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With Memorial Day right around the corner, take advantage of this weekend to explore what the North Shore has to offer before you’re too busy with cookouts and summer festivities. Between art exhibitions at the Peabody Essex Museum and plant sales in Marblehead, this weekend will be a fun-filled tease of your summer in Massachusetts. 

1. Castle Hill Tour: Cupola with a View, Ipswich, May 20

Join the Trustees of the Reservation on Saturday for their most Instagram-able tour, which includes a visit to the roof of the great house at Crane Estate, offering panoramic views of Castle Hill. The tour also dives into the architecture of the Great House and its surrounding buildings and property, as well as the reasoning behind the design choices made by architect David Adler.

The full schedule and tickets are available online.  

2. Marblehead Garden Club Plant Sale, Marblehead, May 20

For the 92nd year, the annual Marblehead Garden Club Plant Sale is back and will be at the beautiful grounds of the Jeremiah Lee Mansion. Whether you’re an expert looking for a few more plants to perfect your backyard or a new grower, the event will be stocked with herbs, perennials, wildflowers, and much more. This year’s plant sale will also include a new feature called “Ask the Expert,” where you’ll have the chance to bounce any questions off members of the garden club.

More details can be found online. 

All Things Considered by Tsherin Sherpa

3. Spirits: Tsherin Sherpa with Robert Beer, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, through May 29

Head over to the Peabody Essex Museum to catch the last couple weeks of the exhibition honoring Himalayan artist, Tsherin Sherpa. Sherpa’s pieces reflect traditional Buddhist art while also offering a contemporary perspective on it. This exhibition also includes line drawings from British artist Robert Beer, whose work depicts major themes of Tibetan art, like deities and lineage holders.

More information and tickets are available online. 

4. The Salem Flea, Salem, May 21

For the 7th year, The Salem Flea is returning to Derby Square on the third Saturday of each month this summer. Stop by this Saturday to shop from over 40 local vintage and handmade art vendors in the historical streets of Salem.

More information can be found online

The Salem Flea

5. Newburyport Farmers Market at The Tannery Marketplace, Newburyport, May 21

Shop locally for your groceries and favorite treats at this weekend’s farmers market at The Tannery in Newburyport. With a variety of produce, baked goods, and handmade crafts, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Once you’re done at the farmers market, check out the stores in the Tannery and even grab a bite to eat at the new, family-owned pizza place, Epicureo. 

Learn more about the market and its vendors at

6. Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport, Anytime

Take your family beach day and nature walk to the next level at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island. With over 4,700 acres of natural wetlands, beach dunes, marshes, and much more, the refuge offers visitors a wide range of wildlife to explore and observe. Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds on their own or they can schedule a program like a bird-watching walk, a kayaking expedition, or a bus tour.

More information on available programs can be found online