things to do on the north shore this spring
things to do on the north shore this spring

Things to Do on the North Shore This Spring

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to shake off those winter blues! With the arrival of spring, the Massachusetts North Shore awakens with renewed energy and bright colors, offering an abundance of activities. From scenic trails to community events, there’s no shortage of fun and something for everyone to enjoy. In this guide, discover some of the top things to do on the North Shore this spring season.  

Cape Ann Whale Watch

Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester provides whale-watching tours out to Stellwagen Bank, a national marine preserve about 12 miles off the coast of Gloucester. Board “The Hurricane II”, the largest and fastest whale watch vessel north of Boston, to go where the whales go – their vessels communicate with each other, locating whales and going anywhere to see them on the North or South Shore of Massachusetts.

The 2024 season begins on April 27th! All trips are 3 to 4 hours long and are subject to change due to weather and demand. Morning and weekday trips are less busy. Pricing is as follows:

  • Adult (age 17-59) – $65
  • Senior (age 60+) – $60
  • Junior (age 4-16) – $50
  • Child (age 3 or younger) – $10

AAA discounts are offered on adult tickets and reduced rates are available for military families. Season passes are also available.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport is home to over 300 species of resident and migratory birds and other wildlife. The refuge is renowned for its wildlife observation opportunities, featuring easy access to picturesque views, observation towers, and several miles of self-guided foot trails! Although it is considered one of the top bird watching destinations in Massachusetts, visitors can also walk, hike, jog, bike, hunt, fish, observe and photograph wildlife, boat & paddle, and more.

The refuge is open daily, sunrise to sunset, and the visitor center is open 9am – 4pm daily, subject to volunteer availability. There are many options for passes including a $5 car day pass, a $2 bike or pedestrian day pass, and annual passes. Learn more about visiting, including rules and policies, here.

House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables was built by John Turner I and his wife in 1668 and is best known as the setting of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel. The historic home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007, offering 2 acres of land, seaside colonial revival gardens, and several historic buildings to explore on your next visit to Salem. In addition to maintaining the campus, the organization cares for thousands of works of art, furnishings, documents, and more

When planning your visit, choose a grounds pass or a mansion tour package. Admission rates vary by date and memberships are available. Pricing and ticket details can be found here

Pick Your Own

With warmer weather comes the “Pick Your Own” season at local North Shore farms! Starting in June, pick your own strawberries at Russel Orchards in Ipswich, Smolack Farms in North Andover, and Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury. Cider Hill also has tulips available to pick!

Events

Special events are a great way to fill up your spring schedule. Add these local events to your calendar:

If these delightful spring activities inspire you to want to make the Massachusetts North Shore your permanent home, contact me today. Together we will find the perfect home for you to extend your springtime fun into a lifelong journey on the North Shore.

ice skating
ice skating

Things to Do on the North Shore This Winter

Despite the cold and snowy weather, the winter opens up a variety of seasonal wonders and activities. Whether you’re an avid winter sports enthusiast or prefer a warm, cozy winter market, the Massachusetts North Shore has something for everyone. In this guide, discover some of the top things to do on the North Shore this winter season. 

Skiing Nearby

Are you ready to hit the slopes? Whether you’re a beginner or an expert skier, consider checking out these ski areas located approximately one hour from North Shore:

  • Ski Bradford, located in Bradford, MA, features fifteen trails, glades, and a terrain park – over sixty acres of skiable terrain! They have three Triple Chair lifts and six surface lifts, a complete rental shop, full service snack bar, and ample parking to make your ski trip convenient, affordable and fun. Ski Bradford is open seven days a week with hours varying by day. Hours are extended during school vacation week. Lift tickets start at $22 and gift cards are available.
  • Nashoba Valley Ski Area, located in Westford, MA, features chairlifts, magic carpets, and rope tows to seventeen trails. It is open daily Tuesday through Sunday with hours varying daily. There are extended hours during school vacation week. Equipment rentals are available for both children and adults! Lift tickets start at $40 and you can find more information on pricing here. Be sure to check out The Outlook restaurant while you’re there!
  • Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton, MA features sixteen trails, four lifts, and a terrain park across sixty acres. Lessons are offered for all ages and levels. Daily passes start at $40. When with a ticketed adult, kids six and under save $5 on any daily lift ticket and kids three and under ski free. Hours vary daily and are extended during school vacation week.

Nearby Snow Tubing and Snow Shoe Trails

Skiing isn’t for everyone, but there are plenty of other opportunities for snowy winter sports. Try snowshoeing around Brooksby Farm in Peabody! Cross-country skis and snowshoes are available to rent at the Snow Haus and maps are available so you can explore the many miles of trails the farm has to offer. 

