The North Shore, especially Cape Ann, has sometimes been called Boston’s Gold Coast and identified as a pretty dang rich area. It’s been a place where coastal resorts have flourished and also failed. There are plenty of present day mansions (just drive along 127 through Beverly Farms and Manchester by the Sea) and large former summer estates both near the coast (such as the Coolidge Reservation) as well as farther inland.
Our family was proud to celebrate Patriot’s day with a trip to Long Hill and the Sedgwick Gardens in Beverly. This was the summer home of Harpers editor Ellery Sedgewick between 1916 and 1979. Although you can tour the Federal Style house, we came just to enjoy the lovely day and the gardens, as well as catch what may be the final blooms of spring. With the hot weather approaching leaves are springing forth generously every day. We did the “popular 1.2 mile loop trail” and enjoyed rambling through the blossoming orchard at the end of the trail. They have a large sized lot for parking up a long paved driveway, yet we were only one of three cars parked there, so it was pleasantly uncrowded.
The estate is a very functional in addition to beautiful place. It boasts a 2 acre farm for the Food Project, where you can purchase a summer CSA. They also have pick-your-own-flowers in the summer, and for a DIY bride, provide beautiful centerpieces and a wedding bouquet for a very reasonable price.