Newburyport, MA: The Culture of Boston Without the Traffic and Expense

Newburyport, MA offers art galleries, museum exhibits, antique shops, fine restaurants, open-to-the-public live music festivals, play houses, clothing boutiques, boat watching and sailing as well as parks with playgrounds. 

Located 30 miles north of Boston, conveniently off of Routes 1, 95 and 113 with its own commuter rail stop, Newburyport truly embodies traditional hometown charm with its rustic beauty and vibrant scenery. It is a splendid city-from its colorful, historic Colonial homes, with seasonal flags waving in the air welcoming its visitors, to its rows of cobblestone sidewalks in downtown's popular Market Square.

Parallel to the Merrimack River, guests to Market Square can park near the water in one of the many public parking lots ranging from three hours of free parking to all day parking for only $5 to $10. Step out and begin the day by watching the boats pass by the harbor on one of the many benches that line the River's boardwalk area, or go even further with a harbor tour of the city or full-blown whale watch excursion cruise. When back on land, plan on spreading out a blanket to enjoy a family picnic on the public greens of Waterfront Park. Toss a Frisbee around. Then, take a leisurely stroll to the never-ending festivities nearby.

Wander into one of the many antique stores along the way and lose yourself for hours, taking in all the fascinating memorabilia of times gone by. Visit a boutique shop for one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry finds. Refresh your thirst with freshly squeezed lemonade from one of the sidewalk vendors. Sidle up to the counter and order an ice cream cone at the local shop, then continue outside to a seat on a bench where you can take in the warm sun and fun sounds of bands playing live music.

Free concerts are held every Friday night in July from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park.

Newburyport's fun-filled events continue well beyond the summer. In the fall, be sure to visit the Busker's Festival. This colorful, fun, family fare event includes jugglers, clowns and various other street performers that will keep all family members entertained. Take a ride back for the Fall Harvest Festival with not only live music, but crafts and pumpkin decorating as well as a medley of sidewalk food-tasting from Newburyport's own area restaurants.

With all the entertainment activities Newburyport offers, you're bound to work up an appetite and there are splendid restaurants to help assist in replenishing your energy. Within Market Square, there are two well-established eateries. The first is Michael's Harborside, serving up an array of seafood dishes and American fare which can be enjoyed inside the restaurant or out on the deck overlooking the harbor. Every Thursday evening is "Family Night" where children 12 years old and under eat for free! The Grog Restaurant is located only a half block down from the center of Market Square at 13 Middle Street and offers its guests a wide variety of seafood, grilled and Mexican entrees. Both Michael's Harborside and The Grog Restaurant have a kids menu and also serve brunch on the weekends. If you're looking to get out at night for some live music or comedy, both feature various night time entertainment activities too.

Not up for all the outdoor activities or looking for something to do on a rainy day? Enjoy viewing original artwork exhibits or take in a performance at the well known Firehouse Center for the Performing and Visual Arts. Children and adult theater productions run throughout the year.

For more detailed information about Newburyport, MA, including its calendar of events and a map for a self-guided walking tour, visit Newburyport's Chamber of Commerce website at www.newburyportchamber.org. Enroll in the monthly electronic "Destination Newsletter," outlining the best upcoming community events of Newburyport so you can plan future visits accordingly.

Article provided by Homesteader.

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