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It’s Fall! Family Farms Offer Bushels of Fun for All Ages

By Emily Cowan, Newburyport.Com Correspondent

fall family farms, Macaroni Kid, Newburyport

Each fall, family farms all over New England invite us to come celebrate the harvest, hosting festivals and events throughout the season. The trend toward recreation, education, and outreach among America’s working farms makes fall the ideal time to show kids what “farm to table” is all about. Fall on the family farm is a true New England tradition. Here are three Newburyport-area farms that shouldn’t be missed as the leaves start changing and the pumpkins come out.

Russell Orchards (Ipswich). For over 35 years, Russell Orchards has welcomed visitors to its family-owned and -operated 120-acre fruit farm for a farm-to-table experience like no other. Pick-your-own apples available throughout the season (click here for tips). On weekends, you can access Russell Orchards’ picking fields by hayride! Kids can also visit with their barnyard animals and watch their signature cider donuts being made at the farm’s bakery. Russell Orchards’ expansive farm store features a wide range of locally sourced products. Wines and hard ciders made from the orchard’s own fruit are available for tasting Friday through Sunday.

Cider Hill Farm (Amesbury). Weekends through mid-October, celebrate fall at Cider Hill Farm with hayrides, apple picking, hundreds of pumpkins, hot cider donuts, and fresh-pressed apple cider. Cider Hill Farm is a perennial favorite among local families seeking to pick the perfect pumpkin for Halloween.

Marini Farm Corn Maze (Ipswich). This family-owned and -operated vegetable farm in Ipswich boasts a giant maze of “trails’” cut through 8 acres of living cornstalks (click here for an inside look). There is also a mini-maze for the little ones. The maze area also features a large children’s play area stocked with climbing structures, inflatable slides, and a 70-foot jumping pillow. Apple cannons and hayrides are available on the weekends (weather permitting). The corn maze, farm stand and bakery, pumpkin patch, and other attractions provide a great destination for families.

Now that it’s officially “fall,” family farms are ready to celebrate the harvest season. Get outside and enjoy!

Want to be the first to know about great local events for families in the Newburyport area? Join the 4,000 local moms and dads who receive our free weekly e-newsletter! http://newburyport.macaronikid.com/subscribe/

Walking Tours of Newburyport – Lively, Historic Tours & Tastings

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
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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 $40 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.

Untapped History

Start Location for Tours
25 Water Street
Newburyport MA 01950
Alex@untappedhistory.com
978-355-8410

Book a Tour

Tour Details
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 $40 per person. The tour will conclude with a flight of historic alcoholic drink samples and appetizers at a Newburyport waterfront restaurant.

Newburyport Art Association

By Emily Cowan, Newburyport.Com Correspondent

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Newburyport Art Association

Inspiring a Creative and Vibrant Local Arts Community

Newburyport Art Association
Summer’s Out of Reach, Pastel by Lisa Regopoulos

Experience the Best of the Area’s Artists and Artisans

The Newburyport Art Association (NAA) forms the heart of the local arts scene, hosting exhibitions and workshops designed to support and encourage a vibrant arts community in the Greater Newburyport area. For the past 70 years this nonprofit organization has dedicated itself to the creation of art, art education, and community outreach.

Visit the Newburyport Art Association’s downtown gallery for regular exhibitions showcasing the talents of NAA member artists. The organization hosts about 40 open and juried shows throughout the year. NAA also participates in the Newburyport Art Walk, a free self-guided tour of local galleries offered four times yearly. From late November through December, the NAA gallery presents an annual Holiday Gift Show & Sale, offering shoppers the chance to buy original artwork as holiday gifts and support NAA artist members.

The mission of the Newburyport Art Association also includes making art education accessible for people of all ages and skill levels. Art classes are open both to NAA members and non-members. Visit the organization’s website for a list of upcoming classes and workshops.

Community outreach efforts include programs for students in local schools and for special needs adults. The NAA’s “OpArt” program, for example, provides art education for clients (adults with special needs) of Opportunity Works, Inc. of Newburyport & Haverhill.

Over the decades the Newburyport Art Association has built a reputation for creating a warm and supportive environment in which to look at, think about, and experiment with the process of creating art. NAA membership offers benefits such as discounts on Newburyport art classes, workshops, and a 10% discount on purchases at the NAA Gift Shop, which now offers some art supplies!

