Buoys on netted fishing shack at Beauport Hotel Gloucester

Nearby North Shore Activities To Enjoy While Staying on Cape Ann


One of the great things about visiting Cape Ann for a weekend, a week or longer, is that you have access to so many wonderful activities, attractions and events across the North Shore. From exploring the museums and the history of Salem, MA to bird watching and walking the beaches of Plum Island in Newburyport to exploring the grounds of Castle Hill on Crane Estate, there are so many different day trips to take within a short drive of Cape Ann. 

Let’s explore some destinations that you won’t want to miss next time you are on Cape Ann and the North Shore of Massachusetts. 

Historic Salem, Massachusetts 

If your travels lead you to the Cape Ann area or the North Shore, you do not want to miss the opportunity to explore Salem, MA. The city is known for its amazing art and cultural scene as well as its maritime history and connection to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. 

Just a thirty-minute drive from Cape Ann, Salem, MA offers so much to do and see. Explore the many museums such as the Salem Witch Museum, Real Pirates Museum, The House of Seven  Gables and the Peabody Essex Museum

From exploring the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Museum to the artifacts and archeological techniques at the Real Pirate Museum you will learn so much about the historical and maritime past of this robust city. 

Then take a stroll along the brick-laden sidewalks to the Peabody Essex Museum where you can learn about the region’s connections to the art and culture of China, Japan, India and beyond. Or you can choose to view original Witch Trial artifacts, or the 200-year-old house - Yin Yu Tang.

If you still haven’t had enough history, visit the House of Seven Gables, a designated National Historic Landmark District, where you can learn about the merchants and shipowners who built the house or the world-renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of the house as the setting of his 1851 novel of the same name. Plan your tour today! 

Explore Castle Hill at the Crane Estate

Just a few minutes and miles up Route 133 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, you will find Castle Hill on the Crane Estate run by the Trustees. 

The hilltop Stuart-style mansion, known as the Great House, sits upon a vast expanse of land overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Built and designed by world-renowned architect David Adler in 1928, the 59-room mansion and the 165 acres are considered a National Historic Landmark. 

During your tour, take in the grounds and the exquisite landscaping or tour the mansion and admire the stunning architecture. Plan your trip and start exploring this amazing piece of history just a few minutes from Cape Ann. 

Get Back to Nature on Plum Island 

Plum Island is a barrier island located off the northeast coast of Massachusetts, just north of Cape Ann. The Island, while only 11 miles long, offers a unique chance for visitors to play, explore nature, and relax. 

Discover amazing bird watching and the natural beauty of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Bring a lunch and watch to your heart's content and enjoy not only the birds but the water views as well. If bird watching isn’t your thing, there are many other options such as fishing, boating, kayaking or just chilling out on the beach or dining at the Plum Island restaurants. 

Whether you want to explore museums, architecture, or nature, you don’t have to travel far off Cape Ann to find what you are looking for.