Looking for the absolute best things to do in Newburyport Massachusetts? Here are 30+ of our favorite local activities!
Welcome to Newburyport Massachusetts! Known for its seaside charm and bustling downtown area, it’s no wonder this picturesque town draws visitors from near and far. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed vacation, there is something for everyone in Newburyport.
From strolling along the waterfront to exploring historical attractions, here are 30+ things to do in Newburyport Massachusetts that will make your visit unforgettable! So grab your map and get ready for a memorable experience. There is so much to explore and discover in this beautiful destination. Enjoy!
The Custom House Maritime Museum is a must-see when visiting Newburyport. Located in the heart of downtown, it houses artifacts and exhibits that tell the stories of Newburyport’s rich maritime history. The museum offers a variety of interactive activities for visitors to explore, such as model shipbuilding workshops, programs on building wooden boats, and model boat racing.
Also on display are artifacts such as paintings, photographs, wood carvings, and navigational instruments that highlight the history of Newburyport’s nautical past. There is also a research library with books on maritime-related topics available to browse through.
29. Stroll down State Street
State Street is a great place to explore Newburyport’s historic downtown area. This charming road features an array of shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Walk down the cobblestone streets and admire the picturesque buildings that line the street. Take a break in one of the many cafes or browse through some of the unique boutiques. Be sure to take a moment to enjoy the stunning views of the historic Merrimack River and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge that can be found near State Street.
If you are looking for an unforgettable dining experience, head to the top of the Newburyport Lighthouse. The panoramic views from the top make it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner with a stunning backdrop.
The menu features local seafood dishes such as lobster rolls and grilled swordfish, as well as classic American fare like burgers and sandwiches. There is also an extensive wine selection and craft beers on draft. The venue even hosts live music on select nights of the week, making it a great place to go for a night out in Newburyport.
This is definitely a pricier activity but is well worth the money if you want an unforgettable night!
Tendercrop Farm is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike looking to pick up some fresh produce or sample some of the local food vendors. The farm is open year-round, offering seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as specialty items such as artisanal cheeses, jams, honey, and olive oils.
Visitors can also take a stroll through the farm’s gorgeous gardens or take advantage of the onsite petting zoo. Tendercrop Farm is a great place to spend a day in Newburyport Massachusetts and get a taste of its unique offerings.
Maudslay State Park is a great spot to explore nature in all its beauty. Located just outside of downtown, this lush park is home to meadows, forests and gardens that provide stunning views of the Merrimack River Valley.
The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, birdwatching, and fishing. You can also take the time to explore the ruins of the Maudslay family estate and grounds. The trails are open all year round so you can enjoy some delightful outdoor activities no matter what season it is.
Angie’s is a beloved local breakfast spot in Newburyport. Stop by for some of their delicious homemade french toast, omelets and more! This is the perfect way to start off your day – Angie’s is always bustling with friendly conversation and great food.
If you’re looking for a different vibe, then check out our favorite restaurants in Newburyport MA. There are so many options!
24. Take a walk on the Boardwalk
Newburyport’s historic boardwalk is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll while admiring the stunning views of the Merrimack River. The wooden planks are lined with benches, making it an ideal spot for people watching or just taking in the beauty of the riverfront.
The boardwalk also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the famous Boardwalk Art Show. Whether you’re looking for some outdoor fun or just want to soak in Newburyport’s beauty, a walk on the boardwalk is always a great experience.
The Newburyport Farmers Market is a great place to get some of the freshest produce and artisanal products from around the area. Held on Saturday mornings at the Cashman Park, this vibrant market features over 75 vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts.
The farmers market also hosts special events throughout the year such as cooking demonstrations, live music performances and educational programs about local food. This vibrant market is a great way to get a taste of the culture and community in Newburyport.
The Newburyport Art Association is an excellent place to experience some of the city’s amazing art. The gallery showcases a variety of local and regional artwork, with pieces ranging from traditional oil paintings to sculptures and mixed media works.
The association also hosts various special events throughout the year such as workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. It’s a great place to explore the art scene in Newburyport and find some unique pieces to take home.
Take a leisurely drive down the Plum Island Turnpike and enjoy some of the stunning scenery on offer. This road takes you through marshlands, beaches and even forests as it travels along the Merrimack River. It’s a great opportunity to take in the beauty of Newburyport’s natural surroundings while driving at an unhurried pace.
