Geography Of Massachusetts
Massachusetts, the 7th smallest state in the United States, resides in the New England region of the northeastern United States, and has an area of 10,555 square miles (27,340 km2). It is bordered on the north by New Hampshire and Vermont, on the west by New York, on the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. It is the most populous New England state.
Massachusetts is called "the Bay State" because of several large bays, which distinctly shape its coast: Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay, to the east, and Buzzards Bay, to the south. A few cities and towns on the Massachusetts–Rhode Island border are adjacent to Narragansett Bay. At the southeastern corner of the state is a large, sandy, arm-shaped peninsula, Cape Cod. The islands Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket lie south of Cape Cod, across Nantucket Sound.
Boston is the largest city, at the inmost point of Massachusetts Bay, the mouth of the Charles River, the longest river entirely within Massachusetts. Most Bay Staters live in the Boston area, which cover most of eastern Massachusetts. Eastern Massachusetts is fairly densely populated and mostly suburban. Western Massachusetts is more rural and sparsely populated, especially in the Berkshires, the branch of the Appalachian Mountains that dominates the western quarter of the state. The most populous part of western Massachusetts is the Pioneer Valley, straddling the Connecticut River, which flows across Western Massachusetts from north to south.
Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns. Every part of the state is within an incorporated city or town, but many towns include large rural areas. The state's 14 counties have few government functions and serve as little more than judicial districts.
The geographic center of Massachusetts is in the town of Rutland, in central Worcester County.
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“Where the heart is, there the muses, there the gods sojourn, and not in any geography of fame. Massachusetts, Connecticut River, and Boston Bay, you think paltry places, and the ear loves names of foreign and classic topography. But here we are; and, if we tarry a little, we may come to learn that here is best. See to it, only, that thyself is here;and art and nature, hope and fate, friends, angels, and the Supreme Being, shall not absent from the chamber where thou sittest.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)