Marblehead, Massachusetts is a place that is rather out of the way though very close to Salem which is visited by throngs on tourists. Marblehead is the real New England that is not quite discovered and you can’t help but think that’s what some people here would like. It is all part of the charm of this town that isn’t so busy.
In some respects it is one of those great places that time has passed and tourists really miss. This is the beauty of the place. Well, that, and the fact that there are so many historic structures in the town, We arrived by car but with bicycles in tow so we stopped first at the restaurant on the water called The Barnacle.
It was a smallish place with a tiny bar and a route to the main dining room that probably sat twenty people and the corridor was only wide enough for one between the bar and the dining room. There is outdoor seating out back overlooking the water too. It is absolutely charming. The food was above acceptable but the ambiance is classic New England and you really can imagine an era long before cell phones and even automobiles out here.
This restaurant is a gem and part of the experience of a bike ride around the town. It can be hilly in bits and isn’t the most leisurely of places to go bike riding. If you were to come by car and park you could still see quite a bit as the town is compact and there is something to see in every street to be sure. We cycled to the waterfront and there are a few restaurants there (The Driftwood and the The Landing) along with some shops nearby.
There are public toilets here and you can watch fishermen bringing in their catch here too. There is a town park nearby, Crocker Park, which is a must-visit while here. It is peaceful and gives you a chance to contemplate the history of the town and just watch the sea. It also has incredible views and is rather high up a hill.
Throughout the historic district you can find houses to see that are generally from the 17th and 18th centuries. The town is a warren of narrow streets and little lanes that are a delight to discover on foot or bicycle. We thoroughly enjoyed our little visit and especially our lunch and views of the water from Crocker Park. A trip to Marblehead is definitely well worth it for an authentic and historic New England experience.