Manchester By The Sea

The home of Singing Beach has much to offer if you are curious enough to look

TOWN: Manchester By The Sea
WHAT:Home of Singing Beach
WHY:Gorgeous harbor, elegant neighborhoods, quaint village, woodsy walks

Nestled comfortably on Cape Ann’s south-facing coast, Manchester is located between suburban Beverly and boisterous Gloucester

Manchester By The Sea is a small North Shore town and one of four towns that comprise Cape Ann. When you visit you'll find seaside neighborhoods of magnificent mansions. Walking through them is an unforgettable experience. 

Manchester’s tidy downtown area is located at the head of its picturesque harbor and includes a number of good restaurants, a fine used bookstore, a bicycle shop, and several nice gift, clothing and antique businesses.

The village's Trask House houses the Manchester-by-the-Sea Museum. Here you'll find a number of intriguing exhibits, and guide pamphlets that will tell you the story of the town's history house-by-house as you stroll down nearby streets. 

The harbor is long and narrow – it was once a tidal flat and is now regularly dredged. It is home to working lobster boats and many pleasure boats. For the best views, seek out Masconomo Park at the head of the harbor, and Tucks Point, which features's the town's famous red-domed Rotunda. Two marinas lie side-by-side at the head of the harbor, and the boat ramp behind Manchester's Town Hall stays busy all summer long as boaters launch and pull their watercraft, kayakers and paddle-boarders included.

For most visitors to Manchester, Singing Beach is top of mind. Maybe it’s the unusual name or the unusually easy access that makes it a popular summertime destination. The half-mile stretch of beach fronts several seaside estates which sit regally atop the beach’s substantial rip-rap seawall. 

The Manchester Essex Conservation Trust serves as steward to 1,500 acres of woodlands and trails in both communities. You can access woodlands trail maps here.

There is a lot to explore in this compact town of roughly 5,000 residents, and it rewards a closer look if you’re willing to get off the beaten path.

Fun fact about Manchester By The Sea: The ‘By The Sea’ suffix was officially added to Manchester's town name in 1989. Those who find the suffix pretentious pronounce it facetiously, with a lock-jawed, tight-lipped drawl.