Massachusetts Bucket List: 180 Things to Do in the Bay State

A view of Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse in Edgartown Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

This article has links to products and services we love, which we may make commission from.

Welcome to the Bay State, where there’s always something exciting to discover! 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your Massachusetts bucket list, this guide has it all.

We’re going to take you on a wild ride through some of the most entertaining and memorable activities- including exploring the bustling streets of Boston, relaxing on the beaches of Cape Cod, or immersing yourself in the history of Plymouth.

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll want to add the stunning Berkshires to your bucket list, with its miles of hiking trails and scenic views. 

And let’s not forget about the delicious seafood like clam chowder that the state is known for, which you can indulge in at any of the quaint fishing villages along the coast. 

So whether you’re a born-and-bred local or a first-time visitor, read on to see some of the best things to do in Massachusetts that you should check out.

You may also like our guides on what to do in Massachusetts during the spring, fall, and winter.

Free Massachusetts Bucket List

Amherst Bucket List

Located in Western Massachusetts, Amherst is a small college town that attracts visitors for its charming Main Street and the prestigious Amherst College. 

Browse the campus, explore local shops, or get outdoors for a fun-filled day.

  • Visit Amherst College and walk around the beautiful campus.
  • Wander around the College Museum of Natural History.
  • Book your tickets ahead of time to visit the Emily Dickinson Museum.
  • Catch a movie at Amherst Cinema. 
  • Fill your belly at Pita Pockets.
  • Check out the Yiddish Book Center.
  • Buy some local items at the Atkins Farms Country Market.
  • Enjoy your favorite flavor of ice cream at Cook Farm.
  • Spend the afternoon tasting wine at Amherst Farm Winery.
  • Treat yourself at Elements Hot Tub Spa.
  • Reconnect with nature at Mount Holyoke Range State Park.
  • Visit Puffer’s Pond.
Red brick Amherst Town Hall Massachusetts

Boston Bucket List

Boston is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of things to do.

From visiting the famous Fenway Park to touring the historic Freedom Trail, there’s something for everyone in this bustling metropolis.

  • Take the Boston Duck Tour and learn about the history of the town while riding in an amphibious vehicle.
  • Get a 1-day or 2-day ticket to ride the hop-on hop-off trolley.
  • Take a stroll through the Boston Public Garden.
  • Wander Beacon Hill for historic homes, and do the self-guided audio, Black History Tour.
  • Stop for a sweet treat at Tatte Bakery and Café.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with a Boston donut tour.
  • Have a private tour or a group tour of Fenway Park
  • Explore the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Go for a walk-through Emerald Necklace Conservancy.
  • Enjoy some BBQ at Sweet Cheeks Q.
  • Experience another era in time on the interactive tour of Boston Tea Party ships and museums.
  • Visit the interactive Children’s Museum, find out more in our Boston with kids guide.
  • Stop to play at Martin’s Park.
  • Check out the Boston Fire Museum.
  • Eat some tasty seafood at James Hook and Co.
  • Watch the sunset with a drink on hand on a harbor sunset yacht cruise.
  • Enjoy whale watching from a catamaran.
  • Learn about the history of Boston on this sightseeing cruise.
  • Remember those lost at the New England Holocaust Memorial.
  • Buy something for yourself at the Boston Public Market or Haymarket.
  • Enjoy some Italian food at Salumeria Italiana.
  • Go on a guided tour of the iconic Freedom Trail.
  • Visit the Old North Church and Historic Site that was built in 1723.
  • See the Old North Memorial Garden.
  • Spend some time at The Printing Office of Edes and Gill and learn about colonial printing.
  • Grab yourself something sweet at Bova’s Bakery.
  • Indulge in a guided seafood-tasting tour.
  • Venture burial grounds in this sightseeing trolley tour
  • Watch the orchestra at The Boston Pops.
  • Watch a performance at Huntington Theater.
  • Enjoy some Asian food at Pho Basil.
  • Sample some brews at Samuel Adams Brewery.
  • See the set of Good Will Hunting at L Street Tavern.
  • Sun yourself at a South Boston beach.
  • Get the best skyline pics from Piers Park at East Boston, one of the many Boston parks.

