Whether you’re visiting the North Shore of Massachusetts or you live here, there’s never a shortage of great things to do or places to see.  Our family moved here fairly recently and has been exploring the area ever since.  Here’s a list of some of our favorite local destinations!

1. Crane Beach in Ipswich – A great family beach (waves are generally small and often there’s natural tidal pools left by the outgoing tide for toddlers to play in.)  

2. Lynch Park in Beverly – A beautiful park area that juts out into the ocean, there’s a large parking area (though it can fill up), vast green lawns, a volleyball court, small beach, water park and playground.  Oh, and also a mini hatch shell where summer concerts are held and a rose garden area where weddings often take place.  There’s also a small but beautiful beach (Rice) just around the corner.

3. Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester – Another fantastic beach, though parking can be a bit of a challenge.  Again, waves are smaller generally so it’s a great place for families with small kids.

4. Cape Ann Brewery in Gloucester – This is a great casual dining place with solid beer choices and great fish n chips style food.  The tables are picnic tables, it’s located right on the working waterfront, and they even have occasional live music.

5. A and B Burger – Located on Cabot Street in Beverly, it opened less than a year ago and is a fantastic ‘go to’ place.  If you haven’t visited Cabot street lately, there’s been a lot of positive change and businesses like this are a big part of that.  Which brings us to ….

6. Cabot Theater – Also located on Cabot Street in Beverly.  New owners bought the theater a few years ago, did a lot of interior remodeling work and installed a new marquee.  Not too long ago, it was an eyesore.  Now it’s an anchor of the revitalized downtown area, and features movies as well as some pretty recognizable acts (in the past couple of months both Clint Black and Air Supply have played.)

7. Halibut Point State Park in Rockport – This is a beautiful park to hike through.  It’s located right on the ocean, and has a large quarry in the middle.  Trails go all around the quarry and right down onto the rocky outcroppings.   There are some good sized cliffs so it’s important to keep a close eye on little ones!

8. Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea – A very nice beach with fine sand that sometimes ‘sings’ when you hit it just right with your heel.  The challenge is parking…there’s only one small lot and it’s a ten minute walk.  You can however drop off items and  go park, just make sure you arrive early!

9. Barrel House in Beverly – We’ve been here several times.  It’s not cheap, but the food is amazing (in our opinion you can’t get any better in Beverly) and there are a ton of custom drinks.   

10. Hale Street Tavern – A great family dinner place.  Very good food and some good IPA’s on tap.  It’s also down the street from West Beach in Beverly, so a great spot after a day in the sun!

Whether you live in the North Shore or you’re just passing through, I hope you have a great summer! If you have a favorite local spot I didn’t list here, let me know in the comments.