One of the original 13 colonies, Massachusetts is one of six New England states. Often referred to as a commonwealth, it was — and is — inhabited by members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, as well as the landing place of the Pilgrims. Dubbed the “Bay State” given its abundance of bays — among them Nahant Bay, Quincy Bay, Narragansett Bay, Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay — it’s a scenic, historic place to both visit and call home.
Not surprisingly, there are plenty of other reasons Massachusetts is an appealing state to move to. In 2021, it had an inbound traffic rate of 42.4%, per United Van Lines’ 45th Annual National Movers Study. Jobs and family were the primary reasons cited for making the move to Massachusetts in 2021. Breaking that down further, Jobs accounted for 38.6% of moves, while family was cited by 37.6% of respondents as the reason for moving.
Considering a move to Massachusetts yourself? Read on to learn more about why moving to the state with an expert moving company like United Van Lines might make sense.
The Advantages of Moving to Massachusetts
A move to Massachusetts paves the way for a whole host of diverse lifestyle perks, be it ocean, inland or mountain living amid highly varied terrain.
Moving for work or considering moving to the state of Massachusetts to find a new job? The state gained 5,500 jobs in May 2022, the largest of them being in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and information technology. As for the unemployment rate, it stands at 3.8%, slightly higher than the national level (3.6%).
The state of Massachusetts boasts some of the nation’s best public school options, colleges and universities. For example, Cambridge’s Harvard University is ranked second nationally, tying with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Meanwhile, Tufts University in Medford is ranked 28th in the US.
There’s plenty to like when it comes to recreational opportunities as well. An outdoor lover’s paradise, you can learn more about the plethora of immersive opportunities — including some of the country’s most challenging hikes — below and in our national parks guide.
Top Growing Cities in Massachusetts
With a total population of over seven million residents amid small towns and metropolitan areas, Massachusetts’ population grew by 7.4%, according to the 2020 US Census. In the last decade alone, the state has welcomed over 480,000 new residents.
As for where these new residents are settling, counties with the highest influx of residents include Middlesex County (+128,917), Suffolk County (+75,913) and Essex County (+66,670). Among Middlesex County’s most beloved locales are Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Somerville and Framingham. In Suffolk County, Boston, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop are popular spots. Meanwhile, Essex County is home to Beverly, Lawrence, Lynn and Methuen.
Weather in Massachusetts
Featuring a humid continental climate, Massachusetts tends to be warmer overall by the coast. By contrast, it’s cooler in the Berkshires year-round. Not surprisingly, winters are cold and snowy in the state of Massachusetts, especially in the western region due to its higher elevation. Be prepared to bundle up during the chilliest months, when nighttime temperatures can drop below 0° F.
A welcome relief, summers are warm, though thunderstorms are fairly common during this season.
Understandably, you may find yourself wondering about the best time to move to Massachusetts. May through October are the most temperate months of the year.
Fun and Exciting Things You Can Do in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has so many cool and unusual things to do during your free time.
Hidden behind a faux Snapple machine in the back of a corner store filled with dusty non-perishable food, Boston’s Bodega is a hip streetwear store chock-full of high-end labels, including the latest kicks — which is just the ticket for sneaker-heads far and wide.
A verdant oasis in the shadow of Fenway Park is the Fenway Victory Gardens, one of the last remaining World War II Victory Gardens in the nation.
History buffs should consider visiting the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum, which reveals the history and culture of the Wampanoag from the Stone Age to the present day, with displays of ancient artifacts and other Native American heirlooms, including baskets, weapons, utensils, tools, hunting and fishing implements.
Have a thing for sweets? You’re in luck since the first Dunkin’ Donuts is located in the town of Quincy, the “City of Presidents” and birthplace of John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. Offering a retro setting perfect for caffeinating, this “museum” offers the perfect pick-me-up morning, noon and night.
