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On the eastern edge of Peabody, tucked away off Washington Street, adventurous visitors will find an unexpected destination: Winding through conservation areas and along a municipal golf course, the Mayor Michael J. Bonfanti Nature Trail offers a wooded ramble just steps from the residential and commercial neighborhoods of South Peabody. Great blue herons have been observed stalking the ponds, and chickadees flit among the branches.

“It’s a hidden treasure,” says Deanne Healey, president of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce. “The city has done an amazing job at maintaining open space and outdoor activities that contribute to an active lifestyle.”

Among nonresidents, Peabody may be best known as the location of the Northshore Mall. But those in the know will tell you that the city is an exceptional spot to visit, particularly if you’re interested in wellness. Whether you are looking for world-class health care or places to exercise, relax, or indulge in some pampering, Peabody has plenty to offer.

Brooksby Farm | Photograph by Dough Levy

The city’s wellness-forward attitude goes deep, running through every part of municipal government, says director of health and human services Sharon Cameron. Walking trails and bike paths are under development, new mothers receive visits from trained nurses, and elders can sign up for regular check-ins from community members. There are even sunscreen dispensers in the public parks.

“Wellness is a priority,” Cameron says. “It really permeates all different segments of our municipal government.”

Furthermore, the city’s location at the junctions of routes 1, 95, and 128 has made it a natural spot for major health-care systems to open suburban locations: Beth Israel Lahey Health, Boston Children’s, and Spaulding Rehabilitation all have facilities in Peabody, and dozens of other medical professionals practice in the city.

There are many ways beyond medical care to pursue wellness in Peabody, however. Healey points to the many outdoor areas within the city. In addition to the Bonfanti Trail, there is the well-known Brooksby Farm, a city-owned property where visitors can pick their own seasonal fruits, stock up on locally grown produce, shop for gifts, visit with barnyard animals, and enjoy seasonal activities. Golf enthusiasts can tee up at The Meadow at Peabody, a challenging municipal course that traverses rolling hills. For the less conventional, there’s a nine-hole disc golf course as well.

Life Time Northshore

Heading indoors, Life Time at the Northshore Mall offers members opportunities to exercise alone or in classes, to de-stress, and to nourish their bodies. The club includes fitness equipment, 200 group-fitness classes, indoor and outdoor pools for recreation or exercise, hot tubs, and a spa that offers massages, facials, nail treatments, and more. A café serves up healthy snacks, meals, and smoothies, and ample kids’ programming makes the club a family destination.

“We aim to help people live happier, healthier lives,” said club manager Curtis Duffy.

A few miles away, Mills 58, a former industrial complex that has been converted into a retail and business center, is home to a wide range of wellness choices. There are personal training and group exercise at DiHard Fitness; boxing and self-defense at Kimber Fitness; and dance and aerial fitness at Inspire Dance and Fitness. At the Salty Buddha yoga studio, owners Toni Visone and Hannah Colbert and their staff teach classes aimed at promoting healing and growth.

After your workout, there is more to be discovered at Mills 58. Book an appointment for skin care, hair styling, or a nutrition consultation. Or meet a friend to catch up over a latte made from custom roasted beans at Capito Coffee or a gelato at Sweet Street.

“It’s a destination where you can go do more things than just a class,” Colbert says. “It’s a space that’s super-conducive to making community,” adds Visone.

Pellana Prime Steakhouse

And speaking of food, Peabody has plenty of places where you can feed your body and spirit alike. Sister restaurants Daniella’s Ristorante and Pellana Prime Steakhouse, for example, are welcoming spots for upscale dining, while Double Bull and Granite Coast Brewing bring the fun with trivia, games, and casual eats.

If it sounds like a lot to choose from, you needn’t worry: Peabody is a town that rewards repeat visits, Healey says.

“Peabody is really one of those undiscovered gems—it’s underrated,” Healey says. “There’s so much here that you can discover.”