The turnpike is also home to a number of unique shops and restaurants, so you can stop for a bite to eat or browse through some local offerings as you take in the scenery.
From April to October, Newburyport Harbor is bustling with activity as whales make their way up and down the coast. Take a boat tour from Captain’s Cove Marina and watch the majestic creatures swim by. You may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins, seals and other marine life during your excursion.
Whale-watching tours are offered year-round so you can experience these gentle giants in all seasons. There’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with these amazing creatures!
The Joppa Flats Education Center is a great place for families to discover the natural beauty of Newburyport. This center offers educational programs, guided walks and kayak tours that highlight the area’s unique wildlife and habitat.
Visitors can explore salt marshes, mudflats, estuaries and more as they learn about the importance of preserving these fragile ecosystems. There are also many special events held throughout the year so you can always find something new to explore at this amazing facility.
18. Picnic at Cashman Park
Pack a picnic and head to Cashman Park for an afternoon of relaxed fun. This park is located along the Merrimack River and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. There are picnic tables and benches scattered throughout, so it’s easy to find a spot to relax in the sun or take a leisurely stroll through the grounds.
Cashman Park is also home to several festivals and events, making it a great place to visit all year round. Whether you’re looking for some outdoor fun or just want to catch up with friends, this park is sure to provide plenty of entertainment!
Plum Island Beach is the perfect spot for a sunny day at the beach. This beautiful stretch of sand is great for swimming and sunbathing, with soft white sand and crystal clear waters. It’s also a great place to explore the tidal flats, where you can find an array of strange and wonderful creatures living in the shallow pools.
The beach also offers amenities such as showers, changing rooms and restrooms so it’s easy to spend all day here without having to worry about getting too hot or uncomfortable.
Newburyport has its own vibrant wine scene with several local wineries offering tastings and tours of their vineyards. These wineries produce some amazing wines that are sure to please even the most discerning palates.
Take a tour and learn about the winemaking process, then sample some of the delicious wines being produced in Newburyport. You can even pick up a few bottles to take home with you as souvenirs!
15. Play a round of golf at The Meadows Golf Club
The Meadows Golf Club is a great place to spend an afternoon on the links. This 18-hole course offers stunning views of the Merrimack River Valley and plenty of challenges for golfers of all skill levels.
Head to the clubhouse after your round for drinks, snacks or lunch. The staff at The Meadows are always friendly and helpful, ensuring that everyone has a pleasant experience while enjoying this beautiful course.
The Tannery Outlet Stores offer some of the best shopping in Newburyport. This outdoor mall features over 60 stores, including designer labels, home goods, gifts and more. There’s something for everyone here, so you’re sure to find something you love.
The mall is also conveniently located near several restaurants and cafes, making it easy to grab a bite to eat when you get hungry. With its wide variety of shops and dining options, The Tannery Outlet Stores are a great place to spend an afternoon exploring!
13. Visit Derby Wharf Lighthouse
Derby Wharf Lighthouse has been guiding ships since 1871 and is now open for guided tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Take a tour of the lighthouse and learn about its fascinating history as you take in stunning views from the top.
The area around Derby Wharf Lighthouse is also a great spot to explore, with plenty of trails nearby that are perfect for walks or bike rides. With its breathtaking views, historic charm and convenient location, this is one of the must-see attractions in Newburyport!
The Firehouse Center for the Arts is a great venue to see live music and theater performances in Newburyport. This intimate space has hosted some of the world’s best performers, including the likes of Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie.
Be sure to check their website or social media pages for upcoming shows and events. With its impressive lineup of performers and cozy atmosphere, this is one stop that you won’t want to miss!
Newburyport is home to some incredible museums and galleries, including the incredible Newburyport Maritime Museum. This interactive museum offers a unique look into the city’s history, with exhibits on its maritime heritage, cultural artifacts and more.
The local art galleries are also worth a visit, featuring works from both well-known and up-and-coming artists. Spend an afternoon exploring these hidden gems of Newburyport’s art scene!
The Newburyport Waterfront Park is a great spot to spend an afternoon enjoying the outdoors. This picturesque park features pathways, benches and plenty of open space to explore.
Bring a picnic lunch or grab a bite at one of the nearby restaurants, then take some time to enjoy the peace and tranquility that this beautiful park has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an exciting adventure, the waterfront park is sure to have something for everyone!
