Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | July 19, 2011

Newburyport, MA, Oh how I love thee


Side note: Who really uses the word “thee” anymore? It’s not used enough if you ask me.

So I was reading about Carrots ‘n’ Cake’s recent exploration of the fabulous North End of Boston (heeelllooooo Little Italy) and I realized that I recently explored a favorite place and hadn’t posted about it yet! For shame.

As I mentioned last week, I got to travel back to New England for an Independence Day-Week vacation. It was everything I wanted it to be and most importantly it gave me the chance to visit some of my favorite people and places. The quintessential New England seaside town of Newburyport, Massachusetts is one of those favorite places. I can’t remember when I first visited it, but it wasn’t until I was living outside of Boston that I truly fell in love with this town.

Brick buildings, narrow brick streets, charming independently-specialized shops with quaint street signs, incredible restaurants and corner cafes, and the smell of fresh ocean air are all elements that make up this town, which is situated at the top of the Massachusetts coast just before you cross over into New Hampshire.

Mom and I decided to go for a day trip and traveled the hour from central Mass. to Newburyport during the middle of my vacation week.

TIP: If you’re visiting on a weekend in summer, be sure to leave the house early as traffic going north on the highways to the coast get crazy as people travel to the beach for the day.

20110719-012143.jpgWe drove over the bridge on Rt 1 and laid eyes on Newburyport just before lunch and immediately headed to Michael’s Harborside, which is located right next to the bridge beside the Yacht Club on the waterfront. If you only have time for one restaurant when visiting, this is the place to go, especially if you love fresh seafood. We were one of the first to arrive, which meant we had our choice of parking in the usually packed lot.



After stopping to take pics of the stunning blue hydrangeas near the entrance we headed inside and asked to be sat outside on the porch by the water. We were a bit spoiled with the view. You can also seat yourself upstairs on their roof deck, but we were one of the groups of people there so we went for the best seats in the place.



After a terrific lunch of swordfish on a butternut squash ravioli salad (Me) and fish sandwich with mango salsa and homemade onion rings (Mom), we got our walk on. Newburyport actually has loads of public parking lots that you pay a very minimal daily rate for, which is rare for Mass., so we parked in a more central lot next to the Waterfront Promenade Park and headed off to the boardwalk along the water. It was lunchtime on a workday, but there were still crowds of people waiting for whale watch boats and tons of folks eating, walking and relaxing outside.


The boardwalk loops back up to the center of town and the shops, so we followed it there and began popping in and out of all the great shops, all of whom had their doors open, merchandise on display and warm smiles on to greet every possible patron. The shop space is always packed as most of the stores are small, but it’s amazing what you’ll find! I had to really restrain myself when it came to the baby clothes (I have two friends that just had baby girls, so I have a newly found love of teeny-tiny clothes).


Our favorite kitchen and coffee shop Souffles, always has some new kitchen gadget or tool that I want, so it was no surprise when I found a small shot-glass that measures out tablespoons, teaspoons and ounces. Can you say handy? Best part was that it was within my very limited daily budget – $5.00 (hooray!).


After visiting every shop on/off the main streets, we headed to our favorite bakery and tea/coffee shop, Caffe Di Siena, located on Pleasant St, which serves wonderful desserts as well as personal teapots, and offers great seating nooks. Mom and I ordered a piece of ricotta pie to share and watched people pass by on the streets as we enjoyed our dessert and the wonderful air conditioning.

As we walked back to the car, I knew that it had been one of those really perfect days where the weather was beautiful, I was with one of my favorite people in the world, in one of my favorite places of all time. Satisfying? I’d say YES INDEEDY.

Newburyport is one of those unique destinations that has an atmosphere all it’s own and that almost guarantees a great experience in any condition (I’ve been there in the middle of winter and had a wonderful time).

I know it will be a while before we see each other again, but Newburyport I will always love you.

After sharing one of my favorite places, I want to know – Do you have a favorite place where you always seem to have a good day?


  1. […] I truly love my homeland. […]

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