Rowley MA, 15 Things You Absolutely Need to Know (An MA Best?)

Downtown Rowley MA

Before you move to Rowley MA, there are some things you should definitely know! (Perspective From a 20+ Year Resident)

Where Is Rowley MA?

Rowley MA is a small town in Essex County, Massachusetts located about 35-40 minutes north of Boston directly off of route 95 and about 15 minutes south of the New Hampshire border. The towns surrounding Rowley are Newbury (North), Georgetown (West), Boxford (Southwest), and Ipswich (South).  

It’s a quiet town, mostly residential with a majority of the commercial being located along Route 1 and near the intersection of Route 1 and 133. Downtown Rowley is on the side East of Route 1 along Main St near the town elementary school: Pine Grove, along with the Post Office, First Congregational Church, the Public Library, Rowley Pharmacy & the Rowley Town Hall.

Things to do in Town

Mill River Winery Located just off of Rte 1 in Rowley offers a unique experience to taste some locally created wines. Take a tour of their vineyard and winery while getting taste an assortment of their wines!

Located on Main St, Todd Farm Flea Market is an outdoor Sunday flea market that runs from morning to early afternoon! There can be up to 240 vendors from all over the North East, offering mostly antiques and collectibles!

Salt Marsh Antiques is located at 224 Main St in an 1805 Barn offering something for everyone with a large variety of quality antiques. The owner Bob Cianfrocca purchased the property in 1984 and restored the barn and expanded it to what it is today! 

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, head over to the Agawam Diner! The diner serves “hearty comfort food” in a historic rail car manufactured 1954. Located at the intersection of Haverhill St. (133) and Newburyport Turnpike (US 1), the diner was listed in the US National Register of Historic Places in 1999. 

Have a sweet tooth? Consider stopping by Winfrey’s Fudge & ChocolatesWhat started as a wholesale fudge and candy making company has turned into a staple on the North Shore. Winfrey’s is a family owned business that bought their Rowley location at 40 Newburyport Turnpike in 1990 and has now scaled up to 4 locations across the North Shore. A worthwhile visit with a great backstory!       

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is great for those looking to get outside! Go for a scenic walk, view the vast variety of wildlife, or head to the beach! View all the locations and activities on their website!

Mill River Winery
Mill River Winery, Located 498 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley MA
Agawam Diner in Rowley Massachusetts
Agawam Diner in Rowley Massachusetts
Plum Island Newbury
Crane Estate Ipswich


One of the benefits to living in Rowley is it’s proximity to a few different beaches and multiple downtown hubs both North and South!


Downtown Newburyport is just 15 minutes north of Rowley MA with dozens of restaurant options and small shops. Walk the waterfront and experience the maritime history and beauty that Newburyport has to offer!

Plum Island

Just a short ride from downtown Newburyport, is Plum Island! Plum Island has it’s own atmosphere and is a hotspot in the summer months. There’s beach parking on the Newburyport side along with several parking lots within the refuge side! Great for fishing, observing wildlife, or general beach going!


Just south of Rowley, is the coastal North Shore town of Ipswich. Ipswich has a vibrant downtown along with many local shops and a few legendary spots to eat (hint: Clam Box!) Enjoy the riverwalk with coffee from Zumi’s and get a true New England experience.

Crane Beach

Managed by the Trustees of Reservations, Crane Beach is nationally admired for its natural beauty and its vast natural habitats and wildlife. Part of the Crane Estate, Crane Beach has over 1,200 acres of beachfront.

What’s it Like to Live in Rowley Massachusetts?

While this could be an article in of itself, I’ll try to cover some of the basics after having grown up in Rowley and spending the past 20+ years here. For people out of state, I often describe it as “A small quaint historic town on the North Shore between Newburyport and Ipswich” 

It’s a small quiet town, yet there are plenty of restaurants and a great sense of community. Located near Kent Corner, is the Marketplace with the town grocery store: Market Basket. Also in the Plaza is a CVS Pharmacy, Backstage Salon, Bank of America ATM, John Anton’s Cleaners (Dry-Cleaning), Post Road Framers, Children’s Orchard, and a T.J. Maxx!

Town Common 01969

Downtown, you can find the Post Office, Pine Grove Elementary School, The Public Library, and the Town Common. It’s not the type of downtown where many people walk around as there’s not many attractions. An attraction and popular wedding venue is Briar Barn Inn recently featured on the HGTV show: Farmhouse Fixer! Residents can enjoy eating at the abutting restaurant: Grove. 

It’s not a heavily trafficked town, making it a great location for those looking for a peaceful place to call home. The roads that do get the most traffic are Newburyport Turnpike (US 1), Haverhill St (133), and Main St (1A). While maintaining only a 35 minute drive to Boston, it’s far from city living! There’s 3 local farms: Herrick Farm, Chickadee Hill Farm & Mehaffy Farm all providing locally grown produce.  

While a great commuter town for those working in Boston, Rowley MA is also a short drive to Tax free NH! Seabrook is within a 20 minute drive (a perk of being directly on route 95) where there is a lot of stores, restaurants and businesses to save on sales tax. 

Generally Useful Information to Know!

Cable/Internet: Both Verizon Fios and Xfinity have coverage within 01969; Check out this resource for exact coverage!

Trash: G Mello (Based a town over in Georgetown) customers are provided a trash barrel and pickup service comes on Monday 

Grocery Store: Market Basket (Off Newburyport Turnpike)

Schools: Pine Grove (Elementary), Triton (Middle-High), See our schools page for more in depth details and further private & technical options!


Real Estate

Check out our Rowley Market Report for details on recent sales and new listings! 

Use our Home Search to find your perfect next home!

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