Tanglewood named Best Massachusetts Attraction

Old Sturbridge Villag,e Salem, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in top five

What's most noticeable in Massachusetts, New England's most populous state, is the sense of history evident around every corner, but the state's diverse attractions extend beyond the historic as well. Visitors can sun themselves on the beaches of Cape Cod, stroll through the nation's oldest public park in Boston or hike through the mountainous Berkshires.

  • Fenway Park
    Boston

    Fenway Park is one of Major League Baseball’s last remaining cathedrals, and home to the beloved Boston Red Sox.  Erected in 1912, the field is nestled right in the heart of the city. Though baseball is the draw, the experience is not complete without Fenway Franks and Landsdowne street vendor sausages. Fenway Park baseball is unique due to the presence of the 37-foot-wall in left field known as “the Green Monstah."
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • Peabody Essex Museum
    Salem

    Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum maintains a staggeringly large collection of some 1.8 million works, including the only complete Qing Dynasty house outside China. Much of what’s on display within the museum represents works of various mediums from the 1700s to today. Pieces come from cultures around the world to emphasize how creativity changes across time, place and culture.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • The Clark Art Institute
    Williamstown

    While The Clark Art Institute is first and foremost an art museum, it's also one of the world's leading centers for art research and education. The 140-acre grounds include a museum with a collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, prints and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early 20th century.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • The Freedom Trail
    Boston

    Starting at the Boston Common, but easily picked up at any point along the way, the Freedom Trail offers historical insight into the city and its surroundings. Easy to "hop on and off", the Freedom Trail weaves throughout the city and highlights some of Boston's most special places, including Park Street Church, the Old State House, Paul Revere House and the USS Constitution.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • Cape Cod National Seashore
    Cape Cod

    Front and center at Cape Cod National Seashore is a 40-mile stretch of pristine sandy beaches, but the park also offers visitors the chance to explore wildlife-rich marshes and ponds, cranberry bogs and historic lighthouses.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
    North Adams

    The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art isn't your conventional art museum. Instead of the usual white walled galleries covered in paintings, this center for the arts focuses on large scale, immersive installations and a variety of live performances (more than 75 each year).
    Photo courtesy of Tim Grafft/MOTT

  • Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

    Situated at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is one of the planet's best whale watching destinations. Each summer, humpback whales visit these protected waters to feed on sand lance. Experienced scuba divers come to observe life below the surface – schooling fish, sponges, moon snails, clams, wolf eel, sharks and ocean sunfish, among others.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • Salem

    Best known for its sinister witch trials in 1692, Salem certainly has its fair share of witchcraft-related attractions. But there’s more to this small town, including a rich maritime history, world class museums, art galleries and numerous waterfront shops and restaurants.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

  • Old Sturbridge Village
    Sturbridge

    Visiting Old Sturbridge Village is like visiting New England in the 1830s. This living history museum is the largest outdoor museum of its kind in the Northeast, with more than 40 original buildings dotting across 200 acres. Costumed staff and heritage breed farm animals bring this historic rural town to life.
    Photo courtesy of Old Sturbridge Village

  • Tanglewood
    Lenox

    The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 200-acre Tanglewood also hosts summer concerts by a variety of world-famous musicians. The performance space includes a 5,000-stead main shed, as well as a more intimate 1,200-seat hall for chamber music and solo acts.
    Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

We asked a panel of Massachusetts travel writers to nominate their favorite state attractions, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites. The results are in!

The top 10 winners in the category Best Massachusetts Attraction are as follows:

  1. Tanglewood - Lenox
  2. Old Sturbridge Village - Sturbridge
  3. Salem
  4. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary 
  5. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art - North Adams
  6. Cape Cod National Seashore - Cape Cod
  7. The Freedom Trail - Boston
  8. The Clark Art Institute - Williamstown
  9. Peabody Essex Museum - Salem
  10. Fenway Park - Boston

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Kim Foley MacKinnonEric D. LehmanEric D. Lehman and Paul Rubio were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Massachusetts.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions.

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Kim Foley MacKinnon

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Eric D. Lehman

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Paul Rubio

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