Bike and Beer Tour – Great Freedom Adventures
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Bike and Beer Tour

Bike and Beer Tour

per person

Maritime Bike & Beer Adventure Tour

Bike and beer tours north of BostonCraft Beer That Reflects Its Maritime Heritage

Massachusetts’ North Shore, Cape Ann and Essex National Heritage Area offer great natural beauty, exciting towns and fascinating maritime history. In addition, the region is home to several excellent craft beer breweries. These produce award-winning brews, some made solely from local ingredients, and many named for the maritime heritage that inspired them. On this bike and beer tour, we’ll introduce you to brewmasters who will share their brews’ history and process while you sample the varieties.

Beer for Intrepid Mariners
Among others, you’ll sample Fisherman’s beer. This brew has a bold flavor and Massachusetts beer and bike toursis intended to reflect the spirit and courage of the sailors of the North Atlantic fishing fleet. It’s brewed as “a tribute to hard work and a salute to friendships that endure.” This sentiment is evident throughout the tour in the hard-working waterfronts and friendly people.

Bike to Beer

There is nothing like a cold local beer to cap off a day of superb biking. And, with the wealth of scenic cycling routes, unique side adventures, and vibrant history throughout, the tour is every bit as fun for non-beer drinkers as well.

Note: This itinerary is a variation of the Maritime New England tour in that it excludes the sunset sail and includes brewery visits and beer tastings of the regional craft beers.

Tour Highlights:

  • View quintessential New England villages, seacoast and farmland in one of the oldest established counties in the nation
  • Stay in Select Registry and boutique inns and a historic grand hotel
  • Enjoy beer tasting at several breweries offering excellent craft brews inspired by the region’s maritime heritage
  • Kayak the estuaries of the Essex River Basin to a secluded beach
  • Discover some of the most beautiful beaches on the Eastern Seaboard
  • Experience the tranquility of the “Great Marsh,” the largest continuous salt marsh north of Long Island Sound
  • Discover the sights, sounds and smells of a pristine coastal habitat of dunes, pine forests, cranberry bogs and salt marsh.
  • Spot some of the 350 species of resident and migratory birds in one of the nation’s finest bird watching areas
  • See the extraordinary collection of First Period homes in Ipswich, the largest concentration in the country
  • Tour the magnificent Crane Estate and explore the trails of Castle Hill by bike and foot
  • Learn about the legacy of the sea on maritime heritage scenic byways
  • Visit Salem, site of the infamous witch-hunt of 1692. Explore the sites of your choice such as the Witch Museum, The Peabody Essex Museum, The House of the Seven Gables, unique shops or the last complex of colonial era wharves in existence
  • Explore Gloucester of The Perfect Storm fame, the nation’s oldest seaport and glimpse everyday life in this authentic, working fishing community
  • Visit the country’s oldest artist colony and shop in galleries offering fine local art
  • Experience the exquisite light at Rockport, a charming seaside community that attracts vacationers, artists, photographers and filmmakers from around the world

Tour Reviews & Testimonials


    Day 1

    Newburyport bike and beer tourMeet in Ipswich in the early afternoon for a welcome lunch and bike fitting. Bike past salt-hay farms, and seventeenth-century houses to Newburyport to explore this seaport’s wealth of history and charm. Walk the waterfront boardwalk and visit the unique shops and galleries. Quench your thirst at a private beer tasting at the Newburyport Brewing Co. Sample Newburyport Pale Ale, Plum Island Belgian White and Green Head IPA at the 23-barrel, 3-vessel brewery. After, enjoy dinner at one of Newburyport’s fine restaurants. Biking Mileage: 13

    Day 2

    Parker River National Wildlife Refuge bike tourBike to Joppa Flats looking out for herons, egrets and possibly, a bald eagle. Continue to Plum Island and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge of over 4,600 acres of pristine and diverse coastal habitat. The 3,000 plus acres of salt marsh is one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. View the sanctuary from atop a fire tower and follow the boardwalk through marshland and sand dunes listening for songbirds and watching for shorebirds. Visit Plum Island Light then stroll the beaches where river and ocean meet. Bike inland past old stonewalls and idyllic ponds. Upon return to Newburyport, head to the Riverwalk Brewing Co’s tasting room to sample Gnomad - Belgian style ale, Uncle Bob Bitter – English bitter and Riverwalk IPA. Enjoy dinner at a popular waterfront restaurant serving a good assortment of local brews. Biking Mileage: 18, 32 or 46

    Day 3

    Salem bike and beer tourThis morning, bike through colonial towns and farms en route to Salem, a uniquely historical city as both a center of witch hysteria in 1692 and a major China trade seaport a century later. Head to the Salem Beer Works for a tour and tastings of their trademark and seasonal series of brews. Then, explore some of the fascinating sights of Salem as you choose – Witch Museum, House of the Seven Gables, Peabody Essex Museum, Pickering Wharf, the Custom House, colonial architecture, unique shops and much more. After, cycle to historic Ipswich, one of the oldest towns in America and our home for the next two nights. Dinner is on your own with a variety of options just a walk away, some offering local beer on tap. Biking Mileage: 25, 30 or 48

