Nahant is a small seaside town that offers panoramic views of the ocean and skyline of Boston, just 15 miles away. Nahant is linked to neighboring Lynn on the mainland by a by a mile-long causeway. This is the only road in and out of Nahant. 3,800 residents live in this 1.6 square mile community that attracts visitors throughout the... Show all »
Nahant is a small seaside town that offers panoramic views of the ocean and skyline of Boston, just 15 miles away. Nahant is linked to neighboring Lynn on the mainland by a by a mile-long causeway. This is the only road in and out of Nahant. 3,800 residents live in this 1.6 square mile community that attracts visitors throughout the year with its picturesque coastal location and proximity to all the commercial and cultural activity Boston offers.
Nahant has its own conveniences. There are several churches, and a post office and a bank on Nahant Road. Commercial businesses include restaurants such as The Dockside, Tony Cs at Kelley Greens, Captain Seaside and The Islanders. Additionally there are a few variety stores: Seaside Variety, Richland Convenience and Nahant Market; three function halls including the Knights of Columbus Hall on Range Road, the Bayside at Relay Yard, and the Nahant Country Club on Nahant Road.
Used in early colonial days as grazing land for cattle, sheep and goat flocks owned by Lynn residents, Nahant later became a fishing community with a small local population devoted to fishing. By 1657, Nahant was laid out in planting lots of equal shares for all residents of Lynn with the requirement that all lots were to be cleared of woodlands within six years. The town became a resort Mecca very early on with vacationers coming from Lynn. Visitors stayed in boarding houses or private homes and the first hotel was built by 1803.
In 1817 a steamboat ferried passengers from Boston to Nahant daily and by 1826 a stage from the Nahant Hotel connected twice a day with coaches running between Boston and Salem. Fishing and several shoe shops were the major businesses aside from agriculture and tourism and even up to 1830, there were very few year-round residents. Instead, by the 1840s the town was a summer resort for Bostons elite.
Incorporated in 1853, the town was the site of the most massive hotel complex on the Atlantic Coast and the location of an annual regatta. By the end of the 19th century, there was a visible shift away from hotels and toward residences. An era of skyrocketing growth began about 1870 and continued for the next forty years with the construction of hundreds of summer homes for visitors to the town.
Today, Nahant is primarily residential. There is a selection of more expensive beachfront homes as well and prices can easily climb into the millions for some of the older vacation homes constructed during Nahant's golden age as a resort community.