Hot weather can make everything move a bit more slowly. So as the temperatures continue to soar, we’ve gathered eight ideas for overcoming the heat and getting yourself going again.
1. Hit the beach
Sure, it’s obvious, but heading to the beach on a hot day can help alleviate some heat stress. Bask in an ocean breeze, dive into some chilly water, or sip a slush at any of our North Shore favorites or a more out-of-the-way destination.
2. Learn and chill
The North Shore is home to a wealth of museums, where you can learn about history, art, and culture while basking in the glories of air conditioning. Most notable is the Peabody Essex Museum, where you can wonder at fashion history, peruse maritime art, and tour an authentic 18th century home imported from China. The Cape Ann Museum features art and artifacts from generations of life in the region. Explore local history in-depth at the Wenham Museum or the Lynn Museum, or delve into the storied past at the Salem Witch Museum or the New England Pirate Museum.
3. Take a scenic drive
Roll up the windows, crank the AC, and set out on a mini-road trip to enjoy some of the beautiful sights this region has to offer. Follow Route 127 north from Beverly up into Gloucester, then loop around the top of Cape Ann for gorgeous rocky shoreline and picture-perfect New England villages. Or head out Route 133 through Essex and Ipswich then up 1A toward Newburyport for sweeping marsh views. Or try to conquer the entire Essex Coastal Scenic Byway.
4. Make a splash
Skip the sand and head to a splash pad or water park to cool down. In Danvers, the Water Park of New England serves up indoor water slides, a lazy river pool ride, a water-filled jungle gym, and more. The Ipswich YMCA boasts a water park and pool that are open to the general public for a fee, while YMCA members can enjoy the splash pad at the Cape Ann Y. Lynch Park in Beverly, Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, and Swasey Field Park in Haverhill all feature splash pads as well.
5. Indulge in ice cream
Hot weather calls for cold treats. And there is not shortage north of Boston of places to indulge in ice cream. Order up a scoop or three at your local favorite, check out one of the region’s favorite purveyors of homemade ice cream, or go on an ice cream adventure to seek out inventive and unusual variations on everyone’s favorite frozen confection.
6. Sip a (locally brewed) cold one
The North Shore is packed with options for those who love to explore microbreweries. And there may be no better time than a heat wave to sit down to a pint or two of cold, local beer. There are probably two many taprooms to list, but you could get started in downtown Beverly where four breweries—Channel Marker Brewing, Backbeat Brewing Co., Gentile Brewing Co., and Old Planters Brewing Co.—cluster in the space of a few blocks. Ipswich is home to Ipswich Ale and the True North Ale Co. In Peabody there’s Essex County Brewing and Granite Coast Brewing Co. Oh, and of course, there’s Bent Water in Lynn. And Lord Hobo in Woburn. And Riverwalk Brewing Co. in Newburyport. And…
7. Have a berry good snack
Berries and melon make amazing hot weather snacks. They are hydrating, and easier to eat and digest when the heat makes heavy food seem unpalatable. Plus, they’re delicious. So visit a local farm like Russell Orchard in Ipswich, Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, or Smolak Farms in North Andover for some fresh local berries (pick-your-own if you want to brave the heat), then head home for a refreshing snack. Blend them into smoothies or sorbet or use them to top a bowl of ice cream to supercharge the cool.
8. Get shady
This mightn’t be the best activity for early afternoon, but early in the morning or later in the evening, take an easy, shady stroll on one of the region’s many beautiful trails. Rockport’s Halibut Point has a largely flat path looping around an out-of-use quarry, plenty of shade, and, if you’re lucky, ocean breezes over the lookout point. Ravenswood in Gloucester offers plenty of cool shade and is very dog-friendly, if your four-legged friend needs some cooler exercise as well. And Beverly’s Long Hill lets you stroll through a shade-dappled garden and relax on benches. Check out thetrustees.org and Essex County Greenbelt’s new app for dozens more trail ideas.