Massachusetts April 30, 2017
10 Charming River Towns In Massachusetts To Visit This Spring
Massachusetts is awash in charming coastal towns, but not all of them are on the seashore. There are plenty of delightful communities that are located right on the banks of a river, and they’re worth checking out.
Here are some of the most scenic river towns in Massachusetts.
Concord is located where the Sudbury and Assebet rivers form the beautiful Concord River. The Concord River was the subject of a 19-century book by Henry David Thoreau and the site of an important battle during the American Revolutionary War. Besides being a town with a rich literary tradition and the birthplace of the beloved Concord grape, this New England community is the perfect spot to head out on the water.
Both Dennis and South Yarmouth are located on the banks of the Bass River. Though it's technically an estuary, the Bass River is one of the most scenic waterways on Cape Cod. Dennis is a village of quaint colonial homes, leafy roads and charming small businesses. Cruise down route 6A through town for a quaint tour of the stately old homes and sweet cottages that line that historic route.
3. Shelburne Falls
Shelburne Falls is a village in the towns of Shelburne and Buckland in Franklin County. It sits beside the Deerfield River and is particularly beautiful in the spring, when the town's Bridge of Flowers bursts into bloom. The Deerfield River also beautifies the town through the curious and fascinating glacial potholes that swirl and eddy along its course through town. Shelburne Falls has a thriving downtown that offers a pharmacy with a soda fountain, a trolley museum and the second oldest bowling alley in the country.
The Ipswich River meets Plum Island Sound in Ipswich and both waterways empty through a narrow channel at the foot of Castle Hill around Sandy Point. The river contributes greatly to the beauty of this small town and was a crucial element in its early growth and prosperity.
Ipswich is known for its delicious clams, showcased annually at the fantastic Chowderfest event, and for Crane beach, a lovely barrier beach near the majestic Crane Estate.
Deerfield is situated a the meeting of the Connecticut River and – what else? – the Deerfield River. It's located in the northern Pioneer Valley, a region famed for its natural beauty and quaint villages. Several brooks and the Mill River also run through the community, and there's a beautiful waterfront area along the eastern border of the town where the Connecticut River flows onwards. Deerfield itself is known for its historic colonial district, Historic Deerfield, as well as the charming New England atmosphere that pervades the quiet town.
6. Great Barrington
Great Barrington is a town in Berkshire County with a killer Main Street and a lovely view of the Housatonic River. The Williams and Green rivers also flow through the valley surrounding Great Barrington, which makes it a great spot for outdoor fun and water sports. Stop by in the spring and summer to spend an afternoon on the river.
This town is a small and quiet, but full of natural riverine beauty. The most popular spot to relax by the river may be the Montague Book Mill, a historic mill turned used bookshop that is perched over the gurgling waters of Millers River. Montague is also bounded to the west by the Connecticut River. Visit during the autumn months for the area's amazing fall foliage.
Millville is a town in Worcester County with a population that hovers around 3,100. The Blackstone River runs through the southern portion of the town. Until around 1980, almost 98 percent of the residents in Millville were Irish Catholic. It's a quiet town with a few picturesque spots like the abandoned Blackstone Canal and the charming Udor Tower.
Sudbury is a small town in Middlesex County that has a rich colonial history and plenty of natural beauty. It is bordered by Wayland and the Sudbury River to the east. Little has changed in the Sudbury Center Historic District since 1800, so it’s a great river town destination for history buffs or lovers of old architecture. Sudbury is also home to the Wayside Inn, which is one of the country’s oldest operating inns and the inspiration for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn.
We coudn't leave out the queen of river towns in Massachusetts. Located on the "dirty water" of the Charles River, our capital city takes full advantage of its famous river. The Head of the Charles regatta is an annual high point for the city, and there's nothing like taking a kayak out on the river on a sunny afternoon. Just don't fall in! Those waters may not be as dirty as they one were, but swimming is still not an option.
If you’re looking for more charming small towns in Massachusetts,
take a look at this list of the best of the best.