region of Massachusetts in the United States

Not to be confused with SouthCoast.

The South Shore of Massachusetts is a geographic region stretching south and east from Boston along the coast of Cape Cod Bay toward Cape Cod.

Cities

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Map of South Shore (Massachusetts)

Well, maybe not "cities" in the way you're thinking of them, but each of these areas has a population of over 50k.

  • 1 Brockton — The "City of Champions" largely because of its boxing native sons.
  • 2 Plymouth — Famous for its Pilgrim history and Plimoth Plantation.
  • 3 Weymouth — On the Route 3 thoroughfare in the southeastern corner of Greater Boston

Irish Riviera

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A collection of small seaside communities with robust ties to the Emerald Isle. This colloquial "region" has no boundaries per se, but could be roughly defined as any coastal town east of Route 3A. Visitors here are never far from a Catholic church, an Irish pub, and sandy beaches.

  • 4 Hingham — A wealthy bedroom community.
  • 5 Hull — Located on narrow Nantasket Peninsula, home to Nantasket Beach and some of the Boston Harbor Islands
  • 6 Cohasset — Home of South Shore Music Circus.
  • 7 Scituate — A coastal town. Extremely Irish.
  • 8 Marshfield — A coastal residential and beach town. Also extremely Irish.
  • 9 Duxbury — A year round seaside community.
  • 10 Kingston — Nearby to Plymouth with its own harbor.

Towns

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  • 11 Braintree — Gateway to the South Shore, home to South Shore Plaza
  • 12 Bridgewater — Home of Bridgewater State University.
  • 13 Carver — A fast-growing residential town in cranberry country.
  • 14 Halifax
  • 15 Middleborough — The second largest town in Massachusetts with some colonial history.
  • 16 Rockland — Chain hotels available in this town.

Understand

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The South Shore region is largely a collection Boston suburban bedroom towns that share in Massachusetts colonial history. Most of the cities and towns were settled in the early 17th century and have historic buildings of that period.

Get in

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By car

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The Pilgrim Highway or MA-3, is a major highway serving the South Shore. Route MA-24 borders the west side of the region and is another major artery. Both 3 and 24 are accessible from Interstate 95 and I-93, which border the region to the north. The coastal MA-3A will be quite helpful to those exploring the many Irish flavored seaside communities in the area.

By public transit

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  • MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), +1 617-222-3200, +1 617-222-5146 (TTY). Varies, 5AM-1AM daily. One of the busiest rail systems in the United States, the MBTA Commuter Rail runs the Greenbush Line, Kingston Line, and the Middleborough/Lakeville Line which provide service to the area. The MBTA also provides ferry service to the area via the Hingham/Hull Ferry. Please see Boston § By public transit for additional information. Bus $1.70, subway $2.40, commuter rail $2.40-13.25, ferry $2.40-9.75.    
  • GATRA (Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority), 10 Oak Street, +1 508-823-8828, +1 508-824-7439 (TTD), toll-free: +1 800-483-2500. Varies, 7AM-7PM daily. Created in 1976 and headquartered in Taunton, GATRA runs over 100 buses and vans across 30+ routes to connect communities across southern Massachusetts. The most popular routes are along GATRA central, with service and connections across Taunton and Attleboro. GATRA east is also popular, including routes connecting New Bedford and Wareham with Plymouth. Nascent GATRA west provides a few options to Franklin and thereabouts. $1.50, Day pass: $4, 10-day ride pass: $13, free transfers.    
  • BAT (Brockton Area Transit Authority), +1 508-588-1000. 6AM-6PM daily. Offers a variety of buses around the greater Brockton area with connections to Ashmont station in Boston. Reduced service on Sundays. $1-3.    

By bus

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By ferry

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  • Captain John Boats, 10 Town Wharf (Plymouth), +1 508-746-2643. The Plymouth-Provincetown fast ferry offers seasonal service from June to September, seven days a week. $75.

Get around

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Bus service and commuter rail service can be infrequent. The highways can be pretty congested, especially if one is closer to Boston, or if it's the warmer months of the year.

  • Plimoth Plantation, the Mayflower II and Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth.
  • Pilgrim Hall Museum, gallery museum of Plymouth history and the Pilgrims in Plymouth.
  • World's End, part of Boston Harbor Islands in Hingham.
  • A show at South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset.
  • See a play or show at Company Theatre in Norwell.
  • Cranberry harvesting in Carver in September and October.

Seafood is a focus in these coastal towns and proximity to Boston permits a range of fresh ingredients to be used. Mostly likely you will always be no further than 15 miles from a well-trained top notch chef's restaurant.

Also a local specialty is “bar pizza” a 10-inch thin-crust pizza mainly served at bars and pubs including Lynwood’s in Randolph, O’Tools in Whitman, Town Spa in Stoughton and Cape Cod Cafe in Brockton. Consumers have very vociferous opinions about which establishment has the best.

Drink

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Go next

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  • MetroWest — As the name implies, this is a collection of commuter suburbs and superb historic attractions just west of Boston.
  • Bristol-Norfolk — A collection of forests, rural communities and bedroom suburbs on the way to Providence, Rhode Island.
  • SouthCoast — Discover a deep history of whaling and fishing, Portuguese roots, agriculture, and a once powerful textile industry.
  • Cape Cod and the Islands — Featuring miles of beaches, natural attractions, historic sites, art galleries, antiquing opportunities, and many options for fine dining.
This region travel guide to South Shore is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!