North of Boston are a series of suburbs with rich histories and a number of architectural attractions.
Growth accelerated with the advent of the railroads in the 1800s, when the region became a national leader in industries including shoes, textiles, and chemicals. Unfortunately, this boom was short-lived for many of these communities, where populations peaked in the 1920s. Major fires changed the landscape of several towns, particularly in Lynn, Salem, and Chelsea, where a 1909 fire cleared 500 acres and all built history up to that point. Today, most are commuter suburbs.
The area boasts a number of important innovations in public recreation. Nahant was among the first oceanfront destinations, reached in early days by ferry from Boston. Revere Beach followed with the development of rail service, and later became the first public ocean beach in the U.S. when taken over by the Metropolitan Park Commission. Lynn Woods was established to secure a reliable water supply for firefighting, and became a national model for conservation.
Salem has an unrivaled concentration of Federal period architecture. In addition to the attractions related to the witch trials, it also boasts the Peabody-Essex Museum designed by Moshe Sadie.
All these sites are easy to reach by car, and commuter rail service from North Station provides access along the coast up to Salem and beyond.