Snow tubing is another winter activity bound to be a great time for all. There are many snow tubing opportunities nearby including:

  • The tubing park at Ski Ward Ski Area in Shrewsbury, MA is open from 4pm-8pm Wednesdays through Fridays, 10am-8pm on Saturdays and school holidays, and 10am-4pm on Sundays. With up to twelve lanes, two lifts, and over 200 tubes, participants of all levels are guaranteed to have a great time! Participants must be at least six years old or 42” tall to participate. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased online or in person. 
  • In addition to a ski area, Nashoba Valley also has a Tubing Park located in Littleton, MA open Wednesday through Sunday. The tubing park features up to eighteen lanes serviced by two lifts, an on-site lodge with a snack bar, and a full bar with limited indoor seating or outdoor seating at one of their many picnic tables. Hours and the latest snow tubing report can be viewed here. Anyone looking to snow tube must be 6+ years of age or 42″ tall. Tickets are $45 for 2 hours and must be purchased online in advance.
  • The Bonneville Family Snow Tubing Thrill Hill at McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester, NH is open Thursday through Sunday. Sessions are two hours long and cost $35 per person. All participants must be five years old and 44″ tall to tube.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is another classic winter favorite available on the North Shore! Check out The Marketstreet Rink in Lynnfield, open daily with extended hours during February break. Admission is $12 and participants under three years old skate free. Skate rentals are available for $5. The Ice Rink at Topsfield Town Common is also open daily from 8am-8pm for the season! It is free, available to the public, and open to all ages. The main purpose of this rink is figure skating, but there are designated ‘Puck & Stick’ hours where hockey pucks and sticks are allowed. More information on these hours and rink rules can be found here.

Another option nearby is the Boston Common Frog Pond. They are open daily with varying hours throughout the Winter season. Admission is $10 for skaters 58” and over and under 58” skates free. Skate rentals are $10 for kids and $15 for adults. 

Winter Markets

There are also plenty of things to do on the North Shore this winter if you don’t enjoy winter sports. Winter markets are one of the best parts of the season. Their unique vendors are a great way to find delicious food, the perfect gift for a loved one, or the next addition to your home’s decor. Check out some of the local markets below:

Amesbury Winter Market

A community market featuring food, art, and fun on Sundays from November 19, 2023 through Winter 2024 Noon-4pm at Barewolf Brewing.

Lynn Farmers Market

Stock up on fresh, local veggies and other delicious delights this season at the farmers’ market in Lynn! The Winter Market happens on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month (December – June), from 11am-3pm at 20 Exchange St.

Revere Winter Wonderland Market

This event will feature a series of ice sculptures created by world-class artists. As you explore the displays, you’ll have the chance to warm up with hot cocoa from vendors, explore unique shopping opportunities, and participate in winter-themed activities for all ages. It will take place at Waterfront Square on February 3rd from 11am-8pm.

Special Events

Special events are a great way to change up your winter agenda. Add these local North Shore events to your list:

If these wonderful winter activities inspire you to make the North Shore your permanent home, it is important to work with knowledgeable local experts. With over 20 years of experience as a local North Shore realtor, I would be honored to guide you through finding the perfect home on the North Shore. Contact me today to extend your North Shore winter adventure into a lifelong journey.

Hidden Gems of the North Shore: Underrated Locations Worth Exploring in Ipswich

The North Shore of Massachusetts is a region full of character and history with an abundance of places to visit and explore. With its breathtaking views and lively downtown, Ipswich is a New England town you will want to visit. Let’s explore a few hidden gems and underrated locations worth exploring in Ipswich.

Russell Orchards

Russell Orchards, ​​a family-owned and operated 120-acre fruit farm, is the perfect place for a day out during the summer and fall seasons. Their regular store season begins on or around May 1st every year and they are open every day through the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Daily hours are 9-6 from May to October and 9-5 in November. Here are a few things you and the whole family can explore while visiting the farm:

  • Visit their beloved farm animals including chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, guinea fowl, pigs, donkeys, and horses. The animals are there for a number of reasons, but primarily for your enjoyment. The farm asks that you don’t feed them food from home, but you are welcome to pet any animals who come within reach!
  • Pick some of your own fruits and berries. There is nothing like apple and pumpkin picking in the fall! Check the calendar periodically to see what’s in season. Crops are also available in their store, including fresh apples, apple cider, freshly made cider donuts, honey, baked goods, and specialty grocery items!
  • Head to the winery for a wine tasting! Flights are available for purchase Friday through Sunday from 11-5. Wines can also be purchased chilled or at room temperature at any time during store hours.

