Cape Ann Plein Air, Rockport
Standout Qualities: This fairly new fall festival is a wonderful way to learn from other painters or simply enjoy watching artists set up their easels in the great outdoors. This year’s weeklong October festival begins with a reception at the lovely Essex Shipbuilding Museum and ends with an art sale at the Rockport Art Association.
Insider Tip: Their Instagram account is full of beautiful paintings, some set up on location. Follow them: @capeannpleinair.
Fun Fact: Providing creative inspiration for over 200 years to artists such as Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, and Edward Hopper, Cape Ann is the birthplace of American plein air painting!
Arts Fest Beverly, Beverly
Standout Qualities: This free summer outdoor festival takes place up and down groovy Cabot Street and is a great place to shop locally and creatively. With 150 artist tents, music, and fun entertainment for kids, you are set for a full day. If you need to duck inside, you have more choices with fun cafés and boutique shops, like Atomic Cafe and Roost.
Insider Tip: Stop by Montserrat College of Art for a companion exhibition. This year, they gathered 50 art educators from around New England and exhibited their work in conjunction with the June festival.
Fun Fact: Now in its 16th year, this festival is a showcase for the super local creativity popping up in Beverly. A vendor this year was Firsthand Supply, a hip Beverly company that uses a combination of waxes and oils to make their hair styling products and candles.
248 Cabot St., Beverly, beverlymainstreets.org