    Day 4

    Plum Island bike and beer tourBegin a day of sensory feasting that starts with cycling through stunning views that provided the backdrop for several movies and finishes with a private beer tasting by a local brewmaster in our own beer garden. Enjoy the resplendent seascapes of Plum Island Sound and Castle Neck and explore a National Historic Landmark replete with dazzling mansion, Italianate gardens and manicured grounds offering panoramic ocean views. Bike to the beach to hike trails through sand dunes and pitch pine forests, emerging onto the four-mile long beach. Next, paddle the estuaries of the Essex River Basin on a kayak adventure, finding shorebirds, waterfowl and grasses in iridescent shades of green and gold. Back in Ipswich, enjoy the shops and view numerous first-period homes, more than in any other town in the US. Relax in the garden at the inn enjoying craft beers from the Ipswich Ale Brewery. This award-winning brewery offers a variety of brews, some made exclusively from local ingredients. Sample Ipswich’s Notch Brewing Co.’s session beers as well. Taste and learn about various beer varieties from these and other local brewers. For dinner, enjoy a lobster bake at the inn with lobsters pulled fresh from the innkeeper’s own traps and decide which beer to pair with your meal. Bon Appetite! Biking Mileage: 20

    Day 5

    Rockport, Massachusetts bike tourPedal along the coast through quintessential New England coastal towns, stopping at a beautiful beach that “sings” if you listen closely. Cross the drawbridge to Gloucester and view the famous Fisherman’s Memorial. Visit Gloucester’s working waterfront, the nation’s oldest, and still a highly productive fishing port. Stop at Cape Ann Brewing for a tour and tastings of the award-winning Fisherman’s Beers. Watch the action on the water from the brewery’s harbor front deck. After lunch, pedal rocky coastline perfumed by salt spray and roses, viewing wide beaches, lighthouses and art galleries in America’s oldest artist colony. Finish in enchanting Rockport, a place known for luminous light and a picturesque harbor that attracts artists, photographers and filmmakers from around the world. Explore this charming town, then head to our luxurious waterfront inn. Cool off in the oceanview pool and relax in the rockers on the wide veranda sipping a cold beer and watching the sailboats and lobster boats heading back to port. Tonight, enjoy dinner in Rockport. Biking Mileage: 38

    Day 6

    Cape Ann bike and beer tourContinue to loop around Cape Ann visiting a quaint hamlet where life follows the tides as it has for centuries. A visit to the North Shore would not be complete without sampling the succulent fried clams for which this region is famous. Stop at well-known clam shack, one considered “an American cult classic,” to sample the clams and much more. If you like, visit the intriguing Essex Shipbuilding Museum or check out some of the shops in this antiquing mecca. Bike back to Ipswich to complete the journey exploring the beauty, beer and maritime heritage of this remarkable region of New England. Biking Mileage: 26   Please Contact Us for detailed itinerary and arrival and departure information.

    Garrison Inn, Newburyport, MAGarrison Inn, Newburyport, MA - 2 NightsOur luxurious and elegant boutique hotel is also a National Historic Landmark. The inn is centrally located in the heart of the historic district, steps to fine shops, galleries, restaurants and the waterfront boardwalk. Treat yourself at the Spa Paradiso or enjoy the new pool and fitness center. Enjoy innovative breakfasts served in espresso bar fashion.

    ipswich-innIpswich Inn, Ipswich, MA - 2 NightsOur host and hostess exude warmth and hospitality and the beautiful rooms in this Victorian home are sure to sooth. Delicious breakfasts are served in the light-filled dining room. Walk to all the sights and shops in Ipswich.
    The Emerson Inn, Rockport, MA - 1 NightWe spend our last night in a historic grand hotel in which Ralph Waldo Emerson once laid his head. This Select Registry inn has stunning ocean views which you can enjoy from the pool, from your room or from a rocker on the veranda. Enjoy breakfast in the Grand Café overlooking the water.

    2022 Dates

    June 5-10  |  September 4-9

    2022 Prices (Good till 11/15/21)

    $3,195 per person based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $950.

    Trip Length

    6 days, 5 nights


    Ipswich, MA

    Cycling Level

    Easy to Moderate

    Daily Mileage



    Relatively flat with occasional short hills.

    Bikes: You may bring your own bike or use one of ours. GFA bikes are high quality, lightweight, available with either drop or straight handlebars and are equipped with computer, mirror, waterbottle, handlebar bag, map case and seat pack with essentials. What's Included:
    • 6 days of bicycling
    • Bicycle and helmet rental
    • 5 nights lodging
    • All breakfasts
    • 1 lunch and welcome reception
    • 4 dinners
    • Beer tastings
    • Kayak tour
    • Walks at various reservations and estates
    • 2 dedicated guides
    • Van support (for you and your treasures found along the way too)
    • Daily snacks and cold drinks
    • Maps and cue sheets for each day's ride
    • Luggage transport
    • Admission to:
      • Crane Estate
      • Crane Beach
      • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
    • Tax and gratuities for meals and side excursions
    • Transport from/to the Ipswich train station or Peabody Logan Airport Express bus stop
    • Featherweight, high visibility, reflective mesh vest
    • Water bottle
    Frequent Adventurers, GFA alumni, may deduct 5% from the tour price. Please contact us for youth and group rates. Custom dates and duration are available for groups of six or more. Please Contact Us for detailed itinerary and arrival and departure information.

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