Crane Beach

Crane Beach consists of more than 1,200 acres of beachfront, dunes, and maritime forest. The white sand beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, walking, and more. While the beach is the main draw, the 5.5 miles worth of trails and nature within the estate make it a year-round playground. Plus, the 2023 Greenhead season has just come to an end, so check it out this fall!

Passes are necessary for parking and admission. When visiting, please avoid the fenced nesting areas of piping plovers. The beach is one of the threatened bird’s most important nesting sites. 

Appleton Farms

As one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country, Appleton Farms offers a glimpse into New England’s agricultural past. The 1,000-acre sustainable and historic farm and education center in Ipswich includes grasslands, livestock, stone walls, vegetable crops, and historic farm buildings. There are also nearly 12 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

With year-round events, Appleton Farms’ calendar is action-packed. The farm hosts culinary workshops, education programs, camps, guided recreational activities, farm dinners, full moon walks, and more. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend trying their wood-fired pizza!

Breweries in Ipswich

Ipswich is home to a few breweries, including True North Ale Company and Ipswich Ale Brewery. 

True North is newly built and opened in the fall of 2017. The 15,000-square-foot facility holds state-of-the-art brewing equipment and an on-site taproom, patio, and events space. They serve full pours and flights from 20 taps and also sell canned beer to take home with you. The taproom is BYOF (bring your own food), but light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase. Children are welcome to be seated at tables as long as they are accompanied by their parents, but they cannot sit at the bar. Check out their calendar for upcoming vendors and events!

Not only does Ipswich Ale Brewery craft delicious beers, but they also have an on-site restaurant called Brewer’s Table. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 AM to 9 PM and features 15 taps, a diverse menu, and a dog-friendly patio! Check out their upcoming events and plan your visit.

Wolf Hollow

Wolf Hollow, also known as the North American Wolf Foundation is a wolf sanctuary and educational facility. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization fully supported by donations, adoptions, and proceeds from admission and gift shop sales. They aim to raise awareness of the important role the threatened wolf species plays in a healthy ecosystem, educate on the dynamics of a wolf pack and the biology of the wolf, and provide a glimpse into the history of man’s relationship with wolves. As a visitor of Wolf Hollow, you have the unique opportunity to meet their resident gray wolves accompanied by an educational presentation suited for visitors of all ages.  

Wolf Hollow is open year-round on weekends, offering both private and public tours, which require tickets to be purchased in advance. These can be purchased on their website along with memberships and donations. 

Ipswich has quite a few things to see and do, with options for the entire family. Discover more of Ipswich’s history, hidden gems, and locations worth exploring here. If you’re looking to learn more about Ipswich or the surrounding towns, contact me today.

Hidden Gems of the North Shore: Underrated Locations Worth Exploring in Gloucester
Hidden Gems of the North Shore: Underrated Locations Worth Exploring in Gloucester

Hidden Gems of the North Shore: Underrated Locations Worth Exploring in Gloucester

The North Shore of Massachusetts is a region full of character and history with an abundance of places to visit and explore. Recently, Gloucester was named one of the 15 best small towns in America by CNN and was the only New England city on the list. Let’s explore a few hidden gems and underrated locations worth exploring in Gloucester. 

Hammond Castle

The Hammond Castle Museum was the home and laboratory of John Hays Hammond Jr, a scientist, inventor, and antiques collector at the time. Now, the castle serves as a museum, cultural and arts center, and venue that welcomes guests daily. Stop by to tour the castle and explore its many rooms, exhibits, and beautiful coastal castle grounds! Reserving tickets in advance is encouraged.

Hammond Castle Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Due to it being nearly a century old, Hammond Castle Museum is not handicap accessible. 

Dogtown (Dogtown Common or Dogtown Village)

Dogtown is an abandoned inland village of about five square miles on Cape Ann in Gloucester. In 1642, Dogtown was home to the Commons Settlement. With its availability of water, it was the most prosperous part of Gloucester for a century. The land, now known for its woods as well as its boulders and rock formations, is protected, and therefore development is banned in the area. Take a walk and explore the miles of trails and abandoned roads, but be cautious as most are unmarked. These paths are sprinkled with one of Dogtown’s most notable features: the three dozen Babson Boulders, which have inspiring sayings carved into them. See how many you can spot on your journey!

