Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Beverly, MA

  • Published 2022/11/21

Beverly isn’t just another city in Massachusetts.

It has a vast history linked to the Salem Witch Trials and the first commissioned ship of the United States military.

This city, north of Salem in Essex County, is renowned for its pristine white-sand beaches along the coast of the vast Atlantic Ocean.

Visiting this charming city offers you the best of both worlds.

On one side, Beverly treats you to a trip down memory lane through its museums, historic houses, and locations.

Meanwhile, the picturesque beaches, parks, and miles of sandy shorelines and waterfronts are on the other side.

You won’t run out of exciting things to do in Beverly, Massachusetts, regardless if you’re a historical enthusiast or an outdoor adventurer.

So, read on to find out how you’ll make the most during your time in Beverly and its nearby places!

Step Inside John Cabot House

Brick building of John Cabot House

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

John Cabot House is a historic house along Cabot Street in Beverly’s downtown area.

It’s renowned throughout Beverly for being the first brick mansion constructed in the city back in 1781.

It was originally owned by John Cabot, a prominent ship owner and businessman in Beverly.

Today, it’s one of Beverly’s top historical sites, which you can visit and enjoy a tour.

Inside you’ll be fascinated to see a mini museum that documents various aspects of Beverly’s history, including its rich maritime industry and the witchcraft controversies in the 17th century.

Besides historical tours, you’ll be amazed to see the well-preserved furnishing and decoration inside the John Cabot House, which virtually takes you back to the yesteryears.

Hang Out at the Beverly David S Lynch Park

Head to Beverly David S Lynch Park for a short retreat.

You can visit this beautiful public park along Ober Street and enjoy its vast green open fields and gorgeous gardens.

Historically, this park once served as the Evans Estate.

It became the Summer White House for former president William Howard Taft back in the day.

Still, the city of Beverly purchased it in 1943 from industrialist David S. Lynch and converted it into a beautiful park.

With that in mind, this park in Beverly has an important historical significance.

It gives you more reasons to spend time alone or with your family.

Like most parks, Beverly David S Lynch Park has a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for relaxation.

This park in Beverly also offers plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.

So, don’t forget to check out this park for a short break from exploring Beverly.

Feel the Ocean Breeze at Dane Street Beach

Aerial view of Dane Street Beach

Wangkun Jia /

Dane Street Beach is one of the top public beaches you can find throughout Beverly.

You can visit this public beach along Lothrop Street and join locals to soak under the sun and feel the ocean breeze brush against your skin.

The entire beach mainly features a long stretch of white-sand area and crystal clear waters, making it an excellent place for water activities.

Dane Street Beach is your go-to destination if you’re yearning for some outdoor recreation, especially during the summer months.

Besides swimming and sunbathing, you’ll enjoy beachcombing and kayaking, especially with your loved ones.

Connect with Nature at the Beverly Commons Conservation Area

Beverly Commons Conservation Area spans over 126 acres of nature preserve.

It’s home to Essex County’s most pristine habitats for its local flora and fauna.

It’s your go-to place, especially if you’re a low-key nature enthusiast or wildlife enthusiast.

Exploring this natural attraction allows you to see the country’s beauty through hiking or perhaps joining guided tours.

At the same time, you’ll enjoy birdwatching at the Beverly Commons Conservation Area and spot a mixture of local and migratory bird species.

Overall, this natural attraction in Beverly is a recommended place to connect with nature, given its tranquil atmosphere and its unspoiled natural beauty.

Catch a Show at the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre

Exterior view of Cabot Street Cinema Theatre

Wangkun Jia /

Cabot Street Cinema Theatre along Cabot Street is an attraction you’ll easily notice.

It has a massive mural on one side depicting a group of people lifting another person, signifying unity and teamwork.

This century-old cinema and theatre are one of the few places that have remained operational since the early 1900s, with a seating capacity of 1,450.

