Easygoing Newburyport In Early Autumn

October 5, 2017

by M.A. Barrett

View of Merrimack River from downtown Newburyport Waterfront Park boardwalk

Merrimack River view from downtown Newburyport's Waterfront Park, September 2017

Spending a day off in Newburyport on a warm September Thursday made me feel very lucky. Without summer crowds, the locals and those who are fortunate enough to work here are treated to an unhurried shopping pace. High end clothing boutiques and home decor shops can be found along brick walkways closed to traffic. Kids can enjoy downtown in a playground behind the shops on State Street, with a convenient entrance to the back door of Anchor Stone Deck Pizza. Anchor serves pizza, calzones, salads and lasagna, and has extra seating upstairs. I had a delicious calzone there. The pizza slice portions are huge. Well fortified, I ventured out to check out the shops.

Market Square, downtown Newburyport, Mass.

Market Square, downtown Newburyport, September 2017

Market Square is a good place to begin browsing the shops. I thoroughly enjoyed shopping in the store, Ireland on the Square. They have Irish imports, including Shan Ore jewelry, which specializes in made in Dublin Celtic design pendants, rings, earrings, crosses, charms and wedding rings. I purchased a birthstone claddagh ring as a gift, plus Irish surname coasters for myself. At the Brass Lion shop, I found a great variety of nautical home decor items, gifts and souvenirs.

Ireland on the Square, Market Square, Newburyport, Mass.
Brass Lion shop, Market Square, Newburyport, Mass.

Left: Ireland On The Square, Irish imports. Located in Market Square, Newburyport, September 2017
Right: Brass Lion, nautical home decor, Market Square, Newburyport, Mass., September 2017

Also, in Market Square, I visited the pet store, Pawsitively Best Friends. Met by Andy, the polite kitty, I was drawn in to check out the shop. I picked up catnip and treats for my two tiger cats. This shop has cat and dog food, accessories, supplies and carriers. Also, they have fun t-shirts, jewelry and gifts for pet lovers. I said goodbye to Andy and crossed the street to explore more stores.

Pawsitively Best Friends, Market Square, Newburyport, Mass.

Andy, the sociable resident of Pawsitively Best Friends, keeps watch in downtown Newburyport at Market Sq., September 2017

My next stop was to Vaalbara Supply Store where a mellow black labrador lolled around the boutique. This shop features hand made bags with cloth sourced from different countries around the world. Also, the interior of the bag is lined with material made from recycled plastic. They have gifts, candles and jewelry too. I noticed that several cafes also had water bowls outside for dogs. And there are three pet shops within a square mile downtown. Newburyport is the pet friendliest Scenic Shopping town I've been to yet!

Vaalbara Supply, Water St. near Market Square, Newburyport, Mass.
Friendly black lab at Vaalbara Supply in Market Square, downtown Newburyport, Mass.

Left: Vaalbara Supply Store featuring handmade bags, 1 Water St., Newburyport, September 2017
Right: Friendly black lab at Vaalbara Supply Store, Newburyport, Mass., September 2017

After shopping a bit, I tried the gelato at Dolce Freddo Gelato. The sea breezes from the nearby Merrimack River and the pretty Pedestrian Walkway Park encourage shoppers to take a break and enjoy a long walk by the boats. I enjoyed my treat while taking in river and ocean views, and the Gillis Bridge to Salisbury. There are adirondack chairs, benches, grassy spaces and trees along the riverfront boardwalk.

Waterfront Park, downtown Newburyport, Mass.

Merrimack River and marina views from Waterfront park, downtown Newburyport, September 2017

Gillis Bridge over the Merrimack River, seen from Waterfront Park, Newburyport, Mass.
Waterfront Park boardwalk along Merrimack River, Newburyport, Mass.

Left: Merrimack River and Gillis Bridge, Newburyport, September 2017
Right: Waterfront Park boardwalk, Newburyport, Mass., September 2017

After this day trip to Newburyport, I plan to go back to explore nearby Plum Island, and stop in at the collection of shops at Tannery Marketplace. There is lots to do and explore in this beautiful coastal town. Too bad I can't bring my cats. They don't travel well.

More details at Scenic Shopping Newburyport