With beautiful beaches, vibrant farms, lush gardens and scenic trails, the North Shore of Massachusetts has everything you’re looking for in a day trip or a weekend getaway. The Trustees is proud to care for well-known destinations like Appleton Farms and The Crane Estate, as well as undiscovered gems like Coolidge and Hamlin Reservations.
Explore some sample itineraries below and stay for the day, a weekend or longer!
Staying for the weekend? Start by booking your stay at The Inn at Castle Hill. The Inn at Castle Hill in Ipswich is located in the heart of the spectacular Crane Estate.
Explore Castle Hill at Crane Estate or enjoy a day at Crane Beach!
The Inn at Castle Hill is located right on the Crane Estate so you don’t have far to go. After breakfast you can wander the grounds. Across the grounds, there’s no shortage of stunning features to stop you in your tracks, including the quietly captivating Casino and the jaw-dropping Grand Allée rolling toward the surf. Allow a minimum of one and a half hours to explore the Grand Allée, gardens, and grounds.
If you are looking for guided tours, check out the events planned. Everything from tours of the house, gardens, river boat tours, hikes to kayaking.
Are you more of a beach person? Crane Beach is considered one of the most spectacular beaches in the Northeast.
While swimming and sunbathing are the main draws, Crane Beach is a four-season playground where walkers, hikers, birdwatchers, citizen scientists, students, and more come to enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t miss more than five miles of trails that wind through coastal dunes. Reserve your Crane Beach pass here.
Looking for a farm adventure? You can easily spend the whole day at Appleton Farms.
Start your visit at the white farmhouse affectionately called the “Old House,” and easily find your way to our many hiking and walking trails. Follow the paths to Sunset Hill, Wilson’s Field, Briar Hill, The Great Pasture, The Plains, and beyond. Six miles of footpaths, bridle paths, and farm roads (easy walking and great for jogging strollers), some of which are part of the Bay Circuit Trail, crisscross the farm. Visit our busy events schedule online to sign up for guided tours, pasture walks, birding hikes, farmstead story hours, and our many other programs for all ages.
After all that exploring, you have likely worked up an appetite. Appleton Farms offers Farmhouse Dining Wednesday – Sunday. Casual outdoor dining featuring seasonally inspired menus and approachable fine dining experience in an outdoor, picnic-style setting. Often there is a local band and brewery to go with your meal! Make an afternoon or evening of it.
While at Appleton Farms, be sure to check out the farm store which is stocked with local produce and goods. Perfect for taking home or for snacks on the beach!
Wake up at the Inn at Castle Hill. After a hearty breakfast, venture forth to the first of two exquisite public gardens on the North Shore.
Long Hill is your first stop. Today, visitors delight in the beauty of Long Hill’s structured and naturalistic gardens as well as a network of woodland trails. A diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and distinctive perennial plants provide color during the growing season, peaking in May and June and providing structure and beauty throughout the year. With an ever-growing calendar of public events and festivities, you’ll find ample reason for frequent returns. Reserve your Long Hill pass here.
Stevens Coolidge House & Gardens is next on the itinerary. Enter a world of a former farm that became an early-20th-century estate, where a newly expanded array of bountiful gardens and plantings complements a gracious and refined home. Explore the gardens yourself or check out the many guided tours and events on offer.
Reserve your Stevens Coolidge House & Gardens pass here.