The NAA gallery is located in downtown Newburyport across from The Tannery and next door to the Lighthouse. Regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. and Sunday 1:00-5:00p.m. – admission is free.

As a fundraising partner of the VIP Program, the Newburyport Art Association receives $10 for every $25 VIP Card/Newburyport App purchased through the NAA. Order your VIP card to support NAA here.

Newburyport Art Association
Wide-angle photograph of Young & Budding Artists Show Reception & Awards Ceremony, 2016

Newburyport Art Association

65 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-8769

Calendar

Become an NAA Member

Support the NAA

Newburyport Art Association
Newburyport Art Association, Photograph courtesy of NAA Artist Member Linda Dahlberg
Newburyport Art Association
Unveil, Drawing by Noriko Fox
Newburyport Art Association
The First Normal School in New Hampshire, Effingham (April), Acrylic by Linda Hefner

Custom House Maritime Museum

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
Maritime History, Custom House Maritime Museum, Newburyport

Discover Newburyport’s Maritime History

The Custom House Maritime Museum

Experience Newburyport’s Maritime History

Are you looking to experience Newburyport maritime history? The Maritime heritage in Newburyport, Massachusetts runs deep. Newburyport has many wonderful attractions but the Custom House Maritime Museum is the ultimate destination for all residents and visitors with a curiosity about rich maritime history.

As the eastern seacoast’s first major commercial port, and the birthplace of the U.S. Coastguard, there is plenty to preserve and celebrate in Newburyport.

Much of this history can be seen at the Custom House Maritime Museum in downtown Newburyport. This includes an extensive collection of maritime art, model clipper ships and displays from infamous shipwrecks such as the Carlyle Ship Collection of Duncan McFarlane.

Built in 1835, the Custom House served as a place to promote overseas trade and tax collection of imported goods on the Newburyport waterfront.

After a long period of transition, the Newburyport Maritime Society was founded in 1968 to restore and manage the Custom House, now regarded as a premiere maritime museum.

Open year round, the museum not only serves as an educational center and research facility, but also as a meeting place for professional and social gatherings.

Custom tours and museum rentals for concerts, weddings and other special events make the Custom House a true treasure of Newburyport.

The museum also hosts a bevy of maritime events in honor of our local Coast Guard men and women who protect our waters. You can view the Maritime Museum’s calendar of events here.

The Newburyport Maritime Society devoted to, “connecting the past to the living history of today through new relationships with local artistic, business and environmental organizations.”

The Custom House Maritime Museum

25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
978.462.8681
info@thechmm.org

Open Year Round!

January-April on Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday & Holiday Mondays (12-4pm)

May-December on Tuesday – Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday & Holiday Mondays (12-4pm)

Parking is available at local parking lots.

Admission is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors and students. Active military members and kids under 6 are free.

Museum Store

Custom House Exhibits

Maritime Museum Events Calendar

Visit

Maudslay State Park

hiking and walking trails in Newburyport, MA

Hiking and Walking Trails in Newburyport

Experience The Natural Beauty of Maudslay State Park

Miles of Hiking and
Walking Trails

Maudslay State Park features breathtaking 19th century gardens, carriage roads and walking trails, stunning fields and meadows as well as stone arch bridges and a flowering reflection pond.  If you appreciate history and the outdoors, a trip to Maudslay State Park is a must.  Enjoy miles of hiking and walking trails and join the equestrian group if you enjoy horse back riding.

The former Moseley family estate, Maudslay is a historic site located along the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

From rhododendrons in bloom to horseback riding, there is something for everyone at this impressive New England natural resource, including family picnics and a variety of renowned hiking trails.

There is a small charge for parking, or you can purchase annual passes. Permits for weddings and special occasions are also available.

The Park also features amazing cultural events held regularly throughout the summer at the Maudslay Arts Center, while the winter months are perfect for watching bald eagles roost, cross country skiing with your dogs and of course, sledding!

Maudslay State Park

74 Curzon Mill Road
Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-7223

info@MaudslayAssociation.Org
Maudslay.Park@State.MA.US – Events

Upcoming Events at Maudlsay

Featured on Hike New England. Here is a Trail Map to help you explore!

