March 5, 2024

Scenic Drives North of Boston

Are you looking to make the most of your day trip drive up Boston’s North Shore? Here are some of our favorite places to visit for those looking to experience the best that Massachusetts has to offer. 


Make your first stop in Salem, Massachusetts, the city known for its rich history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. In addition to museums that detail these trials, there are plenty of other exhibits that highlight its colonial past. The Peabody Essex Museum and Pioneer Village are two examples of this and are considered living history by locals and visitors. You can also enjoy a scenic walk to the end of Derby Wharf, which will lead you past the Salem Maritime National Historic Site that consists of nine acres of land and twelve historic structures along the waterfront. Salem is one of the most storied cities north of Boston, and it offers a great experience for those looking to learn and see more of the area. 

Entrance of Salem Witch Museum


Beverly is a small city located north of Salem that has many features of a large one. There are many public parks, gardens and beaches with beautiful views of the ocean, which has lead to the town being labeled the Garden City. If you are looking to learn more about the history of the city, The John Cabot house is considered the headquarters of historic Beverly.

John Cabot House in Beverly, Massachusetts

Cape Ann (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex, Gloucester, Rockport)

If you want to enjoy a little of everything that New England has to offer, a visit to Cape Ann is a must for your scenic drive north of Boston. With rocky coastlines, beaches, iconic lighthouses, art colonies, antiques and plenty of great places to eat and drink, you could easily fill up your day trip drive on Boston’s North Shore with stops. Some of our favorites for you to visit are: 

The Trask House in Manchester-By-The-Sea, which is also known as the Manchester Historical Museum, is a museum and headquarters of the Manchester Historical Society. Inside you will find an impressive collection of furniture, artifacts, and fine art from its origins in 1823. 

Stage Fort Park and Stacy Boulevard. Stage Fort Park is a seaside park in Gloucester with a variety of different activities for you to enjoy. You can also find Half Moon and Cressy’s beaches within the park, which have access to a baseball field, basketball court, playground and much more. You will also want to make your way down Stacy Boulevard, where you will run into the famous Fisherman’s Monument and Cenotaph. This eight-foot tall statue is viewed by thousands of visitors annually, which has helped commemorate Gloucester’s link to the sea. 

Gloucester is also home to The Cape Ann Museum, which features the largest collection of paintings and drawings by Fitz Henry Lane, who is recognized as one of Americas most important 19th century artists. The museum also does an excellent job of highlighting the area’s proud fishing and maritime heritage by featuring an exhibit of photos and artifacts from one of the most productive 19th century fishing ports. The culture and history of the area can also be seen through the Rocky Neck Art colony, which is one of the oldest operating art colonies in the United States. If you’re looking for a day of leisure, we recommend that you visit two locally loved beaches, which are the Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach.

Bear Skin Neck is a beautiful seaside village located in Rockport. Here you can find a walking path which has plenty of restaurants and stores that encapsulate the local culture before continuing on to Cape Hedge Beach. Motif #1 is also located in the area, which is considered to be the most painted building in the world. This little shack is a symbol of coastal Massachusetts and an essential for your list of places to see. 

Woodman’s of Essex is a great choice if getting a taste of New England seafood is at the top of your list. This is a local gem that has been labeled the best seafood in America by USA Today and Forbes. 

Cape Ann Port


Long story short, you may need more than one day to enjoy everything the North of Boston region has to offer. If you plan on making your slow travel along the coast over a period of several days, our 30-room inn is the perfect place for you to recharge, in Rowley, Massachusetts. . Our rooms have a refreshing mix of antiques and artwork, paired with luxury amenities. For example, you’ll find blankets, robes, slippers, a soaking tub, mini-bar, and fireplaces in each room! You’ll also be able to enjoy dinner at our restaurant, Grove, which is just a few steps away. If you’re with us on the weekend, starting with brunch is the perfect way to fuel up before setting out for the day. We serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday but if you’re with us on another day of the week, try breakfast at the iconic Agawam Diner, a 1950’s era rail car diner with plenty of local roadside charm.

Briar Barn Inn and Grove Entrances


 If you're ready to start planning your scenic trip north of Boston, click the link below to get started!

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