How to Plan a Day Trip From Boston to Newburyport MA

Boston to Newburyport

Is Newburyport worth visiting? We’ve made the day trip from Boston to Newburyport often, and are here to say yes! Here’s how to get to Newburyport MA, the best things to do, and all about our own experience. 

How to Get From Boston to Newburyport MA

One reason to make a Newburyport day trip is how close it is to Boston! The easiest way to get there is to drive yourself. Simply hop on the I-95 highway from Boston to Newburyport, and you’ll be there in just 45 minutes.

Flying into Boston Logan International Airport? Then we highly recommend renting a car. We always use this website to compare rates between companies.

Having a vehicle will give you the freedom to visit the surrounding towns on the northeast coast. Some of our favorites are Salem, Rockport, Gloucester, Salisbury, and Plum Island (more on this later!)

There’s also a commuter rail train which goes from Boston to Newburyport MA. The trip starts in the city at North Station and takes about one hour. 

Best Boston Rental Car

What is Newburyport Known For?

Before deciding is Newburyport worth visiting for yourself, you should know why it’s famous! This North Shore gem has humble beginnings as a shipping and shipbuilding town.

The first European immigrants came to Newburyport MA in the early 17th century. It’s key location on both the Atlantic Ocean and Merrimack River made it a center for fishing and trade. The town is even known as the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Today, Newburyport still keeps its charm around the port and historic town center. It’s known for its great seafood, nature preserves, and outdoor activities. 

Aside from the beautiful beaches, there are some lovely music festivals to attend in the summer months. The fall is also a great time for a Newburyport day trip to see the leaves change. 

Plum Island Massachusetts 

Boston to Newburyport Day Trip

Here’s a little backstory before we get into the best things to do in Newburyport MA! Jake actually has family in the area, so we’ve been making regular visits over the past few years.

Whenever we’re back home in the United States, we typically make a big road trip to visit family and friends. This includes stops in Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and even Maine

This article focuses primarily on a Newburyport day trip. However, it will be a great experience whether you have one day or an entire week!

Use this as a loose guide to plan your own adventure. Essex Street Inn and Clark Currier Inn are two of the most popular hotels if you’re looking to stay overnight.

Newburyport Ma

Morning in Downtown Newburyport MA

Leave Boston bright and early to head to Newburyport. After you arrive, find parking around the town center and explore by foot. 

The historic section of Newburyport is so picturesque and truly feels like quintessential New England. Spend at least an hour strolling around Market Square, taking in the atmosphere, and historic townhomes. 

One of our favorite parts about visiting Newburyport Massachusetts are all the great restaurants and cafes. For breakfast, check out Abraham’s Bagels, Angry Donut and Cafe, and Angie’s Food and Diner. We also love stopping into Loretta for brunch!

Boston to Newburyport MA

Afternoon on Plum Island

Once you’ve had your fill of downtown, its time head out into nature. Plum Island is a gorgeous part of Newburyport and particularly nice for families and couples (read our full post here). 

Be sure to stop at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on your way to the beach. This is a birdwatchers paradise, filled with nature trails and wooden bridges throughout the preserve.

While you could easily spend an entire afternoon here, it’s time to get to the beach! If you missed breakfast we recommend getting brunch at Mad Martha’s Island Cafe. Bob’s Lobster is also a fun local seafood spot for lobster rolls and clam chowder. 

The beaches here are some of our favorite in this area of Massachusetts. Plum Island Point Beach is on the northern end, and holds a lighthouse with views of Salisbury Beach across the bay. 

Newbury Beach is a long sandy stretch on the other side of the island that’s also worth seeing. Bring your beach chairs, relax, and catch some rays before heading back to town. Even if you’re not here during the summer, it’s still nice to take a beach walk around Plum Island.

Plum Island

Dinner on the Newburyport Waterfront

After a fun afternoon in Plum Island, head back to Newburyport town center. Take a walk along Waterfront Promenade Park for views of the Atlantic Ocean. 

We hope you’re hungry because we’ve saved the best meal for last! Honestly, we’d drive from Boston to Newburyport just to eat at Sea Level Oyster Bar. 

Know that it’s on the higher end, and you may need to make a reservation in advance during the summer. We love their oysters, tuna salad, scallops, and really anything seafood. A couple other restaurants we like are Carmine, NU Kitchen Newburyport, and Cozy Kimchi.

Newburyport Things to Do

More Things to do in Newburyport MA

Have more time to Newburyport?? With so much to do and see, you could easily spend a few days in this quaint New England town.

It’s a place that offers endless outdoor activities to take part in all year-round. Here’s a few more of our favorite things to do in Newburyport MA!

Tannery Marketplace: The old mills have been converted into a wonderful shopping center. Nice place to grab a coffee or snack as well.

Boat Tour: Take a relaxing harbor tour, or even head out on a whale watching expedition! 

Maritime Museum: Dive into the fascinating maritime history of Newburyport MA. 

Bike the Clipper City Rail Trail: Scenic bicycle trail which connects some of the neighboring towns. Just over 3 miles long.

Maudslay State Park: Worth the quick drive from downtown if you’re traveling from Boston to Newburyport. Beautiful place for a picnic or to see the fall foliage.

Festivals: There are some fantastic summer and autumn festivals that take place in Newburyport MA. Time your visit with a concert, Oysterfest, or Pumpkin Palooza. 

Things to do in Newburyport MA

Is Newburyport Worth Visiting?

Yes! By now you can see how much we love this Massachusetts town. It’s 100% worth the drive or short train ride from Boston to Newburyport. 

Even if you only have one day, there’s enough fun and restaurants to pack your day with. Have any questions on this article or want to share more things to do in Newburyport MA? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake


Newburyport Massachusetts

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  1. May 2, 2024 / 4:18 am

    Great post! This part of the US is such a dream trip for me.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      May 2, 2024 / 5:19 am

      Yes! Such a beautiful part of New England to explore

  2. Allie
    April 29, 2024 / 1:23 pm

    Hi! Just wanted to say my family and I used this guide for our recent trip and it was really helpful! We stopped at the Tannery Marketplace and also checked out Maudslay State Park. Really beautiful spots!
    Thanks for all the tips!! Definitely recommend this guide for others visiting.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      April 29, 2024 / 1:27 pm

      Thatโ€™s so great to hear Allie! Glad our guide could help ๐Ÿ˜€

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