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Today, Hamilton and Wenham retain a quiet pace of life, connection to open space, and strong sense of community. The school system is consistently among the state’s most highly rated, parks and public farms offer access to the outdoors, and locals support a strong core of small, local businesses.

Yet, even as the towns are steeped in history and bucolic charm, there is more going on than meets the eye: New eateries, new civic groups, and new people reviving old traditions can all be found within the borders of the two communities. The towns are definitely not standing still. Check out fifteen of our favorite things to do in Hamilton and Wenham.


Black Cow
Beer, burgers, and a congenial atmosphere make the Black Cow the perfect stop for a casual dinner or lunch. 16 Bay Rd., Hamilton, 978-468-1166,

Grassy Roots
Stop in for sandwiches, salads, soups, and smoothies, all made from flavor-packed local and organic ingredients. 152 Main St., Wenham, 978-468-5200,

Talented bakers and baristas work with the highest quality ingredients to serve up exquisite pastries, tasty sandwiches, and invigorating coffees. 248 Bay Rd., Hamilton, 978-626-0014,

15 Walnut Tavern and Kitchen
Serving up an unexpected combination of classic dishes, sushi, and seasonal specials, this homey spot is a great place to linger over a meal. 15 Walnut St., Hamilton,


Gordon College and Chebacco Woods Trails
Wander wide, well-kept wooded trails off the quaint campus of Gordon College and around picturesque ponds; you can even take a dip at the small beach on Round Pond. Grapevine Rd., Wenham or Chebacco Rd., Hamilton,

Wenham Museum
Featuring artifacts of family, childhood, and domestic life in the area, this charming museum will immerse you in the past. 132 Main St., Wenham, 978-468-2377,

Tendercrop Farm 
The Wenham outpost of the popular farm offers locally raised meats, baked goods, and fresh, seasonal produce. 93 Main St., Wenham, 978-468-0041,

Community House
Music for kids, local theater, and community events make this center a hub of town life. 284 Bay Rd., Hamilton, 978-468-4818,

Vineyard Hill
Take an easy walk along peaceful wooded trails on property once owned by World War II hero Gen. George Patton, or follow paths in Bradley Palmer State Park for a more ambitious hike. 656 Asbury St., South Hamilton, 

Myopia Polo Club
Visit on a Sunday afternoon to watch matches at one of the oldest active polo clubs in the country. 435 Bay Road, South Hamilton, 978-468-7656,

Appleton Farm Grass Rides
Stroll through field and forest on miles of wide, easy paths that once served as carriage roads and equestrian trails for the property.
Highland St., South Hamilton, 978-356-5728,

Patton Park
This well-loved park includes a sprawling playground, playing fields and courts, a pond, and even an historic tank. Bay Rd. and Asbury St., Hamilton


The Natural Dog
Pamper your pet with natural food and treats, an eco-friendly bed or toy, or a jaunty new leash and collar. 22 Railroad Ave., Hamilton, 978-468-2244,

A Monogram Shop
Select from lunch bags, gift bags, tote bags, shopping bags, and more, all in a wide range of colors and styles, then personalize your choices with a custom monogram. 56 Railroad Ave., Hamilton, 978-626-0019,

Timeless Interiors and Gifts
Find a personal and unique touch for your home (or outfit) among this selection of colorful pillows, striking artwork, and jewelry. 52 Railroad Ave., Hamilton, 978-468-1141,