The Crane Estate, IpswichStandout Qualities: There’s nothing that wows your company from Ohio quite like a European aristocratic lifestyle right here in America. Drive up to the grand seaside mansion on Castle Hill and tell them it’s your go-to hangout, where all the best parties are held.
Insider Tip: If you find yourself needing your own staycation, book a room at what was once a gentleman’s farmhouse and is now the The Inn at Castle Hill. Wake to the spectacular views and walk the grounds of Castle Hill with your morning coffee, taking it all in as if you owned the place.
Fun Fact: While you’re there getting some “me time” or strolling with your arm around your honey, take in some wildlife. Due to the estate’s location on the Atlantic and adjacent Crane Beach, unusual species such as turkey vultures, migratory hawks, and even an occasional bald eagle can be seen soaring above the landscape.
290 Argilla Rd., Ipswich, 978-356-4351, thetrustees.org
The House of the Seven Gables, SalemStandout Qualities: In 1668, a merchant and shipbuilder created this seaside mansion that has become one of the most beloved historic houses in America. Though it’s best known for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel, perhaps the more interesting story is that of Caroline Emmerton, a philanthropist and preservationist who founded The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association to assist immigrant families who were settling in Salem in the early 20th century. Emmerton’s dual goal was to preserve the house for future generations and to fund her settlement programs for newly arriving immigrants.
Insider Tip: This year is the home’s 300th anniversary, celebrated with parties and creative programming. But a visit to the seaside garden is inspiring in anytime.
Fun Fact: The Gables hosts several community dialogues each year. Residents and civic leaders from Salem and surrounding communities are invited to listen, learn, and share their thoughts on immigration and immigration reform.
115 Derby St., Salem, 978-744-0991, 7gables.org