Just north of Hamilton-Wenham and south of Rowley and 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.
When looking for outdoor activities on the Northshore, Ipswich has just about everything. This beautiful town has beaches, rivers, marshes, and plenty of history. Incorporated as a town in 1634, Ipswich used to be comprised of fishermen, farmers, and shipbuilders. In the 1800s, its economy became more heavily based on the mills built along the Ipswich River. Today, you can see Ipswich’s rich past in the historic architecture of its homes and public buildings. It is approximately 33 square miles and home to almost 14,000 residents. Interested in visiting or relocating to Ipswich? Here are our top recommendations for food, views, and activities.
GROCERIES AND SNACKS
If you are looking for fresh fish to cook at home, or pre-made meals and sides for a picnic on the beach, the Ipswich Fish Market has an extensive selection of the best local catches and more.
Visit Ipswich Butcher Bros this summer to find everything you need for a fantastic backyard barbeque. As one reviewer writes, “The maple bourbon steak tips alone are worth a half day’s journey.”
For essentials, Ipswich has a Shaw’s location near its downtown area! Although Shaw’s is a chain grocery store in the Northeast, this particular location has wonderful local ties, and its workers participate in Ipswich’s yearly Chowderfest.
One of the oldest continuously operating farms in Massachusetts, Appleton Farms features a wonderful store that sells their produce, meats, breads, pastries, and more!
In the mornings, visit Sandpiper Bakery for pastries and coffee! They also feature a breakfast and lunch selection with sandwiches, salad, and more.
Only accessible at low tide, Hamlin Reservation is a must-see for birdwatchers, nature lovers, and hikers alike. It features a one-mile loop trail through beautiful fields and marsh meadows.
At the southern tip of Plum Island, Sandy Point State Reservation offers swimming, educational programs, hunting, and magnificent ocean views.
Comprised of islands and salt marshes, the Crane Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place to spot rare birds. Go for a boat tour, kayak trip, or a guided hike of Choate Island.
A nationally recognized landmark built in 1935, the Clambox is probably the #1 must-see on your visit to Ipswich. They have perfected their recipe for fried clams, and we recommend visiting on a weekday to avoid the (understandably) long lines!
Located in historic downtown Ipswich, Choate Bridge pub is the perfect place to end a summer day. Classic American pub fare and seafood, what’s better than that?
Visit Fox Creek Tavern for incredible flatbreads, burgers, or fish. They also offer brunch on the weekends!
A well-loved local American food spot with outdoor seating, The Brown Dog is always a fan favorite in Ipswich’s yearly Chowderfest.
HAVE SOME FUN/SHOP SMALL/THINGS TO DO
If you find yourself in Ipswich any time between May and November, you have to visit Russell Orchards. Pick your own berries, see the barnyard animals, or buy food and wine in their store! Whatever you do, don’t leave without one of their cider donuts.
Crane Beach is a big attraction for both locals and tourists alike. If you want a full beach day, Crane Beach is worth the cost of admission, but the price is reduced after 4:00 pm. With four miles of beautiful sandy beach and dunes, this beach is the top summer spot in Ipswich.
A personal favorite, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate is a beautiful and historic spot to spend an afternoon. 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)!
Looking to buy or sell in Ipswich? Contact me to learn more.