The Massachusetts Cultural Coast

Within a short distance of the coastal beauty of Cape Cod and the Islands lies the continuing story of the region’s history and culture. This region, know as the Massachusetts Cultural Coast, embraces the entire area south of Boston surrounding and including Cape Cod.  When you visit Cape Cod and the Islands, plan to extend your stay and take in the history, art and culture that spawned a nation.

There are few places in America like the Cultural Coast, where visitors can take in hundreds of extraordinary sites in such close proximity - like the first landing place of the Pilgrims at First Encounter Beach in Provincetown; the crossroads of the village of Plymouth, home of the first sustaining colony in the New World; the once thriving whaling capital of the world at the port of New Bedford; or the birthplaces of two presidents, father and son, at the Adams homestead in Quincy. Out of those momentous beginnings comes a legacy of art and culture dating back to the native crafts of the Wampanoag people of Mashpee and the melodic sea shanties of the fisherman of Nantucket. These are the treasures of the Massachusetts Cultural Coast. The thrill of this place is not in the postcards of lighthouses, wooden ships, and presidential mansions, but in the stories of the lighthouse keepers, the sailors and the political architects that made this land south of the port of Boston their home.

Whether it’s maritime history or contemporary theater you seek, you can plan your vacation to include your favorite cultural activities on the Massachusetts Cultural Coast website at Log on to the site’s itinerary planning tool and let your imagination take you on a vacation of your own design. Choose from galleries, museums, concerts and plays. Explore historic byways, architecture, gardens and landmarks. Attend events that define this area and its seasons. In springtime the region opens its doors with daffodil weekends, garden tours and gallery openings. Summer brings county fairs, sailing regattas, maritime events, seaside carnivals, native pow wows and blessings of the fleet. Known for its lush fall foliage, autumn is alive with cranberry harvest festivals, elaborate pumpkin-carving art shows and authentic Thanksgiving feasts. Tree-lighting ceremonies, symphony concerts, first night celebrations and sailor’s Valentines on display typify the New England winter season here. Select a pre-determined theme or create your own itinerary to include something for all of your travel companions.

Once you have planned an itinerary of several days, you’ll find this area the perfect place to explore by car. Driving the scenic coastline and tree-lined byways gives visitors a real look into the trademark architecture and signature villages that make up the towns, cities and counties here. This area is famous for its variety of Bed and Breakfast inns, peppered along the coastline and inland around the many lakes and ponds of the region. The lush forests offer wonderful camping opportunities for those choosing the outdoors. However, many boutique and name-brand hotels offer comfortable stays and luxury experiences as well.

The Massachusetts Cultural Coast offers up vibrant experiential travel that allows visitors of all ages to become woven into the fabric of this place for a brief time, and take away mementos and memories for a lifetime. It’s the place where America begins and her legacy continues in art, culture and history that you can touch… and that touches you, each time you visit. For more information and a brochure, visit