The North Shore’s natural environment is clearly dominated by its relation to the sea that surrounds it. A ride along Route 127 or Route 1A—the Essex County Scenic Byway—will take you past sandy beaches, to rocky outcrops to the serene beauty of the salt marshes that have claimed victory over man’s desire to build everywhere.
But for those who live here, there are natural attractions just as well loved. Rolling hills and farms, woods, fresh water ponds reminiscent in June of Monet’s water lilies. Rockport’s quarries, now filled with water, yielded the granite for local piers, NYC cobblestones, and innumerable impressive business facades. Woods, now preserved as state parks or by protective covenants. This is a special landscape, painted by artists from Winslow Homer and Fitz Henry Lane, maintained by contemporary societies and treasured by those who live here.