The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is steeped in American history in ways that have left a lasting mark for tourists to explore. The town of Plymouth was the second permanent English settlement on North American soil and is celebrated throughout the nation every November when Americans remember their Pilgrim forebears on Thanksgiving. Plymouth today offers visitors a look at how early settlers lived and how the local Native American tribes contributed to the success of the Plymouth colony.
In the late 1690s, Massachusetts became famous for a darker reason: it became the site of the largest witch-hunt ever to occur in the land that was to form the United States. The town of Salem is infamous to this day for the witch trials, but in the modern age, that just means that tourists flock there to enjoy a brisk trade in occult ornaments; Salem is particularly fascinating to visit on Halloween, when the town decks itself out in honor of its dark past.
Tourists staying in vacation rentals in Massachusetts will also enjoy the lively culture of performing arts that permeates the state. Many major cities boast an orchestra, but Boston has two: the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Formal music is also available in Cape Cod and Springwood, both of which have symphonies. Other venues for the performing arts include the Boston Ballet as well as Shakespeare Company, which is based in Lenox in the western part of the state.