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Amesbury

Why would anyone consider moving to Amesbury MA? Let’s ask a better question: Why wouldn’t anyone consider moving to Amesbury? There’s a lot to love about the town. As a realtor, I hear from a lot of people who desire living in nearby Newburyport but cannot afford the real estate prices of living there. They end up looking at homes in nearby Amesbury. Yes, there’s a lot of overflow from Newburyport but Amesbury is a great town in and of itself.

Let’s take a closer look at why you might consider moving to Amesbury MA. This article will tell you all you need to know about the area, as well as a few of my favorite local destinations. 

Before we get into my favorite Amesbury destinations, let’s get the stats out of the way.

Amesbury Stats

Population: 17,843

Median Home Value: $413,018

Local Education: Amesbury’s got education covered for the whole family: Amesbury elementary, middle, and high schools offer a thorough, community-engaged education. There’s an assortment of private schools for kindergarteners and high schoolers alike (Sparhawk School, Amesbury Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten, and the River Music Academy if you’re looking to pick up an instrument).

Commute to Boston: Located right at the intersection of 495 and 95, Amesbury is 45 minutes away from Boston by car and 25 minutes from Portsmouth, NH. You can also take the train from nearby Newburyport to Boston.

Distance from Beaches: You can stop by Lake Gardner for an Amesbury beach experience, or make a short ten-minute trip to the Salisbury and Newburyport beaches. Either way, you won’t have to travel far to get your feet in the sand. 

What is living in Amesbury like?

Pro: Small town feel

If you love the small town feel with the convenience of everything nearby, Amesbury is the place for you. It’s not a hustle and bustle type of place but it has a little bit of an old fashioned, neighborly feel to it. Residents look out for one another and make it a great community. If you’re willing to slow down a bit and not expect big city life, you’ll probably fit right in.

Con: Everyone knows everyone

The down side is it’s a very small city so everyone knows everyone. This can be hard for someone moving here from a big city life. It also means you won’t find a lot of racial diversity, if that’s important to you. There aren’t many big box stores. You have to go next door to Seabrook, NH for that. The good news is that Amesbury is close to the New Hampshire border, so you’re able to do tax-free shopping as you please. There are upscale shops in downtown Newburyport or up in Portsmouth, NH.

Pro: Relatively affordable

The homes in Amesbury are fairly well priced compared to its neighbor town Newburyport. The average sale price for Amesbury homes in 2020 was $486,074 compared to $821,452 for Newburyport.

Con: High taxes

Amesbury has one of the highest tax rates in MA. Property taxes are very high and that deters a lot of people from moving in. There also aren’t many job opportunities in Amesbury; you have to travel to neighboring towns to find jobs.

Lake Gardner – photo courtesy of Amesbury Trails

Lake Gardener also provides a public beach for swimming or kyaking.

As of February 2020, both the sports park and ice rink appear to be getting close to final approval. It will include 3 soccer fields.

If you’re in Amesbury, a fun day isn’t hard to come by…check out a few of my favorite Amesbury destinations below!

Favorite Amesbury Destinations

#1 Cider Hill Farm

Cider Hill Farm store

I’ve got a whole article dedicated to how wonderful and unique this farm is! You can check it out here.

People travel from far and wide to spend the day at Cider Hill. Whether you’re looking to harvest your own fruits and veggies, or sample the local culinary scene/baked goods, Cider Hill has something for everybody. It’s definitely worth the visit! 

#2 Amesbury Town Park

Kids love the park. No doubt about it. Mine are no exception. I love taking my girls to the Amesbury Town Park. The city does a great job keeping it clean and there isn’t much lacking here!

It has separate equipment for little ones (age 2-5) and older kids (age 5-12) using material that doesn’t get too hot under the sun. In the summer months, you’ll hear the sounds of kids squealing with excitement as they run through the of jets of water in the splash pad area. The park also has a basketball court, baseball diamond and a separated fenced-in skateboard park. We love packing up a lunch and sitting under the covered picnic tables. There is also a nice walking path through the forest near a small man-made pond. We can easily spend the day at this park.

My only gripe is the parking situation. There are 2 lots with parking for about about 14 cars. Unless you’re one of those lucky 14, you’ll have to park on the side of the street which can be dangerous when unloading young children. However, this park is still very much worth a visit!

#3 Breweries

Craft beer lovers, look no further! Amesbury has two of the area’s finest breweries to please every palette.

Brewery Silvaticus focuses their craft on Rustic Ales and Fine Lagers. The historic mill building on the Powwow River (right in the heart of downtown Amesbury) features an outdoor beer garden with panoramic views. Both spots are the perfect destination for a night out!

Barewolf Brewing has a full-service taproom to meet all of your needs…whether you’re there for the merch, the trivia events, the live music, or the high-quality artisan beer, Barewolf has you covered (and they’re dog-friendly)! 

#4 Downtown Amesbury

Health Matters - Downtown Amesbury MA

Downtown Amesbury is charming. I often see people sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air. It features a wide variety of restaurants, from fine-dining to the perfect pizza joint. The local shops offer organic and homemade goods, perfect for your holiday shopping. There’s even a bowling alley! 

#5 Lowell’s Boat Shop

Courtesy of Lowell’s Boat Shop

Come stop by this national landmark and fully-functional museum. Established in 1793, Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in the United States and is cited as the birthplace of the fishing dory. The museum offers classes, exhibits, tours, repairs, and boat building in hopes that you’ll continue the history and art of wooden boat building.

Amesbury History

Amesbury is a quaint town in Northern Massachusetts with a rich historical background. Interestingly enough, the “town ” is actually a city, a recent development because of past protests that it was too small to be a “city”. Once a large producer of carriages , Amesbury often is referred to as “Carriage Town”. This industry continued, and developed into producing automobiles until the Great Depression. The Merrimack Hat Company was once the largest producer of hats in the entire United States. The juxtaposition of Amesbury to the Merrimack River also provided early settlers with the need for ship building, and Lowell’s Boat Shop, which opened in 1793, is one the oldest functioning boat shops in America. Amesbury also rears its unique history to notable figures such as John Greenleaf Whittier, whose home still stands there. This rich historical background is reflected in the infrastructure and residents, who are proud citizens of the diverse historical background.

With so much to do and see, Amesbury is the perfect destination for your next home. If you’re thinking of moving to Amesbury MA, I’d love to have a casual chat about your home goals. Call or text me at 781-864-7372.

Jeni Lu

Jeni Lu

I'm Jeni Lu, a lifestyle blogger and realtor at Bentley's real estate. Consider me your local guide to all things real estate in the Boston Northshore. If you live in the area or are thinking of moving here, you've come to the right place! Stay up-to-date with Boston Northshore events, restaurants, real estate and more!