Manchester-by-the-Sea, or simply Manchester, is an old fishing town located on Cape Ann, which is part of Massachusetts's North Shore. A popular summer destination due to its 12-mile coastline, Manchester is well known for having beautiful waterfront properties. The town is bordered by Beverly, Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, and Gloucester.
About 30 miles north of Boston, Manchester can be directly accessed by road or by the MBTA Commuter Rail. Boston residents also take advantage of the proximity in summer and visit the town to enjoy Singing Beach. Two main highways run through Manchester, Route 128 and scenic Route 127, which has views of the coast, farmland, luxurious= homes, and roadside attractions.
Residents enjoy a quiet, year-round community and seasonal visitors take advantage of a relaxing setting with water views.
Manchester Parks & Beaches
Although Manchester is a top summer destination, many of the town's outdoor destinations provide year-round fun. From hiking and strolling around downtown, to water activities such as boating and fishing, there is much to enjoy in Manchester. Some recreation locations include:
- Singing Beach - This popular beach gets its name from the sand, which squeaks when walked on. This historic beach is about a half mile wide and is close to the Manchester train station.
- Coolidge Reservation - Located on Coolidge Point, Coolidge Reservation is great for all-season hiking and views. It is home to Ocean Lawn, Bungalow Hill (the highest point on the reservation), Clarke Pond, and part of Magnolia's Gray Beach.
- Tuck's Point - Perfect for family gatherings, leisurely walks, beautiful views of the water, and more. Here you will find a gazebo, playground, lawn with picnic space, and a beach.
Manchester's downtown is dominated by locally owned shops as well as unique cafés and restaurants. With narrow streets and preserved historical buildings, downtown is a charming area for a stroll.
Check out some of Manchester's best places to eat:
- Calas - Homestyle food in a casual setting with a great bar.
- 7 Central - "New England-style dining and entertainment."
- Foreign Affairs - An upscale bistro serving fresh American dishes.
- Beach Street Cafe - A downtown café perfect for breakfast and lunch.
- Captain Dusty's - A great spot for homemade ice cream and a walk along the harbor.
- Super Fine - Delicious, high quality, farm to table dining.
- Black Arrow - An intimate setting with creative comfort food.
- Essen - Downtown coffee and sandwich shop perfect for a beach day snack.
Check out some of Manchester's best places to shop:
- The Grove - Both a café and a boutique! Find home goods, accessories, and more.
- Surfari - For stand-up paddleboard rentals and lessons, as well as outdoor clothing.
- North Coast Too! - One-of-a-kind clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
- Mariposa - Selling handmade gifts for any occasion.
- Mimi- Distinctive gifts, jewelry, and fine art for you and your home.
- MAHRI- Handmade jewelry, stunning gifts and unique clothing.
Manchester students can attend public schools that also serve the neighboring town of Essex. The public elementary school is Manchester Memorial Elementary School and the middle school is Manchester Essex Middle School. There is also the private option of Brookwood School, an independently run school for Pre-K through 8th grade. The public high school is Manchester Essex High School. It has been recognized as one of the best schools North of Boston, as well as among the best in the state.
Living in Manchester
Manchester has many beautiful homes with scenic views of the ocean. Discover what is currently on the market:
Contact us if you have questions or would like to learn more about Manchester real estate.