Destination guide

Essex is a quaint old sea dog

It was the Puritan descendants of the first passengers to the New World that settled Essex to begin with. Then, the town boomed as an important fishing hub on the North Shore. These days it's an old sea dog full of history and heritage, touting enchanting antiques emporiums in old 19th-century mariner mansions, and a medley of salty New England seafood joints. Throw in those homey Essex vacation rentals, some with views over the Atlantic bays, others with cozy lounges and decks, and it's easy to see how anyone could be content vacationing in this corner of MA.

Things to do

Ships and centuries-old homes in Essex

No trip to salt-washed Essex could possibly be complete without at least a short jaunt through the intriguing exhibits of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. It's packed with centuries-old tools and navigation equipment used on the schooners that once drifted in and out of the local harbor. From there, it's on to the "time-stood-still" relic that is the Choate House over on Choate Island. It dates from the 1730s and promises a journey into the past. Cogswell's Grant is another historic must, brimming with curious decorative arts and trinkets.


Watery adventures in Essex

You can start by getting wet, just like the sailors of old did up and down the North Shore coast of Massachusetts. You can go out to the Atlantic and SUP between the Cape Ann coves. You can go up the Essex River on guided wildlife spotting tours by boat. And you can kayak through the estuaries, birding and basking in the New England countryside as you go. Then there's Essex's famous wealth of hawker antique shops and vintage emporiums – perfect haunts for the intrepid bargain hunter.


Easy summer living in Essex

With all that boating and kayaking and river cruising on the menu, you'll surely want to visit Essex when the New England sun is shining and the weather's pleasantly warm. That means coming in the summertime. Booking Essex vacation rentals between the months of May and September is the best bet for a trip when the temperatures are between 70 and 80, and for getting the driest conditions for hitting the waters of Cape Ann. Winter might mean some great deals on stays, but as much as 26 inches of snow falls between November and April here.

Natural features

Essex eases into the Atlantic

With the rocky coast of Cape Ann close by, and the winding creeks and wetlands that come off its eponymous river to the north, Essex is a place surrounded by water. You can get Essex vacation rentals that have sweeping views over the cobalt-blue bays on the Atlantic Ocean, or you can get little boltholes nestled between the waterways around Choate Island. Wherever you are, the landscapes are soft and blustery, with plenty of seabirds and sandbanks, dune habitats and marine wildlife to look out for.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Essex

Fly into Beverly, MA (BVY-Beverly Municipal), the closest airport, located 7.5 mi (12.1 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you could also fly into Lawrence, MA (LWM-Lawrence Municipal), which is 18.3 mi (29.5 km) away.

Can I find a vacation rental around Essex?

Yes, our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 520 vacation rentals near Essex. From 288 Houses to 83 Cabins, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Essex for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Essex?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Essex:

  • Hampton Beach: 201 vacation rentals
  • North End: 406 vacation rentals
  • Beacon Hill: 453 vacation rentals
  • Seabrook Beach: 87 vacation rentals
  • Downtown: 637 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Essex?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Essex. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Cogswell's Grant: 841 vacation rentals
  • Essex Shipbuilding Museum: 816 vacation rentals
  • Boston Common: 1,713 vacation rentals
  • Wingaersheek Beach: 279 vacation rentals
  • Good Harbor Beach: 605 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Essex listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Essex?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 288 Houses in Essex. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Essex include:

  • Cabins: 83 rentals available
  • Cottages: 83 rentals available
  • Condos/Apartments: 108 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Essex?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 14 vacation rentals with pool available in Essex. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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