The events, people, places, and things that should be on your radar this summer.
By Stacey Marcus
Remember last winter when you were hydroplaningon Rte. 128, longing for the lazy, hazy days of summer… dreaming of skipping stones on the ocean and sipping sangria on the sun porch? Pull up the shades and behold…summer is here! Whether you want to stroll the shore with your sweetheart, pick berries at a local orchard with the kids, or sip a frozen mochaccino at a cozy cafe, we’ve got plenty of ways for you to chill out this summer.
It’s time to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the family that’s been waiting all winter to spend some time together in the fresh air and sunshine. There are endless ways to enjoy summer days on the North Shore, just like the juicy berries dotting our farms, take your pick and enjoy the local flavor.
Life’s a Beach
With 100 miles of coastline north of Boston, there’s plenty of spots to build castles and feel the sand between your toes. Walk in water at Wingaersheek Beach in West Gloucester, the quintessential New England beach for the kids, and enjoy a good old fashioned day at the shore. Young children love to play in the wading pools. Skip along the sandbar towards the Annisquam lighthouse, dip in salt water tide pools, and bring lots of sunscreen. Be sure to get to the beach early as prime spaces fill up fast! Wingaersheek Beach, Atlantic Ave. off Route 133 in Gloucester.
Whale of a Time
Fascinate the kids with one of Yankee Fleet’s whale watches. Sailing through the world’s richest feeding grounds and the sand eel, the favorite food of the humpback whale, Yankee Fleet gives kids the ultimate whale watching experience. Kids will enjoy whale games and crafts while touching authentic whale artifacts and listening to sounds of the whale. An added bonus is that passengers get to hang out with researchers that are working on board and experience hands-on learning. Yankee Fleet, 37 Commercial St., Gloucester, 800-942- 5464, yankeefleet.com.
There’s no lack of summertime festivals to honor the season. Marblehead’s Festival of Arts on July 1-5 makes for the ultimate celebration of culture and coastal living. The festival was founded in 1962 and operates year round. Events include an artisan’s marketplace, model boat building, film festival, sand sculpture, kite festival, wood carving, painting, and much more. Marblehead Festival of Arts, 781-639- 2787, marbleheadfestival.org.
Pick from one the many orchards dotting the North Shore landscape. Good old fashioned fun awaits at Green Meadows Farms in Hamilton, where you can pick fresh organic vegetables and delicious fruits, visit with farm animals, and enjoy a roster of harvest festivals, classes, and events. Stop off at the Farmstand and pick up fresh seasonal vegetables, local cheese and milk, natural and organic dry goods, plus unique gifts for the kids. Bring home a basket full of summertime memories! Green Meadow Farms, 656 Ashbury Street in Hamilton, 978-468-2277, gfarm.com.
It’s tough to beat a day with the family at Jay Gees Fun Center. Enjoy mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, and an arcade. Top off the fun with a piled-high Dinosaur Crunch or Heavenly Hash ice cream cone. Just make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach—they make them big here. Jay Gees Ice Cream and Fun Center, 662 Lowell St., Methuen, 978-689-0456, jaygees.com.
Hey Romeo, if you can’t find at least a dozen ways to show Juliette some romance, peruse our list of ideas for launching some love. Sunsets, picnics, salsa dancing, theatre, lighthouses, and landmarks sure to set the mood this summer..
Pack a picnic basket with fresh sandwiches, salads, and chocolate chip cookies from Taste Buds and head to the glorious 16-acre oceanfront Lynch Park in Beverly. Enjoy a summer evening concert, rent a kayak, or sit under a lovely tree reading excerpts from poems of Robert Frost, then take a long ride along the ocean and smooch under the stars. Tastebuds,151 Hale St., Beverly, 978-922-0151, tastebudsbeverly.com; Lynch Park, 55 Ober St., Beverly, 978-921-6067, bevrec.com.
Toast to spicy summer evenings with the Margarita de la Casa at Salem’s Cilantro. Stroll thought the bewitching streets of Salem over to Finz on Pickering Wharf and indulge in Stoliwashed oysters and salsa dancing with Junior and Jetta on Tuesday nights. Cilantro, 282 Derby St., Salem, 978-745-9436, cilantrocilantro. com. Finz, 76 Wharf St., Salem, 978-744-8485, hipfinz.com.
Begin the evening with a Portuguese wine toast followed by tapas at the Azorean Restaurant and Bar and then head out to enjoy regional theater at the Gloucester Stage Company. This season begins with You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, followed by The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Breath of Life, The Goat: or, Who is Sylvia?, and closes with Sins of the Mother. End the night with a short drive to Captain Dusty’s in Manchester for some homechurned ice cream and fro-yo. Azorean Restaurant and Bar, 133 Washington St., Gloucester, 978-283-5500, azoreanrestaurant.com; Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-4433, gloucesterstage. com; Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream, 60 Beach St., Manchester, 978-526-1663.
