Marblehead harbor

Marblehead, MA: One of My Favorite New England Seaside Towns

Do you want to escape to a dreamy, seaswept town this summer? Look no further. Marblehead, MA, will do the trick.

Recently, my husband and I decided to take a day trip and headed up the coast from Boston. We stopped at various charming towns along the way to check out the town centers and harbors. But Marblehead was the town that won us over.

“A coastal community of 19,808 residents located just 18 miles north of Boston, Marblehead, Massachusetts, is famous for its unsurpassed contributions to the American Revolution and Civil War. Today, the quaint narrow streets and historic 17th and 18th-century buildings mirror Marblehead as it existed since its founding in 1629, providing a rare glimpse into the past.” –

The combination of a quaint, historical town paired with a vast, sweeping harbor is something to behold. Take a look here to discover more of what makes Marblehead so unique:

Marblehead historical home

Historical house in Marblehead

1. Marblehead’s historic homes make you feel you’re back in time.

The town center of Marblehead has an almost Nantucket feel, with winding streets and perfectly maintained historic homes.

Walking through town, the vibrant colors struck me. Everything goes – from chartreuse to bright red, and from navy blue to canary yellow. The colorful scene adds even more whimsy and beauty to the town’s look.

The district includes 988 buildings and features Georgian, Federal, Queen Anne, and other styles of architecture. In addition, the area was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

The town includes some buildings dating back to the 1600s and about 200 houses in total that were built before the American Revolution.

Marblehead whisks you back in time, with picture-perfect views at every turn.

Historical town of Marblehead

The town center of Marblehead, MA, is charming and delightful.

Marblehead, MA, has a highly walkable town with art galleries and studios, home furnishings stores, clothing boutiques, specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants to spare. We had lunch at The Landing, and I would make the trip back to Marblehead for the lightly breaded fish and chips alone.

Learn more about Marblehead’s shopping and walking district here.Marblehead lighthouse

The lighthouse is unique.

Marblehead, MA, has such an interesting lighthouse. According to Essex National Heritage Area:

“Marblehead Light Station is one of about 14 examples of pyramidal skeletal lighthouses surviving in the United States today, as well as the only one of its kind still standing in New England. The 105-foot tall, cast-iron structure with a central tower cylinder was built in 1896, although Marblehead Light Station was first established in 1835.”

So, when you visit, be sure to stop by and look at this unique structure.

Marblehead harbor

A view of Marblehead harbor

The harbor is bustling.

Immediately upon arriving, you notice this is a sailing and boating town, and the harbor takes center stage. Marblehead Harbor is lively, colorful, and filled with sailboats of all different shapes and sizes. Also, a massive yacht club looks like a vibrant gathering place for local members.

In addition, “An annual race between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Marblehead, which began in 1905, continues today. And the yearly mid-summer Marblehead Race Week competition, which dates back to 1889, still attracts yachtsmen from around the world.” –

It would be so fun to try to visit Marblehead during the week of the race. I can only imagine how the harbor will look and feel then!

Castlerock at Marblehead

A view of Castlerock in Marblehead

Castlerock is the crown jewel of Marblehead.

“This 1.20-acre park, located off Ocean Avenue on Marblehead Neck, gets its name from the castle-like private home next to the park. Once known as “Great Head,” Castle Rock was a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets and pirate and enemy ships, both British and France.” – according to

Driving through side streets, we stumbled upon Castlerock. First, we parked and walked down a path to thoroughly view the area. Then we noticed the rock – which is massive and offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Soon after, we found a bench to sit, relax, and take in the dramatic scene. There were others in the area reading, sitting quietly, and enjoying the peaceful energy. This park is a treasure.

So, if you visit Marblehead, MA, be sure to stop and take a look at Castlerock.

A view of the path to Preston Beach in Marblehead

The top of Preston Beach

The beaches offer unique vistas and are a place the community gathers.

“Marblehead’s premier beach, Devereux Beach’s 5.48 acres of waterfront, offers a refreshing swim in the Atlantic Ocean, pavilions, benches, picnic tables, restroom facilities, restaurants, and parking.” – 

We spent the afternoon at Devereux Beach, and it was lovely. People of all ages were there enjoying a day in the sun. I appreciated the “town” feel of the beach.

But my preferred beach resting just along the edge of Marblehead (technically in Swampscott) is Preston Beach. There’s a winding path leading down from the road. There are sculptures at the top of the beach and a steep staircase down to the water. What struck me about this beach was its spiritual feel.

So, if you’re in the Boston area and are looking for a one-of-a-kind, unique day trip, look no further! You won’t be disappointed! Head north and spend the day in Marblehead, MA!


Did you enjoy this post? Share it with someone who’d enjoy it today.

(This story was originally published on July 22, 2021, and has been updated for thoroughness.)

PS: Are you interested in learning more about New England flowers? See images from Cohasset, MA, paired with quotes here.

Click here for a list of 15 romantic small towns to visit.

And are you moving to a new town? Look here for eight steps to getting settled right away.



7 replies
  1. Cheryl Bowers
    Cheryl Bowers says:

    Theirs look beautiful if i win I have someone in mind that I would set on their doorstep just to brighten the day for her, she just had a horrid loss

  2. Michael
    Michael says:

    Great article, but the beach on the Swampscott line is Preston Beach….not Prescott. I grew up on Preston Beach and the rocks that jut out into the ocean.

    • Tricia Rose Stone
      Tricia Rose Stone says:

      Thank you so much for letting me know. I will correct that now! What a beautiful beach. I really loved visiting.

  3. Galaree
    Galaree says:

    This is home. I love this town and especially in the summer time, it’s what we wait all year for. Boats. Water. Friends. And fun. Thank you for showcasing marblehead and all its beauty.


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