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US Coast Guard Open House – A Yankee Homecoming Historic Tour

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Whether you have a little Coast Guard in training at home, or you would like to meet the men and women that protect our city, the US Coast Guard Open House has something for everyone. The Merrimack River Coast Guard Station, located in downtown Newburyport at 65B Water Street, will be opening its doors to the public Thursday, August 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm, for a special day of tours and information.

As part of the town’s Yankee Homecoming celebrations, The US Coast Guard Open House offers a special opportunity for locals and tourists to step inside this iconic station. Visitors are welcome to explore the different areas within, all which will be manned by crew members offering information and taking questions. And perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the visit, is the opportunity to step aboard some of the US Coast Guard boats. While the boats will remain at the station, boat enthusiasts will be allowed to explore the decks while learning about special features. Make sure to bring your cameras and snap a pic in the Captain’s seat!

A special boating safety stand will also be set up at the station, offering up information and tips on how to navigate a boat safely. Learn about some of the challenges our local waters present, the hazards of the Merrimack River entrance, and life saving techniques.

For those visiting with little sea farers in tow, the Coast Guard Open House will also have Coastie on hand. The Coast Guard’s robot boat is equipped with navigation, searchlights, a rotating beacon, siren and air horn, sure to impress the little ones. Coastie will interact with young boaters and teach safety rules like “always swim with a buddy in a supervised area”. Watch out though, Coastie is also equipped with a squirt gun that he is known to use to get a laugh from the kids, so don’t be surprised if you get a little wet.

Newburyport, designated one of only 21 Coast Guard cities, is the birthplace of the Coast Guard. The Merrimack River Coast Guard Station is the home to the men and women protecting our waters with search, rescue and law enforcement. This Coast Guard Open House is a great opportunity to meet and interact with the crew of our local station and thank them for their hard work.

For a full list of events happening during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming week visit our Events Calendar and consider supporting the Yankee Homecoming Fireworks fund by purchasing a Newburyport VIP Discount Card.

Yankee Homecoming Fireworks Blast Off Saturday

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Yankee Homecoming Fireworks, Newburyport

The Yankee Homecoming fireworks are set to make a bang this Saturday, August 4th at 9:15 pm with their annual display over the Merrimack River. Pack up your lawn chairs, bring blankets and snacks and grab a spot in town to watch the sky light up at one of Yankee Homecoming’s biggest and brightest events of the week.

With the Yankee Homecoming fireworks going off from a barge in the river, there are tons of places around town to catch an unobstructed view of this illuminating show. Get in on the excitement and grab a spot among the crowds on the boardwalk, Route 1 bridge or Salisbury shoreline to hear the cheers of crowds and the sounds of the boats honking. Or make a night of it and set up camp early to swing to the live music of the Compaq Big Band, a high energy 19 piece big band specializing in jazz and swing, at the Waterfront Park music series, beginning at 6 pm. Pop into one of downtown’s numerous restaurants to grab a bite to go or stroll through the food stands set up in the square and pick up dinner and treats to enjoy during or after the show.

If you have a boat, anchoring in the river is a great way to get up close to the show and avoid the crowds. But if you don’t have a boat of your own, you can still hit the open waters for the show. Many local companies offer up special Yankee Homecoming fireworks excursions, from party boats with live music to more low key family oriented atmospheres. Check out Captains Fishing Cruises and Parties and The Yankee Clipper Harbor Boat Tours to name a few.

Letting your little ones stay up late for this special event? Pack a picnic dinner and head to Cashman Park to set up your blanket and chairs along the river. Your tiny spectators can enjoy the playground with other excited kids up past their bedtime while waiting for the festivities to start.

No matter where you choose to watch, come early to claim your viewing spot and enjoy the buzzing downtown area on this special night filled with live music, entertainment, food and shopping. Be sure to check our Events Calendar for any changes or updates do to weather.

If you would like to support the Yankee Homecoming fireworks, consider purchasing a Newburyport VIP Card today. The VIP Card gives you discounts EVERY TIME you make purchases at 180 local restaurants and shops and you can choose between a Digital VIP Card in the Newburyport App or a Physical VIP Card. Purchase one for $25 or two for $40 and donate $10 of your purchase to the Yankee Homecoming Fireworks Fund. 

Best Outdoor Dining in Newburyport – Restaurants with Outdoor Seating

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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The suns out, the weather’s warm, which means it’s time for some delicious outdoor dining, and nobody has better outdoor seating than Newburyport. From waterfront views to tacos on the run to classic New England seafood, our coastal town has it all. There are places great for kids and many that will even accommodate your four legged friends. If you are bringing your pup along for the day, pick a restaurant with a sidewalk/patio. Many will allow your buddy to hang just on the edge and some will even give them a refreshing bowl of water. So where will you be pulling up a seat for your next meal?

Hanging Downtown

If you’re hitting the shops downtown for a little retail therapy, there are tons of delicious outdoor dining options that won’t veer you off your path. West Row, in the Center of Newburyport’s Market Square, features a beautiful outdoor seating area located on the pedestrian only Inn Street, where you can frequently enjoy local musicians performing.

