20 Best Things to Do in Marblehead, MA

Marblehead, MA
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Marblehead is presently a lovely coastal resort town with a superb location on a jutting peninsula.

Marblehead originated as a fishing community, but it swiftly expanded into one of the colonies' greatest cities before the American Revolutionary War.

Their fisheries and shipyard industries expanded to such proportions that in 1774, they surpassed Boston as the primary points of entry for commodities.

National historical sites are also abounding in the town, including mid-18th century buildings.

Marblehead's laid-back New England attitude and stunning rocky shoreline make it a great spot to come at any time of year.

Do you plan to visit this destination?

The list below is the best things to do in Marblehead, Massachusetts!

Take a Look at Spectacular Scenery at Fort Sewall

The coastline of Fort Sewall
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Marblehead, Massachusetts' Fort Sewall is a historical coast fortress.

It is positioned on a point that views the opening to Marblehead Harbor at Gale's Head, the northeastern extremity of the primary Marblehead peninsula, and was known as Gale's Head Fort until 1814.

The "Fort," which the federal government deeded to the town in 1922, still has bunkers and underground rooms that housed prisoners.

Exterior of Fort Sewall's stockade
Fletcher6, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, April 3, 1814, the Fort's most significant historical event occurred when the United States of America declared war on the British.

The Navy's Constitution retreated into Marblehead Harbor underneath the cover of the fort's guns after being pursued by two British frigates.

Fort Sewall is a popular tourist destination for families, and the National Register of Historic Places placed it on its list in 1975.

The headland, now a community parkland, offers spectacular scenery of tourist attractions such as the Marblehead harbor, off-shore islands, Cape Ann, and the Atlantic.

The clean waters of Fort Sewall
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Discover History in Marblehead Museum

The purpose of the Marblehead Museum is to conserve, maintain, and promote Marblehead's history to enhance the present.

The Marblehead Museum's holdings are in the historic area of Marblehead.

More than 200 privately held colonial-era homes and structures maintain the distinctive attributes of this New England fishing town and port.

The Marblehead Museum invites individuals of different ages to understand what makes Marblehead unique through creative learning activities.

The Museum's three locations and its world-class collection act as catalysts for activities that link people to the past and present, widening their outlooks of Marblehead and the globe.

Featuring programs and exhibits spanning five centuries, this museum gathers, protects, and interprets Marblehead's local and national significance and its residents.

Visit the Old Burial Hill

The sun shining down Burial Hill
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Marblehead, Massachusetts' Old Burial Hill is a historical cemetery and is one of the earliest cemeteries in New England, founded in 1638.

A walkway reaches it at Redd's Pond and a stairwell at the Pond and Orne Streets junction.

Many well-preserved headstones may be seen in the cemetery, some going earlier to the seventeenth century.

A gated lot at Burial Hill
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Wilmott Redd, the sole person from Marblehead, hanged for witchcraft in 1692, was honored with a memorial stone on the Pond Street side in 1998.

Their carvings are examples of Puritan aesthetic and religious expression, and their epitaphs represent the lives of these residents, marine captains, fishermen, spouses, and children throughout the Puritan era.

Gravestones at Burial Hill
Olivia Mobbs from Berwick-upon-Tweed, United Kingdom, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cherish Hand Woodworks at the Harbor Light Inn

Harbor Light Inn is unlike any other since it is located in one of its finest maritime capitals.

It is one of the few surviving authentic seacoast communities along Massachusetts Bay's North Shore.

The Harbor Light exudes warmness, tenderness, and peacefulness, much like the steady rhythm of a mantelpiece clock.

Despite having all of the conveniences that every first-class Boston hotel should have, The Harbor Light Inn has its distinct taste and personality, unique as each of its 20 guest rooms.

Lighting, hand woodwork, expertly tooled furniture, artworks, carvings, and prints all represent the fortunes and riches bought from various ports and longer years at sea.

