Top 8 Things To Do in Newburyport

  • 01 of 08

    Explore This Coastal City North of Boston

    Newburyport, MA
    Newburyport blends the charms of a Massachusetts coastal city with a chic urban vibe. Photos © Amy Morse / Beach Photo © Kim Knox Beckius

    Newburyport, MA, is known for being a beautiful coastal city to visit any time of the year because of its old-time charm with a twist. New shops and restaurants are constantly opening, and visitors are always welcome (compare rates and reviews for Newburyport hotels). The city was established in the mid-1800s but has evolved immensely since then. Newburyport is most popular during the summer and fall because of all of the trendy shops and nearby beach destinations.

    Whether you want to experience fall foliage at its peak, the salty waves of summer crashing onto rocky shorelines or snowy trails made for winter exploring, Newburyport offers plenty of activities to keep travelers entertained year-round. As a Newburyport native, I've had the chance to explore the best of this seaside town. In this insider's guide, I'll share the best things to do in Newburyport including popular attractions and a can't-miss summer event. I'll also help you avoid the tourist traps and savor the best authentic Italian food without going into the North End of Boston.

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  • 02 of 08

    Newburyport for Foodies

    Start your day in Newburyport, MA, at Abe's Bagels. © Amy Morse

    1. Get a Taste of Newburyport hosted by Cape Ann Foodie Tours. Sample everything from artisanal cheeses and meats to cupcakes and tea. This tour not only provides you with a satisfying array of local treats, it also offers an overview of Newburyport's history as you're walking the streets.

    2. If you decide food tours aren't really your thing, design your own taste of Newburyport. Abraham's Bagels (known as Abe's to the locals--and temporarily closed due to a fire) is a favorite in the morning. Even though the line might be out the door, everyone will tell you it is worth the wait. Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, located about 10 minutes from the center of downtown, is where you can find the most authentic Italian cuisine north of Boston.

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  • 03 of 08

    Shopping in Newburyport

    Newburyport Shopping
    Find trendy fashions at Bobbles & Lace or antique treasures at Oldies Marketplace. © Amy Morse

    3. For those of you who would rather spend the day shopping, State Street is the heart of Newburyport's fashion center, with more shops along side streets and squares that branch off this retail thoroughfare. With everything from bookstores to boutiques, Newburyport offers an eclectic array of merchandise. For the latest fashion trends, be sure to check out Bobbles & Lace, located at 22 Pleasant Street, or Farley's of Newburyport (47 State Street) for the gentlemen. If your passion is vintage goods, be sure to visit one of the many antique shops scattered throughout the city. One of my favorite places to browse is Oldies Marketplace on Water Street right by the boardwalk.

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  • 04 of 08

    Newburyport's Top Summer Event

    4. The biggest summer happening in Newburyport is the annual Yankee Homecoming celebration. This is a family-friendly event that runs throughout the day and evening for about a week. Visitors can enjoy everything from arts and crafts to an endless line-up of food vendors and even a Lighted Boat Parade and a Bed Race. Live music performances in the evening draw crowds, and the fireworks by the waterfront at the end of the festivities are always a highlight.

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  • 05 of 08

    Best Beaches Near Newburyport

    Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Beach
    Don't overlook the beach at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge when you're vacationing in nearby Newburyport. © 2007 Kim Knox Beckius

    5. Beaches are, of course, the leading summer attraction here on the North Shore. Plum Island is where Newburyport locals spend summer days and nights. There are three main beaches that visitors can frequent, but make sure you don't get caught paying the highest parking fees. Try my favorite spot--which until recently I had no idea even existed--the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. To get to the beach, it takes about 30 minutes from downtown Newburyport, but along the way, you can stop and check out the many trails and observation towers.

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  • 06 of 08

    Spend a Day at Maudslay State Park

    Maudslay State Park
    Newburyport's Maudslay State Park is a popular spot for walking, biking and picnicking. © Amy Morse

    6. Maudslay State Park in Newburyport is another perfect place to spend a day outdoors, away from the center of the city. Go for a relaxing walk along the trails, have a family picnic or just enjoy nature for the day. If you happen to be in the Newburyport area during the month of October, be sure to check out Haunted Maudslay, a series of skits performed along the marked trails by our own Theater in the Open. In the winter, the park is a favorite place for locals to snowshoe along the trails or sled down the hills.

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  • 07 of 08

    Newburyport's Intimate Theater

    Actors Studio Newburyport
    Engaging entertainment awaits year-round at the Actors Studio of Newburyport. © Amy Morse

    7. Like theater? Get tickets to a show presented by The Actors Studio of Newburyport, located in the Tannery at the corner of Federal and Water Streets. This intimate, 50-seat theater hosts cultural events and performances throughout the year ranging from stage dramas to storytelling slams.

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  • 08 of 08

    Best Newburyport Day Spas

    Shanti Spa Newburyport
    A dose of tranquility awaits at Newburyport's Shānti spa. © Amy Morse

    8. If you are planning to spend more than a day or two in "The Port," be sure to treat yourself to a soothing service at one of the many local day spas. One of my favorites is Interlocks Salon and Day Spa (58 Merrimac Street), named one of America's Top 200 Salons by Salon Today for the past five years. They offer everything from hair treatments to facials. Another favorite of mine is Shānti, which offers luxurious services for hair, skin and nails, as well.