Explore the coastal New England village of Essex, Massachusetts – known for shipbuilding, its estuary and pastoral landscapes, distinctive architecture, antique shops, outdoor recreation, restaurants and its clams.


"…travel back in time while strolling through one of New England’s most charming small towns."

– Linda Rappaport
Wicked Good Travel Tips


Farmed and fished for centuries by native people known as Agawams, then settled by the English starting in 1634 and purchased by them in 1638, Essex was known as Chebacco Parish of Ipswich until it separated to form the Town of Essex in 1819.  For over 300 years, dating back to the mid 17th century, close to 4,000 wooden vessels were built and launched from the shores of the Essex River.


There are 16 sites to explore on the Historic Essex Walking Tour, which spans approximately one mile within the Essex River Cultural District - with many antique shops, specialty shops and restaurants along the way. During COVID-19, please visit in a group no larger than ten, wear a face covering, and maintain at least six feet of distance from others.

For more information, email info@essexwalkingtour.com.

This website provides additional historical information.  Visit Essex, MA and enjoy the self-guided tour! A brochure and map are available at the sign on the corner of Main Street and Martin Street (in front of the Village Restaurant) and at many interpretive signs along the tour.