America's Scenic Byways

Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

85 miles - 4-5 hours

Travelers along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway experience the best of coastal New England - rocky shorelines, the Great Marsh, working seaports, vibrant cities, quaint villages, colonial era farms, and a wealth of period architecture ranging from First Period houses to Gilded-Age mansions.

The 85-mile coastal byway guides visitors and residents on a journey of discovery though one of the country’s most picturesque and historically significant regions: Boston’s legendary North Shore. The state-designated byway features mile after mile of breathtaking vistas, working harbors, quaint villages, world-class art and culture, and distinctive local food, lodging, shops, and visitor services.

Recreational adventures such as hiking, biking, paddling, and swimming abound at the byway’s numerous parks, trails, conserved open spaces, waterways and beaches. Visitor centers in Lynn, Marblehead, Salem, Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich, Newburyport, and Salisbury (on I-95) help the byway traveler discover the region’s rich history and culture by car, train, boat, bicycle, or foot.

The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway lies entirely within the Essex National Heritage Area (Essex County) in northeastern Massachusetts. Created by the U.S. Congress as a heritage partnership park of the National Park Service, the Area’s extensive historic, cultural and natural resources tell the story the region played in the nation’s early settlement, maritime trade, and industrialization.