Thinking back on all the memories of my mom, I keep thinking of the winter we went to Newburyport, Massachusetts. My mom was looking at places to retire that were closer to family on the East Coast. She wanted to live within a few hours drive to visit more often.
I hadn’t seen any of the other places she had looked at, but I fell in love with Newburyport. It is such a quaint, historic town with an extremely welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is friendly and seems to know one another. The whole town of Newburyport has a very rustic New England look, with beautiful brick buildings and front doors right at the sidewalks edge.
We visited in November and were blessed with clear, sunny days and crisp air. I was not really prepared for the cold weather though. I bought a coat at Burlington Coat Factory before we left, but I didn’t own any warm sweaters to wear underneath. They’re not necessary living in Northern California. The day after we left, Massachusetts was hit with a huge storm and buried by snow. A part of me wishes I could have seen that.
Where to Stay in Newburyport
Garrison Inn: We stayed at this gorgeous boutique hotel which is conveniently located in downtown Newburyport. It is named after William Lloyd Garrison who was a huge part of the abolition movement in Newburyport. The inn has a traditional exterior appearance, but the interior is very modern. The rooms are large with low, comfortable beds and wall mounted flat screen tvs.
The bathroom featured a large walk-in shower with an amazing waterfall shower head. There were also the most comfortable robes hanging in the bathroom (like you would see at a spa). I loved the robe so much I never wanted to get dressed, so my mom bought me one for Christmas!
We stayed in a corner room overlooking the street and had a great view of town. All of the employees at the hotel were extremely friendly and helpful, greeting us by name every time we came downstairs or walked inside.
We ate breakfast every morning at the Garrison Inn. There is a little cafe/dining area which makes fresh breakfast for everyone. Fresh juices and tea packets are available to enjoy with breakfast. The glasses seemed too small because I kept having to go and refill my glass! The fresh juice was just so delicious. My mom even became friends with a local woman who was staying at the inn while her power was out.
Shopping in Newburyport
There were so many amazing boutiques with gorgeous clothes. The outfits I bought are still some of my favorites to wear.
One of my favorite shops was The Black Dog. It has such a unique and interesting history. Captain Robert Douglas found a black puppy on the side of the road one night and brought it home with him. He started calling it “black dog” while searching for its owners. When no one claimed the dog he decided to try and find someone to adopt the puppy. He found a home with a friend but as soon as the puppy left, he realized he couldn’t live without his best friend and sailed after them. He opened the Black Dog Tavern because he wanted home cooked meals when he returned from sea. And the retail stores are only in towns where he and his dog sailed to! I couldn’t find this whole story on their website, but I remember the woman at the store telling us about it.
My mom and I also did some serious shopping at Madox Jewelry. All of the clothes were gorgeous and great quality, everything looked fantastic on. When my mom and I were in another shop (I don’t remember which one), the mailman stopped in to talk to the employees and customers. Someone walked by the store with an adorable bulldog and the mailman took a dog treat from a bowl inside the store and went outside and made the dog do tricks. The community in Newburyport seems very close; everyone I met was so friendly.
Plus the great thing about all the boutiques in Newburyport? You won’t see these clothes anywhere else! I have never seen anyone else wearing anything similar to the clothes I bought there and I always get a ton of compliments on them.
Places to Eat in Newburyport
Oh, and how could I forget about the food in Newburyport?! There are the greatest boutique restaurants and cafes with amazing food!
The Thirsty Whale: My mom and I went here for lunch on our first day in town. I picked the restaurant because of the name 🙂 It is a quaint little restaurant with excellent service and delicious food.
Oregano Pizzeria Ristorante: We went here for dinner our first night and it was so good that we had to go back again! The service was quick and our server was extremely friendly. We had a really hard time deciding what to get because all the options looked great, but we went with the Lasagna Pizza. I know it sounds weird, but I honestly think it was the best pizza I’ve ever had.
Caffe Di Siena: Every night we went here to sit in the front window and watch the night life outside. My mom would order some tea or coffee and talk about how much she loved the town and the people. I would have hot chocolate and pastries 🙂
We also went to eat at The Clam Box which is fifteen minutes outside of Newburyport. Apparently it is one of the best places to get clams in Massachusetts and the line is often very long out the door. We were lucky enough to go when it wasn’t busy. The restaurant had really interesting decor, we spent most of our lunch looking at all the different wall pieces. The food was delicious, it is definitely worth visiting.
What to Do in Newburyport
We spent a lot of our trip walking around town and looking at all the unique stores. And of course we shopped! We walked through the neighborhoods bordering downtown and down to the water’s edge. We didn’t do much sight seeing because the trip was more to get a feel for Newburyport and to look at houses.
Next time I want to make trip out to Plum Island! The island is named for the beach plum shrubs that grow on the beach. We didn’t get to go but it looks absolutely gorgeous and is apparently a very popular destination.