The area is dog-friendly and there is parking available. Learn more about the history of Dogtown here

Rocky Neck

Located on a rocky peninsula within the Gloucester harbor, Rocky Neck is one of the oldest continuously operating art colonies in the country. Artists who lived and worked on Rocky Neck in the 19th and early 20th centuries made an important contribution to art history by inspiring the Cape Ann style of American Impressionism. With shops, restaurants, galleries, and exhibitions radiating history and culture, there is always something to see or do on Rocky Neck. 

Ravenswood Park

Ravenswood Park is a nature reserve owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations. Samuel Sawyer, a 19th-century businessman and philanthropist, purchased woodlots, old pastures, and swamp land near his home. Upon his death, he left 600 acres of land to be turned into Ravenswood Park. Guests can enjoy solitude and peaceful scenes with its woods, boulders, and miles of trails, some of which are dog-friendly. In the winter months, cross-country skiing is also welcome.

Stage Fort Park and Beach

Stage Fort Park is where Gloucester’s first settlers set up fishing stages in 1623. Now, it is home to two beaches, a sand volleyball court, a boardwalk, a playground, picnic areas, two baseball fields, a basketball court, a tennis court, and plenty of extra room, making it an incredible place for any of your weekend endeavors. During the summer season, the park hosts outdoor concerts, fireworks, festivals, farmers markets, and several other child and family-friendly events!

Dogs are allowed in the park, but not on the beaches. There is also a dog park located in the parking lot!

Gloucester has a variety of things to see and do, with abundant history behind them. You can check out more of their hidden gems and locations worth exploring here. If you are looking to buy or sell your home on the North Shore contact me today.

Hidden Gems of the North Shore: Underrated Locations Worth Exploring in Gloucester
Hidden Gems of the North Shore: Underrated Locations Worth Exploring in Gloucester

Life on the North Shore- Pt 2

The North Shore simply can’t be beat! With fabulous seafood, culture, beaches, and plenty to do and see, you can’t go wrong. Here are the second group of North Shore Massachusetts cities and towns. If you missed Part I, you can check it out, here.

Manchester-by-the-Sea

Many may recognize Manchester-by-the-Sea by the film of the same name, but there is a lot more to this seaside town than just a Hollywood blockbuster. Known for its classic New England homes perched along rocky shorelines with gorgeous ocean views, Manchester-by-the-Sea is the ideal home base for those looking for the perfect combination of charm and luxury. 

Spend the day at Singing Beach and bring a snack from The Laughing Gull Cafe, or take an ocean journey with Frayed Knot Sailing Charters. If you are visiting on a bad weather day, you can just drive around and look at the beautiful houses on the ocean! 

Gloucester

When many think of “coastal New England,” Gloucester is the first town that comes to mind. From picturesque seascapes, quarries, lighthouses, lobster boats, and more, Gloucester is one of the most beautiful towns on the North Shore. One of the first established colonial settlements on the North Shore, Gloucester is now the perfect location for locals and visitors alike. 

If you are visiting Gloucester, we recommend going on a Cape Ann Whale Watch followed by a meal at Seaport Grille! Wingaersheek and Good Harbor Beach are must-see spots for those who love the beach. If you are more interested in nature walks, Dogtown has miles of beautiful trails, charming woods, giant boulders, and rock formations left behind from melted glaciers. 

Hamilton-Wenham

While these two towns may be separated on the map these neighboring towns are simply known as Hamilton-Wenham to the locals. This area is ideal to watch the leaves change in the fall, and although it does not have its own beaches it is just a short drive to the ocean. 

Hamilton-Wenham is home to Myopia Polo Club, the oldest polo club in America! The Chebacco Woods Trails near Gordon College are some of my absolute favorites if you like going for a scenic stroll. Once you’re done, grab a cozy dinner at Weathervane Tavern with your family to round out the perfect day in Hamilton-Wenham.

Ipswich

Just north of Hamilton-Wenham and south of Newbury, Ipswich Massachusetts is the perfect Northshore town to explore in any season! Whether you are interested in walking its expansive nature trails, lounging on the beach, antiquing, or eating a lobster roll with a view, Ipswich is a perfect town for summer activities. In the fall, its many farms provide apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, and beautiful views of the changing leaves.

If you only have one day to spend in Ipswich, I would most highly recommend Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. The Trustees offer guided tours through the Great House, as well as events and concerts on the beautiful rolling lawn. You may recognize it from movies such as Witches of Eastwick or Little Women (2019)! 

Rockport

Rockport is potentially the most quintessential coastal New England town there is! Located just past Gloucester, it is one of the best places to spend the day on the Northshore. Rockport is a magnificent spot for art, shopping, seafood, and gorgeous views.

