Tag Archives: day trip

Day Trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

I’ve long maintained that Rockport is my favorite Massachusetts town. And that’s still true. Mostly. Rockport IS my favorite, but if I could choose to live in any town, it would be Newburyport. (If only it weren’t quite so far north!)

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Newburyport is best-known for being the first port in New England. There is a short, but lovely, boardwalk along the river where you can watch sailboats – and on the rare occasion gawk at the out-of-place larger-than-life yachts that come up from the Cayman Islands.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Shopping in Newburyport

Another reason I love Newburyport is that it is a great place for browsing and window shopping.

My personal favorite stores to poke around in are Souffles (a great little kitchen store and coffee shop), Pretty Poppy (for affordable jewelry and accessories), the Brass Lyon (for nautical themed gifts), and Vintage Goods.

There is a great men’s shop (John Farley’s) and those are hard to come by. There are a few local chains here as well – Modern Millie’s (a vintage/consignment dress shop) and Bobbles and Lace (more ladies clothing). Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

My favorite place to shop in Newburyport is Oldie’s Marketplace – it’s a huge barn at the end of the riverwalk. It’s full of old thrifted goods – everything from old bottles, to antique furniture, to old records.

Exactly my type of place that I like to hunt through.

Eating in Newburyport

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

If you are there for lunch, stop at the deli counter in Fowle’s Drugstore and get a panini! It doesn’t look like much, but it’s delicious!

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

If you’re there for dinner, another favorite of ours is Agave – for delicious Mexican fare. There is usually a wait – so call ahead!

If you are heading out to the beach, like we were, stop at the Black Duck Market for some goodies. It is located in the Tannery, which just happens to be the best (free) place to park in Newburyport.

Plum Island

Directly off the coast is Plum Island – a reserve. While many Massachusetts beaches are more cove-like, Plum Island is a tried and true Atlantic Ocean beach.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

This means the waves are bigger, the water is colder, and the drop-off is pretty quick.

While it’s not my favorite beach for swimming (at least my kind of swimming – which is more like floating in a bathtub), it’s a great beach for lounging! The long beach means the shore’s not congested and everyone is able to spread out.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

It costs $5/car to get into Plum Island reserve. While you’re there don’t forget to drive around the reservation and enjoy the beauty.

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

Day trip to Newburyport and Plum Island

What’s your favorite way to experience the beach?

I like a good book and a nice breeze!

Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

This winter I traveled up to Marblehead, MA for work and was able to explore the area for a bit. This visit (and this post) are more than a tease than anything else!

Marblehead is best known for being a peninsula with lots of coast and ocean views, being the birthplace of the U.S. Navy and the yachting capital of the U.S.  It’s also the filming location for several popular movies, most recently Grown Ups 1 and 2.

Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

Like most of our favorite towns on the North Shore of Boston, it has a village full of shops, lovely window decorations and countless art galleries.

We were there on a cold afternoon in February, so life there was quiet. So I’m told, it gets very busy in the summer.

I had lunch at Haley’s – there is a cafe inside the wine & spirit store.Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

We sat next to this AWESOME painting, which I took several photos of. I’m determined to try and DIY one just like it, because I still can’t stop thinking about it. It’s also my iPhone background. <— such is the life of a nerdy art  major.

Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

For lunch I had the Vegetable Chili and the Chicken Arugula Sandwich.

I hope you know I’m not exaggerating when I say that the sandwich was the BEST one I’ve had in years. Maybe I was high on cold air, or the dullness of February was going to my head but… it was kismet.

I won’t lie. I hardly shared because I wanted to eat the whole thing myself. YUM.

Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

One of our favorite things about the North Shore of Boston is looking at all the buildings and architecture. When my husband and I started dating it was, and still is, one of our favorite things to do.

Marblehead is no different and full of interesting, old houses to check out.

I definitely will be returning in the summer with my bike!Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

And of course ocean views were inescapable.

The ocean looked mighty, mighty cold that day. Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

We headed up to Chandler Hovey Park, home of the Marblehead Lighthouse.

And it was COLD so we didn’t stay long!Day Trip to Marblehead, MA

While we spent only an hour or two checking out town before we had to move on, I definitely hope to return to this lovely seaside town.

And you can bet I’ll be bringing my bike. And a swimsuit. And a picnic basket for the 18 Chicken Arugula sandwiches I will be eating all by myself.

Have been to Marblehead? Seen the movie Grown Ups?

Fun fact: A friend and I saw and met Maya Rudolph shopping in Salem with her newborn son while she was in town filming for the second movie!

I ‘ve also heard a few stories about people meeting Adam Sandler when he was in town filming. One fun story was that he stopped at a kid’s lemonade stand and gave him a one-hundred dollar bill for a cup of lemonade. Not sure if it’s true, but cute nonetheless.

Day Trip: Gloucester, MA

A few weekends ago I spent the weekend hanging out with a good friend, and we spent Saturday lollygagging around one of our favorite seaside towns – Gloucester (glaw-sstuh), Massachusetts.

