That tourism and recreation comprise a major industry speaks clearly to the attractions of Boston’s North Shore. Americans and international visitors alike want to see where America began, and we have the historic sites and attractions to show them.

We also have the ocean… and its miles of salt marshes and scenic coastline dotted with quaint towns and historic cities. Our beaches, museums, restaurants and festivals bring day-trippers from Boston and points west. For visitors from Europe or Asia, accustomed to train travel, easy access to the North Shore is a major inducement to explore beyond Boston. Their longer stays and vacation shopping are welcome boosts to our regional economy.

Businesses that cater to visitors, from accommodations to souvenir shops, are prospering and looking forward to the future. So, too, are recreational businesses whose market also includes or focuses on North Shore residents. After all, our North Shore and all of its attractions exist nowhere else. This industry can’t be outsourced.


  • When one counts organizations from hotels and restaurants to whale watching and museums, thousands are employed in tourism and recreation. It is estimated that this cluster has added 2,000 new jobs since 2008, predominantly in accommodation and food service.
  • Nearly 400 restaurants and bars have reported revenues exceeding $250,000
  • A 2014 Essex National Heritage Area report indicates that tourism and recreation generate $153.8 million in economic impact, support 1,832 jobs, and generate $14.3 million in tax revenue…all not including the hundreds of restaurants on the North Shore.
  • Endicott College now offers a degree in Hospitality Management.


  • The Essex Coast Scenic Byway stretches 90 miles from Lynn to Salisbury, linking the scenic views, historic sites and architecture, recreational opportunities of 14 coastal communities.
  • Essex Heritage is working to create a 28-mile Border to Boston bike trail
  • Endicott College now offers programs in both hospitality and hotel management.
  • As many as 100 million Chinese may visit Boston—and many want to visit Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum—as a result of new direct flights to Boston from Hong Kong and Beijing.
  • Essex County boasts nearly 10,000 properties on the National Register of Historic Place; 12 are historic landmarks.


Audubon Society | Cape Ann Museum | Destination Salem | Essex National Heritage | Gloucester Cruiseport | Historic New England | Huse of the Seven Gables | Massachusetts State Parks | North Shore Music Theatre | Peabody Essex Museum | Shalin Liu Performance Center | Wylie Center at Endicott College |and untold restaurants and cafés.