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State Bucket List: Massachusetts

10. Brunch Fiesta at Masa Restaurant

Boston

The Brunch Fiesta at Masa is a 2-course meal for $10, which is about as good a deal as you can find for food in the city. It's also a top brunch pick not only from the Boston Globe but also from reservation-making website OpenTable. If that's not enough to get you in the door, the combination of live music and over a dozen tequilas might do the trick.

(image via leehayek)

9. Bodega

Boston

Savvy people know that this convenience store is a front for a boutique sneaker store—a secret button on a Snapple machine in the back takes you into the "real" Bodega. But even without making their customers feel like they're in a spy movie, Bodega is hip enough that it's become a global player in the sneaker world.

(image via nina_fromspain & roko.us)

8. Wormtown Brewery

Worcester

Benjamin Franklin once said that "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." How better to honor that sentiment than at a locally-owned New England brewery? Wormtown is all about locally-sourced ingredients, partnerships with local restaurants, and above all, taking the greatest care with the freshest materials to produce the best beer. The tap room's open from noon to nine if you want to stop in for lunch on your way out to Springfield for our next bucket list item.

(image via michaelraymond)

7. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Springfield

Named for James Naismith, the Canadian doctor who created the sport, the Basketball Hall of Fame has been around since 1959, counting 345 players among its honorees. While it's moved a couple of times, it's always been in Springfield, where the sport was born. Sitting on the banks of the Connecticut River, the Hall has more than 40,000 square feet of space dedicated to the history of the sport, and hosts skill challenges, clinics, shooting contests, and more.

(image via wootercourts)

6. Whaling Museum

Nantucket

Originally a candle factory, this museum has an enormous collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and information about the history of whaling. Here you'll find engraved bones, longboats, and the skeleton of a 46-foot sperm whale. There's even a beam press, which was used to get oil from the whales to make candles. Of course, apart from aboriginal subsistence whaling, hunting whales is banned in the United States, so this is a fascinating look into a bygone industry.

(image via gocardusa, CC)

5. Norman Rockwell Museum

Stockbridge

Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where Norman Rockwell spent the last 25 years of his life, the Norman Rockwell Museum is the largest collection of his original work in the world. In addition to the 574 pieces on display, there's also an archive with over 100,000 items—photographs, fan mail, process drawings, and more. It's a must-see for Rockwell fans, Americana enthusiasts, or anyone interested in the power of art to influence social attitudes.

(image via masstravel, CC)

4. Cottage Tour of Martha’s Vineyard

Oak Bluffs

Every summer, the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association hosts tours of the campgrounds and cottages. Originally started as a set of tents for religious camp meetings, the little campsite grew to some 312 cottages which now occupy the area. People still live in them, actually, so if you want to see the inside, you'll have to wait for the Annual Gingerbread Cottage Tour. Otherwise, regular campground tours happen twice a week in July and August.

(image via barrypeters, CC)

3. Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Salem

The Salem Witch Trials Memorial is a tasteful tribute to the 20 people who lost their lives in the proto-McCarthy fervor. The monument was dedicated by Elie Wiesel and is an oasis of respect and reflection in the midst of a weird, weird town.

(image via daveynin, CC)

2. Plymouth Rock and Mayflower II

Plymouth

Plymouth is the epicenter of United States history. This is where the Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World, landed. They left from Plymouth, England, so they must've been homesick or out of ideas for names by the time they landed. Plymouth holds a full-scale replica of the original Mayflower and seeing the ship's small size gives a tangible sense of the hardship those 102 people faced during the 10-week voyage.

(image via boblinsdell, CC)

1. Cambridge Center Roof Garden

Boston

This literal secret garden sits on top of a parking garage that belongs to the Marriott Hotel in Kendall Square. For people in the know, it's a great place to bring a lunch and enjoy the quiet tranquility. Or, if you're a tourist, it's a great place to get a unique view of the city. 

(image via bcahniacnka)