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The 10 Most Memorable Things To Do on the Massachusetts North Shore

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Sail Out of Gloucester Aboard a 65-foot Schooner
Gloucester Massachusetts Schooner Tour Aboard the Thomas E. Lannon

Tour Gloucester Harbor aboard the schooner Thomas E. Lannon.

© 2007 Kim Knox Beckius
The Massachusetts North Shore is a New England coastal region that holds many surprises for visitors--all within an hour of Boston. My family and I spent a week on the North Shore in June of 2007 at a rented beach house on Plum Island. It was a perfect home base from which to explore North Shore towns: Marblehead, Salem, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Newburyport and Salisbury.

It was a working vacation for me (I was writing a book on the New England coast), but it was also tremendous fun. In fact, when we got on the Mass Pike to head home, my four-year-old tearfully begged her father to turn the car around!

Here's a quick look at the most memorable adventures from our week on the Boston North Shore, along with tips on planning your own Massachusetts North Shore vacation.

A Relaxing Sail Aboard the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon

My husband and daughter helped to hoist the sails, but our cruise around Gloucester Harbor aboard the Thomas E. Lannon was still one of our most relaxing and enjoyable North Shore outings. The two hours passed quickly as we drifted past lighthouses, lobster boats and other Gloucester landmarks, enjoyed a fellow passenger's impromptu serenade of a couple celebrating an anniversary and listened to our daughter giggle as she played with onboard mascot Lucy the dog.

The 65-foot wooden schooner, a replica fishing boat built in 1997 by owner Tom Ellis, sails from Seven Seas Wharf in Gloucester daily from late June through August and weekends from mid-May through late June and from September through Columbus Day. Call 978-281-6634 for reservations.

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