Do people still use phrases like lollygagging? Is it just me? Mom, what have you done to my vocabulary!?

I’ve really missed living on the North Shore of Boston, so it was a pleasure to run rampant on our old stomping grounds.

I love Gloucester. It’s the no frills fishing town you’d expect it to be (a la The Perfect Storm).

It was supposed to snow, but fortunately it was mostly just a “wintry mix”… don’t you hate that weather prediction? What in the world is a “wintry mix”?

For breakfast you need to hit up my favorite – Sugar Magnolias. If you’re craving sweet, get the Carrot Cake pancakes. It’s you want savory, get the Irish Bene. (Oh boy, I’m drooling just thinking about it.) And if the line’s too long, walk around the corner to The Two Sisters. Smaller place, but equally satisfying.


Make your way down Main Street and pop in three of my favorite stores:

Dogtown Books – where you might be able to find a vintage hardcover of your favorite childhood chapter book or the new best-seller that’s on your list of things to read.

My favorite store – no really, I don’t even know what the name of this store is because I just refer to it as “my favorite store”. … after a brief stint in Google, I’ve determined the store’s name is Main Street Arts & Antiques. Even though this store isn’t that large, I could sift through it for the whole afternoon.

On this particular weekend, my friend and I satisfied ourselves with the boxes and boxes of vintage postcards. Oh my stars, postcards were so much more clever/pretty back in the day! This store is full of treasures and I usually don’t walk out empty handed. On this particular day I came home with a handful of vintage postcards now hanging in my office.

Lastly, if you love vintage clothing and accessories you have to hit Bananas. You can’t miss it, as there is a giant yellow banana hanging outside the establishment. If you’re looking for suede fringe hippie pants, an I-am-16-going-on-17 Sound of Music dress or a Jackie O. pillbox hat, Bananas is your place. And don’t get my started on the jewelry cases. If you’re looking for vintage jewelry, this is your mecca.

Before we left, we made to stop by the Lone Gull coffeehouse for some joe and sandwiches. I had the BLT and it was quite tasty. (They make it with ranch dressing, strange, huh?). And the apricot pastry was a unique sweet to wrap up the meal.


If you have some more time:

Glazed Pottery Studio is the perfect way to spend a relaxing evening with girlfriends.

And driving over to Annisquam is a visual delight.

And if you’re there in August – make sure to be there for St. Peter Fiesta and the Greasy Pole if you want to see Gloucester at it’s finest!

You can’t make this stuff up. via

(And by finest, I mean the Gloucester men sloshing around in costumes trying to grab a flag at the end of a greased-up and lard-covered log that is suspended 30 feet over the Atlantic Ocean! It’s a must-see. Just trust me.)

And don’t forget to say hello to this guy and while taking a walk through Stage Fort Park.


Thanks for a wicked awesome Saturday, Gloucester. I miss you.

Day Trip: Shelter Island

I have a confession to make. Before I met my husband, I thought Long Island was a small blip off Manhattan where a small grouping of people said things like “Tawmmy wawnts a hawt dog” and Ray Romano constantly evaded his mother.

My deepest apologies. I now know better. (Although I still can’t watch Everybody Loves Raymond without cringing.)

Case in point? Today’s featured day trip to Shelter Island.

Shelter Island is an 8000 acre island that is located in between the two forks of Long Island’s east end. About one-third of the island is protected and will be kept in a forever-wild state. The island is accessible by ferry.

While we saw many people at the beaches, we opted to spend most of the day biking taking in the scenic views. I was in for a rude awakening – after the nice, flat roads of Cape Cod, I definitely got my workout biking up some of these hills!

Bike Rentals are available in town at Piccozzi’s Garage Bike Shop. I would say that’s an unbiased recommendation, but it’s not. Not only are they related to Moose, but I am pretty sure they are the only bike shop on the island too.

We also stopped by Reddings Market for lunch.

I highly recommend the sweet potato waffle fries! And the caprese panini. YUM. We ate outside on weathered cafe tables and enjoyed people watching, cool car sitings and petted the many cute leashed dogs that passed by our table.

The market was filled to the brim with snacks, sodas and other artisinal food pantry items.

I had massive chalkboard envy at Reddings! Look at that huge chalkboard wall covered with colorful and delicious menu options.

There were beautiful scenes at every turn. If you’re looking for a lazy (and aerobic – the biking, remember?) day, Shelter Island is a great place to visit.

Also, barnwood is my new favorite thing. Anybody have an old barn they are knocking down? I wouldn’t mind trashpickin’ at your place.

Shelter Island is home to many other sites:

Like the Pridwin Hotel, if you’re looking to live out your “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” fantasy. (My sister-in-law and I both decided this family summer camp is just like the one in Dirty Dancing.)

Also, the Perlman Music School, Itzhak Perlman’s school, which holds many free concerts in the summer.

We ended the day with dinner at Fresh the restaurant at Shelter Island Country Club. The restaurant is located on the highest point on Shelter Island accessible to public, so the views down the fairway are lovely.

How do you feel about Long Island? Biking up hills? Putting Baby in a corner?