Newburyport’s location on the coast makes it the perfect destination for fresh seafood lovers. The town boasts several excellent seafood restaurants offering up everything from fried clams to locally caught fish dishes.
There are also several seafood markets where you can buy the catch of the day and cook it up in your own kitchen. No matter what your tastes are, Newburyport is sure to have something that’s sure to delight your taste buds!
8. Climb the Graf Rooftop Observation Tower
The Graf Rooftop Observation Tower is located in the heart of Newburyport’s historic district and offers incredible views of the city. Climb to the top of this 40-foot tall tower and take in panoramic vistas that stretch all the way from Boston to Cape Ann.
The observation tower is open year round, giving you plenty of opportunities to soak up its breathtaking views. So don’t miss out on this unique opportunity for some stunning sightseeing!
The Cushing House Museum & Garden is one of Newburyport’s most beloved historical sites, offering a glimpse into the city’s past. Learn about the city’s fascinating history and explore its gardens on a guided tour that takes you through over 200 years of architecture and artifacts.
Stop by for a leisurely stroll or to learn more about this important piece of local heritage – either way, it’s sure to be an experience that you won’t soon forget.
Sea Level Oyster Bar is a local favorite in Newburyport, offering up some of the best seafood dishes around. Stop by for fresh oysters, mussels and more in an inviting atmosphere.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxed dinner with friends or a romantic night out, Sea Level has something to offer everyone. Be sure to come hungry – the portions are generous and the flavors are unforgettable!
Head out onto the waters of Newburyport harbor for a unique and exciting adventure. Rent a kayak or canoe from one of the local shops and then make your way through this picturesque harbor, taking in the sights along the way.
This is a great opportunity to get some exercise while exploring the beauty of Newburyport from an entirely new perspective! So gear up and get ready for an unforgettable journey!
4. Explore downtown’s many boutiques and specialty stores
Newburyport’s charming downtown district is home to many quaint boutiques and specialty stores. Browse through clothing stores, antique shops, bookstores and more as you explore this bustling area. Whether you’re looking for something unique or searching for that perfect gift, you’re sure to find something special here.
Stop for lunch or a snack at one of the district’s many restaurants and cafes – this is the perfect way to break up your shopping spree in style!
Experience the thrill of fishing in Newburyport’s waters with a charter boat tour. Professional fishermen will take you and your group out for an exciting day on the sea, giving you access to some of the best fishing spots around.
You’ll have plenty of guidance and advice from experienced fisherman – so don’t forget to bring your own gear along if you want to try your luck at catching something special!
Newburyport is home to several award-winning breweries. Visit one of these local establishments and sample some of their delicious craft beers – whether you prefer IPAs or Pilsners, there’s something for everyone here.
Be sure to take a tour of the brewery while you’re at it – some even offer tasting flights so that you can try out a variety of flavors in one go!
The Plum Island Airfield is a great way to get an up-close look at vintage aircraft. Take a tour of the airfield and admire its impressive collection of planes – you can even take a ride in one of the aircraft!
This is a great place for aviation lovers, or for those looking for something unique and exciting to do in Newburyport. So don’t miss out on this special opportunity!
FAQs About Visiting Newburyport Massachusetts:
Here are some of the top questions we get about things to do in Newburyport MA.
How do I get to Newburyport?
Getting to Newburyport is relatively easy, as the city is well-connected by various modes of transportation. Here are the primary ways to reach Newburyport:
1. By Car: Newburyport is accessible by car from major highways. If you’re driving from Boston, take Interstate 95 North to Exit 57, and then follow signs to Newburyport. The drive typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.
2. By Train: The Newburyport/Rockport Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Commuter Rail offers train service between Newburyport and Boston’s North Station. The train ride provides a scenic route along the coastline and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check the MBTA website for schedules and fares.
3. By Bus: Bus services, such as the MBTA’s bus routes and private intercity bus companies, offer transportation to Newburyport from nearby areas. Be sure to check the relevant bus schedules and routes for availability.
4. By Air: The nearest major airport to Newburyport is Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). From the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi or rideshare service, or use public transportation to reach Newburyport.
5. By Boat: If you’re arriving by boat, Newburyport has a marina and docking facilities along the Merrimack River. You can inquire about docking options and amenities available for boaters.
