Named after the Massachuset tribe by English explorer John Smith, the state is perhaps most famous for the first Puritans landing at Plymouth Rock in 1621 and the First Thanksgiving, celebrating the bounty which enabled the colony to survive having learned how to grow food from the Native Americans. Yet, Massachusetts has many more historic stories and some right out of American lore. Likely the most important is the fact that the first shots in the American Revolution came at Lexington and Concord and the Boston Tea Party responding to taxes and oversight from the British. Harvard, the first institution of higher learning in the New World, was established in 1636. During the Salem Witch Trials,19 women were hanged in 1692 for practicing witchcraft. The 200 others accused were not absolved until 20 years later. Later, the state became the hub of the industrial revolution, with workers numbering in the thousands producing textiles, machinery, clocks and other useful gadgets that were shipped throughout the colonies. Today, the eastern part of the state is one big metropolitan hub surrounding Boston and Battle Road, the pathway through Lexington and Concord is an All American Road. But further west, the landscape spreads out, Scenic Byways meander through quaint timeless New England towns, with clapboard houses and village greens. Continuing west, you reach the Berkshires, the summer home of cultural organizations from New York City, bringing world class performances to the rolling hills. This region, laced with scenic drives, is renown for the scenic beauty found all around. Enjoy the contrast as you explore this historic state from end to end.

Massachusetts Scenic Byways