Newburyport Historic Tours – The Best Walking Tours
Hosted by Untapped History – You’ll Laugh, You’ll Learn, You’ll Drink!
A Lively Tour of Newburyport History
This summer, try something new and different: fun historic tours of Newburyport followed by snacks and cocktails inspired by the city’s history. Untapped History, one of the city’s walking tours, is run by local historians Eric Getz and Alex Cain, is just that. These two teachers who call themselves “history nerds,” go by the motto “you’ll laugh, you’ll learn, you’ll drink,” and they achieve that by concluding their walking tours at a waterfront Newburyport restaurant, where attendees try a sampling of appetizers and cocktails that have been enjoyed through the city’s four hundred-year history. These walking tours begin at the Custom House Maritime Museum, then visitors follow the tour guides, who are dressed in 18th-century merchant garb, through downtown Newburyport. The historic tours focus on the Merrimac River, explaining how the river influenced life in Newburyport – and in fact, the country – from the very beginning. The tour guides also discuss Newburyport as the birthplace of the US Coast Guard and how it was an important center of ship-building in the 18th century. These historic tours even go into some darker history as during the Revolutionary War when the city was a center for “privateers,” aka legal pirates who harassed British ships.
Those who participate in any of these walking tours, which makes sixteen stops through downtown Newburyport, get to touch and taste the history. Attendees handle hemp sailcloth fabric and rope used in the ship-building industry, and cones of sugar used in distilling the local spirits. Speaking of local spirits, the tour concludes with a celebration of Newburyport’s history as a center of rum distilleries by letting tour-goers try a rum cocktail for themselves. Partnering with a local rum distillery and a local brewery, walkers get to try concoctions like the “rattle skull,” a colonial-era beverage made with rum, applejack and lime juice, then topped with nutmeg, or something called a “rum swizzle” that features two kinds of rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine. Just the thing after a long walk!
The tour costs $50 per adult, and this includes the walking tour, appetizers and a cocktail. For more information, see the Untapped History web site. And if you have a moment, check out their blog, where Alex and Eric narrate some interesting – and less well known – chapters of Newburyport history.
Start Location for Tours
25 Water Street
Newburyport MA 01950
Tours start at the Custom House Maritime Museum located at 25 Water Street, Newburyport. Please check in 15 minutes prior to your tour at the Museum Gift Shop. Tours are 75 minutes in length and include 16 stops. The cost is $50 per person. The tour will conclude with a flight of historic alcoholic drink samples and appetizers at a Newburyport waterfront restaurant.