Whether you know it at the birthplace of the American Navy, the yachting capital of America or discovering it for the first time, Marblehead, MA is a picturesque, intriguing and vibrant town. It’s rich history, bound in liberty, individualism, the adventures of fishermen and unyielding patriots make it a distinctive place. Today, it’s beautiful shores, lively history, and New England appeal continues to pull people from far and wide. If you are visiting Marblehead this fall, here are 5 activities that can make your visit an exciting and worthwhile one.
1. Visit the Marblehead Museum
Situated downtown in Marblehead’s historic district, the museum comprises of three properties, that includes the J.O.J. Frost Gallery, the Jeremiah Lee Mansion and the Civil War & Grand Army of the Republic(GAR) Museum. Here, Marblehead’s local and national history are not only preserved but interpreted and you can learn about the town’s fascinating history.
- The Lee Mansion is an exquisite Georgian home that was built in 1768 by Jeremiah Lee, the wealthiest ship owner and merchant in Colonial Massachusetts. Expect a mansion that is preserved in a nearly original state, with decorative elements like rare 18th century English hand-painted wallpapers, 18th and 19th art pieces, silver mirrors, clocks and an outstanding collection of early American furniture.
- J.O.J. Frost Gallery showcases the collection of John Orne Johnson Frost’s artwork and sculpture. Frost’s post-Civil War boyhood memories of the town and experiences fishing schooners aboard on the Grand Banks are the inspiration behind his work, which he began when he was 70.
- The Civil War & G.A.R. Museum showcases a the town’s Civil War history with displays of period photographs, uniforms and weapons.
2. Fall Foliage Tour
The fall season brings vibrant, warm colors to Marblehead, and it can be a mesmerizing view. The wooded area of the wildlife sanctuary has walking trails to take in the beautiful colors of fall. The historic Old Town cemetery can provide visitors with a panoramic view of Marblehead and a hilltop view of the harbor in the fall. It’s also possible to see the leaves change at Redd’s Pond, famous for model sailboat regattas, is where you can see the leaves change color this time of year. The fall foliage in Morehead can treat memorable sights.
3. Venture into the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated in the center of the “Neck” or Marblehead Peninsula that extends into the Massachusetts Bay, this wildlife 18 acres of picturesque beauty and is a fine combination of woodlands, thickets and swamps. If you are a birder, you’ll appreciate the fall migration of warblers, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and Sandhill Crane for example.
4. Light Your Way with the Marblehead Lighthouse/Station
Right in Chandler Hovey Park is the Marblehead Lighthouse, which was originally built in 1835 and stood at only twenty-three feet, but was rebuilt in 1896 and now stands at 130 feet above sea level. While the park grounds are open year-round, the lighthouse is only open through special arrangement beforehand. This pyramidal skeletal lighthouse is one of only 14 surviving in the U.S.
5. Fort Sewall
Fort Sewall has its origin as an armed U.S fortification that was used to defend against British invaders. It was built in the 1600s and updated in the 1700s and has its bunkers and underground rooms intact. Today, the fort is a tranquil park that offers incredible views of Marblehead Harbor. It’s the ideal spot for picnics or a family outing with kids.
Marblehead is a spectacular town for more reasons than one. It’s history, natural beauty, exquisite shoreline, and quaint feel makes it a distinct place. Here you can enjoy amazing experiences and forge memories that will last a lifetime.