For occasional visitors, a mention of Beverly might call to mind a memorable show at the Cabot, an indulgent dinner at FRANK, or an afternoon spent wandering one of the city’s downtown street festivals. And indeed, downtown Beverly is a place worth visiting—and revisiting.
Yet the city is so much more than the few blocks that make up the downtown. Spread out over more than 15 square miles of land, Beverly’s neighborhoods offer experiences from the urban to the bucolic, with several stops in between. We’ve chosen three to highlight the diversity of experiences the city can offer.
Over the past ten years, downtown Beverly has evolved into a vibrant and vital area featuring an eclectic array of shops, sites, and restaurants.
“Downtown Beverly is very quirky, it’s very charming, and very diverse,” says Becki Greene, the arts program administrator for Beverly Main Streets, a nonprofit with the mission of nurturing and promoting the downtown area. “It’s very rich in arts and culture and culinary attractions.”
The neighborhood is defined by the roughly parallel main drags Cabot Street and Rantoul Street, both of which are lined with independent retailers, restaurants, and breweries. Shop for trendy consignment clothes at Worthy Girl or browse books and gifts at Copper Dog Books, then enjoy an indulgent burger at FRANK or a coffee made from locally roasted beans at the Atomic Cafe. In the evenings, you can catch notable bands or movies at The Cabot or a comedy show at Off Cabot, around the corner.
What truly distinguishes downtown Beverly, however, are the details that surround the commercial scene, Greene says. Look up to discover the architectural details of the historic buildings, she advises, and keep your eyes open for colorful murals. There is even a wall dedicated to giving graffiti artists free—and legal—space to show off their skills.
Non-locals might not be familiar with the term, but “the Cove” is an iconic part of the community, even if there’s not complete agreement on its boundaries.
“Where it starts and where it ends is hotly debated sometimes,” jokes Justin Repp, a Beverly resident and real estate agent with Keller Williams.
It is generally agreed, however, that Beverly Cove covers a stretch of coast to the east of downtown, maybe or maybe not stretching as far as the oceanfront campus of Endicott College. For visitors, it is an area for recreation and soaking in the scenery.
The major landmark of the neighborhood is Lynch Park, a 16-acre expanse jutting out into the sea. The park includes two beaches, a famed rose garden, an outdoor stage for live music performances, and plenty of open space for picnics, Frisbee, and letting the kids run around to their hearts’ content.
Just beyond the park, on a rocky promontory known as Hospital Point, a picturesque historic lighthouse stands sentinel over the channel into Salem Harbor. Further east along Route 127, as you approach the college, the views open up to spectacular vistas of waves, boats, and rocky islands just offshore.
On the eastern edge of the city, Beverly Farms offers up a thoroughly quaint village surrounded by lush, wooded private properties. Though the neighborhood has a more secluded, rural feel, it can claim a bit of glamor: The name of famed California city Beverly Hills was inspired by Massachusetts’ more humble Beverly Farms.
Though the Farms, as it is often called locally, doesn’t offer anything quite so posh as Rodeo Drive, the shops along West Street and Hale Street are charming and welcoming places to visit. The Book Shop of Beverly Farms stocks a carefully curated selection of volumes, and Sweetwater & Co. is the destination for breezy, beachy home accessories. If you’re hungry, grab a booth at Hale Street Tavern, customize a burrito at the Avocado Pit, or grab a sandwich, a brownie, and some vegetables to go with dinner at Vidalias market.
Then take a moment to enjoy the outdoors. In the Beverly Commons Conservation Area —once known as Witches’ Woods, for the families that sought refuge there during the Salem witch hysteria—13 miles of trails wind through 400 peaceful, wooded acres. Or enjoy nature just steps off West Street, where the Beverly Farms Improvement Society maintains a walkway planted with lush flowers.
“Even just walking there and sitting is something special,” says lifelong Farms resident Elizabeth St. Hilaire.