The town may be best known for Motif No. 1, a small red fishing shack that is widely considered to be the most painted building in the United States! If you spend the day in Rockport, be sure to snap a picture once you are finished shopping and eating your way through Bearskin Neck

Newburyport

Newburyport is known for its history, vibrant downtown area, and hometown spirit. If you are planning a visit during the summertime, try to schedule it around Yankee Homecoming, a multi-day celebration of community featuring art walks, lawn games, parades, and fireworks! If you are looking to shop, The Tannery is an indoor marketplace with dozens of stores for fine foods, home goods, and even a specialty bakery for dog treats. We recommend the waterfront walk to get your steps in, and make sure that you don’t miss the historic Plum Island Lighthouse

When it comes to choosing a town to live in on the North Shore, you simply can’t go wrong! The views, history, and sense of community can be felt in every single one of these towns. Read more by clicking on the town names, and be sure to check out Part I of Life on the Northshore if you missed it. If you are interested in buying or selling a home on the North Shore, contact me today!

Christmas on the North Shore

The holidays are especially beautiful in New England, and North Shore Massachusetts is no exception. If you live north of Boston, here are my top recommendations for festive outings, gift shopping, and more! 

Fun for the Family

Christmas at Castle Hill

If you have never been to the Crane Estate, this is the perfect time to do so. The Trustees adorned each room in the 1920’s mansion with extravagant Christmas decorations, and are offering timed entry all throughout the month of December.  

Northshore Holiday Light Show

If it is too cold and snowy for outdoor activities, why not enjoy the season from the comfort of your car? Visit Crescent Farms in Haverhill for their third annual holiday light show, featuring magnificent new displays synced to festive music. 

Holidays on the Hill

There is so much to do at the Long Hill home in Beverly this winter. Take festive family photos, enjoy music around a fire pit, or let your kids participate in the reindeer scavenger hunt in the gardens! 

The Rink at Market Street

Though Lynnfield might be out of your way, their festive winter setup is the perfect place to bring the family. You can get food, ice cream, hot chocolate, or finish off your holiday shopping while your family enjoys some time on the ice! 

Santa in Salem

If you have younger kids, take them into Salem this weekend for a chance to take pictures with Santa. They will have cookies and cider, a craft workshop, and even storytime with Mrs. Claus.

Shopping

The Newburyport Studio Stateroom Winter Market

Need a few more gifts before the holidays? Check out the Winter Market at the Studio Stateroom in Newburyport. Shop local vendors’ stalls for baked goods, beauty products, books, music, and more while enjoying their free refreshments! 

Holiday Market at Riverwalk Brewing

Christmas music? 25+ local vendors and artisans? Beer? Sounds like an amazing winter weekend to me! Head to Riverwalk Brewing in Newburyport this weekend for their annual holiday market and get some last-minute gifts, or just something for yourself!

Last Minute Holiday Market

West Gloucester Trinitarian Church will be hosting more than 40 local vendors this weekend! You can shop small, enjoy refreshments, buy presents, and get in the holiday spirit all in one place. 

Other Holiday Celebrations

New Years Eve

Though there are plenty of local celebrations for New Years Eve, Diehl Marcus is notably hosting a masquerade party with live music in their historic manor. There is even a rumor of the building being haunted! If that doesn’t seem like your scene, check out Cinema Salem for their NYE live comedy show, or the Retro New Year’s party at Koto! 

Rockport Menorah Lighting

A yearly tradition, head to the Rockport Visitors Center on the 18th to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with donuts, latkes, and music. This celebration is fun for all ages and free of charge! 
If you are interested in buying or selling a home on the Northshore, contact me today!

Life on the North Shore- Pt 1

What is “North Shore” Massachusetts?

First and foremost, what is the North Shore of Massachusetts? The North Shore is generally defined as the region north of Boston located along the Atlantic coast. Over the years, there has been much debate over which towns and cities should and should not be included in the “official” North Shore.

No matter what you define as North Shore Massachusetts, we can all agree that the region has so much to offer. From historic towns, stunning beaches, and picturesque views- it is the perfect place for a day trip, vacation, or even your home base!

Marblehead

If you are interested in sailing, fishing, and New England history- Marblehead is the town for you. It is widely considered to be the birthplace of the American Navy and is still well known today as a haven for the nautically inclined. The town was heavily involved in the Revolutionary War, and many of its houses and landmarks have been well preserved since that time period.

