Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Amesbury, MA

  • Published 2022/09/07

Located along the banks of the Merrimack River, Amesbury in Massachusetts brings you closer to fun and exciting outdoor activities.

In the earliest days, the city was a farming community and a mill town.

Today, the city in Essex County is known for its historical architectural buildings, mainly Victorian and Federal styles.

Far from being a metropolis, this charming city is filled with museums, tourist attractions, local businesses, and more.

To help you get better acquainted with this destination, here are the best things to do in Amesbury, Massachusetts:

Learn about Wooden Boat Building at the Historic Lowell’s Boat Shop & Museum

Far view of the red Lowell’s Boat Shop & Museum

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Amesbury is rich in history, and it’s even on the map for preserving and maintaining wooden boats that started to prevail in the late 1700s.

The historic Lowell’s Boat Shop & Museum maintains these wooden fishing dories, which were started by Simeon Lowell.

Lowell built the shop in 1793, and it’s now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At the shop, Lowell built the legendary fishing dory.

His grandson developed it into a simplified Banks dory, becoming the New England region’s centerpiece.

Today, the shop offers boat building classes and sells boats constructed by professional boat builders and promising apprentices.

Lowell’s Boat Shop & Museum is located on Main Street.

Stay at Hampton Inn Amesbury

At Hampton Inn Amesbury, your staycation is second to none with the comfort it brings.

A laid-back atmosphere, lovely beds, complimentary breakfasts, a heated indoor pool, and a fitness center are just some things you can look forward to at this hotel.

To top it all off, Hampton Inn Amesbury is eco-certified.

So, why not stay at a hotel that values caring for the environment while providing guests with the utmost comfort?

The hotel, located on Elm Street, is also close to tourist attractions, groceries, local restaurants, gift shops, and more.

Spend a Picnic Day at Alliance Park

Located on Main Street, the scenic Alliance Park was founded in 1920 by the members of the Amesbury Improvement Association.

It was the site of the construction of the first USS Alliance of the United States Navy in 1777.

Sunny days are perfect for heading to the park for a picnic or fishing at the Merrimack River.

The park also has picnic tables and benches you can use while enjoying the beautiful view.

Best of all, Alliance Park is pet-friendly!

Step into the Past at the Bartlett Museum

Exterior of Bartlett Museum

Daderot at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the history of Amesbury and its old carriage industry at the Bartlett Museum.

The museum exhibits replicas of a Victorian parlor, a colonial kitchen, and a schoolroom with antique toys and desks.

It also houses artifacts that include a collection of taxidermic birds, shells, minerals, and fossils.

You will also find a collection of artifacts from the Native Americans who settled in the region during the pre-historic era.

Display in Bartlett Museum

Daderot at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum used to be the Bartlett School, which closed in 1968.

That same year, it was officially formed and named after Josiah Bartlett, an Amesbury native who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.

You can find the Bartlett Museum on Main Street.

Traverse the Scenic Battis Farm

Whether you want to go hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or simply want to get in tune with nature_,_ Battis Farm has it all!

The farm features well-maintained trails for different outdoor activities, including birdwatching.

Beautiful woodlands and meadows will meet your gaze if you traverse the farm’s trails.

The farm has access to Lake Gardner across the boardwalk, where you can see visitors kayaking, canoeing, or stopping by for a picnic.

The Conservation Commission of Amesbury also manages a Community Garden close to the farm’s entrance.

You can find Battis Farm on South Hampton Road.

Satisfy Your Cravings at Crave

Satisfying your cravings at Crave is effortless and fun.

Your meal will never be shabby, thanks to the restaurant’s delectable offerings, which include their bestselling scallops and veggie burgers.

The restaurant is packed with mouth-watering American-style dishes made with fresh local produce and seasonal ingredients.

It also offers craft beer, wine, and whiskeys from Japan, North America, and Scotland.

You can find Crave on Water Street, inside an antique train depot.

Buy Local Artisans’ Work at Eighteen Friend Street

When it comes to souvenirs, there’s nothing better than bringing home fantastic gift items made by local artists from where you spent your vacation.

Amesbury prides itself in supporting small businesses like Eighteen Friend Street, which sells crafts by artists from around the city and the US.

You can find the perfect souvenirs at this eclectic gift shop, ranging from handmade jewelry to driftwood art and pottery.

The store also offers glass art, home decor, ornaments, and many more.

Eighteen Friend Street is nestled on Friend Street.

Stroll the Scenic Amesbury Riverwalk Trail

Winter scene at Amesbury Riverwalk Trail

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get lost in the sweeping views of the Amesbury Riverwalk Trail, which features well-maintained trails for bikers, joggers, and hikers.

