Essex National Heritage Area

Activities & Programs

Indoor Activities

Wenham Museum
The Wenham Museum is a family attraction appealing to all ages. Highlights of a Museum visit include a world-famous doll and toy collection, a model train room with six operating layouts of twelve trains in various gauges, a costume & textile gallery, a children’s interactive Family Discovery Gallery and the Claflin-Richards House with three centuries of architecture, furnishings and artifacts. Visitors may also enjoy a full schedule of education programs and special events for adults, children and families, and a charming Museum Shop. The Evening Lecture Series covers many aspects of our local culture.
Directions and hours for the Wenham Museum

Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitor Center
Exhibits at the Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitor Center hearken back to an earlier Lawrence. Walk a city plan woven into a carpet and look into the windows of mill and boardinghouse models. These six-foot replicas reveal another era's industrial technology and the way of life it crated. Visit a turn-of-the-century kitchen, complete with antique stove and sink, and experience for a moment the home life of mill workers. A city-planning game, a map tracing the routes of more than 30 immigrant groups to Lawrence, and actual machinery from the early years of textile production make it clear how the Industrial Revolution transformed American life. A video presentation of the Great Strike of 1912 tells the story of nearly 30,000 workers and the dramatic events that catapulted Lawrence to center stage in the nation's labor struggles.
Visitor information for Lawrence Heritage State Park.

From world-class to intimate, ENHC museums offer a wide variety of arts experiences to visitors. See what Salem traders brought back from Asia, learn about the courageous work of both Gloucester's sailors and early feminists, experience life in an early factory's boarding house.

Outdoor Activities


Crane Beach
Miles of white sand, Crane Beach in Ipswich Massachusetts is a miles long, beautiful and popular swimming beach. Parking, restrooms, picnic tables, outside showers and refreshments are available.

Salisbury Beach State Reservation
3.8 miles of sandy beach along the Atlantic Ocean, Salisbury Beach State Reservation in Salisbury Massachusetts offers swimming, boating, fishing and camping. It is one of the state's most popular ocean beaches.

Out on the Water

From its navigable rivers running into the Atlantic ocean from Boston to New Hampshire, the ENHA provides a variety of opportunites to enjoy sailing, boating, kayaking and canoeing.

Biking and Hiking

With its gently rolling hills and acres upon acres of preserved trails, forests and wildlife reserves, the ENHA provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, from mountain biking races to quiet strolls.