The North Suburbs in and around Route 1 and Essex occupy a town called Saugus, 9 miles northeast of Boston and 8 miles southwest of Salem. The area has a rich history and pioneering spirit that dates back to the early 1600s. The area proudly lays claim to having the first integrated iron works, establishing the Newburyport Turnpike, which became one of the first major roadways, known as U.S 1, and building the first commercially-successful, garbage-incineration plants. The North Suburbs also house George's Barber Shop, the oldest barber shop in America at 112 years old.
Schools in North Suburbs-Essex
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
Restaurants are conveniently scattered throughout the North Suburbs, however, an abundance of dining options centralize along Route 1. Dining at the Border Cafe on Cajun and TexMex grub feels like a south-of-the-border experience. Flavorful dishes, such as the chicken and chorizo etouffee and blackened catfish fajitas, make mouths water.
Victor's Italian Restaurant ranks as a local favorite. This hole-in-the-wall serves up huge portions of classic Italian fare at a reasonable price. Whether you dine-in or order-out, you can enjoy their home-style meals perfect for sharing and even better as leftovers. These include the chicken broccoli ziti or veal eggplant Parmesan, and a delicious side of bread with butter and sausage.
The Polynesian-style decor and Asian cuisine has made Kowloon Restaurant a local landmark since 1950. Kowloon has a diverse menu of Americanized Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dishes, including the lobster sushi and Thai curry that keep both locals and tourists coming back for more. Most locals tell you, though, that the huge Mai Tai's and live comedy held on the second floor make this place stand out.
Six Twenty-One Tavern and Grill, Lazy Dog Sports Bar or Sully C's Bar and Grill provide the main bar entertainment spread throughout the area. The steak tips at Lazy Dog Sports Bar are a local favorite. However, if you desire a more diverse nightlife experience, downtown Boston awaits less than 10 miles away.
History & Culture
The North Suburbs sit in a small town north of Boston known as Saugus, an Indian name believed to mean "great/extended," and was originally settled around the 1630s. The closest official museum remains the Lyn Museum and Historical Society.
One of the areas most notable historical monuments remains an iron works called Hammersmith, opened in 1646. Despite being the first integrated iron works in North America, producing over 1 ton of iron a day and being one of the most technologically advanced iron works in the world, they were not financially successful and closed in 1670. Archaeologist, Roland W. Robbins, began excavating the site in 1948, when it was restored, turned into a museum and eventually became part of the National Park Service system renamed the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site. Other notable historical sites nearby include the Boardman House and the Mary Baker Eddy Historical Home.
The most common way to get around throughout the North Suburbs remains by car, and commuting comes easy with Route 1 running through the heart of this area. However, the area does have great public transportation, using the same bus system as Boston, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, known locally as the "T." Fares cost slightly over $2 for non-express rides if you don't have a CharlieCard or Monthly Pass. No subways exist within the North Suburbs, however, two train lines await close by: the Orange Line passes through the Malden Center Station and ends at Oak Grove Station in Melrose, while the Blue Line ends at Wonderland Station in Revere.
Apart from online services such as Uber, multiple taxi services exist in the area, such as Saugus Center Taxi, Saugus C. Cab and Saugus Taxi, so hailing a cab should not be a problem. Several biker-friendly roads and plenty of free parking exist in the area, which makes choosing greener methods of transportation, such as walking and biking, easy and convenient alternatives.
Cost of living in the North Suburbs hits nearly 6 percent higher than the rest of Massachusetts and almost 40 percent more than the national average. On average, you pay $1,240 per month to rent a one-bedroom
residence in this area. Gas also hits high, with costs nearly 9 percent greater than the national average. Even the cost of beer hits high at over $9. Thankfully, downtown Boston awaits less than 10 miles away, reachable by bus for around $2.
Many shops line Route 1 and Lincoln Avenue. The Square One Mall provides the local go-to for a great leisurely shopping experience. Square One provides North Suburban shoppers with 115 stores that specialize in goods ranging from men's, women's and children's apparel, sports and athletics goods, to health and beauty products.
Vamped Boutique houses
a trendy shop that caters to juniors and young women with chic yet edgy fashion pieces, such as rompers, crop-tops and maxi dresses. Francesca's provides another local fashion gem filled with fun, flirty, and eclectic outfits and accessories.
Three main stores provide the staple grocers for the North Suburban area, and they each claim a space on Route 1. The Super Stop and Shop, and the Hannaford Supermarket provide the traditional produce and value brands. While, Trader Joe's sells specialty grocery items, some of which are store signature products, as well as the regular household brands you might expect. A Farmer's Market takes place every Tuesday at the Cliftondale Square exit off Route 1.
North Suburbans have access to several great parks and recreational areas. The Breakheart Reservation houses 640 acres of green forest filled with winding, hiking trails. Enjoy the views of Massachusetts from 200-feet high rocky hills, and fishing in Silver and Pearce Lakes. Visitors flock to Pearce Lake in the summer to take a dip in one of the few fresh-water, supervised swimming spots north of Boston.
The reservation strives to provide a fresh-air atmosphere for guests by restricting vehicles year-round. Parking remains available at Wakefield's, Northeast Vocational School parking lot, as well as Forest Street parking lot in Saugus. Adjacent to Breakheart Reservation sits a 65-acre marsh and woodland area called Camp Nihan Environmental Education Camp, available to educational and non-profit organizations with a permit.
Other smaller, traditional, recreational parks can be found throughout the area, such as the highly frequented Vitale Memorial Park on Ballard Street. The non-profit, World Series Park commands a huge part of the community, hosting over 200 games each season as well as several fundraiser events.The park has plenty of amenities, such as dugouts, a batting cage, a playground, a pavilion and building housing, a snack bar, restrooms, equipment storage and a press box. You can also enjoy plenty of water activities, such as boating and fishing along Saugus River of Prankers Pond.
All of the parks remain free, as well as child- and canine-friendly. The parks do require that pets
be leashed, however. Paws Here and Melrose Dog Park await close by, should you want to let your dog run free.