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North of Boston, long beaches and safe harbors relieve some 30 miles of rock-strewn coast on the north shore.

Salem Village, now Danvers, was the site of witch trials in 1692, whose proceedings and related events can be explored at the Salem Witch Village, Salem Witch Museum and the Witch Dungeon Museum, all in nearby Salem.

Salem was a flourishing port of the 1800s that inaugurated American commerce with the Far East. The Peabody Essex Museum exhibits this city's seafaring history. The picturesque harbor of neighboring Marblehead is one of the East Coast's top-tier sailing centers. Surrounding the harbor are many examples of fishermen's, merchants' and craftsmen's homes from the 1800s and 1900s. Famous Gloucester is a commercial fishing port whose freshly caught product graces area restaurants. Here, the wharves of Rocky Neck Art Colony are home to an artist colony.

Paths on the banks of Lowell's canals invite long walks. Barge trips through the canal and lock system, tours of elderly cotton mills and excursions on an early 1900s trolley all are part of a day at the Lowell National Historic Park. Displays depict the swift social and technological shifts of the period. Monuments to a long-ago textile industry, brick mills once housed noisy looms that embodied the city's part in America's version of the Industrial Revolution.

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