Essex National Heritage Area

Children walk on the beach below Annisquam Lighthouse in Gloucester, MA
Annisquam Lighthouse on Cape Ann is one of many historic lighthouses in Essex National Heritage Area

Photo by Anthony Spittler

Quick Facts

In 1996, the United States Congress recognized the national significance of the historic 500-square-mile region north of Boston, Massachusetts, by establishing the Essex National Heritage Area (Essex NHA).

Essex NHA covers 34 cities and towns and is managed by Essex Heritage, a nonprofit organization that rallies communities around saving the unique character of Essex County: the thousands of historic, cultural, and natural places that were crucial in shaping our nation; the places that led to this region's designation as a National Heritage Area; the places that make Essex County like nowhere else.

Essex Heritage involves residents in actively supporting over 10,000 historic places that make this area a great place to live. They do this by offering inspiring events like Trails & Sails—which boasts 150 unique experiences in 6 days—and by developing programs and partnerships that support the hundreds of heritage organizations and historic sites within the Natonal Heritage Area. 

Essex NHA is home to:

Learn more at

Last updated: August 15, 2019