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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 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!

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. 

Ipswich MA

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

Ipswich Fish Market

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. 

Ipswich Butcher Bros

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.”

Shaw’s

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.

Appleton Farms

One of the oldest continuously operating farms in Massachusetts, Appleton Farms features a wonderful store that sells their produce, meats, breads, pastries, and more!

Sandpiper Bakery 

In the mornings, visit Sandpiper Bakery for pastries and coffee! They also feature a breakfast and lunch selection with sandwiches, salad, and more. 

GORGEOUS VIEWS

Hamlin Reservation

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. 

Sandy Point State Reservation

At the southern tip of Plum Island, Sandy Point State Reservation offers swimming, educational programs, hunting, and magnificent ocean views. 

Crane Wildlife Refuge

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. 

DELICIOUS EATS

Clam Box

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!

Choate Bridge Pub

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?

Fox Creek Tavern

Visit Fox Creek Tavern for incredible flatbreads, burgers, or fish. They also offer brunch on the weekends! 

The Brown Dog

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

Russell Orchards

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

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. 

Castle Hill on the Crane Estate

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.

Hamilton-Wenham

When you look at a map of the North Shore you may notice two small towns north of Beverly. While they may be separated on the map, to locals, these neighboring towns are simply known as Hamilton-Wenham. 

Together Hamilton-Wenham has a combined population of 12,500 residents. The towns include a variety of classic New England homes, beautiful trails, and picturesque tree-lined roads. Though they may be more inland than other North Shore towns I’ve covered, Hamilton-Wenham is still bordered on the south by Beverly and on the east by Manchester-by-the-Sea making it a quick drive to the beach and only about 20 miles from Boston. ​​Additionally, the MBTA Commuter Rail provides service from Boston’s North Station to the Hamilton/Wenham station via the Newburyport/Rockport Line.

Even though these towns are small, Hamilton-Wenham has enough community, opportunity, nature, and activities for these towns to stand strong alone and together! Interested in relocating? Check out these top spots in Hamilton-Wenham.

GROCERIES & SNACKS

Honeycomb.

Honeycomb is a local bakery and café that focuses on bringing beautiful foods and products to Hamilton. Their bakers and baristas spent years perfecting their delicious recipes made with the finest ingredients.

Tendercrop Farm

Want farm-fresh produce? Tendercrop Farm sources its products from local farms across New England. Stop in and get everything from produce, meat, and baked goods to flowers and gifts. 

Wenham Tea House

There’s nothing like a warm cup of tea. Chef Brenden Crocker serves a proper tea, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, too! The patio is the perfect spot on a warm spring day.

Bagel Shop 

It can be hard to find a good bagel, but it’s easy at the Bagel Shop! With locations across the North Shore, the Bagel shop is a local staple for an everything with cream cheese and lox!

DELICIOUS EATS

  • Enjoy a home away from home at 15 Walnut Tavern + Kitchen. The relaxed institution is a great spot for unique cocktails and eclectic eats like sushi, burgers, BBQ & more. I highly recommend the fried Brussels sprouts!
  • Small but mighty, the Weathervane Tavern is a local favorite!  The homestyle cuisine and cozy and comfortable atmosphere make for a great night out for the whole family.
  • Black Cow is a top spot for classic American eats and one of the best restaurants in the area! From their vintage marquee sign, outdoor bar, stylish decor, and extensive menu you’re sure to have a great time at BC.

THINGS TO DO

It’s all about the community in Hamilton Wenham! Explore museums, events, nature, and the surrounding towns for a variety of fun for all ages.

The Wenham Museum celebrates childhood, interprets history, and explores a variety of cultures through its collection of over 45,000 objects! The museum is perfect for all ages and even has amazing events like Silhouette Portrait Artist Painting, “First Dibs Shop and Sip” and more.

Want to get outside this spring? Hamilton-Wenham is full of great trails and activities. The Chebacco Woods Trails near Gordon College are some of my absolute favorites. The trails are well maintained and run beside a group of beautiful ponds that make my walks both easy and scenic!

If you’re looking for the whole family, try the Community House! Serving the Hamilton community for over 100 years, Community House is a pillar on the North Shore. It has music for kids, local theater, summer programs, and fun events like the Sweetheart Ball all year round! If you can’t make it to an event or production I highly recommend donating to this great institution

Did you know the oldest polo club in America is right here in South Hamilton? Myopia Polo Club has been around since the late 1800s. Get your tickets now for one of their world-class summer Sunday matches!