There's more, though: the warmth of a bedroom fireplace, a genuine greeting upon arrival, a plentiful brunch meal with garden and poolside views, and the real sense that every guest is welcome.

Admire the View at Marblehead Lighthouse

Waters surrounding Marblehead Lighthouse
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Marblehead Light is located in Essex County, Massachusetts, on Marblehead Neck.

The present tower is a skeleton construction built in 1895 to substitute the earlier brickwork and wooden building built in 1835.

Marblehead Light Station is one of just 14 pyramidal skeleton lighthouses in the United States.

Daytime view of Marblehead Lighthouse
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

The original brick tower featured ten lights fuelled by whale oil within its octagonal lantern, which created steady white lighting 50 feet above the high groundwater, and on October 10, 1835, the lights were first seen.

It is the only tower in New England; the next closest is at Coney Island, New York, and the National Register of Historic Places added it to the list on June 15, 1987.

The view from under Marblehead Lighthouse
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Buy Packages at Shubie’s Marketplace

For more than 70 years, Shubie's has been family-owned and managed.

They've grown from a standard package shop to include specialty gourmet dishes, international cheeses, handmade gifts, freshly prepared meals, and a large assortment of fine wines, spirits, and craft breweries.

Over the years, their enthusiasm for wine and food has caught the eye of partners globally.

They see each award as a true honor and are grateful for the acknowledgment.

They believe that their clients are their backbone, and they are grateful for them every day.

Come by Shubie's Marketplace, situated at 16 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead, MA, to see why this is the neighborhood's go-to food shop.

Visit the Shore at Crowninshield Island

The waters of Crowninshield Island
Fletcher6, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The site was previously known as Brown's Island.

Still, it was renamed in honor of Louise du Pont Crowninshield, a leader in the historic preservation movement in America from 1925 till her passing in 1958.

Brown's Island is a tiny island off the coast of Marblehead, Massachusetts, known as Crowninshield Island, that the Trustees of Reservations have been in charge of since 1955.

A bird on Crowninshield Island's shore
Erik K. Smith / Shutterstock.com

On this maritime island in Marblehead Harbor, visit a foreshore, an open field, and a forested hilltop.

Make your way toward this secluded peninsula, which can only be reached by boat or by walking over the shallow water, and then stroll along a small circular track to a forested hilltop.

Wander around the spectacular views of the harbor, other tiny islands, and Fort Sewall, and peek into tidal pools rich with intriguing shells and critters.

Dine and Breathe Fresh Air at the Landing Restaurant

The Landing Restaurant, located on Ancient Marblehead Harbor, is distinctive because of its picturesque setting and fresh, local delicacies with a chef-inspired cuisine.

They are accessible by road or water, and every seat in our dining room or their famed open-air terrace has lovely views of Marblehead Harbor.

The Landing serves oysters, salads, steak, salmon, and other delicacies such as starters, main courses, and mid-course meals.

They serve healthy, fresh seafood and globally-inspired cuisine, and gluten and dairy-free options.

Sit on their patio, take in the fresh air, or dine in their beautifully refurbished dining room.

Rent a Picnic Table at Chandler Hovey Park

A bench overlooking the waters at Chandler Hovey Park
Migeli Barrios / Shutterstock.com

Chandler Hovey Park, commonly called Lighthouse Point, is situated on Marblehead Neck at the foot of Follett Street, just off Ocean Avenue.

Pavilions, chairs, picnic tables, bathrooms, and parking are available at the 3.74-acre park, which encompasses the opening of the harbor and the coastlines of Beverly and Manchester-By-The-Sea.

Rocky shore of Chandler Hovey Park
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

The US government initially held it until being acquired by Marblehead citizen Chandler Hovey in 1948 and presented to the municipality.

The Marblehead Light Tower is also located here.

If you enjoy the sights of moored boats and ships and the sea views, explore and go over to Chandler Hovey Park.

