Background: Stephen Phillips House museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Originally built in Danvers

Living in Massachusetts

Massachusetts - The Spirit of America

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Massachusetts

Massachusetts USA Map
Massachusetts USA Map

For those relocating to Massachusetts from outside the state, choosing even a general region within the state to start looking in can often be an daunting one. Many are commuting to Boston proper, and when relaxing in their home thousands of miles away peering at a small map, they are not really able to determine any uniqueness among the different areas. The information contained here a only guideline, based on surveying of the area, as well as experiences and commentary several hundred people who have moved in or out of the region. Hopefully these insights will assist you determine where to commence your search.

During the 19th century, Massachusetts was famous for the intellectual activity of its writers and educators and for its expanding commercial fishing, shipping, and manufacturing interests.

Climate

The Massachusetts climate is mistly a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. ... Summers are warm with average high temperatures in July above 80 °F while overnight lows are above 60 °F. pretty much throughout the entire state.

Demography

  • Massachusetts Geography, Facts and History
  • Massachusetts Facts & Trivia
  • Massachusetts Flags
  • Famous People from Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Timeline
  • Massachusetts Official Song
  • Education

    Massachusetts Colleges. Massachusetts hosts 121 colleges. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in Cambridge, are consistently among the best private universities and universities in the world. In addition to Harvard and MIT, several other Massachusetts universities are currently among the top 50 undergraduate levels in the widely quoted rankings of U.S.S.N. News and World Report

    Economy

    In 2015, twelve Fortune 500 companies were located in Massachusetts. CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2014" recognized Massachusetts as the 25th-best state in the nation for business, and for the second year in a row the state was ranked by Bloomberg as the most innovative state in America. According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing International, Massachusetts had the sixth-largest number of millionaires per capita in the United States, with a ratio of 6.73 percent.[210] Billionaires living in the state

    Sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy include higher education, biotechnology, information technology, finance, health care, tourism, and defense. In recent years tourism has played an ever-important role in the state's economy, with Boston and Cape Cod being the leading destinations.

    As of 2012, there were 7,755 farms in Massachusetts encompassing a total of 523,517 acres, averaging 67.5 acres  apiece. The primary products include green house products making up more than one third of the state's agricultural output, cranberries, sweet corn and apples are also large sectors of production. Massachusetts is the second-largest cranberry-producing state in the union after Wisconsin.

    More than 33,000 nonprofits in the state employ one-sixth of the state's workforce.

    Flora and Fauna

    Massachusetts State Flower - Mayflower
    Massachusetts State Flower - Mayflower

    Massachusetts State Tree - American Elm
    Massachusetts State Tree - American Elm

    Maple, birch, beech, oak, pine, hemlock, and larch cover the Massachusetts uplands. Common shrubs include rhodora, mountain laurel, and shadbush. Various ferns, maidenhair and osmund among them, grow throughout the state. Typical wildflowers include the Maryland meadow beauty and false loosestrife, as well as several varieties of orchid, lily, goldenrod, and aster. Listed as threatened or endangered plants in 2003 were northeastern bulrush, sandplain gerardia, and small whorled pogonia.

    As many as 76 species of mammals, 74 of them native species, have been counted in Massachusetts. Common native mammals include the white-tailed deer, bobcat, river otter, striped skunk, mink, ermine, fisher, raccoon, black bear, gray fox, muskrat, porcupine, beaver, red and gray squirrels, snowshoe hare, little brown bat, and masked shrew.

    336 resident bird species in the state the mallard, ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, herring gull, great horned and screech owls, downy woodpecker, blue jay, mockingbird, cardinal, and song sparrow. Native inland fish include brook trout, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, and yellow perch; brown trout, carp, and smallmouth and largemouth bass have been introduced. Native amphibians include the Jefferson salamander, red-spotted newt, eastern American toad, gray tree frog, and bullfrog.

    Common reptiles are the snapping turtle, stinkpot, spotted turtle, northern water snake, and northern black racer. The venomous timber rattlesnake and northern copperhead are found mainly in Norfolk, Hampshire, and Hampden counties.

    The Cape Cod coasts are rich in a variety of shellfish, including clams, mussels, shrimps, and oysters. Twenty-one Massachusetts animal species were classified as threatened or endangered in 2003. Among them were the American burying beetle, the bald eagle, puma, shortnose sturgeon, five species of whale, and four species of turtle.

