By the Sea: The North Shore of Massachusetts

June 22, 2021

The North Shore is known for its wealthy, exclusive collection of towns and fishing villages. These quaint communities have attracted sea lovers for years and boast both varied and rich histories: Gloucester was America’s first fishing community; Beverly and Marblehead often dispute over which town was the birthplace of the American Navy; and Salem was the location of the infamous Witch Trials as well as one of the largest centers of shipping and sixth largest city in early America. The shore has a number of incredible neighborhoods, none more impressive than Gloucester, Beverly, and Manchester, all of which are serviced by the outstanding team at Engel & Völkers By the Sea. Keep reading to learn a little more about these unique markets, our local experts, and of course, a few of our favorite listings in the area.

The North Shore


Gloucester has one of the East Coast’s most breathtaking coastlines. Sea lovers looking to move there have a variety of options to relocate to, from modest homes to estates worth millions. At the city’s vibrant waterfront center, natives can enjoy a rich heritage of commercial fishing and shipbuilding as well as an emerging center for marine life and conservation. Gloucester’s scenic beauty and renowned arts community has attracted creatives for years, in fact, in the early 19th century, painters Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer found inspiration there. More recently, award-winning movies Manchester by the Sea and The Perfect Storm were filmed there. It is also home to the Rocky Neck Art Colony, the oldest working art colony in the country.


Located about 26 miles from Boston, Beverly has the small-town charm of a classic oceanfront community, coupled with a sophisticated city identity. With easy access to Route 128, five commuter rail stations, excellent public and private schools, a municipal golf course, and even an airport, Beverly is an easy place to live and work. The heart of Beverly’s center beats with creativity in the unique shops, sought-after dining spots, and world-class arts and entertainment along Cabot and Rantoul Streets. Beverly’s miles of coastline, public parks, and open spaces have earned it the nickname “Garden City.”


Manchester-by-the-Sea, one of the four communities of Cape Ann, is a storybook seaside community of eight square miles with over twelve miles of shoreline and beaches. Manchester enjoys a quaint downtown village that circles the inner harbor and is home to the century-old, historic, and prestigious Manchester Yacht Club and the Essex County Club. Many of the grand shingle-style mansions chronicled in coffee table books reside along the shores of Smith’s, Norton’s, and Gale’s Points — all located in Manchester. The town maintains a population just below 6,000, with under 2,000 homes in total.

Engel & Völkers By the Sea

Engel & Völkers By the Sea has been serving the North Shore since License Partner Karen Hanson joined Engel & Völkers in August of 2008. Hanson has two shops, in Gloucester and Beverly Farms, where she heads an incredibly successful team of 31 advisors committed to continuous improvement. In addition to being home to two of the top five brokers in the region, the shop is also number one in total sales volume for all of Cape Ann, the rocky cape that includes the four waterfront towns where the shop completes the lion share of their business.

Many know Engel & Völkers By the Sea for listing high-end homes within these seaside communities, but the shop is thankful to represent buyers and sellers at all price points. Typically, advisors in this region list waterfront homes valued anywhere between $500,000 to $5,000,000 USD. These relatively low prices make the region an affordable alternative to some of America’s more pricey ports.

Exclusive Listings

Here are just a few of the stunning properties currently listed by Engel & Völkers By the Sea.

Beverly, Massachusetts

Nestled in a magnificent natural enclave of Paine Avenue, this wonderfully pristine property is located only a short stroll from the commuter rail. The four bedroom, five bathroom home features a sandy path that winds down to Pride’s Beach. Inside the residence, light-filled interiors offer sea and sky views from every room. The main level is anchored by the gourmet kitchen, and the adjoining den, featuring a full bar and floor-to-ceiling windows, offers a perfect after-dinner retreat. The owner’s suite includes a spa bath, walk-in closets, an ocean-facing window seat, and an adjoining sunroom and office. The property also features a fireplace living room, a carved wood spiral staircase, and a recreation area with a full wet bar. 

Listed by the Amanda Armstrong Group.

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Seascapes is an exceptional, contemporary, shingle-style home designed by award-winning architect Zoe McManus. The property stands on a multi-acre setting chosen to maximize views and privacy. The surrounding grounds include granite outcroppings, mature plantings, and professional landscaping, creating a true estate setting. Designed for gracious living, the home has views from most rooms and an open flow for entertaining. A wrap-around loggia, an elegant brick and granite terrace, and a screened three-season room together offer several options for sophisticated outdoor entertainment and al fresco dining. Inside the five bedroom, four bathroom home, eighteen-foot vaulted ceilings and glass wall frame expansive views in the principal reception room. Formal living and dining rooms are located on either side. The home also features a chef’s kitchen, a paneled library with a massive granite fireplace, and an owner’s suite with a spa and two walk-in closets.

Listed by the Brackett Janis Group.

Manchester, Massachusetts

This elegant manor stands on over five acres of immaculate grounds with undulating lawns and lavish perennial gardens. Located on the top of Long Hill in Manchester-by-the-sea, the home is also surrounded by conservation land and miles of walking trails. Beyond the gorgeous grounds and behind a stately brick exterior, this 11,125 square foot property features grand spaces, lofty ceilings, and intricate architectural details. While the ten bedroom, eleven bath manor is large and luxurious, it still feels intimate. An entire wing with its own entryway is available as a private sanctuary, and the third floor offers a spacious home office with views of the Boston skyline, a conference room, a full eat-in kitchen, and guest quarters. Downstairs, the lower level offers a wine cellar, media center, billiards room, and workout room. The modern amenities and European charm of this residence create the perfect blend of timeless character and unrivaled luxury. 

Listed by Julie Smith.

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