Merrimack Valley Itinerary

17C Sat June 08 Parson Barnard NAndover 03Formerly the hub of industrial activity in the area, the Merrimack Valley has become the newest mecca for creative talents and artists as former mill buildings and factories are transformed into lofts and gallery spaces. Antique and gift shops make the historic Wingate Street District of Haverhill a destination, where you’ll also want to visit the Whittier Homestead. This historic home of the abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier is hosting special events throughout 2007 to celebrate his bicentennial. In nearby Methuen, you’ll find The Loop, just off Pleasant Street, is an exciting dining, shopping and entertainment district.

All tastebuds will be satisfied in Lawrence, whose melting pot of ethnic cuisines is sure to gratify. Leave time in your schedule for outlet shopping at retailers including New Balance and Ralph Lauren. Take in a performance at Acting Out Theater Company or visit the numerous festivals celebrating the city’s many immigrant cultures as well as honoring Lawrence’s place in literary history as the childhood home of Robert Frost. Follow the canal to the Lawrence Heritage State Park to see historic textile mills and learn the story of the many immigrants who shaped not only Lawrence, but also our nation’s labor laws with the “Bread and Roses” strike of 1912.

Discover charming New England suburban towns, complete with white clapboard houses and acres of protected conservation land in West Newbury, Merrimac, Boxford, Groveland, and Georgetown. Stop to hike in North Andover’s Harold Parker State Forest, and rub elbows with some of our country’s future leaders at Andover’s prestigious Phillips Academy and at the campus’s Addison Gallery of American Art.

This portion of the region is conveniently situated on major highway routes including 495 and 93, so visiting for a day or just for dinner is a breeze.