If you are visiting for the day, we recommend having a sandwich from Shubie’s Marketplace at Crocker Park or Chandler Hovey Park for a picnic with an ocean view. If you would like to be on the water, Jordan’s Launch will take you for a tour of the harbor for a small fee! Downtown and Old Town are very walkable, so put on a pair of sneakers and explore for yourself to see everything that Marblehead has to offer. 

Salem

You have no doubt heard of Salem in the context of the Witch Trials of the late 1600’s, but you may be surprised at how lovely it is to visit in the present day. We recommend that you avoid Salem in the month of October, as the Halloween crowds can be incredibly overwhelming! If you are interested in their spooky attractions, most of them are open year-round, such as the Witch Museum or the House of Seven Gables. Both are located within walking distance of the Peabody Essex Museum, the oldest continually operating museum in the United States! If you are traveling from Boston, the commuter rail will take only half an hour, and drop you in the heart of downtown Salem. 

If you are not a fan of Salem’s haunted history, there is still plenty to enjoy about this beautiful coastal town. If you are up for a stroll, Witch City Walking Tours offers a variety of different themes for exploring the aspects of Salem that interest you most, whether they are architectural, historical, or for fans of the movie Hocus Pocus! Salem also has an incredible restaurant scene, great gift shops, and a large arcade located directly on the waterfront. 

Beverly

Just over the bridge from Salem lies Beverly, Massachusetts. This town has grown immensely in the past few years, with several fancy new apartment buildings and restaurants in the downtown area. “The Garden City,” only 40 minutes away from Boston’s downtown, has easy access to the city, beach, countryside, and beautiful wildlife. 

Beverly is also a commuter’s dream! It has 4 (yes, 4!) commuter rail stops: North Beverly, Beverly Depot, Beverly Farms, and Montserrat. Beverly is the perfect place for families, with a variety of public and private schools, a top-tier hospital, and a downtown full of fun businesses big and small. From delicious restaurants, art centers, and theaters, you and your family may never have to travel outside of town to find everything you need.

Swampscott

First settled in 1629, this seaside town is located just 15 miles northeast of Boston. Widely known as a fishing village or the home of the first lobster pot, Swampscott has grown into a bustling small town! 

With a population of 15,100 residents, Swampscott offers a friendly, welcoming, and nurturing family environment, exciting businesses and activities for young professionals, a superb public educational system, amazing public safety and support systems, and a town government that is responsive to the needs of its citizens. For dining, we recommend trying Little G or Mission on the Bay! After your meal, take a stroll down Lynnshore Drive and watch the waves with clear views out to Nahant.

Lynn

Seated along the Atlantic Ocean right below Swampscott, and only 3.7 miles north of the Boston city line, Lynn is the largest city in Essex County! Placed along the commuter rail and the MBTA Blue line  “T” stop in the nearby City of Revere, Lynn is an easy-to-reach destination and a quick commute to Boston. This city also provides an excellent opportunity for more affordable housing options. Lynn has many condos and single-family homes, as well as new apartment complexes with ocean-front or in-town options with big-city amenities that cannot be found in some nearby towns. 

Lynn has incredible food options and many authentic spots that are hard to find in the greater area. For quick eats, grab a Bahn Mi at Cafe Bayon or mulitas at Tacos Lupita. For a fancier sit-down dinner, we recommend The Blue Ox, Rossetti, or Nightshade Noodle Bar
Read more by clicking on the town names, and stay tuned for Part II of Life on the Northshore! If you are interested in buying or selling a home on the North Shore, contact me today!

newburyport MA
newburyport MA

Newburyport MA

Newburyport is one of those towns that completely embodies the coastal New England feel. With plenty of ocean views, great restaurants, and lots of shopping, it is the perfect place to live or visit on the Northshore. 

Though the area was settled in 1635, Newburyport became its own town separate from Newbury in 1764 and was primarily funded by shipbuilding, fishing, and overseas shipping. For a time, it was the smallest town in Massachusetts! Newburyport is less than an hour’s drive from Boston and accessible via the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail.  

This gorgeous coastal community is full of hometown spirit, maritime history, independent shops, and beautiful views for everyone to enjoy. 

GROCERIES AND SNACKS

The Tannery

This mall has every type of store you could need. For food, we recommend the Fish Market and Black Duck market and deli. The Tannery even has a dog treat bakery, Quinn’s Canine Cafe, so the whole family will be well fed!

When Pigs Fly

Visit When Pigs Fly for all the best breads and pastries. It is in the perfect location in downtown Newburyport to grab some essentials for a picnic at the waterfront park. 

