Items for your North Andover itinerary. By Diane Blair -Â Photographs by Robert Boyd
Weir Hill This woodsy, 194-acre property was once part of an estate built by 19th-century industrialist Moses T. Stevens; now, it serves as North Andover’s lovely backyard. Hiking trails trace two-mile-long Lake Cochichewick, and traverse Weir Hill to a scenic overlook that stretches as far as New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock on a clear day. Stevens St., 978-682-3580; thetrustees.org.
Stevens-Coolidge Place Backyard gardeners get inspired by this former country estate’s rose gardens, lily ponds, orchards, and botanicals. The main house dates to the early 1800s and showcases period furnishings, Asian artifacts, English porcelain, and needlework. 137 Andover St., 978-682-3580; thetrustees.org.
Harold Parker State Forest This 3,000-acre park draws outdoors lovers from all over the region, to swim, camp, hike, fish, bike, paddle (BYO boat), and ride (BYO horse)! 305 Middleton Rd., 978-686-3391; mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast.
Smolak Farms Families adore this 300-year-old farm, for good reason: Kids can visit animals, play on the playground, and snack on treats like Treadwell’s ice cream and fresh baked goods (the apple cider donuts win rave reviews). There’s also fruit-picking in season, and festival weekends (hop on a hay ride through the orchards) in fall. 315 S. Bradford St., 978-682-6332; smolakfarms.com.
Merrimack College This four-year college is a community cultural center, thanks to exhibits at McCoy Gallery and programming at the Rogers Center for the Arts. Recent performances have featured the New England Civic Ballet and the Treble Chorus of New England. 315 Turnpike St., 978-837-5000; merrimack.edu.
Rose & Dove Specialty Gift Shop Tucked away on Chickering Road, this little shop is a treasure trove of fun finds, including the latest gift-worthy goods in the popular Mariposa line and jewelry from hot London designer Martine Wester. 579 Chickering Rd., 978-689-4141; roseanddove.com.
Butcher Boy Meat Market Want the secret to making your grilled meats taste like high-end steakhouse fare? Fill your shopping list here. This family-run store also sells produce, grocery items and hot-and-cold prepared foods. And just try to walk past those ‘gourmet’ malt balls, located at the check-out counter! 1077 Osgood St., 978-688-1511; butcherboymarket.com.
Design Lighting A good way to get a true sense of North Andover’s familial roots is with a stop in this family-run shop, which has operated since 1984. Look in any direction and you’ll find beautiful fixtures, shades, and lighting accessories for every nook and cranny of your home. 350 Winthrop Ave., 978-794-1650; designlt.com.
Boston Hill Farm Picking your own apples, pumpkins, or berries is one of the North Shore’s most beloved traditions. There’s also a deli counter, bakery, and ice cream from Richardson’s Dairy, plus events like hayrides and barbecues. 1370 Turnpike St., 978-681-8556; bostonhillfarm.com.
Joe Fish Seafood Restaurant Osgood Street has a plethora of places to eat, but Joe Fish is a perennial favorite, thanks to its fun, casual ambiance and menu favorites like lobster rolls and Haddock Maria. It draws a mix of local families and Brooks School parents, catching up with their kids over a nice meal. 1120 Osgood St., 978-685-3663; joefish.net.
Good Day Cafe Nothing says indulgence like a bacon maple donut muffin. But Kathy and John Santoro have more temptations in store, including seven-layer bars like Mom used to make and sandwiches stacked high with meats roasted in-house. Open for breakfast and lunch. 19 High St., 978-688-6006; mygooddaycafe.com.
Jaime’s Restaurant Located in the historic Davis and Furber mill building, Jaime’s is a cool space, with exposed brick and old millworks, a convivial atmosphere, upscale pub food, and great drinks. Even the humble buffalo tender is a standout here. 25 High St., 978-655-4735; jaimesna.com.