There is no better summer tradition than visiting farms for some good old-fashioned family fun, and the North Shore offers some of the best. From Newbury to Rowley, the Northshore features some of the most pristine, rolling pastures in all of New England, many of which are award winning. Be sure to check out these five farms on your next family day trip this summer:
1. Cider Hill Farm
This historic Amesbury farm, now run by the third generation of the same family, features fresh produce, baked goods, and old-fashioned family fun with exciting pick-your-own options at the farmstand. And plenty of people agree: Cider Hill was named one of the most beautiful farms in the world by thetravel.com in 2022 and the #1 apple picking spot in the United States by Yelp in 2021. Cider Hill also offers fun for the kids with options to feed the chickens or play in their famous giant sandbox. While the kids are enjoying the farm scene, the adults can savor a cold, hard beverage on tap by Cider Hill’s third generation, Chadd and Gregg. The farm also schedules festivals and events all summer, like the annual Blueberry & Flower Festival, which offers over 11 different varieties of berries as well as cut-your-own flowers. “Cider Hill really has a magical quality, says Valerie Rosenberg, part of Cider Hill’s marketing team.
45 Fern Ave., Amesbury, 978-388-5525, ciderhill.com
2. Appleton Farms
Established in 1638 by Samuel Appleton, Appleton Farms is one of the oldest farms in America. Based in Hamilton and Ipswich, Appleton Farms offers fresh produce, baked goods, and prepared foods like granola and tomato, all sold out of a barn tucked next to the vegetable fields. At the farm store, customers can choose from Appleton’s dairy offerings like their own milk and cheese. As long as the weather holds, the farm hosts food trucks, local breweries, and wood-fired pizza nights featuring farm-grown toppings. The 1,000-acre farm also offers culinary classes for adventurous first-time or experienced cooks story hours and stroller walks for the kids, and historic tours for the adults.
MA-1A, South Hamilton, 978-356-5728, thetrustees.org/place/appleton-farms
3. Tendercrop Farm
From farm-raised chicken and beef to freshly baked goods, Tendercrop Farm delivers some of the highest quality farm-fresh goods to your table. Based in scenic Newbury with additional locations in Wenham and Dover, NH, Tendercrop Farm is the one-stop organic shop for all your produce and cooking needs. With over 30 years of experience, Tendercrop has garnered a reputation for having the highest quality goods with experienced farmhands at its helm.
108 High Rd., Newbury, 978-462-6972, tendercropfarm.com
4. Smolak Farms
This 300-year old farm, which sits on 125 acres of beautiful pastoral property in North Andover, was purchased by the Smolak family in 1927 and has remained in the family ever since. From hay rides to weddings to educational programs, this award-winning farm has it all. Michael Smolak says that Smolak Farms is “considered to be at the forefront of agricultural tourism” and is “cited as one of the most picturesque farms in the Northeast.” Smolak Farms features pick-your-own fruits like strawberries, peaches, plums, and blueberries, and even has an ice cream stand . For the kids, Smolak Farms is home to more than 70 farm animals including goats, lambs and fallow deer. During the months of June, July, and August, Smolak Farms hosts Boston-area chefs for the Whim Dinner Series, which allows chefs to get creative with their choice of protein along with Smolak Farms’ very own produce. All the proceeds of the series go to a charity of the chef’s choice.
315 S. Bradford St., North Andover, 978-682-6332, smolakfarms.com
5. Herrick Farm
From farm-to-table beef to fresh produce, Herrick Farm in Rowley offers its visitors fresh products at its renowned farm store including beef, eggs, and raw milk. Perched above the Mill River, this sprawling farm is home to a whole lot of history, with the original farm house built in the 1800s still on site. With over 100 holsteins and 30 steers, this farm boasts impressive beef and milk offerings to all who want them. In addition to traditional farm offerings, this farm has a working sawmill on site which dates back to the 1600s, where customers can choose from their own custom rough-cut lumber. For the farmers out there, customers can also enjoy quality hay in the forms of round and square bales.
77 Dodge Rd., Rowley, 978-509-2201, herrickfarm.net