top of page

local links

ripple restaurant & bar is located in the heart of the Essex River Cultural District in Essex, Massachusetts. Next door is the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum and there are numerous antique and specialty shops within walking distance. Check out the following local links of things to see and do in Essex and nearby towns:

Discover antique and specialty shops, museums and recreation, plus local services and accommodations in Essex, Massachusetts. Be sure to click on Essex Events to see what's happening around town throughout the year. Stay and Play...Essex Merchants Group welcomes you!

Essex Historical Society & Shipbuilding Museum

April through October, take a guided or self-guided tour to hear the fascinating story of how this small New England village built nearly 4,000 wooden vessels and became recognized worldwide as a major producer of the American Fishing Schooner. By 1849, 15 shipyards produced over 50 vessels a year along the Essex River. Experience living history with hands-on exhibits demonstrating traditional shipbuilding techniques using antique tools. The gift shop offers maritime items, books and more. The museum is adjacent to the restaurant!

Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Essex, MA
Cogswell's Grant folk art museum
Cogswell's Grant

View the celebrated collection of American folk art at this 18th century farmhouse overlooking the Essex River. Formerly the summer home of collectors Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little, the museum offers guided tours of rooms overflowing with folk art portraits, painted furniture, redware, hooked rugs, weathervanes, and decoys. It is one of the only places where you can visit such a collection in the home for which it was assembled. A Historic New England property, open June – October.

Historic Essex Walking Tour

Step back in time to 16 historic sites on a self-guided tour with a brochure and map to guide you. Each interpretive sign highlights the town’s history. Learn how 300+ years of shipbuilding produced close to 4,000 wooden vessels; find a 1797 Paul Revere bell; discover the birthplace of the fried clam; learn about the grave robberies of 1818; gain insight into how Essex became known as “America’s Antiques Capital”; and other interesting stories.

Historic Essex Walking Tour
Essex River Cruises & Charters
Essex River Cruises & Charters

Step aboard the Essex River Queen for a sightseeing cruise and hear Essex’s incredible history of shipbuilding, farming and clamming.  See locations of several Hollywood movie sets. Discover barrier beaches, sand dunes and Cape Ann’s wildlife while cruising the salt marsh and protected bay. Public cruises run from Mother's Day weekend in May through the third weekend in October. Private charters are also available for tidal beach clambakes and BBQ's, company outings and celebrations.

Cape Ann Golf Club​

Try your swing at one of the most scenic nine holes you can play anywhere and the only public golf course on Cape Ann. The Fourth fairway overlooking the tidal marshes of the Essex River provides one of the most beautiful views of any golf hole in New England. Visit The Club House for golfing equipment and supplies including a large selection of Footjoy and Titleist products, and Cape Ann Golf Club logo apparel. Open year round, weather permitting.

Cape Ann SUP - Stand Up Paddleboard
Cape Ann SUP
(Stand Up Paddleboards)

No matter what your paddleboard needs are, Cape Ann SUP has you covered: rentals, tours, lessons, SUPYoga and kids camps. Stop in the  Board Barn, a shop stocked with paddle-specific inventory sprinkled with a couple of not-so-ordinary items that tie into Cape Ann history. Every single item is thoughtfully selected and tested by Cape Ann SUP. Lesson and tour times are based around the tides and subject to wind/weather conditions to make sure every paddler has the best possible experience.

Russell Orchards

A beloved family farm on the way to Crane Beach, Russell Orchards in Ipswich is made up of 120 acres of fruit trees, berries, vegetables, fields, and animal barns. The farm store with full scratch bakery and winery are housed in a soaring 1800's barn. Visit Big Boy the Pig, and other farm animals while waiting for the hayride to the Pick-Your-Own orchards in June through October. At harvest time, taste Russell’s famous cider donuts and watch apples being pressed into cider. Sample over 20 varieties of fruit wines and hard ciders too.

Russell Orchards, Ipswich, MA
Wolf Hollow Ipswich, MA
Wolf Hollow

Experience a unique opportunity to view gray wolves in their natural environment. See how they interact with their pack members and live in a social unit very similar to human families. Learn about the wolves’ role in nature, their history with man, and the fight to preserve their species in the wild, while observing the wolves and their pack-mates at close range.

Crane Beach

Enjoy the Northeast’s most spectacular beach and follow trails and boardwalks through a landscape of sand dunes and salt marsh. Crane Beach is one of the finest beaches and outdoor recreation destinations on the East Coast. With its clean, inviting water, miles of shoreline, and mesmerizing views, Crane Beach has been a favorite with the ocean-loving public for generations.

Crane Beach, Ipswich MA
bottom of page