Manchester Must-Do List
Items for your Manchester itinerary.
Manchester Historical Society
This white clapboard building was constructed in 1823 and was the former home of merchant sea captain Richard Trask and his wife Abigail. Now it abounds with period furniture, fine art, antique toys, a Victorian dollhouse, and a lovely collection of beaded evening bags and hair combs, indicative of Gilded Age fashion.
Admission for visitors is a suggested $5 donation.
10 Union Street, 978-526-7230, manchesterbytheseahistorical.org
The Landing at 7 Central
Featuring the town’s only eatery with an outdoor deck that overlooks the Saw Mill Brook, this 100-year- plus beam and post constructed restaurant was first a tavern, then a stage coach stop, and finally a post office, before serving brunch, lunch, and dinner. Dig into classics, like clam chowder, lobster rolls, and Caesar salad, along with avocado fries, artisan flatbreads, scallops, and burgers.
7 Central Street, 978-526-7494, 7central.net
Seaside No. 1
Children will delight in seeing two antique fire engines in what used to be the town’s old fire station and then police headquarters, now called Seaside No. 1 and maintained by the Manchester Historical Society. In addition to Torrent, a hand pumper built in 1832, the museum houses Seaside 2, a horse-drawn steam pump acquired in 1902. Firefighting equipment is also on display.
14 Church Street, 978-526-7230, manchesterbytheseahistorical.org
Famous for the squeaking sound the sand makes when people walk—it’s each grain’s elongated shape and make-up of feldspar, quartz, and zircon that produces the sound. The west end of the beach has several tide pools, while the east end leads to Rocky Beach (a tumble of boulders) and Eagle Head, a rocky promontory that resembles the head of an eagle from a bird’s eye view. Visit the beach’s website for parking information and other details, including hours for the bathhouse and snack bar.
119 Beach Street, 978-526-2019, manchester.ma.us/facilities/facility/details/singing-beach-11
Manchester by the Book
Known for its collections of rare books, including antiquarian, leather-bound, signed, and first editions, this literary paradise sells new and used books. There is a children’s room, as well, with comfy beanbag chairs.
27 Union Street, 978-525-2929, manchesterbythebook.com
For 45 years, this shop has been servicing biking enthusiasts. Rent a hybrid or road bike to pedal around and beyond. In addition to selling biking gear, the shop also makes a mean espresso.
23 Elm Street, 978-526-1200, seasidecycle.com
The Stock Exchange
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, or so the saying goes. Duck inside this consignment shop to score all sorts of goodies, ranging from designer duds and antiques to jewelry, tableware, and more. The shop is choosy about what it carries, so expect quality items.
3 Beach Street, 978-526-7569, seconsignment.com
In addition to being a lovely place to picnic, the park has a cute playground and bandstand for summer concerts. It also has a life-size statue of a soldier to serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War I. For the past 60-plus years, the park also has hosted a spectacular summer carnival, usually in the month of July. 60 Beach Street, 978-526-2000, manchester.ma.us/facilities/facility/details/masconomo-Park-9
Reminiscent of a pizza parlor with its booths and front counter, this casual culinary enclave dishes up luscious breakfast, lunch, and dinner specialties, like avocado toast with miso-tahini spread for breakfast, hearty salads, pizza, and burgers, including a fish one, for lunch, and more pizza, BBQ, roasted local veggies, seafood and garlic chicken for dinner. Bonus, the restaurant also has a liquor license.
25 Union Street, 978-526-0964, superfinefood.com
In addition to a variety of prepared foods, this small market carries quality produce, meats, fish, and cheese, along with traditional dry goods. It also sells beer, wine, and hard spirits.
3 Summer Street, 978-526-4444, crosbysmarkets.com
Warm and inviting with views out onto Beach Street, this self-described modern home-style restaurant serves lunch and dinner, along with a huge variety of cocktails at the curved wooden bar. The lunch and dinner menus are almost the same—chowder, nachos, wings, salads, sandwiches, pizza, and rich desserts—but you’ll find more fish and meat entrées at dinner.
7 Beach Street, 978-525-3304, calasrestaurant.com
Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library
Designed by Charles F. McKim and built of New England ashlar stone, this library is worth visiting, just to see the gorgeous interior, including the children’s and adult’s reading room, memorial window, and carved wooden screen in the style of the French Renaissance.
15 Union Street, 978-526-771, manchesterpl.org
If you’re on the hunt for home furnishings, stop into this store specializing in eclectic French, English, and American antiques, furniture, and art objects. From hand-painted chests, to stylish chairs, sofas, and lights, the selection is as appealing as the service.
22-36 Union Street, 978-526-7869, cargounlimited.com
Rotunda at Tuck’s Point
Located on the outskirts of town, the “red sunhat” sits at the end of a pier in a small park next to a small beach. You also can spot the Rotunda when looking out onto Manchester Harbor beyond the lobster boats and yachts on the far right.
17 Tuck’s Point Road, 978-526-2019, manchesterma.virtualtownhall.net/pages/manchesterma_recreation/tucks
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
This sunny yellow former lobster shack is the place to get your fill of rich, luscious ice cream. Portions are generous and flavors range from chocolate fudge brownie and mocha chip to cookie dough and ginger. It’s located across from Manchester Harbor, originally called Jeffery’s Creek.
60 Beach Street, 978-526-1663, facebook.com/captaindustys
Old Corner Inn
This old-fashioned bed and breakfast lies on the outskirts of town along Route 127 and is the only place to spend the night. Each of the nine rooms comes with a continental breakfast and wireless internet is available in the first-floor common areas.
2 Harbor Street, 978-526-4996 / (800) 830-4996, theoldcornerinn.com
Featuring a unique collection of one-of-a-kind treasures and timeless vintage pieces, elegant jewelry, and home fragrances, the assortments seen throughout Found Objects are reflections of its by-the-sea locale capturing the spirit and geographical diversity of Cape Ann.
17 Beach Street, 978-704-9583, foundobjectsbythesea.com
Where sophistication and beauty meet. Featuring sparkling and eclectic jewelry designs by award-winning artist and master goldsmith Marianthe “Mahri” Anagnostis Bode, with new pieces arriving almost daily, combined with gorgeous, classic-with-a-twist clothing, a trip to Mahri is energizing. A variety of toys and gifts from fun to fabulous also grace the shelves, allowing every age group to enjoy the experience.
11 Beach Street, 978-526-7241, mahrifashion.com
Mimi Gift Gallery
Mimi Gift Gallery is no small affair, boasting impressive collections of fine art, dinnerware, home décor, keepsake gifts, and even high-end jewelry. Mother-daughter owners Mia Nehme and Claudia Bowman lend a personal touch, always there to help customers choose gifts for friends and spouses—or indulgences for themselves. And it’s hard not to indulge, as Mimi’s offers a wide range of quality wares, personalized gifts, handmade creations from around the country, artworks by Endicott students and area artists, and a comprehensive online boutique to make browsing possible anytime, anywhere.
11 Central Street, 978-525-0385, mimigiftgallery.com
This relaxed bar and restaurant connects Boston’s North Shore through handcrafted food, cocktails, and extraordinary weekly, live music, and comedy events. With a menu of pub grub and seafood entrees, 7 Central also boasts pond-side seating.
7 Central Street, 978-526-7494, 7central.net