On a fine sunny day, take time to stroll through the trail, where you can also see the Lower Powwow River through the trees.

The riverwalk connects downtown Amesbury to a one-stop shop called Carriagetown Marketplace and through the Salisbury Ghost Trail.

The Amesbury Riverwalk Trail was established in 1999.

The city of Amesbury and the Coastal Trails Coalition maintain the trail.

Spend a Sunny Day at Lake Gardner

Sunny days are more glorious in Amesbury if you spend them at Lake Gardner, where you can take a dip at its small, beautiful beach.

You can take your family or friends to the lake to enjoy a day filled with fun water activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and swimming.

There are also picnic areas with tables that visitors are welcome to use.

Lake Gardner was established post-Civil War in 1872 following the dam’s construction by the Salisbury Mills Corporation.

It’s nestled on High Street, close to Battis Farm.

Participate in the Annual Amesbury Open Studio Tour

Amesbury’s rich history and culture meet art at the Amesbury Open Studio Tour, an annual event offering a city-wide tour for locals and tourists.

During this occasion, local talents and artists with studios in the city have the chance to showcase their work and the way they do it.

Meanwhile, those who don’t have studios are allowed to use the City Hall.

If you love art, you can purchase works by local artists during the event, which takes place every November.

Highlights include live music and performances, food vendors, and many fun activities kids are welcome to join.

The Local Cultural Council of Massachusetts established the Amesbury Open Studio Tour in 1982.

Take the Kids to Amesbury Town Park

If you have kids in tow on your trip, let them spend an afternoon at Amesbury Town Park.

They can run and play freely and enjoy the park’s beautiful splash pad.

Besides that, there are baseball and softball fields, a basketball court, and a playground.

There are also picnic areas and a beautiful wooded area for those who want to play disc golf.

Amesbury Town Park is located on Friend Street.

Explore the Majestic Batchelder Park

You can watch the world spin fast, but you can also take refuge in nature, exploring the beautiful Batchelder Park.

Also known as the Powow Conservation Area, the park features well-maintained trails, including one to Lake Gardner and another to old farming land.

This gorgeous grassy park allows you to see the Atlantic Ocean on a fine day, as well as the beautiful Mount Katahdin and the Isles of Shoals.

You’ll also get to see spinning windmills, and if you visit during the fall, the foliage is simply magical.

The park is excellent for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

You can find Batchelder Park on Powow Street.

See the Beautiful Wildlife at the Camp Kent Environmental Center

Be one with nature and see how the Camp Kent Environmental Center offers an abundance of wildlife.

Here, you’ll be face to face with lush forests, meadows, and stunning wetlands.

Because of its diverse habitat, the nature center houses various animals, including coyote, fox, woodchuck, squirrel, beaver, porcupine, and many more.

You can also enjoy birdwatching, as the center is home to more than 100 unique and distinct species.

The Camp Kent Environmental Center is on South Hampton Road, close to Battis Farm, Batchelder Park, and Lake Gardner.

Visit the Historic Macy-Colby House

Exterior of Macy–Colby House

Daderot at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The historic Macy-Colby House proudly stands on Main Street.

This stunning work of early American architecture was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Thomas Macy, Amesbury’s first-ever town clerk, built the house in the mid-1600s and sold it to Anthony Colby in 1654.

Colby was part of the Puritan colonist group, Winthrop fleet, and was one of the first settlers of Amesbury.

The house underwent extensive modification and is now preserved and maintained by Bartlett Cemetery Association.

Rear exterior of Macy–Colby House

Daderot at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It features the Macy and Colby families’ loom room, keeping room, parlor, communion room, bedroom, old photographs, paintings, and many more.

The Macy-Colby House is one of the oldest houses in Amesbury and is a historic landmark.

Enjoy Fruit-Picking at Cider Hill Farm

Does fruit-picking sound fun?

It must be, right?

Try this activity at Cider Hill Farm, where you can pick your own apples and peaches after eating delicious hot cider donuts.

Walk through the farm’s gorgeous orchards or jump in on the hayride while enjoying the fresh cool air.

Of course, you can also go veggie- and flower-picking and take home fresh farm produce.

Cider Hill Farm is nestled on Fern Avenue.

Final Thoughts

Amesbury is home to historic architecture dating as far back as the 1600s and offers endless choices of exciting outdoor activities.

Don’t miss the fun and start planning a visit to this charming city.

Enjoy the best things to do in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and come back home with great memories to remember for a lifetime!

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