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Marion, MA on lovely Sippican Harbor in Buzzard's Bay

Home of the Marion to Bermuda Race and so much more

The day we came to Marion, we felt we had stepped through a portal into another time. We anchored out and brought the dinghy in to the Beverly Yacht Club dinghy dock, which they kindly allowed us to use. That part was fine, it was when we walked into the village that time started to play tricks on us. Here we were, dressed in shorts and T-shirts on a very hot day, and there were folks strolling down the street in long gowns and top hats. Did we just enter another era? Surely enough, it seems this was the 150th anniversary of Marion and the historical preservation society got the entire town to enact a day from the colonial times. True to the period, the town really doesn't seem to have changed much and offers that small community camaraderie that extends to visiting boaters as well.

We had a wonderful time visiting the various shops and talking to people about the history of Marion, but delighted in the new age availability of air conditioning, without which these folks would have surely melted and we would have sweltered in the midday heat.

Navigational Approaches

Latitude: 41.70 N, Longitude: 70.76 W

It pays to approach Sippican Harbor by passing between Fl R "2" and FL G "3" rather than cutting inside toward Bird Island over Centerboard Shoal (this name should give you a clue - there is a 5 foot rocky area in the Shoal). Once inside, Sippican opens up into a lovely wide body of water where beautiful yachts pass before onlookers from the stately shoreside homes.

Be careful when approaching the inner harbor as you near Ram Island, where the channel narrows greatly. Follow the marks carefully. The inner harbor is loaded with moorings on which lie some of the prettiest classic and modern yachts you are ever likely to see. Watch the depths carefully, because there is so much to look at you might not notice the the 5 and 6 foot shallows, which are clearly marked. The inner harbor also has private aids to navigation which are put out seasonally. It pays to observe those.

Moorings and docking

Click here for a larger view.
The venerable Beverly Yacht Club has a prime location and guest moorings for visiting yachtsmen with reciprocal priviledges. Their dinghy dock is a perfect spot for coming ashore.

Marion is also home to some of the finest yacht yards around, with Burr Brothers at the very head of the harbor offering docking, rental moorings and a full service marina, A&J Boat Corp, and Barden's Boat Yard. Burr Brothers has a great aerial shot of the harbor on their website. Read the delightful poetry exchange between a man awaiting a mooring and the response from the town of Marion, or view the list of services available in town.

Things to do

Although times when Marion is not race central can be quiet indeed, there's a lovely village to relax and enjoy. For a great little brochure about Marion, download this pdf. Here are a few suggestions for things to do:

  • The Sippican Historical Society has a nice exhibit about the history of Marion with particular emphasis on the maritime heritage.
  • Antiquing is a fun pasttime here, with several shops harboring treasures. But the most fun is the Marion Antiques Show, this year scheduled for August 18, 19, 20, 2006 at the Tabor Academy. Bring your heirloom for evaluation. It's like being on Antiques Roadshow without the masses.
  • Unravel the mystery surrounding the Mary Celeste, one of the most infamous ships of all time. She was found drifting in the ocean without her crew; Captain Benjamin Briggs and his wife and child, residents of Marion, were among those mysteriously lost. Read the rest of the historical account on Wikipedia, including the eventual discovery of the ship by Clive Cussler and NUMA.
  • Discover the origins of the town's name, Marion (named after the famous "Swamp Fox").
  • Visit the Tabor Library to learn what made Elizabeth Tabor, the fairy godmother of Marion, tick.
  • Begin a walking tour of the town from the Marion Art Center.
  • Kids onboard? Stop at the Marion Natural History Museum at 8 Spring St. 508-748-2098
  • Join the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race in 2007
  • If you are feeling energetic, go swimming at the town beaches or try golf or tennis at one of the local establishments

Places to Eat

We had a delightful meal at the Moonfish Restaurant when we visited Marion. It's just a short walk down tree lined streets in a lovely old building with plenty of charm. The food was cooked to perfection and they offered a very unusual and interesting wine list which we enjoyed studying and discussing with the staff. You'd never know it from their website as they are obviously catering to the business community there, but the painted sign below is indicative of the whimsical experience we had there.

Restaurants in Marion

Ansel S Gurney House
403 County Rd
Marion MA 02738
(508) 748-1111

Continental Deli House
311 Wareham Rd
Marion MA 
(508) 748-2658

Encore Cafe
374 Front St
Marion MA 
(508) 748-0377

Frigate Steak House
806 Mill St
Marion MA 
(508) 748-0970



Homeport Deli
374 Front St
Marion , MA

(508) 748-0377 

Moonfish Restaurant And Catering
7 Cottage St
Marion MA 
(508) 748-9956

Santoros Pizza & More
434 Wareham Rd
Marion MA 
(508) 748-9599

Seahorse Seafood Shoppe
173 Wareham Rd
Marion MA 
(508) 748-3870
Sippican Cafe
167 Spring St
Marion MA 
(508) 748-0176
The Wave Restaurant
210 Spring St
Marion MA 
(508) 748-2986
Uncle Jon's Coffee
356 Front St
Marion MA 
(508) 748-0063

Places to stay

If you want to get off the boat for a day or two or need to connect with crew, there is one B&B in Marion. Hideaway Haven is a peaceful retreat near Tabor Academy . The open floor plan leads to trompe l'oeil Victorian surprises.

Hideaway Haven
86 County Rd Marion , MA 02738

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