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With gorgeous beaches, historic attractions and excellent seafood, there are all kinds of good reasons to plan a little time in the North of Boston region.
It’s true year round, but even more so during the warmer months, when festivals come to town and the sea breeze keeps everyone a bit cooler.
From oceanside parks to breathtaking nature reserves, the North Shore offer some absolute gems.
Here are five destinations to put on your list.
Crocker Park in Marblehead, MA
Crocker Park might not generate as much fanfare as some of the area’s other scenic vantage points, but it’s a magnificent one. Situated along 2.82 acres of prime waterfront property, the park presents a beautiful view of Marblehead Harbor that all can enjoy.
Stars and Stripes above Crocker Park by Tim Grafft
For sightseeing, the pavilion, gazebo and benches are each fine choices; there are restrooms on site as well. Along with being a great picnic spot, Crocker Park also plays host to concerts and weddings during the summer. If you’d like to stay nearby, the Seagull B&B is right across the water.
The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, MA
As is the case with many Massachusetts attractions, there’s quite a bit of history to the Stevens-Coolidge Place. The Stevens family, who helped found North Andover, purchased the land in 1729 and began transforming their former farm in the early 20th century. Safe to stay, they succeeded.
The Stevens-Coolidge Place gardens by Kristina Smith
Nowadays, the Stevens-Coolidge Place gardens are open to everyone from dawn to dusk throughout the year. The house itself can be explored as well, but only during special events. To put your feet up in the area, the Andover Inn is a convenient option.
Salisbury Beach State Reservation in Salisbury, MA
One of the North Shore’s most popular sandy spots, Salisbury Beach has attracted families from near and far for decades. The beach itself stretches along the coast for 3.8 miles and the accompanying park adds 520 acres, with swimming, boating, fishing and camping all heartily encouraged.
Sunshine at Salisbury Beach by Gary Miles
Daytime visitors can access the beach by driving in through town, with directions listed out here. There is a fee for parking, which runs about $15, and it should be noted that spaces can be a hot commodity. The price of entry is well worth it, though, and those interested in extending their stay would be smart to consider one of the 484 campsites.
The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, MA
Made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same, the House of the Seven Gables is New England’s oldest surviving 17th-century wooded mansion. Thanks to some well-placed touches, centuries gone by haven’t at all diminished the house’s regal charm.
Outside the House of the Seven Gables by Kristina Smith
The home is open each day and recently introduced extended hours for the summer. Knowledgeable tour guides make trips all the more enjoyable, and the building offer special events pretty frequently, too. To see admission rates, click here, and to stay just a five-minute walk away, try the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites.
Plum Island in Newburyport, MA
Plum Island is many things: a beach, a wildlife reservation, a lighthouse site, a day trip destination and a vacation spot. The 11-mile barrier island extends from the shores on Newburyport, offering all kinds of activities, as well as its amazing signature scenery.
View from the Plum Island boardwalk by Kay Bice
Once on the island, visitors can take their pick of bird watching, swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking and more. To get there, it’s easiest to drive, with parking available upon arrival for a mild fee. For dining and staying over, there are some good suggestions here.
If you’re planning some time in the North of Boston region but these ideas don’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty more here. Or, if you’re headed elsewhere this summer in Massachusetts and looking for inspiration, just click here.
Do you have a favorite North of Boston day trip spot? Let us know below in the comments!