During the 19th century, Massachusetts was famous for the intellectual activity of its writers and educators and for its expanding commercial fishing, shipping, and manufacturing interests. Massachusetts pioneered the manufacture of textiles and shoes.
Massachusetts 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. The islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket lie off the southeast coast. Boston is the largest city; however, most of the population of the Boston metropolitan area (approximately 5,800,000) does not live in the city.
Its agricultural outputs are seafood, nursery stock, dairy products, cranberries, and vegetables. Its industrial outputs are machinery, electric equipment, scientific instruments, printing and publishing, and tourism. Other sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy include higher.
Tourism has become an important factor in the economy of the state because of its numerous recreational areas and historical landmarks. Cape Cod has beaches, summer theaters, and an artists' colony at Provincetown. The Berkshires, in the western part of the state, is the site of Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony; art museums, including Mass MoCA and the Clark Institute; and Jacob's Pillow, a world renowned dance center