Massachusetts is a diverse and historically interesting travel destination. Its attractions include pretty cobblestone villages and green spaces as well as cutting-edge technology hubs. Walk in the footsteps of the early pilgrims, view battleships and lighthouses, experience the excitement of a Boston Red Sox baseball game or watch migrating whales in this state on the east coast of the USA. The season for whale watching, which can be seen from 40km offshore, is from April to October. Massachusetts is the gateway to New England and was the arrival point of the Mayflower in 1620, a sailing ship with which the so-called Pilgrim Fathers came to America from England. 2020 marked the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower. The Boston Tea Party took place in Massachusetts in 1773, one of the triggers of the American Revolution. The state was also one of the 13 founding states of the United States. The Berkshire Hills run through western Massachusetts. To the east, the land slopes down to the sea, where the capital Boston and the beaches of Cape Cod are also located.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about Massachusetts geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
Lufthansa and United offer direct flights from Frankfurt/M. and Munich to Boston. Swiss and United fly direct from Zurich to Boston. There are direct flights from Vienna to Boston with Austrian Airlines (OS). Swiss has connections via Zurich and Lufthansa or Austrian Airlines in cooperation with Lufthansa via Munich.
Boston – Munich: 7 hours 25 minutes; Boston – London: 6 hrs 30 mins; Boston – New York: 1 hour 25 minutes; Boston – Frankfurt: 7 hours 5 minutes; Boston – Vienna: 9 hrs 30 mins (with 1 stop); Boston – Zurich: 7 hrs 15 mins
The Jet Blue Airpass lets you book 3 or more flights across the entire Jet Blue network in the US at once. The Jet Blue Airpass is valid for 90 days, can be changed flexibly, and luggage is included. For more information on the availability of the limited contingents, contact STA Travel on +49-69-255 150 000. Jet Blue flies to Boston.
Arrival by car
Massachusetts has a well-developed road network. I-90 connects Massachusetts west to New York State and runs east to Boston. I-91 connects the Vermont and Connecticut borders north to south, and I-93 runs from Boston to New Hampshire. Bus: Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines, among others, operate in Massachusetts. Tolls: I-90 is partially tolled at the Massachusetts Turnpike. You also pay tolls in Boston for the Callahan and Ted-Williams Tunnels and the Maurice J. Tobin Memorial Bridge. The toll can be paid in cash or electronically using a transponder fitted in the car with an E-ZPass.
Note on arrival by car
Average car travel times: Boston – Hartford: 2 hours; Boston – Portland (Maine): 2 hours; Boston – Albany: 3 hrs; Boston – New York: 4 hours; Boston – Montreal: 6 hours; Boston – Chicago: 20 hrs; Boston – Miami: 31 hrs; Boston – Dallas: 37 hrs; Boston – Los Angeles: 63 hrs; Boston – Seattle: 63 hrs Average bus travel times: Boston – Albany: 3 hrs 30 mins; Boston – New York: 4 hours 30 minutes; Boston – Montreal: 7 hours; Boston – St. John: 10 hrs 30 mins
Arrival by train
Amtrak connects Boston with Washington DC, New York City, Chicago and Montréal (Canada).
The Amtrak USA Rail Pass is valid on the entire Amtrak network. Detailed information under Arrival USA.
Note on arrival by train
Average Amtrak travel time: Boston – New York: 3 hours (on the Acela Express)
Arrival by ship
The port of Boston is a large natural harbor that is served by various shipping companies. Whale watching tours depart from Plymouth’s Town Wharf.
Among other things, Boston is a popular destination for cruises with AIDA, Tui Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.
Boston Harbor Cruises operate from Boston to Provincetown on Cape Cod (1 hr 30 min drive), Salem (1 hr drive), Georges Island (45 min drive) and Spectacle Island (30 min drive). Boston Harbor Cruises also operate high-speed catamarans for passengers without a vehicle. Island Queen connects Falmouth on Cape Cod and Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard daily May through October.
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in Massachusetts.
Boston is a city of contrasts, a pleasant mix of old and new. The town has a distinctly English feel to it, with its hilly, winding, cobbled streets, a well-laid city park, and cozy Victorian houses with polished brass door knockers. Boston played a significant role in the resistance to British colonial rule that eventually led to the American Revolutionary War. Henry James’ novel The Bostonians vividly describes the character of this city. The Freedom Trail passes 16 historic sites, some of which are in Boston National Historical Park are to be found. You can recognize the way by the red signs on the pavement. The highest vantage point in New England is the 60-story John Hancock Observatory, which offers a bird’s-eye view of the city. Other tourist attractions include a harbor cruise that takes in the Boston skyline, the airport and the 1822 USS Constitution in Charlestown’s naval docks. The Museum of Fine Arts, the famous Museum of Science, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum are probably the most interesting museums in the city. Faneuill Hall and the Old North Church are also worth seeing.
The Massachusetts Whale Trail runs across Massachusetts. It connects Provincetown on Cape Cod to the east with Pittsfield to the west. The route passes whaling-era landmarks such as the Seaman’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home in New Bedford and the New Bedford Whaling Museum, dedicated to childhood in the whaling era. The Center For Coastal Studies in Provincetown is also very informative for children, giving its visitors an insight into life in and around the ocean. A highlight on the route is the New England Aquarium in Boston.
Newbury Street on the Back Bay has many ultra-modern shops. Department stores and Filene’s Basement are in the CBD. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a shopping center with small shops and restaurants.
Boston has a long tradition as a revue city for Broadway shows; the theater season is in autumn and winter. One of the major international ensembles, the Boston Symphony Orchestra offers a full season of concerts and has its summer home in Tanglewood in the Berkshire Hills. Boston pops concerts are held in May/June. There are also numerous jazz and dance clubs in Boston, as well as quiet piano bars.
Boston is home to many different ethnic groups and the cuisine ranges from Greek and Portuguese to Syrian and Chinese dishes. Seafood is a specialty throughout Massachusetts; there is local lobster, scallops, clam chowder and halibut.
Best travel time
Warm and sunny from May to October; cold winters.
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