Essex, MA

Incorporated in 1819, the town of Essex, Massachusetts was a major shipbuilding center from the 1600s into the twentieth century.

In 1852, there were 15 shipyards on the river, and one in every 28 vessels sailing under the American flag had been built there. The town features marsh views, winding tidal creeks and some of the best clam flats in the world. Take a guided boat tour along the river banks or launch a kayak or paddle board to explore.

Essex has a wonderful array of places to eat featuring local, award-winning seafood. The fried clam was invented here by Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman at Woodman’s of Essex. Travel down Main Street, through the Essex Cultural District, and immerse yourself in the rich shipbuilding heritage, folk art at Cogswell’s Grant, and find a treasure at the many antiques shops.