The North Shore -- also called Cape Ann -- is home to the historic towns of Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, Ipswich, Essex, and Newburyport. Inland cities within this region include Lawrence and Lowell.
The region is bisected by several highways: I-95, I-495 and I-93. Route 128 is concurrent with I-95 during its curve to the west around Boston. Drivers with destinations to the north or south of Boston take I-495 to bypass Boston traffic.
Route 127 is a scenic road along the Atlantic Ocean from just above Salem through Manchester and Gloucester and out to Rockport. Route 133 in a scenic inland road from Gloucester along beautiful marsh meadows to interior Ipswich.
Massachusetts' South Shore is a south of Boston, bordered on the east by Cape Cod and on the west by central Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The South Shore's coastline is on Cape Cod Bay to the west and Buzzard’s Bay to the south.
The South shore is traversed from west to east by I-195, which leaves Providence, RI, and travels eastward through Fall River, New Bedford, and Wareham, MA as it approaches Cape Cod.
I-495 travels northwest to southeast from Marlborough to Wareham.
I-95 arcs around the western edge of the South Shore region on its inland Route between Providence, RI, and Boston.
Massachusetts Route 3 runs along the eastern coast of the South Shore, Boston to the Sagamore Bridge, crossing the Cape Cod Canal to Cape Cod.
Driving Routes to Central Massachusetts
From Boston and points north and east, I-90 will take travelers past Worcester in the southern part of the region. Route 2 traverses westward from Boston in the northern part of the region, passing Fitchburg, Leominster, and Gardner.
From New Hampshire, Vermont, and points north, take I-91 South to Route 2 East or Massachusetts Turnpike East.
From upstate New York and points west, I-90 travels through Massachusetts and into Worcester before continuing into Boston.
From Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York City, and points south and west, I-395 travels north from I-95 into Worcester. To continue further north, travelers can pick up I-190, which ends at Route 2.
Driving Routes to the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley
From Boston, I-90 goes through central Massachusetts and then dips southward, passing Springfield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and Lenox.
A more scenic and historic route, Route 2 travels westward from Boston across the top of the state, ending at Williamstown, near the Vermont border. Part of the route is known as the Mohawk Trail.
From New Hampshire, Vermont and north, travelers should take I-91 south, passing Greenfield, Amherst, Holyoke, Northampton, and Springfield before entering Connecticut. I-91 intersects with I-90, Route 9, and Route 2, allowing westward travel.
From Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York City, south and west, take I-95 to I-91 north (at New Haven). For a more westerly route to the north, take CT Route 8 through Great Barrington and Stockbridge.