Key Facts

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Key Facts about Massachusetts

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Capital of Massachusetts - Boston

Population of Massachusetts - 6.5 million

Population of Boston - 600,000

Language - English

Currency - Dollar (US$)

Exchange rate - 1:1.55 (£:US$)

Time zone - Eastern Standard (-5 GMT)

Drives - On the right

International calling code - +1

Colleges / Universities - Around 110 in Massachusetts; 60 in Greater Boston

Drinking age - 21

Bars close at - Anywhere between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., depending on the city / town

Key facts about Massachusetts

LGBT - Massachusetts was the first state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage, in 2004. The town of Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, has been a gay resort for decades, and gay and lesbian travellers flock there in droves in the summertime. Inland, the small city of Northampton, which also happens to be a college town (home to the prestigious all-women's Smith College) has a high lesbian population. All parts of Massachusetts, but especially Boston, Provincetown and Northampton, have welcomed same-sex couples wishing to tie the knot.

Geography / weather - Massachusetts' climate features shifting weather patterns and wide temperature swings in a matter of days. Summers are sunny, hot and humid, and winters are cold, windy, wet and snowy. Dress in layers to adjust to the changing weather conditions. Spring tends to bring some rain. Generally, it's 5-10 degrees (Farhenheit) cooler on the coast in the summer, and 5-10 degrees (Farhenheit) cooler inland, in the winter. Summer temperatures on Cape Cod and the Islands do not typically warm up until July, with the average temperature in the low 70s. Summer nights there can be cool, with lows dipping into the mid 60s.