Newburyport offers year-round recreational and attraction activities for all ages. Try sunning on the beaches of Plum Island, cross-country skiing in winter’s snows in area parks. Walk and hike along the beaches, through marshland and into woods. Fishing boat expeditions into the ocean and surfcasting along the shore, windsurfing, boat trips, and ocean kayaking are ways to enjoy the river and sea. Bicycling, running, jogging or walking around the flat streets and parks of our city are popular pastimes.
Maudslay State Park A 480-acre state park with 19th century garden plantings, rolling meadows, pine forests and mountain laurel. Guided tours, trails for walking, hiking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing are available to the public. A seasonal outdoor theater and performance center are on the grounds. A real gem along the banks of the Merrimack River.
Waterfront Park A good meeting place in the heart of downtown, the park provides benches for viewing the activities of the harbor and people watching. It is home to the Summer Concerts and other activities.
Bartlett Mall Park High Street between State and Green Streets. The Superior Court House, designed by Bulfinch in 1805, sits in front of the glacier-formed frog pond featuring a fountain in its center. The Bartlet Mall and Frog Pond is the City of Newburyport's most visually prominent municipal park. The 7.3 acre park is an easy walk from the central business district. Its walkways and main promenade are a prime destination for runners, strollers and dog walkers. Situated beside The Mall is The Frog Pond Playground which features swings and a multi-age play structure.
Old Town Hill Located on Newman Road in Newbury. The central feature of this unique, half-upland and half-marine reservation is the 168-foot drumlin known as Old Town Hill. Trails lead through surrounding salt marsh, along the Little River, beside small tidal creeks, and up Old Town Hill to its summit which affords views of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Isles of Shoals.
Moseley Woods This park overlooks the Merrimack River at the crossroads of Merrimac and Spofford and Moseley streets. This 16 acre park features hiking trails, picnic tables, a well-equipped playground and a spacious pavilion that is home to a summer concert series. A haven for picnicking, nature lovers, and children.
Spencer Pierce Little Farm The house was built sometime during the last quarter of the 17th Century,. Today Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is a look into another world offering family friendly fun on a drop in basis. Learn more about life on a farm over the centuries through hands on activities. Pump water from a well or sit in a horsehair covered rocking chair and look through a stero-viewer in the 19th century parlor. Become an archaeologist as you piece “artifacts” together. Explore nature trails and enjoy a picnic under the maple trees. Visit farm animals housed at the site in partnership with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals. Today, Its imposing size and unusual building materials, stone and brick, command respect and curiosity. The Farm maintains its original agricultural purpose, and the fields still produce commercial crops as they have continuously since 1635.
Cushing House Museum & Garden is a great place to take a trip into Newburyport's rich history and prosperous shipbuilding era inside this elegant federalist period mansion. A guided tour of the house's graceful rooms showcases fine collections of silver, furniture, portraits, clocks, needlework and more from New England, the Orient, and far away ports. On the grounds, visitors will find a stunning 19th century garden, an herb garden, fruit trees, a summer house, cobbled yard and carriage house. The Historical Society of Old Newbury hosts special events, lectures, and children's programs that are open to the public.
Custom House Maritime Museum a great place to Discover the abundant and interesting maritime heritage of Newburyport, MA (the eastern seacoast’s first major commercial port) and the Merrimack River Valley. See our unique collection of maritime art, model clipper ships, displays of famous shipwrecks, the history of the Coast Guard, and more.
First Presbyterian Church, also known as Old South, is a Presbyterian congregation in Newburyport, Massachusetts that is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA).The congregation began meeting in the 1750s, following the ministry of the Methodist evangelist and preacher George Whitefield in the region. He died in Newburyport in 1770 and his remains were buried under the pulpit of the meeting house at his request. The bell in the clock tower was cast by Paul Revere.
Oak Hill Cemetery, visit the gravesites of Newburyport mayors, ministers, doctors, and photographers. Tour the Brown Chapel currently under restoration.
Coffin House is a historic Colonial American house, currently estimated to have been constructed circa 1678. It is located at 14 High Road, Newbury, Massachusetts and operated as a non-profit museum by Historic New England. The house is open on the first and third Saturday of the month from June through October.
