Where to Wander, Vol 2: Susan’s guide to being a local on the North Shore, Massachusetts

Photo credit: Unsplash

Hello fellow wanderers,

Susan at the Great Wall of China

This week we suggest wandering the North Shore of Massachusetts, inspired by Society member Susan Cathcart. Susan is a professional globe trotter who happens to love her New England home best. Forget the crowds of Cape Cod and Nantucket….Cape Ann is a hidden gem with better beaches!

Tack this on to your Boston trip for a long weekend (winter months excluded). Here are some ideas she’s curated for anyone who wants some local favorites.

The Perfect Day at the Beach

Pick up a bike at Plum Island Bicycle Rentals and ride to the beach and soak up the sun. Then off to explore the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Birders from all over the world travel to this protected and beautiful coastline. At sunset grab a drink at the Plum Island Grill.

Where to Eat?

The following is on her list of top spots to eat and drink:

People go to Gloucester just to eat here. Amazing, famous, fresh seafood.

Atomic Cafe
Who doesn’t need great coffee to start the day. You can also switch to local brews on tap…. it’s always happy hour somewhere.

Plum Island Grille
Order a frosty margarita in the incredible sunset bar! It’s hidden in the back and has an amazing view. Yummy scallops and crispy brussel sprouts too.

Red’s Sandwich Shop
The biggest pancakes in the world! Huge portions of EVERYTHING. A Salem dining institution.

Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Wait in line with the locals for ‘wicked good’ ice cream. Order a refreshing Lime Rickey.

Where to Stay

Hawthorne Hotel (Salem)
Within walking distance of the most historic places in New England. This is a traditional and affordable hotel.

Or for a big splurge at a newer boutique hotel, stay at Beauport Hotel, (Gloucester) — or conserve your cash and enjoy a cocktail on their deck.

For the History Buff

Peabody Essex Museum
Discover a fully reconstructed 18th century Chinese house, and the original Salem Witch Trial papers in this one of a kind, seaport museum.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial
14 women, 6 men have a tombstone with the story of their horrific demise. This is a much more authentic experience than shelling out big bucks for the Salem Witch Museum.

If there’s time, check out Cry Innocent, an interactive reenactment of one witch trial. Grab lunch at Red’s Sandwich Shop.

Within walking distance is the House of Seven Gables, which is the setting of for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel.

Coastal Gems

Lynch Park Rose Garden
President Taft’s former summer residence is now used for picnics, concerts, paddle boarding, kayaking and plays. The formal rose garden on the ocean is not to be missed. Kayak out to Misery Island and see where Manchester by the Sea was filmed.

Eastern Point Lighthouse in Gloucester, MA. Don’t be deterred by the private signs. Make your way past the country club and you’re there. Walk to the end of the spit to enjoy beautiful views of this famous harbor.

A screenshot of Susan’s Wanderlust Society map. Launching soon!

Thanks for the tips Susan!

Wander on. From the Wanderlust Society Team

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