  • Massachusetts State Bird (Black-capped Chickadee)
  • Massachusetts Official State Flower (Mayflower)
  • Massachusetts Official State Tree (American Elm)
  • Government

    Massachusetts State House
    Massachusetts State House
    The Massachusetts State House, is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located in the Beacon Hill/Downtown neighborhood of Boston. The building houses the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature) and the offices of the Governor of Massachusetts. The building, designed by architect Charles Bulfinch, was completed in January 1798 at a cost of $133,333 (more than five times the budget), and has repeatedly been enlarged since. It is considered a masterpiece of Federal architecture and among Bulfinch's finest works, and was designated a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance.

    The governor and lieutenant governor are elected jointly every four years. The governor appoints all state and local judges, as well as the heads of the 10 executive offices. Both the governor and lieutenant governor must have resided in the state for at least seven years; there is no minimum age specified for the offices.

    Other elected officials include the attorney general, secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer and receiver-general, and auditor of the commonwealth. All serve four-year terms. To vote in a Massachusetts district, a person must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and a state resident. Those convicted of corrupt practices with respect to elections and those under guardianship with respect to voting may not vote.

  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Attractions

    Art, music, colonial history, patriotic landmarks, shopping, idyllic beaches, laid-back islands, succulent seafood - Massachusetts has something for everyone. Take your pick from attractions that range from classical music concerts by a world-class symphony orchestra to perfecting your tan on a pristine beach. As one of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts has preserved more than its share of historic landmarks from as far back as pilgrim days. But it's not all history - in Boston's vibrant Faneuil Hall Marketplace, you'll find fashions as new as tomorrow. Landscapes are just as varied, and as you explore these must-see sights, you'll find rolling mountains, waves crashing on rocky shores, green pastures and farmlands, deep forests, and beautiful little postcard-perfect villages that Norman Rockwell immortalized in his paintings.

    Bakers Island Lighthouse
    Bakers Island Lighthouse
    Lighthouses in Massachusetts - Lighthouses in the state of Massachusetts as identified by the United States Coast Guard. Enumeration of the lighthouses in this state is complicated by the number of multiple tower stations and replacement of older towers, with the Brant Point Light station having had nine towers, two of which survive. At present there are forty-seven active towers, of which eleven are privately maintained; thirteen are standing but inactive, seven have been replaced with skeleton towers, thirteen have been destroyed or removed, and one tower has been moved to another state.

  • Massachusetts Tourism Board
  • Amusement Parks

    Edaville USA, Carver
      Edaville Railroad is a heritage railroad in South Carver, Massachusetts, opened in 1947. It is one of the oldest heritage railroad operations in the United States. It is a 2 foot narrow gauge line that operates excursion trains for tourists, built by the late Ellis D. Atwood (initials E.D.A, for which Edaville is named) on his sprawling cranberry plantation in Southeastern Massachusetts.
    Salem Willows, Salem
      Salem Willows is an oceanfront neighborhood and amusement park in Salem, Massachusetts. It is named for the European white willow trees planted there in 1801 to form a shaded walk for patients convalescing at a nearby smallpox hospital. There are two large arcades and also a batting cage, air hockey, several pinball machines and bumper cars. There is an eatery between the arcade's two game rooms. There are two small beaches located on the Willows which is a common place for tourist to go and see the surrounding cities and towns.
    Six Flags New England, Agawam
      Six Flags New England (SFNE) is an amusement park located in Agawam, Massachusetts, a western suburb of Springfield, Massachusetts. Dating to the late 19th century, it is the oldest amusement park in the Six Flags chain.

      The park is home to many rides and attractions, including two World Class Roller Coasters: Wicked Cyclone and Superman the Ride. Superman the Ride is 208 feet tall and drops 221 feet into a tunnel, reaching a top speed of 77 mph. It is considered one of the best steel roller coasters in the world according to the trade magazine Amusement Today, which awarded it the prestigious Golden Ticket award in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

      Wicked Cyclone is the first hybrid roller coaster to hit the East Coast. It is 109 feet tall and reaches a top speed 55 mph. It includes three inversions, the World's first hangtime stall, 14 airtime hills, and the world's first double reversing banking airtime hill. Wicked Cyclone was voted the 2nd Best New Roller Coaster on the planet for the 2015 season with Fury 325 in first place. It has been in the top 30 ever since it was in the Golden Ticket Awards and never went down.