Walk of Life
Rockport is the perfect backdrop for summer love. Lighthouses and landmarks dot the charming seaside town where you can museum hop, shop, or sail the day away. Waltz June/July 2009 nshoremag.com 67 through darling galleries and boutiques in Rockport’s downtown , dine al fresco on the lovely terrace at My Place by the Sea, and enjoy a romantic evening at the historic Emerson Inn by the Sea. My Place by the Sea, Bearskin Neck, Rockport, 978-546-9667, myplacebythesea.com; Emerson Inn by the Sea, One Cathedral Ave., Rockport, 978-546-6321, emersoninn bythesea.com.
Leave the world behind and head to the dunes of Plum Island for a private clambake and canoodling at the ultra chic blue the Inn on the Beach. Whether you select a cozy cottage, an oceanfront suite, a villa, or the grand salon, you’ll instantly relax and unwind in style. blue the Inn on the Beach is the ultimate romantic spot where you can leave the world behind and be lulled to sleep with the sounds of crashing waves and the scent of the open ocean at your door. blue, the Inn on the Beach, 20 Fordham Way, Plum Island, 978-465-7171, blueinn.com.
No need to pull a Thelma and Louise and skip town, everything you and the ladies need to step out is right here in your own backyard. Check out our surprising secrets for girls who just wanna have fun!
Pack the gal pals in the car and head to Foote Brothers Canoe Rentals in Ipswich to rent a canoe then paddle along the Ipswich River and revel in the fields, farmlands, and forest. You can also rent kayaks and snorkel in neighboring Gloucester through Discovery Adventures. Be sure to stop by Christopher’s Table in Ipswich to pick up a customized picnic basket filled with goodies like sandwiches and baked goods. Foote Brothers Canoe Rentals, 230 Topsfield Rd., Ipswich, 978-356-9771, footebrotherscanoes.com; Discovery Adventures, Route 127, Gloucester, 978-283- 3320, discoadventures.com; Christopher’s Table, 5 Depot Sq., Ipswich, 978-356-6166, chritopherstable.com.
Girl’s Day Out
Lace up your sneakers and power walk along Lynn Shore Drive. Take a short drive to Periwinkles Food Shoppe in Vinnin Square and enjoy fresh sandwiches and salads under the picnic tables. Be sure to have all the BFFs read Newburyport author Cheryl Richardson’s latest book The Art of Extreme Self Care and discuss an action plan over ice tea. Book a massage party at Body and Soul in Salem to jump start your self care plan. Periwinkles Food Shoppe, 504 Loring Ave., Salem, 978-825-0099, periwinklesinc.com; Body and Soul, 60 Washington St., Salem, 978-825-0040, bodysoulsalem.com.
Hang ten at Middleton’s new spa, Vero Salon and Spa. The chic salon offers both hair care and spa services. Enjoy a hot stone massage or strawberry pedicure and then hoof it to Viola in Hamilton to slip your fabulous feet into a pair of the sensational designer sandals. Vero Salon and Spa, One Central St., Middleton, 978-750-4004, verosalonspa. com; Viola, 15 Walnut Rd., South Hamilton, 978-468- 1775, violashoe.com.
Cooking Up Some Fun
Gather the girls and see what’s cooking at Eurostoves this summer. Along with its fun calendar of culinary classes, Eurostoves offers a special “Girls’ Night Out” with hot classes like Island Getaway, Tapas Paella, and Tuscan Cafe. And while you’re learning, why not do some shopping? Eurostoves offers some of the latest kitchen gadgets and appliances like refrigerators and ranges to help get you in cooking mood. Eurostoves, 45 Enon St., Beverly, 877-232-0007, eurostoves.com.
Get Some Ink
Calling all cougars who want to make their mark this summer! Lasso the wild woman in you and head to Witch City Ink to get a tat, as in tattoo. Need some moral support before you take the plunge? Stop by the Goddess Treasure Chest for some psychic guidance or head up the street to Strega for a dirty martini and some liquid courage. Don’t wait for the sequel to Sex and the City to plan your next girls’ night out. Witch City Ink, 186-3 Essex St., Salem, 978-744-9393, witchcityink.com; Goddess Treasure Chest, 173 Essex St., Salem, 978-740-7100, goddess-treasure.com; Strega, 94 Lafayette St., Salem, 978-741-0004, stregasalem.com.
