Looking for a change of scenery? You don’t have to go far. Below are some of our favorite North Shore icons, picturesque places, and wide open spaces. We bet you haven’t seen every single one!
Each of these towns is home to iconic and beloved North Shore spots. Here are a few of our faves:
Richardson’s Ice Cream, Middleton
If you enjoy ice cream on the North Shore, chances are you’ve enjoyed ice cream from Richardson’s. The family-owned dairy has been making and distributing delicious ice cream for years, creating a local icon in the process. While you can find Richardson’s products at ice cream stands throughout the region, a trip to their Middleton farm location is always worth it. There you’ll find not only ice cream but their own milk and cream from their working dairy farm, as well as mini golf, batting cages, and a driving range.
156 South Main St. (Rte 114), Middleton, 978-774-5450, richardsonsicecream.com
Montserrat College of Art, Beverly
Beverly’s flourishing arts community owes a debt of gratitude to the legendary Montserrat College of Art, where art students from around the world come to study, create, and learn. Their energy and imagination permeate the city’s culture, enlivening it with a youthful spirit and constant feeling of rebirth and rejuvenation. Montserrat also offers treasures within its own walls, like public galleries and exciting events.
23 Essex St., Beverly, 978-921-4242, montserrat.edu
Jordan’s Furniture, Reading
To anyone outside New England, putting a furniture store on an “icons” list might seem strange, but for North Shore residents who know and love Jordan’s Furniture in Reading, it makes perfect sense. That’s because Jordan’s Furniture does a lot more than sell sofas. Families regularly make the trip to its Reading location to see Beantown, a re-creation of Boston landmarks like the Green Monster, made entirely of jelly beans; watch the Liquid Fireworks light and water show; see a movie in its 500-seat, eight-story IMAX 3D theatre; grab a burger at Fudrucker’s or an ice cream from Richardson’s; and even take part in their ropes course.
50 Walkers Brook Dr., Reading, 781-944-9090, jordans.com
Time to break out the camera or easel! These places will brighten up your Instagram feed, inspire your inner Monet, or, at the very least, make you smile when you visit.
The Crane Estate, Ipswich
The photographic possibilities at the lavish seaside Crane Estate in Ipswich are endless. There’s Castle Hill, home to the Great House—which has major European palace vibes—plus landscaping by the Olmstead Brothers and opulent gardens filled with beautiful plants, trees, flowers, and classical statuary. Beyond Castle Hill is the ocean and Crane Beach, where a pristine shoreline meets wild dunes and marshes, as well as the Crane Wildlife Refuge.
290 Argilla Rd., Ipswich, 978-356-4351, thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast/castle-hill-crane.html
Lynch Park, Beverly
A beautiful relic of Beverly’s past as the North Shore’s “Gold Coast” for wealthy magnates and dignitaries, Lynch Park is now a stunning public park where a sunken Italian rose garden beckons romantics, photographers, and anyone craving a slice of sophistication and grandeur. 55 Ober St., Beverly, 978-921-6067, bevrec.com/lynchpark.html
Lobster Cove, Annisquam
Whether you visit at the golden hour of sunrise or sunset in the summer, after a dusting of snow in the winter, or with the crimson glow of the fall, Lobster Cove in Annisquam is a photographer or painter’s picturesque seaside New England dream.
River Rd., Annisquam
Wide Open Spaces
Social distancing and enjoying the natural world is the name of the game at these favorite outdoor spots.
Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport
Plum Island’s Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a 4,700-acre expanse of land that protects migratory birds and consists of an incredible array of habitats, including a sandy beach and dune, a cranberry bog, a maritime forest and a shrub land, a freshwater marsh, and a salt marsh. Start your day at the visitor center before exploring the Hellcat Interpretive Trail boardwalk, the handicap-accessible Pine Trail, the Bill Forward Bird Blind, two observation towers, and wildlife viewing areas.
6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, 978-465-5753, fws.gov/refuge/Parker_River
Lynn Woods Reservation, Lynn
With 2,200 acres of forest and 30 miles of hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and nature trails, Lynn Woods Reservation is the second-largest municipal park in the United States. In addition to trails and woodlands, there are other strange and beautiful sites to visit within Lynn Woods. Visitors can explore the underground tunnel at Dungeon Rock and imagine themselves into pirate lore, while beauty seekers can find inspiration at the Rose Garden, Houghton Horticultural Garden, and Amphitheater.
Brooksby Farm, Peabody
Most cities don’t own historical working farms, but then again, most cities aren’t Peabody, which owns and manages the more-than-200-acre Brooksby Farm. It offers pick-your-own fruits, including peaches, blueberries, and apples; a farm store; barnyard animals; woodland trails; and cross-country skiing.
54 Felton St., Peabody, 978-531-7456, brooksbyfarm.org