Plan your Escape to the North Shore - One Day is Not Enough! Inns of Rockport, MA

North of Boston/Merrimack Valley are home to nature and science centers

Stone Zoo Alligator Stoneham MA
Stone Zoo

149 Pond Street Stoneham, MA, 02180 Phone: 617-541-5466

Discover animal wonders from around the world

Here’s a fun and educational day out. Located on 26 acres near the Spot Pond reservoir, discover Greater Boston’s only white-cheeked gibbon exhibit, home to monkeys, lynxes, snow leopards, Mexican gray wolves, river otters, and the mysterious capybara. Windows to the Wild offers a large free-flight aviary while Treasures of the Sierra Madre features jaguars, cougars, falcon and coati. The zoo runs a program to breed endangered species, is itself run by Zoo New England, and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island

Visitor Center, 6 Plum Island Tpk. Newburyport, MA Phone: 508-465-5753

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge provides feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds. Located on the barrier beach of Plum Island, the refuge is comprised of more than 4,700 acres of sandy beach and dune, cranberry bog, maritime forest and shrub land, and freshwater marsh.
Visitors can drive the 6.5 mile long Wildlife Drive and view a variety of habitats including salt marsh, dune, and maritime forest. The Hellcat Interpretive Trail boardwalk includes both a marsh and dune loop. A number of other boardwalks provide access to the refuge’s ocean beach. Note: beaches are closed April 1 through late summer to protect piping plovers). The refuge visitor center has exhibits, an auditorium with an introductory video about the refuge, and a gift shop. Refuge map.
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Weir Hill Road Sudbury, MA Phone: 978-443-4661

At this sanctuary, visitors can enjoy nine miles of hiking trails, in addition to lectures and other programs in a renovated horse barn.
Bearskin Neck

Off Dock Street Rockport, MA Phone:

Scenic shoreline wonder. No admission charge.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Perkins Row Topsfield, MA Phone: 508-887-9264

10 miles of trails and an observation tower are set in this natural preserve.
Halibut Point State Park

Gott Avenue Rockport, MA Phone: 508-546-2997

Sea views; bird watching; good for walking and picnics

Beautiful property above the Atlanic and Ipswich Bay. Enjoy watching shore birds and exploring wildflower areas. This was formerly a granite-quarrying area. On summer weekends, tours of the quarry are offered; these include a demonstration of granite cutting. There are wildflower walks and tide pool education programs in the summer and bird observation tours in the winter.
See full description Halibut Point State Park.
Robert S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology

Phillips Academy, Phillips and Main Streets Andover, MA Phone: 508-364-4201

Exhibits focus on prehistoric archaeology and anthropology.
Sandy Point State Reservation

Parker River Wildlife Refuge, Refuge Road Ipswich, MA Phone: 508-462-4481

Beautiful barrier island and ocean beach for walking, birdwatching

This barrier island and ocean beach at the end of Sandy Point are a beautiful place for walking and observing nature, particularly the aquatic bird life. The piping plover and least tern make their home and nest here. Visitors must enter through the adjacent Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Parking lots are available. Pedestrians may enter the beach but muse avoid fenced areas to protect birds and dunes. Open sunrise to sunset.
Wolf Hollow

98 Essex Road Ipswich, MA Phone: 508-356-0216

Nature center focusing on the American gray wolf, its role in the ecosystem and the environment around it. There is an admission charge.
Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Route 117, South Great Road Lincoln, MA Phone: 617-259-9807

Visitors to this nature preserve will enjoy hiking trails, live farm animals and hayrides. During the winter season sleighrides are offered.