    National Parks

    Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, MA
      From the sweet little farm at the foot of Penn’s Hill to the gentleman’s country estate at Peace field, Adams National Historical Park is the story of “heroes, statesman, philosophers … and learned women” whose ideas and actions helped to transform thirteen disparate colonies into one united nation.
    Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, RI,MA
      The Blackstone River powered America's entry into the Age of Industry. The success of Samuel Slater's cotton spinning mill in Pawtucket, RI touched off a chain reaction that changed how people worked and where they lived, and continues to reverberate across the nation to this day. Come visit and see how this revolution transformed the landscape of the Blackstone Valley and then the United States.
    Boston National Historical Park, Boston, MA
      Discover how one city could be the Cradle of Liberty, site of the first major battle of American Revolution, and home to many who espoused that freedom can be extended to all.
    Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Boston, MA
      . . . where you can walk a Civil War-era fort, visit historic lighthouses, explore tide pools, hike lush trails, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming-all within reach of downtown Boston. Youth programs, visitor services, research, wildlife management, and more are coordinated on the park's 34 islands and peninsulas by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership
    Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet, MA
      The great Outer Beach described by Thoreau in the 1800s is protected within the national seashore. Forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod's past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today's visitors.
    Essex National Heritage Area, Essex County, MA
      The Essex National Heritage Area begins just 10 miles north of Boston and covers 500 square miles of eastern Massachusetts to the New Hampshire border. The Area includes hundreds of historical sites, miles of intact landscapes, glistening coastal regions and lifetimes of rich experiences that chronicle the history of our region and of our nation.
    Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, MA
      Discover the Continuing Revolution. Lowell’s water-powered textile mills catapulted the nation – including immigrant families and early female factory workers – into an uncertain new industrial era. Nearly 200 years later, the changes that began here still reverberate in our shifting global economy. Explore Lowell, a living monument to the dynamic human story of the Industrial Revolution.
    Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord, Lincoln, Lexington, MA
      At Minute Man National Historical Park the opening battle of the Revolution is brought to life as visitors explore the battlefields and structures associated with April 19, 1775, and witness the American revolutionary spirit through the writings of the Concord authors.
    New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, New Bedford, MA
      "The town itself is perhaps the dearest place to live in, in all New England..nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses, parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford…all these brave houses and flowery gardens came from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. One and all, they were harpooned and dragged up hither from the bottom of the sea." H. Melville, "Moby-Dick"
    New England National Scenic Trail, MA,CT
      From the Sound to the Summits: the New England Trail covers 215 miles from Long Island Sound across long ridges to scenic mountain summits in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The trail offers panoramic vistas and close-ups of New England’s natural and cultural landscape: traprock ridges, historic village centers, farmlands, unfragmented forests, quiet streams, steep river valleys and waterfalls.
    The Last Green Valley National heritage Corridor, Danielson, CT,MA
      Discover the beauty of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor! Spanning 35 towns in northeastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts, The Last Green Valley is surprisingly rural and uniquely historic. With 1,100 square miles that are still 77% forests and farms, the pastoral landscape is interspersed with powerful rivers, mill villages, and vibrant town centers.

    Sports

    Massachusetts is home to five major league professional sports teams: seventeen-time NBA Champions Boston Celtics, eight-time World Series winners Boston Red Sox, six-time Stanley Cup winners Boston Bruins, and five-time Super Bowl winners New England Patriots. The New England Revolution is the Major League Soccer team for Massachusetts and the Boston Cannons are the Major League Lacrosse team. The Boston Breakers were the Women's Professional Soccer in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is also the home of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

  • Massachusetts Sports
  • Taxes

    Tax Facts
    • State income tax: 5.10% flat rate
    • Sales tax: 6.25%
    • Property tax: 1.20% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 26.54 cents per gallon

    Transportation

    Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport
    United Airlines Fleet Boeing 737-924(ER)(WL) landing and takeoff at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport
    Massachusetts Airports. There are 45 Massachusetts airports for the public to use. The airports in Massachusetts are unloaded and thus the journey of the airmen is simplified considerably. Massachusetts Airports are clean and well-maintained, with friendly service.

