and where, in 1832, the famous America was sung for the first time; the house of Paul Revere; State House, seat of the state government, the Old South Meeting House, where the famous Boston Tea Party (1773) was prepared, during which a load of English tea was thrown into the sea; the site of the “Boston massacre” (1770) where the British opened fire on settlers, killing five men.

Across the Charles River, the city of Cambridge is home to Harvard University, the oldest in the United States (1636), with colonial-era brick buildings alongside modern constructions such as the Carpenter Center for Visuals Arts. With Harvard University and the newer but equally prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge is the hub of American academic life.

Cape Cod– Millions of people arrive every summer to enjoy the immense beaches, natural beauty, quaint colonial villages of Cape Cod and the nearby islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Cape Cod National Seashore, which stretches for more than 65km along the northernmost part of the cape, from Provincetown to Chatham, famous for its horseshoe-shaped dunes, white sand beaches, salt marshes, moraine cliffs and woodlands. Ancient structures such as Old Harbor Life Saving Station and Atwood Higgins House stand amidst the area’s natural beauty. One of the best known destinations is Provincetown. This town has a historical past, today, Provincetown is lively especially in the summer, when its population increases and and is one of the main gay resorts. McMillan Wharf is the starting point for whale watching cruises. The Railroad Museum, located in a Victorian station from 1887, displays photos, mementos and vintage railway carriages. Hyannis, the largest village on Cape Cod famous as the summer home of the Kennedy family. Hiking, salt marshes, tidal basins and 19km of beaches draw visitors to Falmouth. In town there is also the Shining Sea Bike Path (5km), overlooking the beach, bay and woods. Sandwich, the Cape’s largest town, looks like it came out of a postcard: a church mirrored in a picturesque pond. The church bell, from 1675, is said to be the oldest in the United States. According to, the most bizarre attraction in the city are the Heritage Museums & Garder 30 hectares of gardens and a museum.

Tourist and cultural places – Massachusetts rich cultural tradition with numerous museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Worcester Museum of Art, the Fogg Museum of Art, the Busch-Reisinge r Museum, the Berkshire County Historical Society Museum, the University of Boston, the Children’s Museum, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Cordova and Dana Museum, the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute of Art, the Museum of Science and the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. In Boston there is the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library which houses the documents of the president and his brother, Senator Robert Francis Kennedy, both assassinated in the sixties.

According to, the most important tourist spots in Massachusetts beyond Cape Cod are the areas of Martha’s Vineyard and the Nantucket Islands. The island of Martha’s Vineyard combines stunning natural scenery with the charm of a seaside town full of opportunities for outdoor activities. Each city has its own atmosphere and architectural style. Nantucket Island, an oasis of calm with a single town, remains a pristine world of moraine ponds, quiet beaches, lingonberry-filled swamps and fields of wild grapes.

There are many historic sites including Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrim Fathers are said to have landed in 1620.

Curiosity– Massachusetts has a large number of arts organizations, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Opera Company, the Boston Ballet, the Stage West, the Huntington Theater Company, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. In addition, numerous festivals are organized, especially in the summer months, such as the Williamstown and Berkschire Theater Festivals, and the Jacob’s Pillow Music and Dance Festival.

Massachusetts has teams that compete in the most popular professional leagues in the United States: the Boston Red Sox, in baseball; the Boston Celtics in basketball, the Boston Bruins in ice hockey and the New England Patriots in American football.

Massachusetts State Overview