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

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Exceptional Bird Watching in a Picturesque Setting

Experience The Natural Beauty of The Reservation

Experience Bird Watching in Newburyport

From the Plum Island beaches to the Maritime Forest, the Parker River Wildlife Refuge is a top quality bird watching destination. Parker River is a nationally recognized Wildlife Refuge for over 300 species or resident and migratory birds as well as a large variety of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

Tried and true since the 1940’s, Parker River extends across 4700 acres on the northeast coast of Massachusetts.  VIP guests at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge include the Piping Plovers. Federally protected by the Wildlife Conservation, the Piping Plovers enjoy summer vacation on a secluded section of Plum Island Beach from April 1 to late summer.

There are several boardwalks that lead to the beach. Visitors also have access to a number of viewing trails, and two observation towers that are perfect for bird watching and taking pictures.

In addition to waterfowl, the many habitats at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge make it a popular Newburyport attraction for sighting mammals, fish, and reptiles. It’s no wonder the Salt Marsh habitat is deemed, “One of the most productive ecosystems in nature.”

More habitats include Cranberry Bog and Freshwater Marsh, which make Parker River sound like a Wildlife Resort & Spa in addition to a National Refuge.  Parker River also offers passes and permits for those who enjoy surf fishing and seasonal hunting.

If you enjoy bird watching and crave the outdoors a visit to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a must!  To start your adventure, join the Parker River Wildlife Refuge free educational programs held at the Visitor Center in Newburyport, MA.

Parker River Wildlife Refuge
6 Plum Island Turnpike
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 465-5753

The Administrative Office for obtaining passes and permits is opened Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

View a Map of the Refuge
Learn How to Volunteer!

Kudos: Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), Important Bird Area (IBA), and Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).

US Coast Guard

By Joe, Joe

US Coast Guard, Newburyport MA

Newburyport is the birthplace of the USCG

US Coast Guard

PART OF A LONG TRADITION OF LIFESAVERS

One of 20 stations in the Coast Guard, the Merrimack River Station in Newburyport, Massachusetts is home to the men and women protecting our waters with search, rescue and law enforcement.

As the the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard, our Newburyport Coast Guardsmen are responsible for some of the greatest rescues, with history dating back almost 200 years.

Born Ready, through intense surf and heavy breaking seas, these men and women maintain and handle several sea going vessels including steel hull boats, a utility power boat and Boston Whalers.

Read more about the history of the USLSS Station #1, Second District Coast Guard Station #20.

US Coast Guard

Merrimack River Station
65B Water Street
NewburyportMA 01950
(978) 462-3428

Date of Conveyance: 1881
Station Built: 1882

Coordinates 42°48′37.68″N 70°51′53.48″W

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Bartlet Mall

Bartlet Mall

Bartlet Mall

A Scenic Park Rich in History

Bartlet Mall, a gorgeous historic park at the intersection of Pond and High Streets, is a great place for ice-skating, sledding, and enjoying nature. Its scenic views provide the setting for a wide variety of popular community events, including Yankee Homecoming Olde Fashioned Sunday, Art on Bartlet Mall, and the Newburyport Lantern Festival.

Bartlet Mall is an ideal place for taking a walk, walking the dog, having a picnic, biking or running. The Mall features a basketball court and one of the top 8 playgrounds in the Newburyport area, which means fun for people of all ages!

There are wide walkways and a series of footpaths that border the Mall and lead to the Frog Pond. It has also become a highly photographed area by many local photographers. The benches, walkways and shade trees create a beautiful setting.  And the view of Frog Pond, with its resident ducks and ornate cast iron fountain, is lovely.

Bartlet Mall dates to the 1600s when the first English settlers used the area as a place to water and graze sheep. It was also a training area for militias that would go on to fight in the Revolutionary War. The Mall was professionally landscaped in the late 1880s using plans by landscape architect, Charles Eliot. This work resulted in the beautiful paths and grassy lawns enjoyed by visitors today.

The historic Superior Court building, constructed in 1805, sits at the edge of Bartlet Mall. It is one of the oldest active courthouses in the U.S. Charles Bullfinch, who designed the Massachusetts State House in Boston, was also the architect for the Superior Court Building.  In fact, both Bartlet Mall and the Superior Courthouse are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bartlet Mall is a shimmering and beloved jewel in the heart of Newburyport’s historic district.

Bartlet Mall

High & Pond Sts.
Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-7223

 

For upcoming events at Bartlet Mall, check the Newburyport.com Events Calendar.

Plum Island Airport Managed by Plum Island Aerodrome

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.

