New England Coastline Road Trip – Day Six

View from Newburyport walkway

As we headed to Portsmouth NH, I pulled off the highway to get gas.  Needing gas changed the entire day.  I’d pulled off in Newburyport MA. Seeing a sign for the historic downtown, we decided to head into town and look.  We spent the entire day in town. 

Circling the harbor and then extending for miles is a walking path. On this cool, sunny day people and dogs filled the path, enjoying the views of water, boats, bridges, and town. Three lighthouses mark the area, though I suspect none of them are operational.

From there we drove down a causeway to Plum Island, passing a large marshland, prime birding territory. While there are loads of homes on Plum Island, there are few amenities, and it appears to be a quiet beachside community.  The coast guard has a station there and there is another lighthouse, this one looking operational. Most homes are on stilts, presumably any storm would otherwise do flood damage.  My question is what do they do with their cars? Do they leave the island and go to safer ground, hoping their homes will remain safe?

Heading back into Newburyport we stopped at a farmers’ market, this time of year filled with apples and squash. Our next stop was at “Oldies,” an antique market with a sense of humor. I didn’t buy anything but had a fun time wandering around looking at “treasures.”

We easily parked in the center of town near Market Square and spent a couple of hours strolling around. The town has done a wonderful job preserving the feel of an old village, while combining modern comforts.  There are children’s playgrounds, fountains, flowers, peeks of the water, shops, and restaurants.  While we sat on a bench, we got into a conversation with two local cops. They were friendly and chatty.  In the center of Market Square a harpist played chill music. Couldn’t have been a more relaxed atmosphere.

In the evening we drove into Portsmouth.  When I’d been there a month ago, I ate at a wonderful restaurant, The Ferry Landing.  We were hoping for lobster, so were disappointed to hear they were out.  But this being a hugely different place than New York, the staff conferred and suggested a restaurant that might be serving lobster. Good thing we had GPS; BG’s Boathouse was out of town down pitch-black roads.  We sat on an outside terrace and feasted on fresh lobster, baked potatoes, and coleslaw.