Essex National Heritage Area


The Essex National Heritage Area is a 550-square mile area between the Atlantic Coast and the Merrimack Valley. It includes the thousands of historic sites and districts that illuminate colonial settlement, the growth and decline of the maritime industries, and the development of the shoe and textile industries. The Area also features historic seaports and New England town commons, industrial mills and pristine beaches, renowned museums and wildlife refuges, working farms and inviting natural trails.




Heading north of Boston, Interstate 93 and state Routes 1 and 1A traverse the length of the ENHA. South from New Hampshire, take Routes 1, 3 and Interstates 93 and 95.

West from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), take Interstates 495 north or Interstate 95/Route 128. From the northwest, take state Route 2.

The Essex National Heritage Commission has placed brown highway signs on all major roads to guide visitors to local sites and visitor centers. They are easy to see and easy to follow!