The village of Salisbury Beach is part of the town of Salisbury, which lies at the northeast corner of Massachusetts just before the border with New Hampshire. The large expanse of beautiful sand beach offers opportunities for swimming, beach fun, and water sports. The surrounding countryside is ideal for hiking, cycling, wildlife observation, and other outdoor activities. In nearby towns, you can enjoy shopping, sightseeing, museums, family attractions, and special events. Here are the top locations for vacation rentals in and around Salisbury Beach.

1. Salisbury Beach

Source: Flickr/6SN7

Salisbury Beach borders the Atlantic Ocean at Salisbury Beach State Reservation. This beautiful expanse of clean sand beach runs for almost four miles from the mouth of the Merrimac River to beyond the New Hampshire border. Facilities include a picnic area with barbecue grills, boat ramps, restrooms, outdoor showers, and a children’s playground. Boardwalks lead through massive sand dunes to the beach, where there is plentiful space to swim, sunbathe, build sand castles, and surf fish. Near the river, you can watch for harbor seals, great blue herons, sandpipers, and other wildlife.

2. West Salisbury

Source: Flickr/aehdeschaine

Inland from the beach, numerous trails are great for walking and cycling. The Salisbury Point Ghost Trail, named after trains that used to transport passengers and goods through Salisbury, traverses pristine woodlands with gorgeous wildflowers. The Old Eastern Marsh Trail offers beautiful views and excellent bird watching. The kids will love the town’s two unique mini golf courses, Captain’s Corner Mini Golf and Jurassic Mini Golf. If you love horticulture, check out famous Pettengill Farm, a historic flower farm with multiple greenhouses and landscape displays.

3. Salisbury/Ring’s Island

Source: Flickr/Gerald Azenaro

Ring’s Island is a former colonial fishing village along the Merrimac River that hosts marinas and charter services. A number of restaurants serve delicious seafood. You can hire a boat to take you out on the open ocean for some exciting fishing or whale watching. At Ring’s Island Marina, you can enjoy beautiful river views as well as yearly events such as a striper fishing tournament, a pig roast, and a clam bake.

4. North Amesbury

Source: Flickr/David Power

The city of Amesbury lies directly west of Salisbury. Its northern portion has two lakes that are great for summer recreation. Lake Attitash is a large, shallow body of water with two beaches that provide opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Fish that you can catch in the lake include northern pike, largemouth bass, white perch, and pickerel. Lake Gardner also has a beach for swimming and sunbathing as well as a boat launch for small sailboats and other watercraft. Amesbury Town Park features an 18-hole disc golf course that is great fun for the whole family.

5. South Amesbury

Source: Flickr/Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

In South Amesbury, beautiful Alliance Park on the Merrimac River is a great spot for relaxing, fishing, and watching the boats ply the water. The Riverwalk Trail is a lovely place for walking, cycling, rollerblading, and enjoying the scenery. The Bartlett Museum provides a fascinating look at local Native American and colonial history.

6. West Newburyport

Source: Flickr/Joe Gallagher

The city of Newburyport is directly south of Salisbury on the south bank of the Merrimack River. The Artichoke River and Merrimac River border its western portion on three sides, creating areas of beautiful natural parkland. Maudslay State Park, formerly a private estate, is a vast landscape of white pine forest, rolling meadows, and stands of mountain laurel. It’s a nesting site for bald eagles, which visitors often spot. Activities include hiking, cycling, picnicking, and horseback riding. In the winter, cross-country skiing is popular. Moseley Woods is a shady recreational area with walking paths, picnic tables, and a large play area.

7. Central Newburyport

Source: Flickr/Jasperdo

Homes in Newburyport are renowned for their flamboyant flower gardens and historic ambiance. The attractive downtown shopping area is full of boutiques, gift shops, cafes, and seafood restaurants to discover. The waterfront, with its marinas and active boating industry, is a fascinating place to explore. The Custom House Maritime Museum offers a look at local seafaring history. The Cushing House Museum and Garden focus on memorabilia from New England and the Orient.

8. Newburyport/Plum Island

Source: Flickr/U.S. Geological Survey

The east side of Newburyport, where the Merrimack River meets the Atlantic Ocean, comprises part of Plum Island, which is accessible via a single drawbridge, by plane, and by boat. The island features a long sandy beach that is perfect for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing. At the south end of the island is Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a large area of sand dunes, salt marshes, and other habitats that provide excellent hiking, cycling, and photography.

9. Seabrook Beach, New Hampshire

Source: Flickr/Roger H. Goun

The village of Seabrook Beach in New Hampshire adjoins Salisbury Beach on the north. This small, quiet community has a long stretch of sandy beach that is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. West of the village is the Blackwater River, where you can go kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and fishing.

10. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Source: Flickr/Blobber

On the far side of the Blackwater River from Seabrook Beach lies the resort town of Hampton Beach, which features a boardwalk full of shops, cafes, seafood restaurants, and arcades. Hampton Beach State Park has miles of sand beach for swimming and water sports as well as pavilions for special events. Annual events of special interest include the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival and the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition.

11. North Hampton

Source: Flickr/Leslee_atFlickr

The town of North Hampton lies north of Hampton Beach along with an incomparably beautiful stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. North Hampton State Beach offers a quiet, long stretch of sand where you can swim and play. Little Boar’s Head Historic District, on a promontory overlooking the ocean, features late 18th-century resort homes. Fuller Gardens is a beautiful oasis of flowers and foliage that includes a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and other lovely sprays of colorful plants.