A city with a small town feel, Amesbury MA history stretches back to the 17th century. Among the cool things to do in Amesbury are visiting Lowell’s Boat Shop, the Bartlett Museum, an Amesbury brewery and Lake Gardner Amesbury MA. Things to do near Amesbury MA, there are plenty of attractions in nearby Newburyport and Rockport. Here is a look at the best things to do in Amesbury and nearby if you are planning on spending time along the Massachusetts New Hampshire border.
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Located on the North Shore in Massachusetts, Amesbury lies in Essex County near the New Hampshire border.
Situated on the left bank of the Merrimack River, Amesbury lies across the river from Newburyport. The only suspension bridge in Massachusetts, Chain Bridge, connects Amesbury and Newburyport.
Amesbury MA History
In 1637 residents from Newbury crossed the Merrimack River n the westward progression of the settlement of the United States. Amesbury became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Growing rapidly, the town was officially incorporated in 1668.
Like the other Massachusetts Bay Colony towns, Amesbury started as a grab for more farming land. Soon, however, fishing shipping and shipbuilding became the dominant feature of its economy.
During the 19th century, there were textile mills and nail manufacturing added to Amesbury’s factories.
There was also a thriving carriage building industry in Amesbury in the 19th century. Along with New Haven in Connecticut which built luxury carriages for the New York City crowd, Amesbury built high-end carriages that were considered good value for price. The Cadillac vs. Chevy of their day.
The carriage industry went into decline with the advent of cars and trains as alternate modes of transport in the early 20th century.
Things to do in Amesbury MA
For nature lovers, Amesbury has over 1000 acres of public-use space making it a great place for exploring the outdoors. There are a handful museums and the revived downtown Amesbury MA area is charming with local businesses operating cafes, stores and breweries.
The summer months are the best time to visit Amesbury because the attractions will all be open. The winter months can get cold but is great if you wan to do winter sports activities, like sledding and skiing.
Named after the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence, The Bartlett Museum is open on weekend afternoons during the summer months.
There are several rooms that show off the local history. For example, there are Native American artifacts, a school room from the days the building was a schoolhouse and exhibits related to the town’s carriage making past.
Nearby on Main Street, there is the beautiful early 20th century building that houses the Amesbury Public Library.
Address: 270 Main Street, Amesbury 01913
Lowell’s Boat Shop and Museum
Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest working boat shop still in operation in the USA and forms an integral part of Amesbury’s heritage.
The shop has been making its iconic dories since the end of the 1700s. Family-owned for centuries, now Lowell’s is operated by a non-profit organisation which works to preserve the artisanal craft of wooden boat building.
In conjunction with the Mystic Seaport Museum, Lowell’s Boat Shop was hired by the Plimouth Patuxet Museum to restore the replica of the Mayflower Shallop. Built in Plymouth in 1957, the Shallup is a recreation of the small boat that the Pilgrims used to explore the Massachusetts coastline before settling on disembarking in Plymouth.
Today Lowell’s Boat Shop is a National Historic Landmark and a working museum where you can see how boats were traditionally made – perfect for nautical history buffs!
Address: 459 Main St, Amesbury, MA 01913
Cider Hill Farm, Amesbury Mass
A trip to Cider Hill Farm, Amesbury, Mass is for sure one of the best things to do in Amesbury for a family. The farm has heaps of fun activities all year round like apple picking, hay bale rides and a corn maze.
One of the best farms in Amesbury MA to visit, make sure to keep an eye out for the regularly-scheduled family-friendly event, such as the tulip festival and the strawberry festival.
Stroll through their orchards, indulge in a hot cider donut, or taste a selection of the finest ciders made on the farm. The Cider Hill Farm, Amesbury, Mass farm store also sells the local wine.
Address: 45 Fern Ave, Amesbury, MA 01913
Located in an old mill building, Barewolf’s taproom has 11 rotating taps so you can always expect new craft beer offerings or you could buy cans from their fully stocked fridges to take home. You can also find their beers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Established in 2017, the small batches of beer are constantly changing and have fun names like Splat and Polyamorous Cabal. The taproom has a casual living room vibe and they often have live music playing.
They also have a selection of bar snacks on offer and food trucks regularly stop by to fill up hungry beer lovers. The taproom and seasonal beer garden are dog-friendly.
