Briar Barn Inn is just minutes from the sandy beaches and coastal waterways of Ipswich, the seafaring port of Gloucester, and the historic attractions and museums of Salem. From outdoor adventures to world-class antique hunting to kicking your toes in the surf, there’s so much to explore.
Surrounded by salt marshes, park trails, and miles of shoreline, the North Shore offers outdoor adventures year-round. Kayak or paddleboard on the Essex River, surf the waves in Gloucester or cycle around scenic Rockport. Nature lovers can go bird watching on the Parker River, whale watching off salty Cape Ann, or hiking along the coastal trails of the Essex National Heritage area.
The North Shore boasts miles of sandy beaches, coastal waterways and hidden coves. Spend a sunny afternoon at Crane’s Beach in Ipswich or take a sunset walk on Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. Then stop for fried clams at the Clam Box in Essex or Woodman’s of Essex, a North Shore tradition for more than a century.
New England’s seafaring history comes to life at the renowned Peabody Essex Museum in nearby Salem, just steps away from the Witch History Museum. Or visit one of the many colonial-era homes that are now open to the public. Art lovers will enjoy the many galleries of Rockport, and the famous Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, where artists have been inspired by the dramatic seascape for more than a century.
The North Shore is an antique hunter’s paradise. Rowley’s Todd Farm Antique and Flea Market is one of New England’s largest antique markets, drawing collectors from New York and beyond. Nearby Essex is a virtual attic of historic collectibles, with more than 25 shops lining the town’s Main Street.
A historic mill town surrounded by centuries-old farms, Rowley’s streets are lined with colonial homes dating to America’s founders. Rowley boasted the oldest stone arch bridge in the North America, which still spans the Mill River. The surrounding region was famous for shipbuilding through the 18th century, and a local fishing industry that still thrives to this day.
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