If your family is craving pizza or pasta, head to the opposite side of Inn Street to Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante for classic Italian food or try their delicious Lebanese dishes. While the patio is technically on a sidewalk, the restaurant does a great job using greenery and plants to make you feel like you’re having a private outdoor dining experience.

Heading up State Street, the main drag in town, there are tons of restaurants offering sidewalk outdoor seating, so you can relax and still experiencing the bustle of Newburyport on a beautiful day.  If you’re looking to experiment, pop into The Paddle Inn for their eclectic menu ranging from Korean rice balls to fish tacos and everything in between, and of course equally creative cocktails. Brine, which describes itself as New England’s first Oyster, Crudo and Chop Bar, is your restaurant if your group fancies some caviar, a solid steak and oysters. Looking to pair a fabulous glass of wine with European style cuisine that locally sources exceptional cheeses, Charcuterie and creatively prepared entrees? Ceia Kitchen & Bar is where you want to pull up a chair. 

At the top of State Street, you can opt for a Guinness and bangers on the sidewalk patio at The Port Tavern, an Irish pub.  And if you’re not really into Irish fare, no problem, the tavern offers a mix of traditional Irish meals alongside classic pub favorites and a fabulous selection of beers.

Exploring downtown but hoping for dinner with a view? Sea Level Oyster Bar, offers substantial outdoor seating with a front patio overlooking downtown as well as a back patio overlooking Waterfront Park and the Merrimack River. Grab a seat out back and watch the boats come and go as you enjoy their extensive menu, ranging from a raw bar to sandwiches, pizza and lobster dinners. Come on a cool summer night and hang out by their fire pit for an after dinner drink.

Exploring ALL of Newburyport

While Downtown has its draws, Newburyport has amazing restaurants worth a quick walk or drive from the main area. 

Just a block off the center of downtown is Mission Oak, a delicious steak house situated in a renovated church. While the steaks are delicious, if you’re looking for a lighter fare, they also offers a more casual bar menu. Grab a seat on their sidewalk patio or the back patio, and enjoy a quieter outdoor seating option to the busy State Street restaurants.

A few more blocks west from downtown, feel free to drive as valet parking is complimentary, will take you to the Italian restaurant Andiamo. Their patio, which looks like a backyard garden lit up with overheard strands of lights, is always lively in the evening for both dining and drinks. 

Head east of town to the Tannery for delicious Thai Cuisine, and enjoy the side patio at Brown Sugar by the Sea

Just a half block down and you can drop into Starboard Galley for your seafood fix and enjoy outdoor dining with river views, or continue driving toward Plum Island to dine on award winning lobster rolls at picnic tables overlooking the marshes at Bob Lobster

If Mexican is what you’re craving, head towards the train station for this local gem. Metzy’s Cantina, a Newburyport staple, serves up a mean taco and margarita and has an awesome outdoor seating area where your kids can stretch their legs and play in the grass.

And while technically Vasa Waterfront Kitchen & Bar is in Salisbury, it’s directly across the bridge, giving their outdoor patio beautiful views of Newburyport’s waterfront. Their menu is mouth watering, with a raw bar, sandwiches and a range of seafood entrees.

Quick Bites and Takeout

There’s so much going on in town, you may not want to stop and sit for too long. Newburyport has great options for privately owned quick service casual dining without the wait. If you want to grab a slice, Anchor Stone Pizza is your stop. While their cheese pizza is amazing, if you’re feeling more adventurous, try out their delicious specialty pies, all named after local spots. Order online or at the counter and enjoy great people watching from Anchor’s outdoor seating. If you’re looking for a table where you can relax and the kids can play, Purple Onion, which offers up healthy alternatives to fast food, has a small patio set up right outside the Inn Street Playground. However, if you’d like to grab a quick beer or coffee with that sandwich or salad, swing by Coffee Factory and snag a seat at their State Street sidewalk seating. As if these aren’t enough options, you can also walk down Pleasant Street to Dos Amigos for a tasty burrito at their outdoor dining area. They offer a great selection of creative options for kids and adults.

Sweet Treats

And no meal is complete without dessert. Grab a cone at Dolce Freddo Gelato and sit back and relax at a nearby bench or take your refreshing dessert down to the waterfront for a stroll. Feeling guilty about all the delicious food you’ve already indulged in? Opt for a healthier, yet equally satisfying snack, at The Juicery and kick back at their outdoor dining area. 

So if you’re looking for great outdoor seating options, Newburyport is the place to be. Just keep in mind that you can enjoy discounts at local restaurants and shops by presenting a valid Best of Newburyport VIP Card. The VIP Card Program rewards card holders with discounts every time they visit any of the 180 Greater Newburyport participating businesses. Purchase one VIP Card for $25 or two for $40 and $10 or 40% of your purchase is a donated to a local nonprofit partner of your choice. View discounts on Newburyport.com or by downloading the Newburyport App. Purchase  your VIP Card today and have fun saving to save on your outdoor dining expenses!

