From Andrew Harper
At the heart of New England, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a rich heritage as a hub of America's Colonial incarnation and fledgling democracy. Founded by Puritans in the 1600s, Massachusetts was more recently the first state in the union to allow same-sex marriage. Its geography spans similarly disparate poles, from the bustling Boston metropolis on the Atlantic coast to the forests and small farms of the central and western regions.
The Boston area offers a nearly inexhaustible array of cultural and social treasures, from Colonial and Revolutionary landmarks like Paul Revere's home and Faneuil Hall Marketplace to the hallowed halls of Harvard University in nearby Cambridge. A diverse dining landscape includes gems like Grill 23, a classic steakhouse with polished brass accents and dry aged beef. On the state's western border, the Berkshire mountains are home to Tanglewood, the summer residence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In the southeast, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island have drawn generations of summertime leisure-seekers to their quaint maritime villages, pleasant beaches and luxury estates.