Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Saugus, MA

  • Published 2023/03/25

Saugus is a small town on the eastern shores of Essex County in Massachusetts.

Although Saugus is part of the Greater Boston area, locals in this small town have a distinct identity.

They are proud of their rich heritage and history, mainly as North America’s first site for integrated ironworks.

It has a population of about 27,000 locals who primarily work and study in nearby Boston, ten miles north of Saugus.

Saugus’ history dates back to the mid-1600s, when the first iron works were established, manufacturing more than a ton of iron daily during its peak.

However, these most iron works have become significant and fascinating historical sites today.

Visiting Saugus allows you to dive deep into history.

At the same time, you’re guaranteed to enjoy dozens of leisure and outdoor recreation by yourself, your family, or friends.

What awaits you in this neighboring town on Boston’s east side?

Here’s a curated list of the best things to do in Saugus, Massachusetts, for your travel reference.

Explore the Past at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Grounds of the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Enrico Della Pietra /

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site is probably the town’s most famous tourist attraction.

You can visit this historic site along Central Street.

This site, located beside a river, is where you’ll find America’s birthplace of the iron and steel industry, dating back to the 1600s.

Historically, European iron makers brought their wares and skills to Saugus back in the day.

They eventually established the ironworks that paved the way for America’s iron and steel industry.

Exterior of a house at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Zack Frank /

It also helped the Massachusetts Colony thrive back in the day.

Today, this 12-acre historic site allows people to tour and see its original forges, waterwheels, mills, river basin, and home.

Besides these centuries-old structures, you can see plenty of tools, weapons, horseshoes, and cookware manufactured at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.

You know where to head first upon arriving in Saugus to get acquainted with the town’s fascinating past.

Water wheel in the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Wangkun Jia /

Grab a Meal at Polcari’s Italian Restaurant

Saugus is home to authentic and homegrown Italian restaurants and eateries.

These locally-owned restaurants serve authentic Italian dishes such as pizzas, pasta, salads, and meat dishes.

One of Saugus’ most recommended Italian restaurants is Polcari’s Famiglia Fornaciari.

Polcari’s Italian Restaurant along Broadway Street is known for its old-school Italian eatery ambiance and a generous serving of its classic Italian fare.

You can’t go wrong choosing Polcari’s Italian Restaurant whenever you’re craving Italian food in Saugus.

Commune with Nature at the Breakheart Reservation

The waters of Breakheart Reservation

Jewelia /

After a worthwhile historical tour of the ironworks, head to the Breakheart Reservation to relax with nature.

You can visit this reservation along Forest Street.

This reservation serves as a massive public recreation area spanning over 652 acres covering the towns of Wakefield and Saugus.

It’s home to a lush hardwood forest, freshwater lakes, the Saugus Rivers, and plenty of sceneries featuring New England’s natural area.

A trail at Breakheart Reservation

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

At the same time, it’s also the home of the other ironworks established in the area in the 1600s.

Today, it’s one of the Boston Metro Area’s popular outdoor recreation destinations.

It’s famous for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and cross-country skiing.

Besides these outdoor activities, visiting Breakheart Reservation offers a relaxing and tranquil experience amidst its peaceful surroundings.

Treat Yourself at Kane’s Donuts-Lincoln

Take a break from exploring Saugus and drop by Kane’s Donuts-Lincoln for some sweet treats and coffee.

You can visit this donut shop along Lincoln Avenue.

This mini donut chain is known for its award-winning donuts, baked since 1955 in Essex County.

One of its two branches is in Saugus, which remains one of the local favorites for sweet treats such as donuts.

Choose from over 40 plus donut flavors and variations, such as its famous red velvet and crème brulee.

Besides, it also serves bakery-style pizza and muffins and its all-day dining menu.

Of course, pair the donuts from Kane’s Donuts-Lincoln with its freshly brewed coffee to complete the meal.

Hike through the Northern Strand Community Trail

Foliage on Northern Strand Community Trail

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Northern Strand Community Trail, locally known as the Bike to the Sea Trail, is a famous outdoor attraction in Essex County.

This trail runs through Saugus and stretches over ten miles.

It’s primarily a public-use trail for hiking, biking, commuting, and a bit of a historical side trip.

The trail has a rail trail portion connecting various cities and towns throughout Essex County.

Wooden bridge along Northern Strand Community Trail

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want a top-notch hiking experience during your visit to Saugus, visit this trail.

It takes you to various neighborhoods, natural areas, parks, and historical sites.

Ultimately, the Northern Strand Community Trail leads you to the scenic Nahant and Lynn Beach, worth visiting.

Experience the Outdoors at the Lynn Woods Reservation

Lynn Woods Reservation is a massive municipal forest park that borders Saugus and Lynn.

You can visit this forest park on the east side of Saugus bordering Lynn.

The forest park covers over 2,200 acres and is a protected forest land and outdoor recreation hub.

This attraction allows you to explore more than 30 miles of trails that take you to various natural sceneries.

One of the best ways to make your visit to this attraction worthwhile is through hiking.

Besides hiking, you can also enjoy horseback riding, trail running, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing during winter.

Enjoy plenty of activities at the Lynn Woods Reservation, making it a recommended outdoor attraction.

Spot Local Wildlife at the Rumney Marsh Reservation

The waters of Rumney Marsh Reservation

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

For a one-of-a-kind experience with nature, head to the Rumney Marsh Reservation.

You can visit this reservation south of Saugus near the border of the neighboring city of Revere.

This reservation on the Saugus River estuary is a significant salt marsh.

It’s a vital nursery for various fish species and a resting spot for migratory birds from the north.