Plum Island Airport Historic Contributions to Aviation

Plum Island Aerodrome

Plum Island Airport, Newburyport MA
Image by Ethan Cohen of UAV Look

The Historic Plum Island Airport

Do you know about the impressive history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury? Many advances in aviation occurred on Plum Island. The first flying field in New England was built on Plum Island. The original runway over the sand dunes and marshes was made of wood! The Burgess Company built over one hundred different types of airplanes at Plum Island Airport until the end of World War I.  The founder of the Burgess Company built planes for the Wright Brothers and is recognized for his contributions to aviation.

Nowadays, the runway is asphalt, not wood! The Plum Island Airport offers several services to the flying community including flight instruction, aircraft fueling station, parking tiedowns and more. Glider rides and scenic flights are available to the general public throughout the year. The Airport is also used for public services including emergency medical evacuations and Coast Guard rescue operations.

The airport is a not-for-profit organization. Volunteers are responsible for a great deal of the work at the airport. The goal of the organization is to make sure the historic nature of the Plum Island Airport is preserved and to inform the public about the history of the airport. The airport also hosts a number of community services, such as tours, for groups such as schools, youth groups, and community organizations.

There are two museums located at the Plum Island Airport. The Burgess Aviation Museum highlights the history of the Plum Island Airport and is open year-round for self-guided tours.  The Working Museum showcases restored classic airplanes and current restoration work. Visiting the Plum Island Airport and the Museums is free to the public.  See the website for more information about the Working Museum and aircraft renovation workshops. Be sure to schedule group tours and historian led tours in advance!

Plum Island Airport is a great place for plane lovers to stop and watch planes take off and land. Frequently, Metzy’s Taqueria Truck is parked at the airport and folks can enjoy delicious and authentic Mexican food while enjoying the views.

Learn more about the fascinating history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury by visiting their website!

Plum Island Airport

24 Plum Island Turnpike
Newbury, MA 01951

Airport Operations Tours/Working Museum: 508-269-4941

Burgess Museum: 978-270-6744

Flight Instruction: 781-325-2135

 

Directions:

From I-95 take exit 57 MA-113 W Newbury/Newburyport. Follow-113 East/ Storey Ave continuing on to High Street/Rt 1A. Turn left at Rolfes Lane/ Ocean Ave. Turn right at the end of Ocean Ave on to Plum Island Turnpike. The airport will be on the right.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Historic Farm in Newbury

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is a historic 231-acre property in Newbury with events and activities for you and your family to enjoy. The property features exhibits and interactive activities that demonstrate what it was like to live on a farm throughout the centuries. Much of the land at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is still under active agriculture!

Visit the expansive open land and tour the farmhouse to see what life was like in Newbury in the 1690s! The farm was originally used to raise cattle, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens. In addition, fruit, vegetables, flowers, barley and fresh meadow hay have been grown on the land. The main house was built with local stone, most likely from nearby Plum Island. There are several outbuildings including a large barn and visitor center that was originally a carriage barn.

There are many fun outdoor events at the Farm including Vintage Baseball from May to October. It’s a lot of fun to watch baseball being played with rules from 1881!

You can also visit sheep, goats, chickens and a horse on the property. The Farm partners with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to foster these friendly animals.  The Farm Friends is a program geared toward children 3 to 6 years old. The children who sign up for this program get to spend time with farm animals, listen to a story, and create a neat craft item to bring home. Programs run at various times throughout the year so be sure to check the Farm’s website for details.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm owned and operated by Historic New England, a cultural preservation organization. The season for Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is from June 1st to October 15th, the grounds are open year round during daylight hours. It’s a great place to enjoy a stroll, ride bikes, cross-country ski, and ride horses. There is plenty of parking at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

5 Little’s Lane
Newbury, MA 01951
978-462-2634

Directions: Take I-95 to Route 113, Newburyport. Route 113 turns into Route 1A (High Road). Follow Route 1A for 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Little’s Lane.

Plum Island Light House the Newburyport Harbor Light

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
Plum Island Light House, Newburyport MA

Plum Island Light House/Newburyport Harbor Light

Guide Us Through the Channel

Plum Island Light House, Newburyport MA

The Historic Plum Island Light House

The Plum Island Light House also know as the Plum Island Light or the Newburyport Harbor Light, has a very interesting history. It was first lit in 1788 with a lantern burning whale oil. And it was the 13th lighthouse to be constructed in the U.S..  It was needed to guide boaters into the treacherous mouth of the Merrimack River and into Newburyport Harbor. The strong currents and shifting sands at the mouth of the harbor present a serious challenge to boaters to this day.