Waters of marblehead at Chandler Hovey Park
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Purchase Hand-Dipped Chocolates at Stowaway Sweets

Stowaway Sweets has a well-deserved reputation for exquisite hand-dipped chocolates and exceptional customer service as a long-established local business and institution dating back almost a century.

For over a century, generations of families have been carefully hand dipping sweets on-site using their unique chocolate recipes.

Stowaway Sweets stands out from other chocolate businesses because of its attention to detail.

Chocolates are created daily in their on-site factory, nestled just below their business, and are not loaded with chemicals, preservatives, or plastics to extend their shelf life.

They also believe that there is only one earth. Therefore they acquire their cocoa and products sustainably while contributing to the success that has helped them thrive.

Indulge in Different Sports Activities at Seaside Park

The waters of marblehead from Seaside Park
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Crocker Park, Bailey's Headland, and Fort Sewall were the first three parks built in Marblehead between 1886 and 1890.

Seaside Park is the biggest of Marblehead's four public areas, covering a little more than 5.7 hectares and including an early twentieth-century pavilion viewing the baseball field.

The government purchased the original piece of land for Seaside Park in 1895 to develop it as a sports complex.

The nearby tennis and basketball courts, as well as play areas, are also interesting to note.

The seashore Park is famous for being the birthplace of the town's sporting tradition.

Gaze at Breathtaking Views at Sigler Guide Service

They provide a variety of excursions counting both resident and traveling fishers, including pick-ups in Marblehead, MA.

Sigler Guide Service specializes in supervised Striped Bass fishing outings, including fly fishing and light gear.

Offshore bottom fishing, bluefin and sharks excursions, children catching fish and birthday celebrations, lobstering trips, and scenic tours are also among their services.

Aside from the excellent fishing, the environment is breathtaking, and there are other non-fishing activities like antiquing, beaches, history tours, and restaurants.

Discover why they've grown to be New England's biggest fishing charter/guide services by enjoying one of the country's most talked-about fisheries.

View Artwork and Exhibitions at Abbot Hall Maritime Museum

Exterior of Abbot Hall Maritime Museum
Daderot at en.Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marblehead, Massachusetts, the town hall is Abbot Hall, an iconic and imposing Romanesque brick architecture situated at 188 Washington Street.

Abbot Hall was built between 1876 and 1877, with the first phase beginning in the spring and the last stage ending in the fall.

A painting in Abbot Hall Maritime Museum
Tomwsulcer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The building houses the Selectmen's, Town Clerk's, and Historical Commission's offices and the famous authentic 1684 Town Deed, Spirit of 76 painting, a Maritime Museum, and other exhibitions and artwork relating to the Town and a Gift Shop.

The Marblehead Historical Commission Gift Shop also sells Marblehead-related things and contains exhibitions of Marblehead Pottery and Marblehead duck decoys.

It's open all year, including weekends during tourist season, from Memorial Day to October 21.

Interior of Abbot Hall Maritime Museum
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Appreciate Fresh Seafood at Little Harbor Lobster Company

Little Harbor Lobster Company, which has been in business for over a century, provides the freshest seafood to Marblehead and the neighboring north coast communities, sourcing it directly from local fishers wherever feasible.

Two generations have joined forces to continue the Marblehead Lobster Company's heritage serving Marblehead and the adjacent north coast areas.

They picked the name Little Harbor Lobster Company to celebrate the market's rich heritage.

Little Harbor, where the first fish facility in Marblehead was established and where the first people came, is visible from the market.

They introduce a unique, community-based market idea to satisfy both longtime and new clients of the Marblehead Lobster Company.

Little Harbor Lobster was founded to support the fishers who bring so much to our town and provide the people of Marblehead and the neighboring areas with the freshest seafood possible.

Grab a Bite at Sea Salt

Sea salt is a sophisticated American eatery that offers high-quality, locally sourced food and drinks in a welcoming environment.

Their goal is to deliver an authentic eating experience for their customers while encouraging community interaction.