Entrance to Cabot Street Cinema Theatre

Asuspedia, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, it remains one of the city’s best places to catch an entertaining show, whether it’s a movie, a concert, or a stage play.

It’s considered a multifaceted performing arts center.

So, you’re guaranteed to catch many shows, including children’s entertainment and comedy.

Above all, spending time at the Cabot Street Cinema Theater won’t just offer you top-notch entertainment.

It also offers you a worthwhile historical experience.

Browse through the Porter Mill Studio

Porter Mill Studio along Rantoul Street in Beverly’s downtown area mainly features four stories of vibrant art exhibits and galleries.

This wonderful place of art is housed in a historic mill building that now serves as an avenue for many of Essex County’s aspiring artists.

Visiting this art studio won’t just let you see gorgeous artwork.

It also allows you to experience live music and other performing arts.

The entire studio spans four stories, with various galleries, workshops, and other fascinating arts-related things.

At the same time, it regularly hosts poetry shows, workshops, and artists’ meet and greets sessions.

With all that in mind, Porter Mill Studio is a recommended attraction to drop by, especially if you’re curious to see Beverly’s local arts scene.

Appreciate the Relaxing View of Independence Park

Canon kept for display at Independence Park

Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Independence Park is renowned for its breathtaking waterfront view.

You can visit this public park along Lothrop Street, a few minutes south of Dane Street Beach.

This park is known for its smaller, steep sandy beach, which boasts some of the city’s best views.

Visiting this park allows you to see the vast horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time, you’ll also see Beverly Harbor and Salem from a distance.

Besides sightseeing, Independence Park has a paved trail, perfect for hiking.

While traversing its trail, you’ll see the commemorative stone and cannon.

This historic site within the park signifies Beverly as the United States Navy’s birthplace during the Revolutionary War.

Test Your Skills at The Castle: A Board Game Cafe

The Castle: A Board Game Café is a unique place to hang out, especially if you’re not in the mood to explore the outdoors.

You can visit this café along Rantoul Street.

During your visit, you can play over a thousand board games, including your favorite board games such as monopoly, checkers, and plenty more.

After a fun-filled board game, check out The Castle: A Board Game Café’s menu to satisfy your cravings.

Besides its massive library of board games, it’s also known throughout Beverly for its delicious sandwiches and drinks.

Book a Ticket at the Larcom Theatre

Entrance to Larcom Theatre

Elizabeth Thomsen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Larcom Theatre is a 600-seater auditorium along Wallis Street.

It’s best known as one of the city’s top places for live concerts, performing arts, and other theatrical productions.

Like most of Beverly’s theatres, this one also has a storied past.

After its construction in 1912, it served as a vaudeville theatre and became one of the city’s best places for entertainment.

It hosted countless comedy shows, dances, live music, and films.

Today, it remains operational and regularly draws patrons to catch one of its scheduled shows.

So, check out the Larcom Theatre’s scheduled shows and book a ticket for a night full of entertainment with your loved ones.

Hop on a Kayak with Coast to Coast Paddle

Your visit to Beverly won’t be complete without experiencing water activities such as kayaking or standup paddle boarding.

So, head to Independence Park to visit Coast to Coast Paddle, which offers watercraft rentals, lessons, and guided tours.

You and your loved ones are guaranteed to paddle through the calm waters of Beverly Harbor and enjoy the scenic view.

If you’re unfamiliar with kayaking or standup paddle boarding, don’t worry; they have professionals who offer lessons.

So, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind water adventure with the Coast to Coast Paddle for a fun-filled activity.

Get Serenaded at the North Shore Music Theater

View of North Shore Music Theater

User:Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out North Shore Music Theater if you’re up for more theatre shows.

You can visit this musical theatre along Dunham Road.

Compared to other theatres in Beverly, this one is solely dedicated to musical concerts, which has been serenading locals and visitors since 1955.

With that in mind, this musical theatre has already harvested plenty of industry awards.

