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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!