You may also like our ultimate Boston bucket list or see our other guides below.

Our Boston Guides

Skyline of Boston from East Boston on a clear day

Cape Cod Bucket List

Looking to add something to your Massachusetts summer bucket list?

Located on the eastern coast of the state, Cape Cod is a destination known for its beautiful beaches and cute towns. 

Spend your days lounging on the sand or exploring the quaint shops and restaurants in the area.

  • Spend the day in the sun at Race Point Beach, and read our guide to Ptown beaches for more.
  • Ride your bike on the Province Lands Bike Trails.
  • Eat at Mac’s Fish House Provincetown.
  • Party in Ptown.
  • Visit the Atwood Museum.
  • See the Chatham Lighthouse.
  • End the day with sunset at Point of Rocks Landing Beach.
  • Dine at Impudent Oyster.
  • Tickle your tastebuds at Bluefins Sushi and Sake Bar.
  • Take a short trip on the Island Queen Ferry.
  • Look around the Sandwich Glass Museum.
  • Check out Dexter’s Grist Mill.
  • Walk it off with a wander around The Knob, Falmouth.
  • Photograph the stunning Nobska Lighthouse.
  • Grab something sweet at Beth’s Bakery and Café.

You may also like our list of things to do in Cape Cod, date day ideas, and Cape Cod in winter.

View of Chatham Lighthouse in Chatham Massachusetts

Fall River

Fall River is a city located in southeastern Massachusetts that is known for its historic landmarks and the famous Lizzie Borden House. 

Visit the city to explore its history and attractions.

  • Tour or even stay the night if you’re feeling brave at the Lizzie Borden House.
  • Learn about the history of Battleship Cove.
  • Hear about the history behind the Lafayette Durfee House.
  • Eat at Sagres Restaurant.
  • Explore the Fall River Historical Society.
  • Take the kids to The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River.
  • Grab a cup of coffee at The Pink Bean Coffee.
  • Enjoy some beer tastings at Canned Heat Craft Beer.
  • Walk around the Oak Grove Cemetery.
  • Take a walk on the Quequechan River Rail Trail.

Make things to do in Fall River your next read!

Battleship Cove in Fall River Massachusetts

Marblehead Bucket List

Marblehead is a small coastal town located in northeastern Massachusetts that is known for its historic architecture and stunning harbor views. 

Walk around the town to admire the historic buildings, take in the ocean breeze, go for a picnic, and more.

  • Visit Old Burial Hill, one of the area’s most scenic gravesites.
  • Learn about the history of Fort Sewall.
  • Check out the Jeremiah Lee Mansion.
  • Stop for a meal at Maddie’s Sail Loft.
  • Paint your own pottery or visit the gift shop at Hestia Creations.
  • Look around Abbot Hall Maritime Museum.
  • Eat at Shubies.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth at Stowaway Sweets.
  • Watch live music at Me and Thee Music.
  • Find a treasure at Mud Puddle Toys.
  • Take a yoga class at The Yoga Loft.
  • Go for a picnic at Castle Rock.
  • Explore Crowninshield Island.
  • Get a snap of Marblehead Light, the skeleton-like lighthouse.
Skeleton on lighthouse called Marblehead Light in Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard Bucket List

Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful island off the coast of Massachusetts that is known for its stunning beaches, quaint towns, and celebrity sightings. 

It’s one of the best places to see in Massachusetts where you can spend your time relaxing on the beach or exploring the shops and restaurants on the island.

  • Take a bus tour of Martha’s Vineyard. Book via GetYourGuide or Viator.
  • Enjoy a self-guided audio driving tour.
  • Explore the western tip of the island and see Aquinnah Cliffs.
  • Have fun in the sun at Menemsha Public Beach.
  • Delight your taste buds with fresh seafood from Menemsha Fish Market.
  • Take a ride on the Flying Horse Carousel.
  • Get your retail therapy done on Circuit Avenue.
  • Start your day off with breakfast at Biscuits.
  • Go for a stroll through Ocean Park.
  • Grab a donut from Back Door Donuts.
  • Visit Morning Glory Farm for fresh local produce.
  • Enjoy mother nature at her best at Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge.
  • Explore Martha’s Vineyard with a scavenger hunt.