Address: 2 Oakland St, Amesbury, MA 01913
The other brewery in town, Silvaticus, has a brewery and taproom in an old factory in downtown Amesbury.
They also have a pet-friendly beer garden next to the Powow river where you can sit back and enjoy a pint along with a dish from their tasty small bites menu. They also have non-alcoholic beer if you are abstaining.
Address: 9 Water St, Amesbury, MA 01913
Mary Baker Eddy Historic House
The late Mary Baker Eddy is a prominent name in religious circles in the USA and is the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. She also founded the Christian Science Monitor newspaper (famously used to build that unusual Massachusetts attraction, Paper House, in Rockport Massachusetts).
Today, the Amesbury home reflects life in the late 1860s when Mary stayed here and there are many original pieces still on display in the home. There are guided tours from May through October.
Address: 277 Main St, Amesbury, MA 01913
John Greenleaf Whittier was a prolific Quaker poet and writer that used his influence in the community to strengthen the literary community of New England but also champion the anti-slavery cause.
Another National Historic Landmark, Whittier lived in this classic farmhouse for close to 60 years and created most of his literary masterpieces at this home.
Explore the perfectly preserved 19th century John Greenleaf Whittier home and learn more about one of the great American poets. It’s one of the historic sites associated with John Greenleaf Whittier – check out his birthplace in nearby Haverhill!
Address: 86 Friend St, Amesbury MA 01913
One of the best things to do in Amesbury MA if you want to be close to nature, is to take a stroll along the pleasant Amesbury Riverwalk. Based on the former railroad line that connected Amesbury and Salisbury, this rail trail is popular with locals.
Winding along for 1.3 miles next to the Powwow River, Amesbury Riverwalk forms part of an extensive network of trails between nearby towns. With a pedestrian walkway and a bike path, Amesbury Riverwalk is the perfect place to get active and enjoy the beautiful New England outdoors.
Lake Gardner Amesbury MA
The damming of the Powwow River has resulted in picturesque 80-acre Lake Gardner Amesbury MA that stretches to the New Hampshire border.
The western shore has a row of grand lake houses while the southern edge is strictly used for recreation and features a large beach for public use. In the summer, there are lifeguards on duty at the lake.
You can also launch small boats like kayaks, and canoes from the shore. Power boats are limited to people who own houses on the lake. Enjoy the wooded conservation area surrounding the beach for a picnic or a short hike.
A part of Lake Gardener Amesbury MA abuts the Battis Farm Conservation Area which offers 60 acres of walking trails for outdoor enthusiasts.
Amesbury is blessed with lots of nature in addition to the Riverwalk, Lake Gardener and Battis Farm. Some other places include Powwow Hill, Amesbury Town Forest, Lake Attitash and Woodsom Farm Amesbury MA.
Things To Do Near Amesbury
There are several towns and state parks within an easy drive of Amesbury. For example, both Maudsley State Park and Halibut Point State Park are nearby as are the Cape Ann towns, such as Rockport and Gloucester.
Maudsley State Park
Located in Newburyport, this Massachusetts state park is a mere 10-minute drive from Amesbury, making it one of the most accessible things to do near Amesbury MA.
Enjoy 16 miles of trails through the marvellous gardens and woodland and enjoy the fragrant blooming stands of mountain laurel. In the winter, you can also enjoy cross country skiing.
Address: 74 Curzon Mill Road, Newburyport, MA 01950
Newburyport is a historic coastal town founded in 1764. There are plenty of things to do in Newburyport including great shopping, restaurants, cafes and breweries. The Cushing House Museum & Garden is a 19th century house and a National Historic Landmark. Guided tours are offered during the summer months.
Plum Island MA
Located next to Newburyport, Plum Island is an 11-mile long barrier island located along the Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of things to do on Plum Island, including the the Plum Island beaches and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
New Hampshire Beaches
New Hampshire is only a few miles from Amesbury and the neighboring state has a quaint 13 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Jenness Beach in the north and Hampton Beach in the south are amongst some of the most popular Atlantic beaches in New Hampshire.
Portsmouth New Hampshire
Portsmouth NH is a mere 25 min drive from Amesbury. Talk a scenic drive along coastal New Hampshire to enjoy a pleasant day in the 17th century port city. The city is full of historic houses, museums, cafes, and boutiques making it great to visit in both summer and winter in New England.
Amesbury MA Map and Nearby
This handy Amesbury MA map of things to do will help you with your trip planning.
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