Spring Fest – Newburyport’s Annual Spring Festival

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Need plans for Memorial Day weekend? Look no further, because Newburyport’s Spring Fest, an annual spring festival guaranteed to entertain the whole family, is where you’ll want to be. Stroll the streets of our coastal town May 27th & 28th from 10 am to 5 pm and enjoy a day filled with delicious food, shopping, and entertainment.

Newburyport, already a destination with delicious restaurants, waterfront views and unique local stores, will believe it or not, be even more exciting this holiday weekend, adding to the mix local arts, crafts and food vendors along the streets as well as entertainment geared toward all ages.

Swing by Market Square both Sunday and Monday for lots of fun entertainment. Sunday, you will be amazed AND laugh as Bryson Lang, a comedy juggler, performs for crowds from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. And be prepared to show off your best dance moves when The Mystic River Band, a fun upbeat cover band, takes the stage from 1 pm to 4 pm. Then stop back in Monday at 10:30 am to sing along to all your favorite kids tunes with musician Brian Doser, known by all the locals as the Music Man, and rock out to a live concert with the high energy band, Party On!, from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Grab a tasty snack on-the-go or relax at one of the many outdoor cafes like Sea Level, West Row, Brine, Ceia, and Oregano, to take in the bustle as you dine. Work off all that delicious food strolling the waterfront boardwalk, let the kids blow off some steam at the Inn Street playground, and then treat yourself to some gelato or another delicious snack from one of Spring Fest’s outdoor vendors.

From clothing to one of a kind art work to home decor, if you’re looking for a special gift or simply something for yourself, Newburyport’s downtown shops, as well as the local vendors at this Spring festival, are bound to have what you’re looking for. And don’t forgot to take a walk over to the Tannery for even more local shopping.

Organized and hosted by the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, who work to promote the city and all the great things it has to offer, this event will not disappoint locals and tourists alike. Newburyport.com is a proud media partner to the Chamber and happy to help promote broad awareness of all major community events hosted by the Chamber.

In addition, during Spring Fest, you can purchase the Newburyport App/VIP Loyalty Card and $10 of your purchase will be donated to the Chamber Beautification Program. The Chamber Beautification Program is responsible for the beautiful hanging flower baskets around town, holiday decor, and other decorations around our beautiful city.

The Newburyport App/VIP Loyalty Card rewards card holders with discounts EVERY TIME they make purchases at the 180 Greater Newburyport participating Restaurants and Shops. Purchase one card for $25 or two for $40 and $10 of your purchase will be donated to the Chamber Beautification Program. You can purchase directly through the “Newburyport” App or purchase online. VIP Cards will also be available for purchase in Market Square during Spring Fest. Choose between a Digital VIP Card in the Newburyport App or a Physical VIP Card.

We hope to see you at Spring Fest 2018! If you can’t make it, check out the festivities on our Newburyport.com Live Web Cams.

Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk – Experience & Explore Magical Fairy Houses

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Put on your best and brightest wings, sprinkle a little fairy dust and head to the fourth annual Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk for a magical stroll through the woods to search for nearly 200 fairy houses. Mark your calendars for April 28th and 29th from 10 am to 3 pm for this whimsical event at Pettengill Farm, 45 Ferry Rd., in Salisbury Hosted by the Salisbury PTA, this event will transport your family to a pint sized world fit for Tinker Bell and all of her fairy friends. Tickets are available in advance online or at the ticket booth on the day of event.

You and your little fairies will frolic through a one mile path, discovering surprises along the way. Situated throughout the woods, children will delight at finding tiny fairy houses, some humble abodes with a small swing outside to sizable (for fairies of course) estates with numerous rooms, pools and more. Be on the lookout for a butterfly themed home, some bookworm fairies and a possible village! All of these enchanting creations are the work of talented professionals, families, school children, and local businesses.

While fairy houses may be very small, the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk is a BIG day, complete with activities, entertainment and food. Spread your wings and dance to live music with David Torrisi, check out a performance with Theater in the Open, get your face painted and create fairy themed crafts with local groups like Macaroni Kid, the Greater Newburyport Mother and Families Club and Salisbury Public Library. And when you’ve worked up an appetite from all the fun, as we’re sure you will, the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk will also have delicious local vendors serving up fresh eats from BBQ to pizza to sweets. We’re told there will even be a s’mores bar this year and to be on the look out for a very special Harry Potter drink.

Costumes and imaginations are strongly encouraged, so come dressed to impress in your fairy finest. There will be fairy inspired attire and accessories for purchase for those in need of a wardrobe update. Make sure to check out the Salisbury PTA’s stand, for tutus, wands, wings, gnome hats, snacks and more. Everything for purchase at their stand costs under $3 a piece, so you won’t break the bank.  And yes, parents, you can also dress up. After all, fairies have moms and dads too!

The fairy house walk is hosted by the Salisbury PTA, who raise money throughout the year to put on special events as well as to fund field trips, assemblies, college scholarships and other activities that enrich Salisbury Elementary’s curriculum.

Please note, the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk will happen rain or shine.

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