North of Boston Hotels

by Pamela Wright

Travel north, less than 30 minutes or so from Boston, and you'll find a number of cities, like Peabody, and seaside resort towns, including Ipswich, Newburyport and Salem. The area, known as the North Shore, offers a variety of accommodations, from oceanfront hotels to historic properties. Many North Shore towns also have commuter train service in and out of Boston.

Hotels for Business Travelers

Travelers on business will find a variety of hotels in Peabody, a bustling, commercial town on the North Shore, less than 20 miles away from Boston. Routes 1 and 128 and Interstates 93 and 95 provide access to Peabody, and the city has commuter rail service to and from Boston. Rates at these hotels are generally less expensive than Boston-based lodgings. If you like the convenience and economy of having a kitchen while traveling, consider the Homestead Boston-Peabody Hotel; each suite has a full kitchen. The hotel also has a fitness center and indoor pool. Modern furnishings, like sleek, leather chairs and upholstered headboards give the 183-room Holiday Inn Peabody a contemporary feel. The property, located 15 miles north of Boston, has an indoor pool, business center, fitness center and free parking. Golds, blues and reds on the walls and carpeting accent the lobby of the AAA three-diamond Boston Marriott Peabody, located in Peabody's Centennial Park business corridor. Glass walls bring light to the indoor pool and fitness center; rooms, decorated neutrally in white and tan, have free hi-speed Internet connections and flat-screen TVs.

Waterfront Hotels

The Salem Waterfront Hotel and Marina is located on Pickering Wharf, along the waterfront in downtown Salem. The hotel is decorated with a nautical theme, with white woodwork and sea blue accents. Guests at the 86-room hotel can watch the boats come and go at the hotel marina or take advantage of the indoor pool and fitness center. The Cape Ann Motor Inn is located 30 miles north of Boston on the Gloucester waterfront. You'll find basic furnishings in the rooms, most with a double bed and a pull-out sofa bed, and old-style 19-inch TVs, but glass patio doors lead to private balconies overlooking Long Beach.

Historic Hotels

You might get a sense of deja vu when you walk into the Hawthorne Hotel, an imposing, six-story Colonial Revival brick building in the heart of downtown Salem, 16 miles north of Boston. Designated as an Historic Hotel of America, the Hawthorne has appeared in a number of books and movies, such as "The Lace Reader" by Brunonia Barry. The television series "Bewitched" was also filmed here. The hotel first opened in 1925 and maintains its historic atmosphere with wood paneling, Palladian windows, and 18th-century reproductions, including poster beds and Chippendale-style dressers and tables. Guests at the Inn at Castle Hill, located on the protected 2,100-acre Crane Estate preserve in Ipswich, have access to Crane Beach and a network of trails that meander through sands dunes and salt marshes. The 1928 historic Stuart-style mansion, with a wrap-around veranda, was the summer home of Richard T. Crane, who made his money manufacturing plumbing supplies. The 59 rooms, most with views of sand dunes and the ocean beyond, are decorated with period antiques.

Family- Friendly Hotels

The Crowne Plaza Hotel Boston North Shore is only five miles from Salem, home to attractions like the Salem Witch Museum and House of Seven Gables, and 19 miles from Boston. However, you may have trouble getting your kids away from this hotel's indoor water park. The 65,000 square-foot Coco Key Water Resort, located at the hotel, is the largest water park in Massachusetts. When you check into the Residence Inn Boston North Shore in Danvers, the kids will receive a free Nickelodean activity book. You'll also have space to spread out in the suites, with fully equipped kitchens and separate living areas. The hotel, about five miles from Salem and 26 miles north of Boston, also offers a variety of packages that might include tickets to go whale-watching and Salem museum passes.

About the Author

Pamela Wright is a freelance writer, author of more than two dozen guidebooks, and hundreds of articles. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "National Geographic Traveler," "Family Circle," "Family Fun," "Backpacker," "Hemispheres," "Cooking Light," "Yankee" and more. An active member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she holds a Bachelor's from Michigan State University