Plum Island Light House, is located on the western end of Plum Island, An historic granite lighthouse originally built in 1869 sits at the site, but no longer serves as an active aid to navigation. A short distance northwest of the granite lighthouse building is a 14 feet (4.3 m) metal tower that holds the automated light that has served as an aid to navigation since the earlier light was decommissioned in 1978.
Plum Island is a small barrier island just off the extreme northeast coast of Massachusetts offering miles of public sandy beaches. and is part of Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, and Ipswich. The residential part is mainly Newbury and Newburyport; you can tell which part is which by the color of the street signs; green for Newbury and blue for Newburyport.
The island is named for the hundreds of beach-plum bushes growing everywhere. Together with the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, it is home to over 800 species of birds, plants and animals on 4,662 acres. Plum Island Point offers views of the inlet to the Merrimack River, surf fishing, a historic Lighthouse, and deep-sea fishing/party boats. Sandy Point on the southern tip of Plum Island is a State Park and a wonderful place to swim, sun yourself or go tide pooling. Parking is available at the Refuge, the Point or in private parking lots.
Newburyport/Plum Island is world-famous as a "natural history" destination. Recognized as the nation’s finest bird watching area, birders and nature enthusiasts from around the world come to this area to observe a tremendous diversity of habitats and species. A number of factors make Newburyport/Plum Island a four-season natural history destination.
The Joppa Flats Education Center is located at the gateway to one of the country’s most productive, year-round, wildlife viewing areas—the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and the Plum Island estuary. Highlights for visitors are the many species of birds that utilize the area’s extensive salt marshes, mudflats, rivers, bays, and coastal waters. During local area field trips, Joppa Flats program participants have recorded over 300 species of birds including the bald eagle, snowy owl, many warblers, shorebirds, and waterfowl. The new visitor center overlooking the Merrimack River includes second-floor observation areas—one indoors and one outdoors—a conference center, a guest services area, and interpretive displays.
There are plenty of fish to be caught in the Merrimack River and off shore. If you enjoy fishing, you can cast your lines off the shore of Plum Island, or sign up for an off-shore excursion.
Boating, Windsurfing ,Kayaking and Rock Climbing
Newburyport’s Mayor Peter J. Matthews Memorial Boardwalk along the river in the heart of downtown, offers the public a chance to view the boating activity of the harbor. There are whale watch cruises , deep-sea fishing boats, evening party boats, public docks, sunset cruises, and harbor tours. Numerous yacht clubs and marinas are within a short distance of downtown.
Windsurfing and Kayaking are ways to enjoy the river and sea. In the summer, the Merrimack River is full of boats, you don’t have to have your own to enjoy the beauty from the water. Instead, you can take a narrated harbor tour . Charter a sailboat or take a cruise on the scenic Merrimack River.
Plum Island Kayak offers Kayak adventures for beginners to experienced enthusiasts. Rent kayaks hourly or join one of our guided river, wildlife refuge or open water tours. Transportation to and from all kayaking locations will be provided.
Metro Rock Indoor Rock Climbing Center offers state of the art rock climbing for all ages and abilities in a fun, safe and exciting atmosphere. They provide courses for beginners that have never climbed and courses for experts looking to hone their skills. MetroRock is a great way to get into great shape or meet exciting people.
Newburyport Harbor Tours this voyage will take you through 12,000 years of natural history, from the birth of the Great Marsh at the end of the last ice age through the European colonization and economic boom of the area during America's Industrial Revolution, and into the 21st century.
You'll meet the resident wildlife of the area, including harbor seals, hawks, great blue herons, egrets, diving cormorants, and maybe even deer and bald eagles! Your captain and crew will weave together the natural, economic and maritime history with the ecological significance of one of New England's most beautiful and scenic coastal jewels!
Whale WatchingLeave Newburyport Harbor and head out to the home of the great whales! Humpbacks, Minke, and Finbacks or maybe a Great Blue Whale are all waiting for you off the beautiful New England Coast. A whale watch cruise is a wonderful family experience.