Forget about the chick flick, the walk up town, and the cheese class. This is guy time. Venture out of the man cave, light up a stogie, hit the fairway, strap on a helmet, or sail the high seas on a quest for sunken treasure.
Unleash Your Inner Tiger
Take a swing on the fairway at Far Corner Golf in Boxford and then bring the June/July 2009 nshoremag.com 69 buds to Old Cuban Cigar Factory for a hand-rolled cigar and watch the ball game on their new 50” plasma TV. Far Corners Golf, 778 Main St., West Boxford, 978-352-8300, farcornergolf. com; Old Cuban Cigar Factory, 173 South Main St., Middleton, 978- 777-4129, oldcuban.com.
Just off I-93 in New Hampshire, there’s an abandoned ski area that a few diehard mountain bikers have turned into a summertime downhill destination. Grab the boys, gear up, and head north to Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield where lift-serviced riding means plenty of high-speed action on the trails. No bike? No problem. Highland has a fleet of rentals as well as pro instructors to get you from the bunny slope to big drops in no time. Highland Mountain Bike Park, 75 Ski Hill Dr., Northfield, NH, 603-286-7677, highlandmountain.com.
Climb aboard our region’s only Las Vegas-style casino in Lynn and it could be your lucky day. The Horizon’s Edge Casino Cruise offers over 225 slot machines plus entertainment by local musicians, satellite TV, and buffet dining—so much more than a man cave! Horizon’s Edge Casino Cruises, Lynnway, Lynn, 781-581- 7733, horizonsedge.com.
Real men don’t eat quiche. They eat mountains of Brazilian beef known as churrasco and wash it down with Brazilian beer at the Fire Bull Restaurant in Peabody. Fire Bull Restaurant, 5 Central St., Peabody, 978-531-5744, firebullrestaurant. com.
On the Hunt
Pretend you’re Johnny Depp for the day and galvanize the mates for a treasure hunt with Flagship Adventures in your own personal RIB (rigid inflatable boat). You’ll need to use deductive reasoning to solve clues and navigate to hidden treasures. Other private charters include whale watching, maritime heritage tours, and adventure days. Flagship Adventures, 27 Congress St., Salem, 978-744-3542, flagshipadventures.com.
Solitude is a splendid thing. Especially when you have so many ways to spend a day enjoying the bounty of nature on the North Shore. Treat yourself to a little downtime and savor in a summer’s day in our glorious region.
Stop by Spirit of ‘76 Bookstore in Marblehead and pick up Newburyport resident author Andre Dubus III’s The Garden of Last Days. Visit Java Sun, order a frozen mochaccino, and let the reading begin. Be sure to walk across the street to Fruit of the Four Seasons to enjoy the season’s best berries and melons. Spirit of ‘76 Bookstore and Card Shop, 107 Pleasant St., Marblehead, 781-631- 7199, spiritof76bookstore.com; Java Sun Cafe, 35 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead,
781-631-7788. javasuncafe.com; Fruit of the Four Seasons, 34 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, 781-631-9784, fruitofthefourseasons.com.
Meander through the rocky trails of Dogtown in Gloucester and find inspiration in the Babson Boulders. Here you can check out inscriptions once carved on boulders by Roger Babson who wanted to write a book carved on stones. You’ll have a great time creating your own tale as you cobble together the inscriptions and wander through nature. Dogtown Commons, Gloucester, capeannweb.com/babsonboulders.htm.
Participate in the Essex Heritage Photo Safari program. Sponsored by four major camera equipment companies and Hunt’s Photo & Video of Melrose, the Essex Heritage Photo Safari program provides the perfect blend of historic exploration with modern-day digital photography advances. Explore Essex County through the lens of a digital camera. Photograph historic Salem Maritime, Ipswich’s Cranes Beach and Castle Hill, Rockport’s Halibut Point and Saugus Iron Works. 978-740-0444, essexheritage.org.
Pop the popcorn, pour the lemonade, kick back on the couch, and enjoy a movie marathon of flicks filmed on the North Shore. Watch The Perfect Storm, Mermaids, Hocus Pocus, The Love Letter, Witches of Eastwick, or The Crucible. Available at Netflix.com and video stores everywhere.
Go Fly a Kite
Looking to catch some rays and some serious air at the same time? Then grab your suit and head up to Newburyport for a day of kiteboarding lessons with some of the area’s top instructors. They’ll show you the ropes and teach you the best way to rip it up like the pros. Soon, you’ll be getting some major hangtime as well as some top bragging rights wth your friends. Visit Powerline Sports in Newburyport to learn about the joys and challenges of kiteboarding at powerlinesports.com.