SHOP SMALL

  • We can’t forget about the pets! The Natural Dog ​​provides a wide selection of natural foods, whole food supplements, and environmentally friendly products for your dogs and cats. 
  • Connect with North Shore history at True North Gallery. They started ​​as a gallery focused on indigenous art, and have expanded their collection to include art, fine craft, and creative gifts inspired by nature.
  • Looking for the perfect gift? The Monogram Shop creates completely custom embroidered gifts right in downtown Hamilton! From backpacks and lunchboxes to totes and masks there’s nothing they can’t customize!

Looking to buy or sell in Hamilton-Wenham? Contact me to learn more.

What You Can Expect for the North Shore Summer Housing Market

We’ve made it through another Massachusetts winter and have finally begun to see the blooming flowers and sunshine we deserve. With this returning sense of normalcy, what should we expect from the North Shore housing market?

Home prices skyrocketed in 2021, increasing by nearly 20% on average in the United States. Though the high demand and low inventory remain in play as we enter the summer, the market is not expected to be as intense as last year’s. 

“While sellers remain in an advantageous position, price stability and the continuation of competitive interest rates may provide some much-needed relief to buyers this year.”

For Sellers:

Though sellers are still receiving multiple offers, inventory is finally starting to become more available, slowly but surely. In March, homebuyer competition fell for the first time in six months. As the supply starts to become more in line with the demand, bidding wars are becoming less frequent and intense. For sellers, this means fewer options and a need to be less selective between offers.

For Buyers:

For buyers, this perhaps signifies less competition and slightly more freedom of choice when it comes to purchasing a home this summer. Though these trends are pointing towards “business as usual,” the market is still heavily in favor of the seller, and high interest rates severely restrict first-time buyers. 

How will interest rates affect the Massachusetts housing market in 2022?

Though there is a feeling that things are calming down as we enter the summer, the cost of borrowing money through mortgages has continued to increase. 

“Most experts predicted that mortgage rates would climb this year, but they did so more quickly than expected, averaging more than 4% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in mid-February. Around mid-April, it surged to 5.28 percent, the highest level since April 2010, and the uptick continues.”

Many potential buyers are seeing these interest rates continue to rise and are provided with a sense of urgency to make offers before these rates get even higher. This mindset makes sense when you look at graphs such as the one below, which show the average 30-year fixed mortgage rates in the United States from early 2020 to the present day.  Many buyers that are in the middle price range held off on making a purchase because there hasn’t been inventory, and some decided to move now. Others who held off used their equity to make home improvements, such as adding a home office or an addition. 

There is a general feeling that the housing market tends to calm down during the summertime. However, that was not the case last summer- and likely won’t be true this year either. Interest rates around this time last year averaged 3% and are currently just above 5%. Though it is true that interest rates will likely continue to rise before they taper off and fall, research indicates that there is no need to panic, as housing prices, interest rates, and housing availability are likely to slowly return to normal levels over the course of the next year. 

Image via Freddy Mac

It is impossible to predict the state of the market with 100% accuracy,  so you must always make decisions based on your own financial state and needs rather than trying to time the market perfectly. Regardless of if you are looking to buy, sell, or have questions about the state of the North Shore housing market as we approach the summer, it is always a good idea to consult a professional. 

Get in touch with me today for a FREE consultation.  

Why I Became a Realtor

Tom Beauregard recently sat down with Cara Chatellier of Bubbly Creative to talk more about his life story and passion for real estate. Read the interview here.

Why did you become a realtor?

Well, gosh, that’s a funny question. It’s like, what’s it like being a doctor? What’s it like being a lawyer? From my standpoint, I grew up in a family business and customer service was always paramount since we were a mom-and-pop operation. 

Real estate always fascinated me. I probably should have been an architect because I like the structural content of how homes are built. I also grew up in a lumber business that sold building materials business in New Hampshire. So it always intrigued me.

In real estate, it is all about customer service. My job is to totally and completely work with a client to help them accomplish their real estate goals, whether it’s a first-time home buyer or an established home seller who’s bought and sold a number of different homes. 

Every day is completely rewarding because it’s different. Every transaction is different. Every client is different. Every home search criteria is different. 

I spend most of my day from a standpoint of project management, which is just making sure that I can get my client to the closing table.

Thinking about buying or selling a home on the Norse Shore? Contact me today  for a FREE market analysis of the value of your home or to learn about the current market.