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"Thank you for a fabulous tour! You did it all just right and the entire family loved this vacation. The kids still talk about jumping off the bridge at high tide and riding down the river and we still talk about sitting in our Adirondack chairs, watching the sun go down over the harbor and the stars come out. We loved being active by day and utterly relaxed by night. Thanks for taking good care of us so we could relax in a way that we hadn't in a long time. Well done!"
Maritime New England: MA Bike Tours: Itinerary
Boston’s North Shore Bike, Hike, and Kayak Adventure Trip
Day 1 Meet in Ipswich for a welcome lunch and bike fitting. Bike past salt-hay farms and seventeenth-century houses to Newburyport to explore this seaport’s wealth of history and charm. Walk the waterfront boardwalk and visit the unique shops and galleries. Tonight we set sail by catamaran with on-board bar to watch the sunset. Enjoy dinner together at one of Newburyport’s fine restaurants.
Day 2 Bike to Joppa Flats looking out for herons, egrets and possibly, a bald eagle. Continue to Plum Island and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge of over 4,600 acres of pristine and diverse coastal habitat. The 3,000 plus acres of salt marsh is one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. View the sanctuary from atop a fire tower and follow the boardwalks through marshland and sand dunes listening for songbirds and watching for shorebirds. You are sure to feel the cares of the world wash away in this tranquil place. Visit the Plum Island Light then perhaps relax on one of the gorgeous beaches. Bike inland past old stonewalls and idyllic ponds. Upon return to Newburyport, explore more of the myriad sights and shops. Dinner is on your own with many excellent options a walk away.
Day 3 This morning, bike through colonial towns and heritage farmland en route to Salem, a uniquely historical city as both a center of witch hysteria in 1692 and a major China trade seaport a century later. There you are free to explore this exciting town as you choose. No matter what your interests are, whether it’s witch trials, colonial architecture, historic sights, museums, maritime history, art, antiques, shopping, or lazing on the beach, you can do it here. This afternoon, cycle to historic Ipswich, one of the oldest towns in America and our home for the next two nights. Dinner is at one of Ipswich’s excellent restaurants.
Day 4 Prepare yourself for a day of sensory feasts. Cycle out to the gorgeous views on Little Neck and Plum Island Sound followed by a ride past orchards, farm stands and salt marsh, then out to Castle Neck. There you will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful vistas on the New England coast. Explore the Crane Estate with its dazzling mansion, Italianate gardens, and manicured grounds with panoramic ocean views. This saltwater farm turned country estate is now a National Historic Landmark. Continue to Crane Beach to hike trails through barrier island dunes and pitch pine forests, emerging onto the spectacular beach. Walk along the ocean’s edge listening to the surf and watching for threatened piping plovers. If you like, take a dip! If we can tear ourselves away, our kayak adventure awaits and we’ll explore waterside now. Paddle the estuaries of the Essex River Basin finding shorebirds, waterfowl and grasses in iridescent shades of green and gold. Back in Ipswich, you can take a walking tour to visit some of the architectural gems including numerous first period homes, or visit the shops and galleries. For dinner, enjoy a lobster bake prepared by our host with lobsters pulled fresh from his own traps. Bon Appetite!
Day 5 Pedal first to Manchester-by-the-Sea, a quintessential New England coastal town, visit beautiful Singing Beach, then spin along the coast to Magnolia. Cross the drawbridge to Gloucester and see the famous Fisherman’s Memorial. Spend a little time in this hardworking seaport and if you like, visit the seafood display auction where the fresh catch is brokered and sold. Gloucester’s working waterfront, the nation’s oldest, is still a highly productive fishing port. Numerous shops and delicious restaurants and cafés await to refuel us on our journey. Next, pedal out to quaint Rocky Neck to see America’s oldest art colony, then spin along dramatic rocky coastline perfumed by salt spray and roses. Bike past wide beaches hiding sand dollars and glimpse views of distant lighthouses. At day’s end, arrive in enchanting Rockport, a place known for luminous light and a picturesque harbor that attracts artists, photographers and filmmakers from around the world. Explore this magical town, then relax in the oceanview pool or on the wide veranda of our luxurious waterfront inn. Tonight, enjoy dinner in Rockport.
Day 6 Continue to loop around Cape Ann, stopping to hike at Halibut Point, a rocky headland with panoramic views of three states. Cycle through a quaint hamlet where life follows the tides as it has for centuries. A visit to the North Shore would not be complete without sampling the succulent fried clams for which this region is famous. We’ll stop at a famous clam shack, one considered “an American cult classic,” where you can sample the clams and much more. If you like, visit the intriguing Essex Shipbuilding Museum or check out some of the shops in this antiquing mecca. By the time we return to Ipswich to complete our journey, you’ll have experienced much of the cultural and natural diversity of this remarkable region, but we suspect you’ll want to return for more. Most people do.
For another bike, hike, and kayak adventure trip, see our Block Island, RI tour and attractions.
For a similar adventure trip which combines natural beauty, cultural interest and adventure, see our adventure travel in New York’s Hudson Valley.
For another trip in Massachusetts, please take a look at the Islands and Seacoast Cycle Tour on the southern MA coast, Martha's Vineyard and Rhode Island too.
Dates and Prices:
For the adventure trip details, dates and prices, please view the MA bicycling trip details page.
Questions? Please contact us and we'll be happy to help.
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