Joppa Fine Foods

Located inside the Tannery, this is the best stop for snacks, wine, and cheese. Even if you are not shopping for anything in particular, Joppa fine foods is a very cool place to take a look around and find fun products you may have never heard of! 

GORGEOUS VIEWS

Plum Island Light
The Newburyport harbor lighthouse, also known as Plum Island Light, is a beautiful sight to see. Visit their website for more information on history, directions, and tours! 

Waterfront Walk
If you are looking to take a stroll after lunch at one of Newburyport’s amazing restaurants, just head straight for the water! The harborwalk leads to a rail trail which you can follow all the way to the MBTA commuter rail. 

DELICIOUS EATS

Agave
If you are a fan of Mexican food, Agave is a great spot for lunch or dinner. They have over 120 tequila options and were voted the people’s choice for best Mexican restaurant in Northshore Massachusetts! 

Black Cow
Sushi or steak? Why not both! For a sleek dining experience right near the water, head over to Black Cow.

Tuscan Sea Grill and Bar 

Located directly on the waterfront, Tuscan Sea Grill is an absolutely beautiful spot for “coastal Italian scratch-made cuisine.” Order the mussels and watch the boats come and go with a beautiful cocktail! 

Brine
Brine of Newburyport was awarded best restaurant honors in the 2022 Best of the Northshore awards, and it’s easy to see why! Incredible oysters, crudo, and a welcoming exposed brick interior make Brine the perfect choice for dinner in downtown Newburyport. 

THINGS TO DO

Shopping

There is no shortage of independent shops in downtown Newburyport. Unique gifts and accessories imported from the United Kingdom? Try Best of British! Looking for comfortable clothes or bath and body products? Head into Soak and Shoreline. There are shops for kid’s clothing, There is even Oldie’s Marketplace on the water, full of antiques and flea market finds! For a more comprehensive list of the shopping options in Newburyport, check out the official website

Yankee Homecoming

If you plan to be in Newburyport in the summertime, you should schedule it around Yankee Homecoming. This celebration lasts for over a week, and is full of fun events for all ages! From art walks to lawn games and fireworks, this is a must-see event for summer in Newburyport. If you are looking to buy or sell in the Newburyport area, contact me today!

Red fishing shack on pier
Red fishing shack on pier

Rockport MA

Rockport is potentially the most quintessential coastal New England town there is! Located just past Gloucester, it is one of the best places to spend the day on the Northshore. Rockport is a magnificent spot for art, shopping, seafood, and gorgeous views.

Aptly named “Rockport” for its historical granite quarries, the town separated from Gloucester in 1840 as it grew its reputation for high-grade granite. Rockport is just a 45-minute ride from Boston, and accessible via the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail.  

This gorgeous coastal community is full of hometown spirit, maritime history, independent shops, and beautiful views for everyone to enjoy. 

Groceries and Snacks

Two Little Birds Eatery

Located by Front Beach, Two Little Birds is a nutritious and wholesome beachfront eatery. They are open for breakfast and lunch, and known for their amazing smoothies and smoothie bowls. 

Brothers Brew Coffee Shop 

Brothers Brew is the perfect spot to caffeinate before exploring the shops and sights of Rockport. Not only do they have plenty of breakfast sandwich options on the menu, they have incredible donuts and pastries! 

Bean & Leaf/The Ice Cream Store 

Located side by side, this cafe and ice cream shop are a perfect place to stop while in downtown Rockport. Maybe some members of your family like coffee, but others would rather have a sweet treat! There are tables and chairs in the small space between the two, making it a perfect stop for everyone. 

Gorgeous Views

Halibut Point State Park

Halibut Point State Park features a beautiful quarry and park, great for an afternoon stroll with a view. If you visit on a clear day, you may be able to see Mount Agamenticus, located 40 miles away in Maine!

Front Beach 

Located right near downtown Rockport, Front Beach features incredibly soft sand and incredible views out to sea. The beach is not too large, and has lifeguards on duty in the summer, making it perfect for visiting with your children. 

Delicious Eats

Feather and Wedge

Feather and Wedge is a local favorite for sure! With picturesque outdoor seating right off of Bearskin Neck, this spot is perfect for a date night. Feather and Wedge is more upscale than the other nearby eateries, so keep reading if that isn’t your style! 

Roy Moore’s Fish Shack

Roy Moore’s is a local pillar for a reason. Enjoy beautiful views over the water while eating some of the freshest seafood that New England has to offer! They have a family-friendly dining room with a and very kind and welcoming staff.  

