Essex National Heritage Area

The Essex National Heritage Area begins just 10 miles north of Boston and extends for 40 miles along the scenic coast of Massachusetts. The Area is characterized by white, sandy beaches interspersed with rugged granite outcroppings, and overlaid by 400 years of New England history and culture. From the Atlantic Ocean up the Merrimack River, this 550-square-mile region features historic seaports, white clapboard buildings, renown art and cultural museums, antique farms, wooden boat-building shops, early industrial mill complexes, and significant wildlife refuges - both on-shore and off-shore. The Area is instilled with authentic Yankee character. Three significant themes of American history can be easily experienced within its boundaries: early colonial settlement, maritime commerce and sailing, and New England's early Industrial Revolution. The Area contains two National Park sites and hundreds of historic structures, museums, and natural resources, and it is within an easy day trip of Boston by train or car.

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Featured Park
Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. The Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush...
Featured Wildlife
Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.