Newburyport Harbor was very active and important to the U.S. for whaling, fishing, shipbuilding, and trade. There were many ships coming in and out of Newburyport Harbor. Before the lighthouse was built, fires on the beach in Plum Island were used to guide mariners. It was the business people of Newburyport in the 1780s that paid to build the Plum Island Lighthouse. President George Washington appointed the first keeper of the Plum Island Lighthouse, Abner Lowell. And three generations of Lowells served as lighthouse keepers at the Plum Island Lighthouse.

There were storms that damaged and original Plum Island Lighthouse. In addition, shifting sands meant that the Lighthouse had to be moved several times.

The current lighthouse dates from 1898. Since 1927 the lighthouse has been powered by electricity. The last keeper left the Lighthouse in 1951 when the light was automated. Today the lighthouse flashes a green light to guide boaters.  It is still very important to have this lighthouse in operation to guide boats safely through the turbulent area where the Merrimack River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The Plum Island Lighthouse is located across from the Park River National Wildlife Refuge at the northern section of Plum Island.

Today the lighthouse is owned by the City of Newburyport. Friends of Plum Island Light lease it from the City and care for it. The grounds are open to the public. The Friends of Plum Island Light offer periodic public tours inside the Plum Island Lighthouse.

The picture perfect Plum Island Lighthouse is one of the great lighthouses to visit in New England and the North Shore.  It’s a “must see” for any lighthouse enthusiast and worth the visit if you are in the Greater Newburyport area.

Plum Island Light House

Northern Boulevard
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 973-6935

The Friends of Plum Island Light maintain the lighthouse and sometimes open the tower. Call (978) 973-6935 to see when open houses are offered.

Directions:

From the Newburyport Harbor Range Lights on Water Street in downtown Newburyport, continue east on Water Street for 1.3 miles, where Water Street will become Plum Island Turnpike. Follow the turnpike for 1.8 miles to Plum Island, and then turn left on Northern Boulevard. Continue on Northern Boulevard for 1.3 miles to the northern end of the island, where you will see the lighthouse on your left.

 

Newburyport Whale Watch

By Joe, Joe

Newburyport Whale Watch, Newburyport MA

We see whales

Newburyport Whale Watch

Sail Aboard the Captain Lady III

Leave Newburyport Harbor and head out to the Atlantic Ocean to see Humpbacks, Minkes, Finbacks and other marine life along the New England Coast. Newburyport Whale Watch naturalists will guide the 4-hour tour out to Jeffries Ledge or wherever the whales are playing.

The Captain Lady III is a 160 foot boat with cruising speeds of 20 knots. The ship accommodates 100+ guests, and offers restrooms, a climate controlled cabin, flat screen satellite TVs and a Galley with snacks and lunches. You may also bring food with you, but Coast Guard regulations prohibit bringing your own alcohol aboard. The Galley however does offer wine and beer.

In addition to Whale Watch tours, there are several cruises available for fishing parties or watching the sunset. Definitely something different for those hot New England summer days and nights, and perfect for corporate parties, weddings or a little romance under the stars. Select tours even scope out various summer fireworks on Salisbury Beach and during Yankee Homecoming.

Trips aboard the Captain Lady III are also ideal for bird watching. These Birding Trips run out to the Shoals and surrounding areas where bird life is active. A naturalist from the Audubon Society at Joppa Flats will guide the way, introducing you to shore and seabirds of the Atlantic Coast. It’s a great education experience for guests of all ages.

VIP Card Deal

Receive $5 off Whale Watch Tickets with a Best of Newburyport VIP Card.

Order your VIP Card Online here

Clipper City Rail Trail

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The Clipper City Rail Trail –
A Bike Path Lined with Exceptional Local Art

Run, Bike, Scoot, Skate or Stroll it!

Experience the Clipper City Rail Trail – Newburyport’s Bike Path

The Clipper City Rail Trail is more than just your average bike path! Whether you live local to the Newburyport area or you are just coming for a visit, the Clipper City Rail Trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area. In addition to the natural beauty that sounds the Clipper City Rail Trail, you will find many wonderful works of art that line this popular bike path. Enjoy unique sculptures, murals, unique signage and even a a steel “Steam Locomotive” play sculpture with a cow catcher, coal car, bell and whistle by artists Scott Kessel and Matt Niland.

