Massachusetts Bay, inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay, with its arms (Boston, Cape Cod, and Plymouth bays), extends 65 mi (105 km) from Cape Ann on the north to Cape Cod on the south. Its coastline varies from the irregular, rocky shore of the north to the sandy beaches of the south. In the War of 1812, the battle between the Chesapeake and the Shannon took place there off Boston Harbor.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.