There are so many great day-trips to take in New England, particularly in the few warm months that we have. This weekend I went up to one of my favorite spots, Newburyport. It reminds me a bit of Nantucket but on the mainland. Its mix of water views, sandy beaches, great shops and casual restaurants make it a perfect day-trip destination. Other things I love about it? The 50 cent an hour parking lot, the charming old houses, the endless supply of coffee shops and the fact that you can get there from Boston in about 45 minutes.
Our favorite thing to do while in Newburyport is to grab a picnic lunch at Joppa (an amazing sandwich/gourmet shop that reminds me of the South End Formaggio) and head over to the beach at Plum Island. Although Plum Island is a bit beaten, the beach is to die for. On cooler weekends (like the one we just had), we’ll catch a concert in the park, grab amazing Mexican food at Agave and shop around. We always check out the real estate too – just for fun.
You also won’t find too many chains in the downtown area which is great as it allows for a great mix of creative and unique shopping. Some of my favorite shops?
French Lessons – a great boutique where you can score good jeans, great dresses and possibly the perfect tee (26 State Street)
Wishbasket – quite possibly one of the prettiest home decor shops in New England. The shop offers a great mix of candles, linens, furniture and gift items (50 Water Street in the Tannery)
Red Bird Trading Co. – ok, this might be one of the other prettiest home decor shops in New England. I love the vintage feel and the electic mix of things in this shop. The lighting, the home accents, the gorgeous chairs and the women’s wear make this a place that I could browse in for hours (50 Water Street in the Tannery)
Lively Kids – This is a great kids shop. Carrying great brands such as Tea, Jellycat, 3-Sprouts, Angel Dear, Appaman, Sourpuss and See Kai Run. The owner has been in business for quite a few years and with three kids of her own, she knows a few things about kids (15 State Street)
Best of British – Since I’m a total Anglophile, I love this shop. It’s a necessary stop-off to get my fix of real Cadbury chocolate (22 State Street)
For a small coastal city, there is a lot to do and see in Newburyport. There are over thirty restaurants within walking distance of the center of downtown and there are a lot of specialty shops nestled along the few main streets. If it’s the open water you crave, then you can easily hop on a whale watch or chartered boat as well. Don’t forget to end your day with a famous Lime Rickey from Gram’s Ice Cream.
Add Newburyport to your Summer “must” list!