Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States.
It is the most populous of the six New England states and contains the region's main urban center, Boston. 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. At the southeastern corner of the state is a large, sandy, arm-shaped peninsula called Cape Cod.
Massachusetts is known as the Bay State because of the several large bays that give its coastline its distinctive shape: Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay on the state's east coast, and Buzzards Bay to the south.
Boston is the largest city, located at the innermost point of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles River, the longest river entirely within Massachusetts. 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 populated part of western Massachusetts is the "Pioneer Valley," alongside the Connecticut River, which flows across western Massachusetts from north to south.
The climate of Massachusetts is a classic example of a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts receives a generous amount of precipitation throughout the year, but is slighter wetter during the winter. The state does have its share of extreme weather with the state especially prone to Nor'easters and other severe winter storms. Summers can bring thunderstorms with the state averaging around 30 days of thunderstorm activity per year.