Getting to the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway from Boston, MA

May 12, 2022

Are you traveling to Boston? If you’re looking for a New England coastal adventure, look no further than the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway on the North Shore of Massachusetts!

What Is The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway?

The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway is a 90-mile roadway that links 14 coastal communities in Massachusetts. The roadway starts in Lynn, Massachusetts, and ends in Salisbury (or vice-versa). 

Along the Coastal Byway, travelers are treated to many great things to do and adventures to take on – there’s never a dull moment! 

Whether you’re taking in scenic vistas, walking coastal trails, munching savory seafood, or relaxing on one of the many sandy beaches, there’s so much to see and explore.

The Coastal Byway is never too far for those on the east coast of Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire, especially those in Boston. So when you’re visiting New England and want a real taste of the coastal life, attractions, and sights, the Byway is your best bet!

Driving To The Coastal Byway From Boston, MA (Logan Airport)

For the sake of simplicity, let’s start our journey from Logan Airport. To start right at the beginning of the Byway, let’s head to Lynn, Massachusetts. For the most part, you’ll be taking MA-1A to Lynn. 

As you enter Revere, MA, there is a rotary that provides you with an interesting choice. If you continue on MA-1A, you’ll drive through Revere Beach right into Lynn Beach. If you exit the rotary towards MA-107, you’ll head through the Rumney Marsh Reservation in Lynn, also near Lynn Beach.

So, you’ll have a scenic drive before you even enter the Byway! From there, you can follow the Byway through each of the 14 communities ending in Salisbury. Oh, look, here’s a nifty map that takes you through the entire Coastal Byway!

Taking The “T” To The Coastal Byway – MBTA Directions

Don’t feel like driving? The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) has a few great stops on the Coastal Byway for your to explore. Below, you’ll find a few stops in popular locations, ensuring that you have something fun to do right off the train!

Conveniently, most of the Coastal Byway can be seen right from the Newburyport/Rockport line starting at North Station in Boston.

Lynn Station

walking path along the beach Lynn, MA

Our first stop is in Lynn, Massachusetts. The train brings you right outside of the North Shore Community College Lynn Campus. Lynn Station to Lynn Beach is about a 15-minute walk. You can also explore Nahant Beach, Long Beach, and Red Rock Park nearby.

Swampscott Station

Our next stop is Swampscott Station. A 20-minute walk brings you to Fishermans Beach. Along the way, you can also stop at various restaurants, shops, and convenience stores. A bit further down the coast and you’ll also find Eisman’s Beach. 

Salem Station

Historic house on the water in Salem, MA

A little bit further up the line and you will arrive in Salem, Massachusetts. The Salem MBTA station is your gateway to almost everything that Salem has to offer! This includes witch museums, walking tours, Essex Street, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, restaurants, local shopping, and so much more. Best of all, all of this is almost immediately off the train.

Traveling The Beverly Stations

Stopping or passing through Beverly can be tricky – so be sure to pay attention! The first stop in Beverly is simply called Beverly right after the Veterans Memorial Bridge. From there, depending on which train you’re on, the line continues north towards Hamilton or heads out toward Rockport.

The stations in Beverly heading towards Rockport are Montserrat and Beverly Farms. These stops travel closest to the Coastal Byway through Gloucester and Rockport. 

If you instead choose to continue northbound towards Newburyport, you’ll head through the North Beverly and Hamilton/Wenham stations and rejoin the Byway at the Ipswich station.

NOTE: Currently, all stops on the Rockport line after the Beverly Station are accommodated by buses. Please visit the MBTA official website for updates and bus schedules.

Rockport Line

Manchester Station

Sunset on singing beach in manchester-by-the-sea

The Manchester Station in Manchester-by-the-Sea drops you off right next to Masconomo Park. You’ll also be within a few minutes walking of the Manchester Historical Museum, Manchester-by-the-Sea town hall, and surrounding restaurants and shops. And you’re also only a 20-minute walk from the beautiful Singing Beach!

Gloucester Station

After the Manchester Station, the rail continues through W. Gloucester and into the Gloucester Station. Here, you are plopped right in the middle of Gloucester. Many of Gloucester’s seaside restaurants and shops are only a 15 to 25-minute walk from the station. However, you might want to consider grabbing a rideshare for some of the more “natural” sights, such as Good Harbor Beach.

Rockport Station

Motif #1 In Rockport, MA

The last stop on the Rockport Line is, of course, Rockport Station. This station drops you only a 10-minute walk from Front Beach and a 20-minute walk from Motif #1. Yes, this includes all the great restaurants, shops, attractions, museums, and other great things to do and see in between. So there’s plenty nearby to explore!

Newburyport Line

Ipswich Station

The Ipswich Station drops visitors into the middle of downtown Ipswich. From there, you can walk to various shops and restaurants, including dining along the Ipswich River. You will want to get a ride or call rideshare to get you to Ipswich’s more natural sights and attractions, such as Castle Hill on Crane Estate, Crane Beach, and Great Marsh walking trails.

Rowley Station

The Rowley Station is a convenient train stop for residents of Rowley. While the train does bring you very close to the Great Marsh area, you may want to consider another stop for sightseeing. Much of Rowley and surrounding area attractions are a considerable walking distance.

Newburyport Station

Shop front on State Street in Newburyport

Finally, we arrive at the Newburyport Station. This station is closest to the other end of the Coastal Byway in Salisbury. While it can take up to 30 minutes to walk over to the waterfront shops, restaurants, and museums, including the Custom House Maritime Museum, rideshare takes under 10 minutes. However, you can visit a few ice cream stands, cafes, and breweries along the way.

See What Else You Can Do Off The Coastal Byway

Now that you know how to get to the Coastal Byway, it’s time to plan your activities. While we have made a few suggestions above, there’s so much more to explore. To get started, check out our blog, “Top 10 Things To Do Along The Coastal Byway.”

Happy Exploring!