Inspiration for Newburyport’s Clipper City Rail Trail came from The City of Newburyport’s Senior Project Manager Geordie Vining. On a family trip to Paris, George and his family enjoyed the art along the Seine River and realized that art shared i a public space had far more ability to have broader cultural impact than art behind closed doors.

The original phase of the bike path runs from the  MBTA Commuter Rail Station over to Cashman Park, a picturesque spot on the Merrrimack River.  Construction has extend the path through the South End neighborhood of Newburyport down to the river so that folks can experience even more of Newburyport via the Clipper City Rail Trail. The last phase of the project is slated to connect the two ends providing folks a safe connection across the Rt. 1 traffic circle. Whether your ready for serious exercise or a leisurely stroll with the dog, this local bike path is a wonderful place for all to enjoy.

Along your bike route stop and experience exciting Newburyport destinations such as the Newburyport Art Association and the Custom House Maritime Museum. If you work up an appetite, stop at one of the many restaurants along the way such as Metzy’s Cantina right next to the Newburyport Commuter Rail Station or Andiamo Restaurant & Bar on your way to Cashman Park.

Clipper City Rail Trail

Merrimack River to the MBTA Station
Merrimack River through the South End

Detailed Rail Trail Overview

Joppa Flats Education Center

By Joe, Joe

Enjoy the nature of Newburyport

Joppa Flats Education Center

Education Opportunities for people of all ages

Explore Newburyport salt marshes, coastal waters and more at the Joppa Flats Education Center (JFEC) located near the entrance of the Parker River Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

This 52-acre wildlife sanctuary includes not only outdoor grounds, but indoor observation areas, making JFEC a great educational experience all year round.

From guided tours and marine touch tanks, to art exhibits, summer camps and programs for EcoKids, adults and birders, you’ll experience a variety of species recorded locally each year.

The Joppa Flats Education Center also offers annual events like the Superbowl of Birding, Plum Island CoastSweep and Merrimack River Eagle Festival, making nature all the more fun.

Plus, the JFEC in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has banded and released 36,000 birds and counting from its Bird Banding Station on Plum Island, a popular stopover point along the East Coast for migrating birds. The research collected during the banding process is entered into a database with the longterm goal of studying the relationships between some of these bird species and habitat types.

The Joppa Flats Education Center in connection with the Audubon Society of Massachusetts relies on volunteers and donations from the community. Learn more about how to contribute here.

Joppa Flats Education Center

One Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950

978.462.9998

joppaflats@massaudubon.org

joppaflatsdaycamp@massaudubon.org

Programs, Classes & Activities

Summer Camp Sessions & Schedules

Private Functions & Upcoming Tours

Birder’s Certificate Program – College course with trips to destinations like Cuba, Kenya and Big Bend National Park.

Love

Waterfront Park

By Joe, Joe

Newburyport’s Waterfront Park

You’ll be having some fun down at the boardwalk

Experience the Sunrise at Waterfront Park

Newburyport Waterfront Park is positioned in the center of downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts.

A perfect green space, Waterfront Park has a great boardwalk that runs along the Merrimack River and plenty of benches to stop and enjoy the waterfront views and boating activity.

Waterfront Park also plays hosts to a variety of exercise classes, the occasional summer wedding and plenty of live entertainment from local theater performances to world class bands during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming and Riverfront Music Festival.

As part of an Urban Renewal Project in the 60’s, Waterfront Park was taken by eminent domain by the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority (NRA) and is now maintained and managed by the Newburyport Waterfront Trust, a team of five Trustees appointed by the Mayor. The duty of the Trust is to, “Keep the public ways and Boardwalk “open” for the benefit of the general public.”

Some have expressed interest in a new vision for the park as seen in this Waterfront Master Plan by Union Studio Architecture and Design. In this design the park would increase in size with the addition of two three-story mixed-used buildings and more parking, costing a developer an estimated $30 million.

Citizens for an Open Waterfront remain in support of open views of the Merrimack River including recreational activities like volleyball and a wading pool, as well as improved parking, however the group rejects the proposed buildings as the centerpiece of the design.