Trail of Rumney Marsh Reservation

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

The entire reservation spans over 600 acres, covering Saugus and Revere.

Besides being an important nature reserve, it’s also a popular outdoor destination, especially for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Some popular outdoor activities at the Rumney Marsh Preservation are kayaking, fishing, canoeing, hiking, and bird-watching.

Watch Football at Stackpole Field

Stackpole Field is a massive sports field that regularly hosts various sports tournaments.

You can visit this place along Summer Street.

Most of the youth football tournaments, as well as soccer and lacrosse competitions, happen at this sports field.

With that in mind, it’s an exciting place to see locals play sports.

Above all, watching the games at this place is primarily free, making it suitable to pass the time.

Drop by Stackpole Field to see if there are some local sports activities you can watch with your loved ones or with locals.

Catch Fish at Walden Pond

The waters of Walden Pond

ptwo from Allahabad, India, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walden Pond is a popular fishing spot for Saugus locals.

You can visit this pond along Walden Pond Avenue.

The entire pond is a public fishing spot wherein locals can spend their day waiting for their biggest catch.

If you want to know the best fishing spot, go to Walden Pond, which abounds in fish species.

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bullhead, bluegill/bream, and rainbow trout are the most common fish species you can catch in this pond.

There are plenty of nice fishing spots with tree lines surrounding the entire pond.

Bring your foldable chair, some snacks, and bait as you enjoy its tranquil atmosphere.

Have Fun at the K Pub Kitchen & Bar

If you fancy Korean food and great entertainment, head to K Pub Kitchen & Bar.

You can visit this fusion restaurant and sports pub along Lincoln Avenue.

Unlike most restaurants in Saugus, this restaurant is known for its Asian-American fusion, mainly centered on Korean cuisine.

It has a sports pub-themed interior that televises live football games with a lively atmosphere.

If you’re craving some Korean food while exploring Saugus, go to K Pub Kitchen & Bar.

This pub has over 180 seats equipped with giant high-definition televisions featuring live games, making it a great place to hang out.

Spend Quality Leisure Time at the Square One Mall

A shop in Square One Mall

QualityHD /

For some worthwhile shopping and dining experience, head to Square One Mall.

You can visit this mall along Broadway Street.

A total of 125 stores operate in this mall which spans over 929,844 square feet.

It’s also one of the top malls in Essex County.

Interior of Square One Mall

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This mall is also known as a convenient shopping and dining destination since it opened in 1994.

This mall has everything you want when itching to shop, relax, or eat delicious food.

You can shop at Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker, Lid’s Hollister, Macy’s Torrid, Forever 21, and GameStop.

At the same time, Square One Mall is also home to many international dishes such as Italian, Thai, Japanese, Cuban, Mexican, and American comfort food.

Sporting goods store at Square One Mall

Anthony92931, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See Home Runs at the World Series Baseball Park

World Series Baseball Park is an excellent place to watch local baseball games.

You can check out this baseball park along Dow Street.

This baseball field boasts some of the best venues in the area.

It is one of the favorite places for locals to play baseball.

It’s a great place to catch some local games, whether you’re a huge baseball fan or just someone looking for a nice place to hang out.

This baseball field opened in 2003 and has since hosted countless baseball tournaments, from youth to mainstream baseball tournaments.

Check out World Series Baseball Park and see locals score a home run.

Pass the Time at Prankers Pond

The grounds of Prankers Pond

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

Prankers Pond is another popular fishing spot you can pass the time in Saugus.

You can visit this pond southwest of Birch Pond along U.S. Route 1.

This place is known for its abundance of largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch, which you can catch in various angling techniques.

If you want a different outdoor activity, have a picnic at the gorgeous picnic area on the side of the pond.

Prankers Pond also has a recreational area and a hiking trail for those who want to stretch their muscles.

Enjoy Ice Skating at the Kasabuski Rink

Kasabuski Rink is a great place to hone your ice skating skills or enjoy this activity with your loved ones.

You can visit this ice-skating rink along Forest Street.

This ice-skating rink features top-notch ice-skating and hockey amenities.

It is a recommended place to enjoy ice skating or watch local games.

It also doubles as a hockey arena.

Saugus’ Department of Conservation and Recreation spent more than a million dollars on upgrading Kasabuski Rink, giving you more reasons to drop by this place.

If you don’t have the energy to do ice skating or play hockey, you can still enjoy watching locals or your loved ones doing these activities.

Enter Dungeon Rock

Structure of Dungeon Rock

Ehkastning, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dungeon Rock is a fascinating historical site in the Lynn Woods Reservation.

Because of its fascinating history and curious past, this place is a popular attraction in the Lynn Woods Reservation.

It mainly features a cave excavated by a person in the mid-1600s who was allegedly ordered by ghosts to search for a missing pirate treasure.

The person who dug the cave lived there for quite some time until a deadly earthquake struck, and killed him while he was inside.

Fascinatingly in the mid-1800s, Hiram Marble purchased the cave property and built a house on top of it.

Then, they excavated the cave to search for the treasure after Marble also allegedly was guided by some ghosts.

Today, Dungeon Rock is a popular tourist attraction, and many visitors drop by and learn more about its mysterious past.

Visitors can enter the cave at certain hours during the day, squeezing themselves inside its cold and wet surroundings.

Final Thoughts

People visiting Saugus must expect plenty of outdoor activities and some historical side trips.

Also, they can go on a food trip with its homegrown Italian restaurants and some fusion restaurants along the way.

Discover the best things to do in Saugus, Massachusetts!

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