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Top 10 Things to Do in Marblehead in the Summer

Discover the enchanting coastal town of Marblehead, MA, where visitors can marvel at historic homes, browse unique boutiques, wander through a 17th-century graveyard, savor fresh lobster, and experience so much more. Continue reading to uncover insider tips for an unforgettable summer getaway, brought to you by the innkeepers of Harbor Light Inn!

Crocker Park in Marblehead at Daybreak

Here are our top 10 recommended activities for a perfect summer getaway in Marblehead:

1. Take a Historic Walk

Marblehead is a very walkable town, with over 300 colonial-era homes lining the scenic streets of its downtown area – the most of any town in America. As you stroll through this living museum, discover historic plaques on each house detailing its year of construction, the name of its first owner, and their profession. Innkeeper Tip: Ask us for a walking tour map when you check in!

2. Shop at Local Boutiques

In the downtown historic district, explore an array of charming small shops filled with unique finds. With a focus on supporting small businesses, you won’t find big chain stores here. Don’t miss F.L. Woods, a true Marblehead original that began as a nautical supply store over 75 years ago and has since expanded to American-made clothing.
Historic downtown Marblehead shopping

3. Watch a Regatta

Marblehead Race Week, established in 1889, is a summer highlight taking place during the last full week of July. However, there are numerous regattas throughout the season in the birthplace of the United States Navy. Innkeeper Tip: Pack a picnic from Shubies Marketplace and watch hundreds of sailboats grace the sea from one of the public coastal parks.

4. Enjoy the Marblehead Festival of Arts

Founded in 1962, the Marblehead Festival of Arts produces a premier summer arts festival during the July 4th holiday week. Enjoy a wide range of art exhibits, outdoor music concerts, a street festival, film festival, artisans’ marketplace, and other cultural activities.

5. Savor a Lobster Roll

Indulge in some of the freshest lobster rolls around at either The Barnacle or The Landing, two excellent waterfront dining options in the historic downtown district. Innkeeper Tip: Skip the restaurant crowds and take advantage of our Lobster Picnic Package and savor your lunch at Crocker Park, overlooking the harbor.Lobster roll package at Harbor Light Inn

6. Charter a Boat

Embrace Marblehead’s nautical history by chartering a boat. For an early morning fishing trip, we recommend Titan Guide Service. If you prefer a more leisurely experience, consider a private sunset sail with Satori Sailing, where Captain James will customize trips to your preferences.

7. Go Paddleboarding 

During the Summer months, everything in Marblehead seems to focus around the harbor and water activities. Rent gear from SUP East Coast Style and take to the water on a stand-up paddleboard, a popular summer activity in Marblehead.

Whale tail in the water

8. Visit Marblehead Neck

Take a scenic drive or walk along the 4-mile loop of Marblehead Neck. Admire beautiful homes and landscapes before reaching Chandler Hovey Park, home to Marblehead’s unique iron skeleton lighthouse. Innkeeper Tip: On your way back, stop at Devereux Beach for ice cream from the Neck Run Cafe and enjoy the salt in the air and your toes in the sand.

9. Tour the Jeremiah Lee Mansion

Built in 1768, the Jeremiah Lee Mansion is a magnificent colonial Georgian home in the heart of downtown Marblehead. Open for tours from June to October, it showcases rare 18th-century English hand-painted wallpapers and pays tribute to colonial America’s strong ties to England.

Marblehead history Regiment at Fort Sewall

10. Experience Glover’s Regiment Summer Encampment

Every July, Glover’s Regiment re-enactors set up a summer encampment at Marblehead’s historic Fort Sewall. The colonial camp offers craft activities, cooking demonstrations, and merchants selling reproduction 18th-century goods, transporting visitors back to the American Revolutionary War. Innkeeper Tip: Other notable places to visit include Fort Sewall, Old Burial Hill, Marblehead Museum, and Abbott Hall (home to the famous painting “Spirit of ’76”).

Harbor Light Inn pool


11. Bonus Tip: Book a room at Habor Light Inn!

The Harbor Light Inn offers the ideal accommodations for your summer getaway to Marblehead. Nestled in the heart of the historic downtown district, guests can easily access all major attractions, shops, restaurants, and the harbor by foot. Begin your day with our complimentary full breakfast for overnight guests, venture out to explore the charms of Marblehead, and later unwind by our private outdoor pool. To reserve your stay, call us at 781-631-2186 or book a room online!