Waterfront Park

Downtown Newburyport (behind the Firehouse Center of the Arts on Market Street)

Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-1252
hin57@comcast.net 

 

Managed by the Newburyport Waterfront Trust

Special events that require use of any portion of the Waterfront Park require approval. Park Use Application

Plum Island Pink House

By Damian Turco, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Principal Attorney and Owner of Turco Legal, Attorney Turco is highly regarded as an expert in the areas of divorce and family law. He has represented hundreds of clients through divorces, modifications, contempt matters, and other family law matters from beginning to end. He sits on multiple committees for the Mass Bar Association, has been recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the state’s upcoming top 25 lawyers of 2015. Attorney Turco’s donates considerable time to help within the community. He serves on the board of LARC, a legal non-profit that helps thousands of lower income folks get desperately needed legal help. He also volunteers his time monthly delivering legal assistance at homeless shelters, day shelters, and soup kitchen’s in Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, and Salem.
Turco Legal
Plum Island Pink House, Newburyport MA by Damian Turco

How many times have you driven past that old pink house on your way out to Plum Island and wondered what it’s all about?  There’s something about that house that just sets the tone as it whisks by the car.  It’s kind of eerie looking.  Kind of beat up by the weather over the years.  It certainly seems like it’s in an odd place.  I used to live out on the island and like many of us, still frequent the great natural space out there.  That house just seems to catch my eye every time I come around that bend.  Is it the remnant of a lovely estate?  Maybe a millionaire who just had to be by the airport but not too far from the beach?

Nope.  It turns out, as I never would have imagined, that the only thing it’s a remnant of is a spiteful divorce from 1925!  What??  How is that possible?  But it is as I learned from Amanda Hoover’s Boston.com article this morning.  And as a Newburyport divorce lawyer, I must say, I’m intrigued.  As Amanda’s story explained, the house is the centerpiece of a poorly drafted divorce separation agreement which required the Husband to build the Wife with an exactly replica of their downtown Newburyport marital home.  The only problems is that the agreement didn’t say where it had to be built. . . oops.  Read more about this story and why good drafting is critical in any divorce here on my Newburport Divorce Blog.

Photo by Karen Lynch.

 

Plum Island Beach

By Joe, Joe

Plum Island Beach, Newburyport

Plum Island Beach

Newburyport’s Beach – Explore, Play, Relax!

 

Plum Island Beach is a beautiful New England barrier island offering locals and visitors an opportunity to explore, play and relax.  A family-friendly Newburyport attraction, Plum Island Beach offers many fun and interesting things to do.  Discover amazing bird watching and the natural beauty of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.   Enjoy fishing, boating, kayaking or just playing and relaxing on the beach.

Plum Island is named for the beach plum shrubs that grow in the dunes and is 11 miles in length.  The North Point of the Island is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Merrimack River at the mouth of the Newburyport Harbor.  If you park on the Northern end of the Island make sure to pay a visit to the Plum Island Light House and if you have kids there is a fun playground on the edge of the beach.  Captains Fishing Parties is located on the North Point and features both public and private boat trips.

The public beach is located on the central part of the Island  and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge runs through Newbury, Rowley and down to Ipswich.  On the far Southern Point of the Island you will find Sandy Point State Reservation, a very picturesque beach located across from Cranes Beach in Ipswich, MA.

Plum Island Beach
Newburyport, MA 01950

US Harbors Tide Guide for Newburyport’s Merrimack River

Sorry, no dogs allowed on the beach from May 15th through October 15th.

Directions from Boston

Take I-95 North to Exit 57, Rte 113 East. As you drive through Newburyport, MA Rt. 113 will become Main Street and then will turn back into Rt. 113 as you leave Newburyport and pass into Newbury.  You will pass the Newbury Town Green on  your right and take a left at the traffic light on to Rolfe’s Lane.  At the end of Rolfe’s Lane you will take a right on to Newburyport Turnpike and follow it over to the beach.  You will pass the Newburyport Airport on your right and Bob Lobster on the left.

If you want to go to the Parker River National Wildlife Reservation Beach, take a right at the Plum Island Grille, on to Sunset Drive.  Keep straight if you want to head to the main public beach.

Beach Parking

There are many parking lots on the Parker River Wildlife Refuge but most are quite small.  The largest is Parking Lot # 1 which is on the left just after you pass by the gate house.  During peak times there can be a wait to get into the Reservation.  Restrooms are available at Parking Lots 1 & 4.

The Plum Island Public Beach has a few parking lots just across from the main beach and one much larger parking lot if you turn left on to Norther Boulevard and follow it all the way to the North Point of the Island by the playground and light house.  There are portable restrooms at the main beach and there is a restroom next to the playground at the North Point parking lot.

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