 You may also want to check out our guide on Martha’s Vineyard towns.

A view of Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse in Edgartown Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

Nantucket Bucket List

Nantucket is another beautiful island off the coast of Massachusetts that is known for its pristine beaches and historic landmarks. 

Explore the stunning town and take in the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Look around the Whaling Museum.
  • Check for events at the Nantucket Atheneum.
  • Catch a show at White Heron Theater Company.
  • Enjoy an ice cream from The Juice Bar Homemade Ice Cream.
  • Listen to live music, eat fresh seafood, and enjoy a beer at Cisco Brewers.
  • Spend time with your family at the Children’s Beach.
  • Learn something new at Loines Observatory.
  • Get yourself a treat at Bartlett’s Farm.
  • Splash around at Surfside Beach.
  • Savor a BBQ dinner at b-ACK Yard BBQ.

For more things to do in Nantucket, read this guide

Or if you’re looking to add more to your list of Massachusetts outdoor activities, check out some of the best beaches in the state.

Bike at harbor houses in Nantucket, MA.

North Shore Bucket List

The North Shore is a region in Massachusetts that is known for generally taking in all the towns north of Boston to the New Hampshire border.

Spend your time here lounging on the beach, whale watching, or sipping cider in fall.

  • Go sailing on the Thomas E. Lannon.
  • Beach days at Plum Island.
  • Have dinner atop the Rear Range Lighthouse.
  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Enjoy fresh seafood at Woodman’s.
  • Dig your toes into the sands of the Singing Beach.
  • Spend some time antiquing in all the shops along Route 133 in Essex.

Here’s our guide to the North Shore for more.

Gentle waves along the sandy beach on Plum Island in Newburyport Massachusetts

Plymouth Bucket List

Plymouth is a historic town located in southeastern Massachusetts that is known for its role in American history as the landing site of the Pilgrims. 

From exploring its historic landmarks and visiting many indoor attractions, there is something to see and do when you’re in this place.

  • Board the Mayflower II.
  • Enjoy a cupcake from Cupcake Charlie’s.
  • Get spooked on a ghost and history night tour.
  • See some of America’s oldest gravesites at Burial Hill.
  • Learn the history surrounding the formation of America at The Jenney Museum.
  • See a show at the Americana Theater Company.
  • Eat at Dillon’s Local.
  • Spend time at Long Beach.
  • Learn about the history of how America was founded at the Plymouth Patuxet Living History Museum.
  • Wander around the Plymouth Farmers Market.
  • Indulge in freshly baked bread from Hearth Artisan Bread.
  • Have a unique experience at the Blake Planetarium.

Looking to extend your stay? See our list of accommodations in Plymouth.  

Entrance to Plimoth Patuxet Museums in Plymouth Massachusetts

Provincetown Bucket List

Provincetown is a beautiful town located on the tip of Cape Cod that is known for its vibrant arts scene and stunning beaches. 

Explore the town’s art galleries,  take a stroll along the party streets, go for a cruise, and more.

  • Take  a whale watching cruise.
  • Soak up the sun at Herring Cove Beach or Race Point Beach.
  • Learn something new at Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.
  • Look around the Provincetown Town Hall.
  • Check out an art gallery like Julie Tremblay Gallery or the Cortile Gallery.
  • Admire Suzanne’s Garden.
  • Grab a sweet treat at Provincetown Portuguese Bakery.
  • Stop for a delicious meal at Jimmy’s Hideaway.
  • Dine at The Mews Restaurant and Café.
  • Go for a hike on the Cape Cod Province Lands Trail.
  • Check out the Race Point Lighthouse and the wildlife that surrounds it.

