Bristol-Norfolk is a region in Eastern Massachusetts. It includes northern Bristol County and some Norfolk county towns.
Bristol-Norfolk can be a somewhat rural area, so take the "cities" title with a grain of salt.
- 1 Attleboro — The former "Jewelry Capital of the World" and home to the LaSalette Shrine.
- 2 Foxborough — Home of Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots, and New England Revolution; also, was home to the former world's largest straw hat making factory.
- 3 Taunton — "The Silver City" and "The Christmas City", the seat of Bristol County, a regional hub, the center of the "Bridgewater Triangle", and a city rich in history.
- 4 Canton — Headquarters of Reebok, Baskin Robbins, etc., and claims to have been the birthplace of Rising Sun Stove Polish as well as the pay toilet.
- 5 Franklin — Named in honor of Dr. Benjamin Franklin; also, the birthplace of the nation's first lending library and Horace Mann (America's father of public education.)
- 6 Mansfield — Home to the Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts.
- 7 Medfield — Home to one of the ten oldest homes in the U.S., the "lost treasure" of Davis Wolfgang Hawke, and former vacation spot of Walter Elias Disney (aka - Walt Disney.)
- 8 North Attleborough — The early mid-19th century leading producer of buttons in the country.
- 9 Norwood — Area site of one of the original five houses built on the old Indian Trail from Medfield to Wrentham.
- 10 Rehoboth — Claims to be one of the birthplaces of public education in North America and former Guinness Book of Records for the town with the most golf courses in the U.S.
- 11 Seekonk - Home of the oldest continually family-operated racetrack in the USA.
- 12 Sharon — Has one of the lowest crimes rates in the country.
- 13 Stoughton — Named for William Stoughton (the notorious Chief Justice at the Salem Witch Trials) and the site of the written Suffolk Resolves, which was the basis of the Declaration of Independence.
- 14 Walpole — Named after Sir Robert Walpole (the first Prime Minister of Great Britain) and home to one of two of the state's Supermax prisons.
The easiest and most convenient way to get around Bristol-Norfolk is by car. Primary routes are I-95 running from Boston to Providence, and I-495 connecting MetroWest to Cape Cod. A bit of I-295 is here as well, connecting Attleboro with Providence. US-1 is the other major thoroughfare, roughly running parallel to I-95.
The two largest airports in the area are Boston Logan International Airport as well as the much smaller T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. Both are connected by the MBTA's Providence Line commuter rail service.
By public transit
- MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), ☏ , (TTY). Varies, 5AM-1AM daily. One of the busiest rail systems in the United States, the MBTA Commuter Rail runs the Providence/Stoughton Line and Franklin/Foxboro Line, which provide service to the area. 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, ☏ , (TTD), toll-free: . 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.
You are all but certain to need a car.
There are not many opportunities for cycling here, with the outstanding exception of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. Begin your odyssey in Franklin and eventually connect into Providence, and—after many miles—Hartford and New Haven.
A true highlight of the region, Borderland State Park plays host to the superlative Ames Mansion. Created by well-heeled artists a century ago, the mansion has been featured in many major motion pictures. Leaf-peepers and hikers alike should place Massasoit State Park high on their list. Anyone with time and curiosity should not miss Dighton Rock, covered in strange petroglyphs. Can you decipher them? For the religious, stop by the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, featuring beautiful displays of light around the holidays.
Fans of the occult and the paranormal may be interested in visiting The Bridgewater Triangle. Coined by a cryptozoologist in the 1970s, the Triangle is centered on Taunton and the great Hockomock Swamp which surrounds it. Over the years, folks have reported seeing assorted UFOs, apparitions, and other unnatural creatures in the swamp. The now destroyed State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton (1854), played host to several serial killers and sociopaths for well over a century. Nearby, the Freetown State Forest has been the site of various grisly cult activities—including sacrifices, murders, and suicides.
- MetroWest — As the name implies, this is a collection of commuter suburbs and superb historic attractions just west of Boston.
- Greater Boston — The most populated region in New England, this is the urbanized collection of towns that tightly surround the eponymous city.
- South Shore (Massachusetts) — Stretching south to the Cape, it's here where you'll find the "Irish Riviera"; a handful of beach communities nestled along the Atlantic.
- SouthCoast — Discover a deep history of whaling and fishing, Portuguese roots, agriculture, and a once powerful textile industry.
- South County (Massachusetts) — Rolling hills peppered with milltowns and semi-rural suburbs.
- Bristol County (Rhode Island) — Visit the land Massachusetts lost during the great border compromise of 1746.