Massachusetts

Overview

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.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Massachusetts

Boston, United States
Four Seasons Boston
Four Seasons Boston

Ideally located across from the Public Garden, this contemporary hotel offers 273 guest rooms, many with views of the garden, Beacon Hill and the State House.

Massachusetts
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Mandarin Oriental, Boston

Sophisticated 148-room hotel on the edge of the Prudential Center complex in the stylish Back Bay, just two blocks from Newbury Street boutiques.

Massachusetts
Fifteen Beacon Hotel
XV Beacon Hotel

This boutique property housed within a 1903 Beaux Arts building delivers contemporary flair along with luxury of a more traditional kind.

Massachusetts
Cape Cod, United States
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

This resort near the historic village of Chatham contains 120 cottage-style rooms and suites spread across 27 acres of gardens, salt marshes and woodlands.

Massachusetts
Martha's Vineyard, United States
The Charlotte Inn
The Charlotte Inn

Charming Martha’s Vineyard enclave set amid gardens in the seaside colonial village of Edgartown, famous for its Greek Revival houses built by wealthy whalers in the 19th century.

Massachusetts
Nantucket, United States
The Wauwinet
The Wauwinet

Idyllic refuge set on a peninsula between a protected bay and a long, unspoiled Atlantic beach on Nantucket.

Massachusetts
White Elephant
White Elephant

Stylish in-town 66-room hotel set in a quiet waterfront location a brief walk from the historic district on the far side of the ferry port, where a never-ending parade of colorful boats makes its way to and from the open sea.

Massachusetts
The Berkshires, United States
Blantyre
Blantyre

Tudor-style mansion set on 100 acres of grounds near Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Massachusetts
Stonover Farm Bed & Breakfast
Stonover Farm Bed & Breakfast

Intimate bed-and-breakfast inn housed in a 110-year-old estate manor, situated on 10 country acres near Tanglewood.

Massachusetts
Wheatleigh
Wheatleigh

Sophisticated and exquisitely restored 19th-century Italianate palazzo standing amid 22 acres of tranquil parkland designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a short walk from Tanglewood.

Massachusetts

Villas

All recommended villas in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, United States
Mainsail
Mainsail

Located within the charming and sophisticated Harborview Place compound, Mainsail is a three-bedroom home beautifully designed and decorated with green living practices in mind.

MassachusettsNantucket
Nautilus
Nautilus

A family-friendly property with access to a private on-site beach, watercraft and all of the comforts of home.

MassachusettsNantucket
Water's Edge
Water's Edge

The charming, one-bedroom Water’s Edge, located within the sophisticated Harborview Place compound, has been beautifully designed and decorated with green living practices in mind.

MassachusettsNantucket

Dining

All recommended restaurants in Massachusetts

Grill 23 & Bar

For more than 25 years, Grill 23 has been a Boston steakhouse favorite. The beef comes from a single herd on a family-owned ranch in California that uses neither hormones nor antibiotics. Some top choices include New York steak, filet mignon and a fine porterhouse. To begin, there is an extensive raw bar with oysters and a generous shellfish sampler. Chef Jay Murray’s weekly menu includes day boat seafood options and several special cuts of beef.

161 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116
United States
$80
L’Espalier

L’Espalier features a mix of New England and French culinary traditions. Chef/ owner Frank McClelland offers starters such as Georges Bank scallops with charred ramps, English peas, ham and a confit of egg yolk. Main courses could be grilled Maine lobster in the style of a Provençal brandade with littleneck clams; or beef rib eye with braised tongue tortelloni, charred eggplant, sweet-and-sour shallots and wild ramps.

774 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
United States
Three-course menu, $95; six-course degustation menu, $115
No. 9 Park

This 1803 Beacon Hill townhouse offers a classic view over Boston Common. Chef Barbara Lynch’s fare can include appetizers such as yellowfin tuna carpaccio with langoustines, sea urchin and Meyer lemon; or gnocchi stuffed with prunes accompanied by foie gras, toasted almonds and Vin Santo. Equally fine main courses might be Faroe Island salmon with creamed sorrel, fiddlehead ferns and mousseron mushrooms; or leg of Colorado lamb with porcinis, malloreddus pasta and Calabrian chili. The intelligently crafted wine list highlights France and Italy.

9 Park Street
Boston, MA 02129
United States
$75. Three-course menu, $70; eight-course chef’s menu, $115