And if you’re looking to spend the night, be sure to see our list of hotels in Provincetown

View of Commercial Street with flags waving overhead in Provincetown Massachusetts

Rockport Bucket List

Rockport is a coastal town located in northeastern Massachusetts that is known for its historic landmarks and beautiful harbor views. 

With its colorful fishing boats, quaint shops, and photo-worthy harbor, this town is a popular destination for artists and visitors seeking a peaceful getaway.

  • Visit Halibut Point State Park.
  • Watch a show at Shalin Liu Performance Center.
  • Enjoy a meal at Pigeon Cove Tavern.
  • Take a stroll down Bearskin Neck.
  • Check out The Art of David Arsenault.
  • Stop for a treat at Helmut’s Strudel or Tuck’s Candy.
  • Go for a walk at Rockport Breakwater.
  • See the Paperhouse.
  • Walk around the Old First Parish Burying Grounds.
  • Take your paint along to Motif #1, Bradley Wharf.

More things to do in Rockport in this guide

Red building called Motif No. 1 on Bradley Wharf Rockport

Salem Bucket List

Salem is a historic town located just north of Boston. 

Famous for its witch trials in the late 1600s, this town attracts visitors who come to learn about the history of the event and the surrounding culture of the time.

This is a great place to visit if you’re looking for historic and thrilling activities in Massachusetts.

  • Hear spooky stories and visit Salem’s haunted places in this guided walking tour.
  • Learn about Salem’s fascinating past in this history walking tour.
  • Visit the House of the Seven Gables.
  • Tick off the Salem Hocus Pocus locations!
  • Stop for a meal at Finz Seafood and Grill.
  • Learn about the history of trade in Salem at the Maritime National Historic Site.
  • See the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, learn more using this audio guide.
  • Walk around the Old Burying Point Cemetery.
  • Eat at the Red’s Sandwich Shop.
  • Visit the art exhibits at the Peabody Essex Museum.
  • Do some shopping at the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall.
  • Grab a pizza at the Flying Saucer Pizza Company.
  • If you’re feeling brave visit Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery.
  • Have an immersive experience at the Gallows Hill Museum and Theater.
  • Visit the boat at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
  • Take a ride on the Salem Ferry.

Check out our guides – things to do in Salem and where to stay.

Witch House front Salem Massachusetts

The Berkshires Bucket List

The Berkshires is a region located in western part of the state known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant arts culture.

With its rolling hills, picturesque towns, and performing arts venues, the Berkshires is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an exciting retreat.

  • Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum.
  • Admire the gardens at Naumkeag.
  • Spend some time at The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.
  • Eat at Once Upon A Table.
  • Take a hike on Monument Mountain.
  • Check out what shows are on at the Tanglewood Theater.
  • Enjoy the day at Furnace Brook Winery at Hilltop Orchards.
  • Walk some of the Appalachian Trail at Mount Greylock. 

You may also like our list of romantic things to do in The Berkshires.

A view of Naumkeag in Stockbridge in the Berkshires Massachusetts

Worcester Bucket List

Worcester is a city located in central Massachusetts that is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic landmarks. 

Visit the city to explore its museums and galleries or take in the beautiful architecture of the city’s historic buildings.

  • Go for a Broadway show, stand-up comedy, or musical at The Hanover Theater and Conservatory for the Performing Arts.
  • See the Worcester City Hall.
  • Check out Quinsigamond State Park.
  • Find a treasure at Crompton Collective antique shop and flea market.
  • Eat at Bocado Tapas Bar.
  • Stop in at the Wormtown Brewery.
  • See the art displays at Worcester Art Museum.
  • Get a tour of the Salisbury Mansion.
  • Explore the Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center.
  • Admire the architecture at Union Station.
  • Hike the Cascading Waters trails.
  • Grab a soup and sandwich at Bushel N Peck.

For more activities in Worcester, read this guide.

Full view of Worcester City Hall during daytime in Massachusetts.

Final Thoughts

We hope our MA bucket list has inspired you to explore all the fun things to do and destinations to visit in the Bay State.

Have we missed any must-see attractions or hidden gems that you love? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *