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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Looking to hit the road? Here are some of the top routes that you can take to get out and about and explore through Massachusetts. Along the way, you can check out some of the state’s best town centers, local shopping, one-of-a-kind food options, and amazing natural landscapes.


The Mohawk Trail

The Mohawk Trail is a great drive any time of year. An area with rich history, the Mohawk Trail along Route 2 will wind you through 63 miles of some of the best scenery in the state. Whether you’re looking for mountains, foliage, world-class museums, picturesque New England towns, or some great food, you’ll find it along the Mohawk Trail. Don’t miss the iconic Hairpin Turn outside of North Adams, which offers an iconic view of the Hoosac Valley. Stop to eat at the arc of the turn at the famous Golden Eagle restaurant, which has been serving customers along the trail since 1914 – the year the road opened.

Head out to Orange and simply follow Route 2 all the way to Williamstown. Along the way, be sure to stop by Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, Charlemont, and North Adams.

The iconic Old King’s Highway shot from above, surrounded by green trees, marshes, and rivers.

Old King’s Highway, Cape Cod

Old King’s Highway

The Cape’s best drive is one of only 4 national scenic byways in the state and one of the largest historic districts in the country. The 62-mile route takes you through quaint Cape towns like Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, and Dennis, and passes many popular beaches. You see amazing coastal vistas and some iconic Cape architecture dating back as far as the 1600s. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, be sure to save some time for the Cape’s best antique shops and galleries along the way.

This route can help you avoid some traffic while traversing the Cape during its busy seasons, saving you some time and giving you a better idea of what the area can be like away from some of the most tourist-oriented areas. Drive down to Bourne and take Route 6A all the way up to Orleans.


Connecticut River Byway

Travel back in time one mile at a time along a clean natural landscape and explore farmlands, pastures, sand idyllic colonial villages, all while overlooking New England’s longest river. Through 39 miles, you’ll encounter hundreds of historic sites that preserve American history and offer a great way to escape the hustles and bustles of the big city. The Connecticut River Byway is one of the best places in Massachusetts to get fresh farm-to-table food – some of the farms along the route have been operating for over a century.

You can start at either end of the byway in Northfield or Holyoke, and follow routes 63 and 47 through the Franklin and Hampshire counties of Western Massachusetts.


The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

Just north of Boston, the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway winds through 14 communities along 90 miles of Massachusetts’ North Shore. The route is peppered with beaches, trails for hiking & biking, conservation areas, and working harbors. If you love seafood, there’s no better place to grab some lobster, cod, or the region’s world-famous fried clams.

Starting in Lynn, follow the coast up Routes 1A, 127, and 133. You’ll pass through Marblehead, Salem, and Beverly, before entering Cape Ann, made up of the coastal communities of Essex, Manchester by the Sea, Gloucester, and Rockport.

The front of the iconic Carms Restaurant in Chester, Massachusetts. Lush hills and trees populate the background.


Jacob’s Ladder Trail

A great way to explore the scenic Berkshires of Western Massachusetts is the 33-mile long Jacob’s Ladder Trail, which winds through the hills, mountains, and forests of the region. The roads here have served the region for over 100 years. Historically, Jacob’s Ladder Trail offered an efficient way for the manufacturing and shipping industries to navigate the Berkshires and move their goods through the state. Since the creation of the Mass Pike, the road has become a lot less busy – offering a great way to escape traffic and really enjoy the scenery of Western Massachusetts.

Head out to Russell, Massachusetts, and follow Route 20 up through Lee. The trail is 35 miles long, crossing through Huntington, Chester, and Beckett.


Battle Road Trail

Follow along the path that British troops used on their way to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which marked the start of the American Revolution. Over 21 miles, you will encounter the town centers, buildings, and other structures where revolutionaries lived, worked, and fought for their freedom.

But the area is not just for history lovers – it is also a great place to walk or hike, take in serene forest scenery and farmlands, and experience the shopping, restaurants, and vibes that the picturesque Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord have to offer. In the middle of the scenic byway lies the Battle Road National Park, which is both steeped in the history of the American Revolution, and also a great place to take a walk and relax in a quiet, protected wooded area.

To drive along the direction that British troops took way back in 1775, start just outside of Boston in Arlington and follow Route 2A and the Cambridge Turnpike through Lexington, Lincoln, and up to Concord.

Motorcyclists surround the stone Veterans War Memorial tower atop Mount Greylock.

Veterans War Memorial tower, Mount Greylock

Mount Greylock Scenic Byway

Venture up to Massachusetts’ highest point – over 3,000 feet – and see up to 70 miles of panoramic views through five states. The byway itself is 16 miles long. Along the way there are plenty of areas to stop for a hike, or to just pull over and take in the forest and mountain views. Atop Mount Greylock, you’ll find the granite Veterans War Memorial tower, which is 93 feet tall and was dedicated in 1933.

Start in Lanesborugh and follow Greylock Road and Rockwell Road all they way up to the Mountain’s summit. The byway is open May through October.

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