Area Attractions

Essex River Cultural District meanders past ancient burial grounds, active shipyards and marinas, bustling restaurants, antique and specialty shops and galleries. There are two historic museums nearby: Cogswell’s Grant folk art museum and Essex Shipbuilding Museum, plus lodging in Essex for overnight or longer stays. See a list of Essex events on and get the latest news on Facebook.

Experience over 300 hundred years of Essex history through photos and stories on this self-guided tour. A brochure with a map will guide you to each site. The tour begins just a block from ERBA and spans about one-mile. Sixteen interpretive signs mark historic sites dating as far back as the 17th century.

The Essex Shipbuilding Museum tells the extraordinary story of a small New England village that built over 4,000 wooden vessels - more two-masted wooden fishing schooners than any other place in the world. On display are antique shipbuilding tools, photographs, documents, exhibits portraying the shipbuilding industry, and the original Essex-built Schooner Evelina M. Goulart. Tours include video presentations and hands-on activities. A gift shop offers ship plans, maritime books, and other nautical memorabilia.

If you love antiques, visit Historic New England’s Cogswell’s Grant in Essex. This 18th century farmhouse overlooking the Essex River was the summer home of collectors Bertram and Nina Fletcher Little, and is now a museum which houses their celebrated collection of American folk art.

Enjoy the Northeast’s most spectacular beach and follow trails and boardwalks through a landscape of sand dunes and salt marsh. Crane Beach is one of the finest beaches and outdoor recreation destinations on the East Coast. With its clean, inviting water, miles of shoreline, and mesmerizing views, Crane Beach has been a favorite with the ocean-loving public for generations.

A beloved family farm on the way to Crane Beach, Russell Orchards in Ipswich is made up of 120 acres of fruit trees, berries, vegetables, fields, and animal barns. Pick your own fruits in season or stop in the farm store with full scratch bakery and winery, housed in a soaring 1800's barn.

Wolf Hollow offers a unique opportunity to view gray wolves in their natural environment. See how they interact with their pack members and live in a social unit very similar to human families. Learn about the wolves’ role in nature, their history with man, and the fight to preserve their species in the wild, while observing the wolves and their pack-mates at close range.

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