Want a good scare? Head to the Salem Witch Museum, which relays the history of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Offering guided tours and audiovisual displays, it brings the trials’ harrowing — yet fascinating — history to light.
Of course, professional sports enthusiasts will find their match. Massachusetts’ plethora of teams include the Boston Red Sox at historic Fenway Park. Not to be overlooked are the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics and New England Patriots.
Outdoor Experiences in Massachusetts
For those looking to enjoy the great outdoors, Massachusetts has 16 national historical sites and scenic trails to explore. Among them is the storied — and incredibly demanding — Appalachian Trail.
A breathtaking way to pass a day — or more — Cape Cod National Seashore features over 40,000 acres replete with picturesque ponds, wooded walks and scenic oceanfront. Whether you choose to take a hike, chill at the beach, bike, canoe or kayak, keep watch for the area’s marine life, which includes seals, great white sharks and whales.
Massachusetts has an abundance of state parks as well. At Borderland State Park in Sharon, you’ll find over 20 miles of hiking trails, along with the historic Ames mansion. Additionally, it’s an idyllic place to bike, go horseback riding, or cast a line or boat.
Once a reservoir that provided water for the city of Chicopee, Chicopee Memorial State Park is a great place to take a dip. Set along the Chicopee Reservoir, the park is a great spot to mountain bike, hike or simply catch some rays on the beach. Come winter, it’s a popular location to cross-country ski.
Meanwhile, history buffs should consider walking Minute Man National Historical Park. Site of the battlegrounds from the first armed conflict of the American Revolution, which occured on April 19, 1775, it’s spread across the cities of Lexington, Lincoln and Concord. Here, you can watch a reenactment of these pivotal moments in American history, hike the Battle Road Trail or embark on a guided tour.
Looking for another historical option? Make fast tracks to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, a patriotic spot with costumed actors, interactive exhibits and full-scale replicas of 18th-century sailing vessels.
Massachusetts Eats: Best Places to Eat in the Bay State
Known for its New England-style clam chowder, baked beans, Boston cream pie and lobster rolls, the state of Massachusetts has plenty to offer food lovers. Many of these iconic eats can be enjoyed in — no surprise here — historic settings.
A few classic places to check are:
- Boston’s Union Oyster House, a National Historic Landmark and one of the nation’s oldest restaurants, serves everything from chilled lobster rolls to fresh-shucked oysters
- The 1761 Old Mill in Westminster, set in a repurposed 1761 sawmill with scenic views of the mill dam and a covered bridge, is known for its lineup of all the fresh catches, which arrive with storied corn fritters and pecan rolls
- The Lobster Pot in Cape Cod’s Provincetown is a longtime waterfront destination for award-winning clam chowder and other seafaring faves
- For a sweet treat, swing by Italian bakery Mike’s Pastry in Boston, founded in 1946 and famous for its cannoli, it also dishes up some of the best Boston cream pie around
Have a hankering for something a bit more unique? Score the Elvis burger from KC’s Classic Burger Bar in North Attleboro. It’s topped with American cheese, bacon, fried banana, peanut butter and jelly sauce and lettuce.
Want to dine the old Colonial way? There’s always Salem Cross Inn, which schedules 1700s-style feasts, complete with meat roasted on an open spit.
Ready to Move to Massachusetts? Let United Get You There
United Van Lines can help you move to Massachusetts. In addition to the fact that our long-distance movers can relocate you with an unrivaled level of expertise, our MyUnited Move Portal can help streamline your move experience from start to finish.
Not sure what kind of move is right for you? United offers full-service moving packages.
Ready to connect with a mover near you, get a quote to kick-start the process.
United Van Lines Moving Tips
United Van Lines understands that moving out of state can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created a catalog of resources to further assist with your move.
Still trying to decide where to move? Check out the latest United Van Lines Annual Movers Study. Each year we interview our customers about where they’re moving and why. With that in mind, our info-rich “Moving To” articles help familiarize you with your next home state.