Whether you're looking to unwind after a hard day, keep in touch with a buddy, or commemorate a special event, they endeavor to provide excellent cuisine and drink in a relaxing environment.

They are about a minute's walk from the Harbor Ligh Inn and offer a wonderful terrace for outside sitting.

Sea Salt is located at 126 Washington Street in Marblehead, and its extensive food and beverage menu will undoubtedly satisfy your appetite.

Go Swimming at Devereux Beach

Aerial view of Devereux Beach
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Devereux Beach is situated at the southeastern portion of Marblehead, directly facing Massachusetts Bay.

While this beach won’t strike you as picturesque because it lacks fine sand, it gets the job done if you want to experience the calming waters that surround Marblehead.

It’s a popular spot for swimming, as the beach is quite big and has great waters and gentle waves, making it suitable for children.

Devereux Beach consists mostly of rocky shores, so it’s also an interesting place for beach lovers who like this aesthetic over the powdery white sand ones.

Located along Ocean Avenue, Devereux Beach is one of the best places to appreciate the coastal charm of Marblehead.

Trek through Wyman Woods

Wyman Woods is one of the most exciting outdoor places to check out in Marblehead, especially for nature enthusiasts.

It’s a sizable woodland which offers almost 50 acres worth of trails for you to check out, whether on foot or on a bike.

The woods also offers some of the best natural scenery in Marblehead that changes depending on the season you visit.

Fall and spring are one of the best times to go trekking at Wyman Woods, where you can appreciate its diverse botany.

If you love bird watching, this is also an excellent place to do it.

Found along West Shore Drive, you’d be hard-pressed to miss out on the beauty of Wyman Woods.

Do Boat Watching at Village Street Dock

Village Street Dock is found on the eastern end of Marblehead, opposite of Devereux Beach.

This location is by the coves of Marblehead’s Salem Sound, facing away from the Massachusetts Bay which makes it a popular place for boats to dock.

Hence, you’ll be enamored at the scenery you’ll see at Village Street Dock, as it’s sprawling with all sorts of boats and yachts.

This is one of the best places to do some seaside photography in Marblehead, especially since it has a picturesque boardwalk.

Village Street Dock is also an intimate spot to watch sunsets, perfect for a laid-back date.

Tour The Jeremiah Lee Mansion

Exterior of The Jeremiah Lee Mansion
Daderot at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Jeremiah Lee Mansion is a historic home of its namesake owner who played a crucial role in the formation of Massachusetts.

Dating back to the colonial era of Massachusetts, Jeremiah Lee was known to be the wealthiest merchant during this time period.

This made his home one of the most impressive architectural masterpieces during its time; it’s of Georgian design that sticks close to its British roots.

Tours are accepted for an affordable rate here, so if you’re a lover of American history, this is a can’t miss.

Even if you don’t want a tour, you can simply see the beautiful facade of The Jeremiah Lee Mansion along Washington Street.

Be in Tune with Nature at Steer Swamp Conservation Area

Found along the end of Washington Street lies one of the most beautiful nature preserves in Massachusetts—Steer Swamp Conservation Area.

This nature preserve is an underrated attraction in Marblehead, offering well-maintained trails that will lead you to beautiful forestry that’s home to many different animals.

You can find all sorts of terrains here, featuring rocky creeks, dense woodlands, and serene ponds.

The diverse ecosystem makes Steer Swamp Conservation Area a perfect place to explore and do photography; you can even bring your pooch along for company.

And while it is packed with so many things to see, the conservation area isn’t too big, perfect to insert in any itinerary.

Final Thoughts

Marblehead, a seaside town of 20,000 people 18 miles north of Boston, is known for its unrivaled services to the American Revolution and Civil War.

It is a unique town worth visiting since there is plenty to see in so little time.

It's simple to see why Marblehead is recognized as one of the best locations to visit and explore.

This list of the best things to do in Marblehead, MA, and the surrounding areas might help you plan your trip.

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