Well-maintained roads make Massachusetts car travel simpleTravel by car in Massachusetts is simple, with the state's many well-maintained interstate, state, and local roads and plentiful rest stops and visitor centers
Auto Routes to the South Shore and Plymouth
Massachusetts' South Shore is a large area located south of Boston, and bordered on the east by Cape Cod and on the west by Central Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Part of a peninsula, the South Shore's coastline sites on Rhode Island Sound to the south, Massachusetts Bay to the north and Cape Cod Bay to the east.
The South shore is traversed by I-195, which travels along the Rhode Island Sound coastline and is the direct route to Cape Cod. I-495 travels southeastward through Middleboro and intersects I-195 at Wareham. U.S. Route 44 is a direct route between Providence, RI and Plymouth. I-95 skirts the western edge of the South Shore in a direct route between Providence, RI and Boston. Massachusetts Route 3 runs along the Eastern coast of the South Shore, from the bridge onto Cape Cod north to Boston. Massachusetts Route 24 is a connecting route between the Newport, RI area and I-95 outside of Boston.
Auto Routes to Central Massachusetts
Central Massachusetts is a geographic crossing point for many New England highways, and is therefore easily reached by car:
Auto Routes to the North Shore
The north shore is bisected by several highways: I-95, I-495 and I-93. In addition, MA Route 128 and 114 run through the area.
Amesbury sits on the New Hampshire border, and is reached via either I-95 or I-495.
To reach Andover, take MA Route 114 from I-95, or I-495 from I-93.
Bedford is reached via U.S. Route 3 north.
Beverly can be reached via I-95 or north on scenic Route 1A.
To get to Billerica, take Route 3A from MA Route 128.
Burlington is also located off Route 3A.
Chelmsford is located just off I-495, south of Lowell.
Concord is reached via MA Route 2 west off Route 128.
Danvers is located just off I-95, heading north out of greater Boston.
To get to Essex, take MA Route 133, north from MA 128.
The gateway to the North Shore's easternmost peninsula, Gloucester is reached via MA Route 128 or scenic MA Route 127.
Groton is reached by taking MA Route 119 north from I-495.
Haverhill is located just off I-495, along MA Route 108.
To reach Ipswich, take either Route 1A or MA Route 133.
Lawrence is bisected by I-93 and I-495.
Lexington is located just off MA Route 128, before the intersection with U.S. Route 3.
Littleton is reached by taking I-495 north or MA Route 2 east.
Lowell is bisected by I-495 and U.S. Route 3.
Lynn sits along the north shore of Massachusetts Bay, and is easily reached via U.S. Route 1A.
To reach Manchester, travel on MA Route 127 east out of Beverly.
Marblehead is located just off U.S. Route 1A northeast of Swampscott.
Methuen is reached via I-93 north, just before the New Hampshire border.
Newburyport is reached by taking U.S. Route 1 north from I-95.
Peabody is located right on MA Route 114, just outside of Salem, and is easily reached from I-95.
Rockport is north of Gloucester at the northern tip of MA Route 127A.
Rowley is reached via U.S. Route 1 north from I-95.
To reach Salem, Take I-95 north to MA Route 114 east.
Salisbury is located due south of the coastal New Hampshire border, right off of I-95.
Saugus is reached by taking I-95 north out of Boston.
Swampscott sits on the shore of Massachusetts Bay, right off US Route 1A.
Westford is reached via I-495, and is located just off the Interstate.
Woburn is reached by taking I-93 or I-95, just outside of greater Boston.
Auto Routes to the Boston Cambridge Region
From Connecticut, New York City and points south:
Take I-95 north, to I-93 north, which will take you into the heart of Boston.
From Western and Central Massachusetts, Upstate New York and points west:
Pick up I-90 east and take it directly into Boston.
From inland New Hampshire, Vermont and points north:
Take I-93 south directly into Boston.
From Coastal Maine, coastal New Hampshire and the Maritimes:
Take I-95 south, and pick up I-93 south into Boston.
From Cape Cod:
Take U.S. Route 6 west, to Mass Route 3 north, to I-93 north into Boston.
Auto Routes to the The Berkshires and Pioneer Valley
From Boston and points north and east, I-90 will take travelers through central Massachusetts and into the southern part of the region, including Springfield, Chicopee, Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and Lenox.
For a more northerly, scenic, and historic route, Massachusetts Route 2, from Boston, heads west across the top of the state, ending at Williamstown, near the Vermont and New York border. The 60 miles of the route between Orange and Williamstown is known as the Mohawk Trail, following a legendary Indian trail and passing some of the most scenic territory in the state.
From New Hampshire, Vermont and points due north, travelers should take I-91 south. The route passes through Greenfield, Amherst, Holyoke, Northampton, and Springfield before continuing on into Connecticut. I-90, Route 9 and Route 2 all intersect with I-91, allowing for travel further west.
From upstate New York and points west, I-90 travels to Western Massachusetts, passing near Great Barrington and Springfield. Further north, Massachusetts State Route 9 crosses the NY border near New Lebanon, NY, and goes through Pittsfield, finally meeting up with I-91 just outside of Northampton.
From Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York City, and points south and west, take I-95 to I-91 north (at New Haven). For a more westerly Route north, take CT Route 8, or U.S. Route 7 north from I-95. U.S. Route 7 runs directly through Great Barrington and Stockbridge, and continues north through Pittsfield.
Auto Routes to Cape Cod and the Islands
Please note: Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are not reachable directly by car. Ferry service is available, and cars can be brought to the islands, but use of automobiles is strongly discouraged.
Cape Cod is a narrow, curved peninsula with three primary roads traversing it:
U.S. Route 6 runs through the center of the lower part of the Cape, and is the sole route into Eastham, Wellfleet, and Provincetown, which sits at the northern end of the peninsula.
Scenic Route 6A travels along the northern shore of the lower cape, passing through the towns of Sandwich, East Sandwich, Barnstable, Dennis and Brewster, before ending outside of Orleans.
MA Route 28 winds along the southern shore of the lower cape, passing through Bourne, East Falmouth, Hyannis, Harwich and Chatham, before running into U.S. Route 6 in Orleans.
Three routes will also take travelers directly to Cape Cod:
From Connecticut, New York and points south and west, Take I-95 north into Providence, RI. Pick up I-195 and follow it onto MA Route 25 and onto Cape Cod.
From Western Massachusetts, inland New Hampshire and Vermont. Pick up I-495, which circumvents Boston. Take it south to MA Route 25 and onto Cape Cod.
From Boston, northern Massachusetts, Coastal New Hampshire and Maine, Take I-95 South. In Boston, take I-93 South, to MA Route 3 south onto Cape Cod.