6. By Bicycle: Newburyport is also accessible by bicycle, especially if you’re staying in the nearby areas. The Clipper City Rail Trail is a popular biking route that connects Newburyport to neighboring communities.
Are there any annual events or festivals in Newburyport?
Yes, Newburyport hosts a variety of annual events and festivals throughout the year that offer visitors a chance to experience the city’s vibrant culture and community spirit. Some of the notable events include:
Yankee Homecoming Festival: This week-long celebration typically takes place in late July or early August and is one of the city’s biggest events. It features a wide range of activities, including live music, parades, fireworks, craft fairs, a road race, and family-friendly entertainment.
Newburyport ArtWalk: Held in the spring and fall, the Newburyport ArtWalk showcases the work of local artists and galleries. Visitors can explore art exhibits, meet artists, and enjoy the creative atmosphere in the historic downtown area.
Riverfront Music Festival: This summer music festival features a diverse lineup of live bands performing along the waterfront. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy music, food, and scenic views of the Merrimack River.
Newburyport Literary Festival: Book lovers will enjoy this annual literary event that brings together authors, poets, and literary enthusiasts for readings, discussions, and workshops.
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival: This event showcases documentary films from around the world and provides a platform for thought-provoking discussions and conversations about the art of filmmaking.
Newburyport Farmers’ Market: While not a traditional festival, the farmers’ market is a weekly event that takes place during the warmer months. It offers fresh produce, local products, artisan crafts, and a chance to connect with the local community.
Holiday Events: During the holiday season, Newburyport comes alive with festive events such as the Holiday House Tour, the Santa Parade, and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Maritime Days: Celebrating the city’s maritime heritage, Maritime Days features boat tours, harbor cruises, maritime-themed activities, and educational programs about the area’s nautical history.
What are the best things to do in Newburyport during the summer?
Newburyport offers a plethora of enjoyable activities and attractions during the summer months. Here are some of the best things to do in Newburyport during the summer:
Visit Plum Island: Spend a day at Plum Island, known for its beautiful sandy beaches and wildlife refuge. Relax on the beach, swim in the ocean, and explore the scenic dunes. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for bird-watching and nature spotting.
Take a Whale Watching Tour: Embark on a thrilling whale-watching excursion from Newburyport to the nearby Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Witness majestic whales and other marine life in their natural habitat.
Explore the Waterfront: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront boardwalk, where you can admire stunning views of the Merrimack River, watch boats pass by, and take in the charming atmosphere.
Shop and Dine Downtown: Wander through the historic downtown area, filled with unique shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Stop for a meal or coffee at the various cafes and restaurants, and indulge in some local seafood specialties.
Attend Outdoor Concerts and Festivals: Check out the Riverfront Music Festival and other outdoor concerts that take place by the water. Experience live music, dancing, and a festive atmosphere.
Bike the Clipper City Rail Trail: Rent a bike and explore the Clipper City Rail Trail, a scenic biking and walking path that connects Newburyport to neighboring towns. Enjoy the lush surroundings and beautiful landscapes.
Paddleboarding and Kayaking: Rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the calm waters of the Merrimack River or head to Plum Island Sound for a peaceful paddle through scenic salt marshes.
Visit Maudslay State Park: Enjoy a picnic, hike, or nature walk in Maudslay State Park, a stunning park known for its well-maintained gardens, rolling lawns, and picturesque trails.
Take a Sunset Cruise: Experience the beauty of a Newburyport sunset on a sunset cruise along the river. It’s a romantic and relaxing way to end the day.
Participate in Yoga on the Waterfront: Join outdoor yoga classes held on the waterfront. Practicing yoga while surrounded by nature and water is a calming and rejuvenating experience.
Explore the Custom House Maritime Museum: Learn about Newburyport’s maritime history and heritage by visiting the Custom House Maritime Museum. Discover artifacts, exhibits, and stories from the city’s seafaring past.
Attend the Yankee Homecoming Festival: If you’re visiting in late July or early August, don’t miss the iconic Yankee Homecoming Festival. Enjoy parades, fireworks, live entertainment, and a carnival atmosphere.
What are the best things to do in Newburyport during the winter?
Winter Walks: Bundle up and take leisurely walks through the historic downtown area. The cobblestone streets, charming architecture, and festive decorations create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
Cultural Exploration: Explore local museums and galleries such as the Custom House Maritime Museum and art galleries. These indoor activities offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and creative community.