    Of all Massachusetts airports, the Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport is the only international airport. This airport has many facilities on its premises such as. Shops, newspaper and gift shops, grocery and beverage shops, public internet access systems, salon and spa services and duty-free shopping. The airport is also proud of the artworks it has exhibited. The airport has state-of-the-art technology and a helpful staff to help travelers make their journey easier.

    Regional public transportation The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), also known as "The T", operates public transportation in the form of subway, bus, and ferry systems in the Metro Boston area.

    An additional 15 other regional transit authorities provide public transportation in the form of bus services in the rest of the state.

    Frequent intercity service is provided by private bus carriers, including Peter Pan Bus Lines (headquartered in Springfield), Greyhound Lines, and BoltBus. Various Chinatown bus lines depart for New York from South Station in Boston.

    Ferry

    The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority regulates freight and passenger ferry service to the islands of Massachusetts including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

    Rail

    Two heritage railways are also in operation: the Cape Cod Central Railroad and the Berkshire Scenic Railway.

    Long-distance rail and bus Amtrak operates inter-city rail, including the high-speed Acela service to cities like Providence, New Haven, New York City, and Washington, DC from South Station. From North Station the Amtrak Downeaster serves Portland, Maine and Brunswick, Maine. Amtrak also runs east-west from Boston South Station to Worcester, Springfield, and eventually Chicago, Illinois; and north-south from the Pioneer Valley to New Haven, Connecticut via Hartford. Amtrak carries more passengers between Boston and New York than all airlines combined although there are infrequent trips to other cities. 

    MBTA Commuter Rail services run throughout the larger Greater Boston area, including service to Worcester, Lowell, and Plymouth. This overlaps with the service areas of neighboring regional transportation authorities. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority in collaboration with the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is operating the CapeFLYER providing passenger rail service between Boston and Cape Cod.

    Rail freight As of 2015, a number of freight railroads were operating in Massachusetts, with CSX being the largest carrier. Massachusetts has a total of 892 miles of freight trackage.

    Seaports and maritime facilities

    Port of Boston
    Port of Boston
    The Port of Boston includes Cruiseport Boston and facilities in the Boston Marine Industrial Park in South Boston, and others in East Boston and Charlestown

  • Boston Autoport, Charlestown - Automobile shipping, leased to private operator.

  • The Boston Fish Pier, South Boston - Seafood processing, acquired in 1972.

  • East Boston Shipyard and Marina - Marginal Street, East Boston - Former Navy and Bethlehem Steel site, equipped for ship repair.

  • Fargo Street Terminal, South Boston - Storage and support activities

  • Flynn Cruiseport Boston (formerly the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal), One Black Falcon Avenue, South Boston

  • Paul W. Conley Terminal, First & Farragut Road, South Boston - Container port

  • Mystic Piers 48,49 and 50, Charlestown - Used for bulk storage and shipping of salt since the 1980s

  • Medford Street Terminal, Charlestown - Dock, office, and warehouse areas, purchased in 1986 from Revere Sugar Refinery and Somerville Lumber.

  • Massport Marine Terminal (MMT)/North Jetty, South Boston - Used for Big Dig staging, berths now available. Being developed for seafood processing.

  • International Cargo Terminal, 88 Black Falcon Avenue, South Boston - Warehouses and office space

    Massachusetts Housing

    The median home value in Massachusetts is $401,500. Massachusetts home values have gone up 6.2% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 9.1% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Massachusetts is $253. The median price of homes currently listed in Massachusetts is $439,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $371,500. The median rent price in Massachusetts is $2,500.
  • Massachusetts Association of Realtors
  • Massachusetts Real Estate Board of Registration
  • Massachusetts Real Estate Listings
  • Massachusetts Cities and Towns

    Massachusetts classifies municipalities as either cities or towns, distinguished only by their form of government. Under state law, towns have an open town meeting or representative town meeting form of government. Cities, on the other hand, use a mayor-council or council-manager form, and are classified by the Census as "populated places". Based on the form of government, there are 14 counties in Massachusetts (although the state has abolished eight of its fourteen county governments between 1997 and 2000). There are 295 towns and 56 cities in Massachusetts. Some municipalities, however, still refer to themselves as "towns" even though they have a city form of government.
  • Massachusetts Cities and Towns
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