Return to Content

Best Attractions in Massachusetts | 2014 Editors' Choice Awards

Best Attractions in Massachusetts | 2014 Editors’ Choice Awards
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)
by
MASS MoCA

Photo/Art by Sol Lewitt; Building 7; Wall Drawing 340 © Zoran Orlic
Best Contemporary Art Museum Massachusetts | Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCa), North Adams

Looking for fun in the Bay State? You won’t have to look far!Read our picks for the best attractions in Massachusetts for 2014.

BEST CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM:
MASSACHUSETTS MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MASS MoCA), North Adams

More than 100 large-scale wall drawings designed by artist Sol LeWitt are a must-see extravaganza of pattern and color at this bold museum that has transformed old brick mill buildings into a dynamic center for contemporary art. Leave time to explore the entire complex, where gigantic gallery spaces let artists unleash their creativity through often-fascinating installations. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. 413-662-2111; massmoca.org

BEST ILLUSTRATION:
NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM, Stockbridge

There’s something special about viewing Rockwell’s iconic images of American life in the idyllic little town where many of them were created. But it’s not all Rockwell all the time. Temporary exhibitions delve into all facets of illustration, from comic books and cartoons to animation. This summer’s Edward Hopper exhibit balances Rockwell’s sunny view with Hopper’s more sober vision. 9 Route 183. 413-298-4100; nrm.org

BEST MUSIC CLUB:
IRON HORSE MUSIC HALL, Northampton

The Iron Horse sets western Massachusetts toes tapping with a steady diet of acoustic music, alt-country, jazz, and even a little pop-rock and reggae. Although many famous acts play the Iron Horse, most concerts feature journeymen musicians and emerging artists, which keeps ticket prices low. 20 Center St. 413-586-8686; iheg.com

BEST CRANBERRY WINE:
HARDWICK WINERY, Hardwick

From the upper level of a handsome timber-frame barn you can survey the rural landscape while you sample wines made from grapes hand-picked by the proprietors. A judicious addition of local cranberries after the grapes have fermented gives the popular Massetts Cranberry a deep rose color and touch of tart flavor. 3305 Greenwich Road. 413-967-7763; hardwickwinery.com

BEST BOTANICAL GARDEN:
TOWER HILL BOTANIC GARDEN, Boylston

An heirloom apple orchard greets visitors to this 132-acre horticultural showplace, an inspiration to everyone who loves to dig in the dirt. Bring binoculars if you want to look for birds in the Wildlife Garden or a pencil and notebook if you want to record ideas for your own vegetable and cutting gardens. 11 French Drive. 508-869-6111; towerhillbg.org

BEST WITCH HISTORY:
SALEM WITCH HUNT: EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE, Salem

If buildings could talk, many in Salem would tell a fascinating tale of the infamous Witch Trials of 1692. Next-best thing is this film, shot at some of the actual locations and featuring dialogue based on historical records. National Park Service Visitor Center. 2 New Liberty St. 978-740-1650; essexheritage.org/salemwitchhunt

BEST FAMILY WATER PARK:
WATER WIZZ OF CAPE COD, East Wareham

The kids might be impressed to learn that this family-owned park has been featured in two Hollywood films, including a 2013 favorite, The Way Way Back. But they’ll be even more thrilled with the Hurricane Hill water slide, the Squid Row tube ride, and the Mussel Beach wave pool. 3031 Cranberry Highway. 508-295-3255; waterwizz.com

BEST HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENT:
PILGRIM PROGRESS, Plymouth

On a summer afternoon it’s hard to imagine the harsh conditions that the original 102 settlers endured during their first winter in 1621. Only 51 survived, and they’re represented by costumed marchers who make their way past Plymouth Rock and up Leyden Street to Burial Hill for a worship service on the first four Fridays of August at 6:00 p.m. Begins at Mayflower Society House. 4 Winslow St. 508-747-7533; seeplymouth.com/things-to-do/Plymouth-rock-foundation-pilgrim-progress

BEST SHORT FAMILY HIKE:
BLUE HILL TO BLUE HILL METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATORY, Milton

It’s about a one-mile hike on a paved road or through the woods to the 635-foot summit of Great Blue Hill, where the 1885 weather observatory is still going strong. Tours mix old-fashioned science with up-to-date technology and include a visit to the roof for 90-mile views on a clear day. Parking lots on Route 138. 1 Observatory Road. 617-696-0562; bluehill.org

BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKSTORE:
EIGHT COUSINS, Falmouth

This delightful shop has been nurturing new generations of readers—and book lovers—for almost 30 years. It’s always heartening to find as many kids as adults perusing the 12,000 or so titles on the shelves. 189 Main St. 508-548-5548; eightcousins.com

BEST ART GALLERY:
ARTISTS ASSOCIATION OF NANTUCKET, Nantucket

More than 240 active artists belong to the Artists Association, which mounts changing exhibitions of their work in a two-level gallery space. Many focus on island scenes, so it’s a great opportunity to take a fresh look at Nantucket’s beaches, marshes, and weathered old buildings through the eyes of an artist. 19 Washington St. 508-228-0294; nantucketarts.org

BEST NATURAL HISTORY:
CAPE COD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, Brewster

Once you’ve learned about the forces of nature that shaped Cape Cod, studied its various ecosystems, and been introduced to local fish and mollusks in the aquarium, you’ll be ready to hit the three nature trails on the museum’s 400-plus acre site. 869 Main St. 508-896-3867; ccmnh.org

Yankee Magazine Advertising

Bring New England Home
plus, get the Tablet Edition FREE!

In this issue: Summer Off the Beaten Path

  • 12 Best Places to Picinic
  • Acadian Pride in Northern Maine
  • Saying Goodbye to a Summer Home
  • Hidden Gems in the Upper CT Valley
Subscribe Today and Save 44%
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Comments maybe edited for length and clarity.

Register Sign In

©2013, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111

2014-july-regsub-windowshade600x350