Holiday Shopping: Stroll through the downtown streets adorned with holiday lights and decorations, and explore the specialty shops and boutiques. Find unique gifts, handcrafted items, and local art.
Winter Festivals: Newburyport hosts winter festivals and events, including holiday parades, tree lighting ceremonies, and festive markets. These celebrations bring the community together and spread holiday cheer.
Dine at Cozy Restaurants: Enjoy delicious meals at Newburyport’s restaurants, many of which offer warm and inviting atmospheres during the winter. Savor comfort food and seafood specialties while escaping the cold.
Ice Skating: Lace up your skates and head to the Graf Rink for ice skating. It’s a fun activity for individuals, couples, and families.
Attend Theater Performances: Check out local theater productions and performances taking place at venues like the Firehouse Center for the Arts. Enjoy a night of entertainment and culture.
Winter Wildlife Viewing: Bundle up and visit the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for winter bird-watching. Many migratory bird species can be spotted during this time of year.
Winter Photography: Capture the city’s beauty in a different light. Winter offers a unique opportunity for photography enthusiasts to capture the contrast of historic buildings against snowy landscapes.
Relax and Unwind: Treat yourself to a spa day or wellness retreat. Newburyport’s wellness centers offer massages, yoga classes, and relaxation treatments to help you unwind during the winter months.
Indoor Workshops and Classes: Participate in indoor workshops, art classes, or cooking classes offered by local businesses. It’s a great way to learn something new and connect with the community.
Cozy Bed and Breakfasts: Book a stay at one of Newburyport’s cozy bed and breakfasts. Enjoy a relaxing winter getaway with warm hospitality and comfortable accommodations.
Can I explore Newburyport on foot?
Absolutely, exploring Newburyport on foot is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city’s charm, history, and local culture. The city’s compact size and pedestrian-friendly layout make it easy to navigate on foot. Here are some of the highlights you can explore on foot in Newburyport:
Historic Downtown: Stroll through the historic downtown area, where you’ll find cobblestone streets, beautifully preserved Federal-style buildings, and a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries.
Waterfront Boardwalk: Walk along the scenic waterfront boardwalk, offering picturesque views of the Merrimack River, boats, and the iconic Custom House Maritime Museum.
Clipper City Rail Trail: Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the Clipper City Rail Trail, a paved path that winds through parks, neighborhoods, and historic areas.
Shopping: Explore the unique boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and specialty stores that line the streets of downtown Newburyport.
Custom House Maritime Museum: Visit the Custom House Maritime Museum to learn about the city’s maritime history and view fascinating exhibits related to the area’s seafaring past.
Parks and Gardens: Take a peaceful walk in Maudslay State Park, which features well-maintained gardens, trails, and open spaces perfect for picnics and relaxation.
Restaurants and Cafes: Discover a variety of dining options, from charming cafes to upscale restaurants, and enjoy the local culinary scene as you explore the streets on foot.
Local Events and Festivals: Depending on the time of year, you can participate in local events, festivals, and markets that often take place within walking distance of each other.
Plum Island: While you might need to drive or take public transportation to reach Plum Island, once there, you can explore its sandy beaches, dunes, and wildlife refuge on foot.
Architectural Delights: Admire the unique architecture of Newburyport’s homes, including Federal-style and Greek Revival houses, as you walk through the historic neighborhoods.
Public Art and Sculptures: Keep an eye out for public art installations, sculptures, and murals that add vibrancy to the streets and showcase the city’s artistic side.
Is there parking in downtown Newburyport?
Certainly! Downtown Newburyport offers various parking options for visitors looking to explore the area. Street parking is available with metered spaces, typically accompanied by specific time limits and payment requirements at parking meters.
Additionally, the city provides public parking lots that offer more flexibility in terms of parking duration. These lots are a convenient choice for those wanting to enjoy the downtown experience without the concern of limited time.
Paying attention to signage and following any instructions provided at the parking areas will ensure a seamless and enjoyable exploration of downtown Newburyport. You’ll definitely get ticketed since Newburyport has parking meter people out all the time.
With so many things to do in Newburyport Massachusetts, it’s easy to see why so many people come here every year. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or just some rest and relaxation, there’s something for everyone in this charming town! So grab your bags and head out to explore all that Newburyport has to offer!