Also, it remained one of Essex County’s best places to watch a concert.

It boasts some of the best audio and lighting equipment among the theatres in Beverly, making it an excellent place for concerts.

So, don’t miss catching a wonderful musical performance at the North Shore Music Theater to experience what it offers best.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Just South of Beverly takes you to the historic city of Salem.

On the north are neighboring cities and towns with unique attractions worthy of discovering.

So, check out some of the most recommended attractions nearby Beverly.

Uncover the Mysteries at the Salem Witch Museum

Facade of Salem Witch Museum

Yosefer /

The Salem Witch Museum in Salem documents the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s.

You must drive eight minutes or 2.8 miles south of Beverly to reach this famous attraction.

In history books, the witch trials served as one of the nation’s most enduring historical events that remained controversial today.

Cementery of Salem Witch Trials

Ale Volpi /

A visit to this museum allows you to learn more about how the events transpired in the infamous trials through its 13 life-size stage sets and guided tours.

After it opened in 1972, this museum welcomed thousands of curious visitors who wanted to uncover the mystery of the witch trials.

Overall, the Salem Witch Museum is a fascinating place you mustn’t miss visiting just outside Beverly.

Entrance to Salem Witch Museum

Dominionart /

Soak under the Sun at Winter Island/Waikiki Beach

People enjoying their day at Waikiki Beach

quiggyt4 /

Winter Island/Waikiki Beach is a gorgeous, less-crowded small island 12 minutes or 4 miles south of Beverly.

It’s best known for being a top-notch beach destination to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, camping, boating, and fishing.

Fort Pickering Lighthouse during sunset

Mikey Colon /

Winter Island/Waikiki Beach also has numerous historical sites, including the Fort Pickering Lighthouse.

Meanwhile, it has picnic tables, a visitor center, food concessions, lifeguards, a playground, and other amenities, making it an excellent beach destination.

So, check out this small island for its beauty and top-notch beach-related activities.

An abandoned building at Winter Island

quiggyt4 /

Have Extreme Fun at the Salem Willows Park

Salem Willows Park is an excellent outdoor and indoor recreation destination in Salem, south of Beverly.

Besides being a historical park, it has a top-notch arcade for family entertainment.

This park is an excellent destination if you and your loved ones are looking for a fun place to visit without driving far off Beverly.

A narraw pathway with trees on both the sides at Salem Willows Park

Fletcher6, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park has a classic arcade featuring your favorite classic video games and arcade games.

At the same time, it has bumper cars and other exciting games that guarantee you and your family a blast.

After enjoying the arcade games, you can order a wide array of delicious food through its café.

If you’re yearning for a relaxing time, you can always proceed to Salem Willows Park’s gorgeous landscape.

Witness the Witch Trials Reenactment at the Witch Dungeon Museum

Front view of Witch Dungeon Museum

Yingna Cai /

Besides the Salem Witch Museum, another attraction narrates the infamous Witch Trials —the Witch Dungeon Museum.

This unique attraction in Salem offers you a more immersive experience through its live reenactment and narration of the 1692 Witch Trials.

It’s a gripping experience, thanks to its professional actors who dressed in period costumes to see and experience its live reenactment.

At the same time, it has guided tours that take you to the dungeons where they chained the alleged witches back in the day.

Overall, the Witch Dungeon Museum is a fascinating experience you mustn’t miss if you’re still curious to learn more about this historical event.

Final Thoughts

Beverly is a complete package for those who seek a destination that treats them to an outdoor adventure and a historical tour.

Its rich and fascinating history will draw you to visit plenty of sites, museums, and buildings, each offering unique stories about its past.

Meanwhile, it boasts some of the best sceneries facing the Atlantic Ocean for a satisfying experience with nature.

Of course, there are plenty of awesome things to do in Beverly, Massachusetts, besides this well-curated list.

So, it’s completely up to you how you’ll explore this historic city in Essex County.

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