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Many of us have spent the past 16 months at home, barely venturing out of the North Shore and longing for a vacation. What we sometimes forget, though, is that we live in a popular vacation spot ourselves, filled with beautiful beaches, quaint towns, renowned history, and incredible natural beauty. That’s why this summer, why not rediscover what outside tourists already know and take a getaway that only feels far-flung?

Here are some great options for a North Shore summer staycation. 

Blue Inn on the Beach 

Plum Island, Newburyport

You can’t get more oceanfront than Blue Inn on the Beach, which is the only hotel on Plum Island and offers spectacular beach access, sunrise views, and laid-back luxury. It has 13 guestrooms—among them suites and cottages—a beachfront hot tub, outdoor lounge area, bikes to borrow, fire pits, and complimentary breakfast baskets delivered to guests’ rooms each morning. 

“Because of our boutique size, we can offer the personal touches that really just make people feel like they’re getting away from it all,” says Blue general manager Catherine Mitas. 

Not only is the hotel located right on the beach and just minutes from lively downtown Newburyport, but Blue has also partnered with local vendors to offer special curated experiences for guests, including a Plum Island birdwatching tour, oceanside private yoga, in-room massage, and even a private catered picnic on the beach, complete with pillows, blankets, music, fresh flowers, charcuterie board, and custom sugar cookies.

Addison Choate 

Courtesy of Addison Choate

Located in the heart of downtown Rockport, Addison Choate is a historic hotel with modern, boutique amenities, thanks to a recent renovation by husband-and-wife owners Marshall and Courtney Tulley. Guests can expect all new furnishings, including new beds, and beautifully appointed en suite marble bathrooms. Each of the hotel’s seven guest rooms is decorated with sophisticated coastal touches that are fitting for its Cape Ann location. The complimentary breakfast includes freshly baked goodies like lemon-ginger scones and apple turnovers, and there are cookies, coffee, or tea in the afternoon.

In addition to the lovely hotel itself, Addison Choate is just a five-minute walk or an even quicker bike ride (Addison Choate offers rental bikes) to downtown Rockport and all its charm, from the iconic red fishing shack, Motif #1, to the sweetly strollable Bearskin Neck to heading out on the water for a whale watch.

“If you’re looking for a special getaway—if it’s been a long time since you’ve been able to get out and explore—a trip to Rockport and stay at the Addison Choate would be a memorable and relaxing experience,” Marshall Tulley says.

Beauport Hotel

Photograph by Peter Vanderwaker

Gloucester is filled with world-class beaches like Good Harbor and Wingaersheek; iconic attractions like Hammond Castle and the Fisherman’s Memorial; and two cultural districts including Rocky Neck; not to mention great shops, restaurants, whale watching, and more. 

Yet visitors to Beauport Hotel would be forgiven if they never wanted to leave their gorgeous accommodations. Located on Pavilion Beach, Beauport is a 94-room hotel that exudes a vibe that’s both luxurious and welcoming. 

“Many times, guests say they don’t want to leave the hotel because everything’s right there,” says Beauport director of communications Jeanne Hennessey.

Not only are there luxurious guestrooms, onsite dining at the full-service 1606 Restaurant & Bar (with both indoor and outdoor seating), and a beautiful beach, but there are also amenities that take a stay at Beauport to the next level, like the Birdseye Rooftop Pool & Bar. There are bikes to borrow, beach games to play in the sun, and board games to brighten rainy days. Guests can relax with a cocktail on the deck or use one of the hotel’s stand-up paddleboards or kayaks to get active on the water. There are even Beauport Exclusive Experiences like a private schooner sail. 

“There’s a tranquility that you feel as soon as you walk in the door,” Hennessey says.

Briar Barn Inn 

Photograph by Erica Ferrone 

Rowley is a quintessential small and bucolic North Shore town, which makes a stay at the quietly sophisticated Briar Barn Inn even more special. Its guest rooms exude rustic elegance, and the extra touches—like the cozy fireplaces in the common areas and the room service that’s available—make a stay there even more special. 

Even though Rowley is a small town, a weekend stay is easy to fill with fun things to do. Visitors can scour the vast flea market at nearby Todd Farm for antiques and treasures; sip local wine from Mill River Winery; and hike through Mass Audubon’s Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary.

There’s also plenty to do right on the Briar Barn Inn property, too, like dinner, brunch, or drinks at the onsite Grove restaurant or a spa treatment at the onsite spa, which at press time, was planning a summertime reopening after being closed during the pandemic. 

“People have been exploring their own area with fresh eyes,” says Sarah Boucher, vice president of marketing and communications, and Briar Barn Inn is a great place to do exactly that.