Top Dog

For a more casual eat, any hotdog lover would be remiss to pass by Top Dog. They offer a wide variety of hot dogs with plenty of adventurous options for toppings. Their fun menu, chalkboard walls, and ideal location make it a great stop on your Rockport adventure! 

Things to Do

Shopping at Bearskin Neck

There are simply too many shops to feature in one blog! Many are located in the Bearskin Neck area of downtown Rockport. You can buy books at Susie’s Stories, gifts and housewares at Carol Lee’s Cottage, or toys and games at the Happy Whale. Check out the Bearskin Neck website for a list of even more shopping options in the area. 

Motif Number 1

You have probably seen this red fishing shack before in your life, whether in person or in an artistic recreation. This well-known symbol of New England maritime life is regarded as the most painted building in the United States! Be sure to take a picture while you are in town. 

Biking

There are so many beautiful roads and homes in Rockport that are the best scene from your bike! Whether you have a specific destination in mind or you are just cruising along the ocean, Rockport is an ideal town for a bike ride. 

Art Galleries

While exploring Rockport, you are bound to come across dozens of art galleries. Rockport’s art colony is one of the oldest in America, and the town features many events and festivals year-round. The town is not only known for the visual arts, the Shalin Liu Performance Center was built for chamber music and hosts some impressive performing arts. You may even recognize this beautiful theatre from the best picture winning movie CODA!


If you are looking to buy or sell in the Rockport area, contact me today!

New Summertime Activities on the Northshore

If you live in the area, you probably already have favorite local spots to visit in the summer. This year, why not try some new spots? Beverly, Salem, and Marblehead have some fantastic new additions that you’ll want to check out. Here is a compilation of some of the best new activities and places to visit this summer in Northshore Massachusetts. 

Marblehead

Jordan’s Launch 

Marblehead’s beautiful harbor is one of its main attractions, and now it is more accessible than ever! You don’t have to be a yacht club member to travel across the harbor, just call Jordan’s launch to take you back and forth to a boat or a public dock. Pay cash or use a card to pay online, you can even buy a season pass to take unlimited guests to and from your boat all summer long! 

The Beacon

The Beacon restaurant is a fabulous choice for summertime eats. Featuring live music, outdoor seating, and Sunday brunch, this restaurant has it all! If you aren’t in the mood for a sitdown meal, they feature a to-go window in the back for afternoon takeout. 

Maria’s Gourmet

Maria’s Gourmet has recently expanded, offering a grab-n-go section with fantastic premade food. Stop by for an empanada, or check out their frozen section for fabulous dinners that can be quickly heated in the oven at home. Maria’s even has a catering department with amazing pasta dishes, salads, and Puerto Rican specialties! 

Elia Taverna

On a beautiful summer night, going out for Greek food is incredibly fitting. Marblehead’s newest restaurant came just in time for warm weather, stop by for Greek wines and fresh grilled fish on your next outing!

Salem

Super Taco and Holy Cow

Many Northshore families include Salem Willows in their summer traditions, but have you tried their latest additions? Super Taco is located right next to all the fun and games, and it simply cannot be beaten. Be sure to get a birria taco (or three!) when you’ve finished playing skeeball!

No arcade outing is complete without ice cream. Holy Cow’s newest location is perfectly located near all the action and features a huge selection of award-winning flavors. If the Willows are too busy, both of these new eateries feature online ordering so you can easily get your food to go!

Salem Skipper 

If you took the T into Salem, or aren’t in the mood to find parking on a crowded summer day, their newest rideshare service is incredibly exciting. For only $2 a trip (I know, right?) you can book a ride to Salem’s best attractions instantly. Download the app or call their number, and a van from their fleet will meet you at the nearest corner or pickup spot to take you to your destination. 

Beverly 

Hale Summer Porch Sessions 

Pack a picnic and bring your beach chairs, the Porch Sessions at Hale Farm are back for summer 2022! What started two years ago in response to the pandemic has become a summer staple. Intimate concerts on the lawn of a historic farm are an incredible way to spend a Friday night. Buy your tickets in advance before they sell out! 

Otto Pizza 

Conveniently located on Rantoul Street, Otto Pizza’s new location has been a huge success in Beverly. Their delicious and unique pizzas are known across New England, and are a perfect way to switch things up if you are feeling bored with your typical takeout this summer!

Off Cabot Comedy 

If you don’t feel like driving into Boston for a comedy show, look no further than Off Cabot Comedy in downtown Beverly. This club is a brand new venture with the Cabot theater, in a beautiful and convenient location. Their summer schedule is jam-packed with successful comedians, making it the perfect spot for a unique date night.