There is an incredible sense of balance in Newburyport. It is the place where the river meets the ocean, where history meets modern culture, and where quiet natural beauty meets hustle and bustle.
by KAREN SACKOWITZ
First, let’s take care of that credit card that’s burning a hole in your pocket. Going into downtown Newburyport and not shopping is like opening a bag of potato chips and not eating any; it’s impossible. With over 150 shops and restaurants within a few blocks’ walk, you are sure to find the perfect gift, outfit, or one of a kind item before settling down for a delicious lunch, dinner, or cocktail.
In that ever-balanced Newburyport way, the paths that lead from shop to shop are also those which wind through this seaport town’s rich past. Need proof? Stand by the Monkey’s Fist and the Brass Lyon in Market Square, and look down. You’ll see the brick that marks the spot of the Newburyport Tea Party of 1775, a follow up protest in support of the Boston Tea Party two years earlier. Or, if you are headed into Fowle’s on State Street for modern day necessities – espresso and free wi-fi –be sure to check out the sign across the street, indicating the site of the “Marine Society of Newburyport, Founded 1772.”
Newburyport and Plum Island are a ripe source of natural history as well. With a wide variety of habitats in close proximity – the ocean, salt marshes, mud flats, freshwater ponds, and forests – the area is known as a year-round nature study destination. From harbor seals and humpback whales, to bald eagles and hundreds of species of birds, nature is alive and thriving here.
Speaking of alive and thriving… Newburyport’s cultural calendar is packed with music, theater, festivals, and everything in between. Summertime means outdoor concerts at the Maudslay Arts Center, and of course the Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival in Waterfront Park, which features three days of live music from both local and national artists. In cooler weather, live theater at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Market Square includes drama, dance, and music, as well as an ongoing series of art exhibits.
There is truly something for everyone in Newburyport. Whether you get there by road or by water, in the interest of history or commerce, you will find what you are looking for here…in perfect balance.
Date of Settlement: 1635 Date of Incorporation: 1764
Area Code: 978 Zip Code: 01950
Total Area: 8.4 square miles
Mayor: John Moak
Median Home Price: $442,610
Median Household Income: $82,026
Schools: Newburyport High School, Rupert A Nock Middle School, River Valley Charter School, and Francis T Bresnahan, George W Brown, and Kelley elementary schools.
Private Schools: Immaculate Conception School, Newburyport Montessori School
Notable Residents – past & present:
Andre Debus III, author of “House of Sand and Fog” Scott Billington, Grammy winner and Vice President of Rounder Records Anne Easter Smith, historical romance novelist Dr. Keith Ablow, noted psychologist, best-selling author, and television personality
Did you Know That:
The bell in the steeple of Old North Church on Federal Street was cast by Paul Revere?
Newburyport harbor is home to more than 1,000 slips and moorings?
The Newburyport Superior Courthouse, built in 1805, was designed by Charles Bullfi nch, who also designed the Massachusetts State Capital building in Boston?
Fun Things to Do/See:
Catch a musical or theatrical production at the Firehouse Center for the Arts, or Theater in the Open at Maudsley State Park
Rent a kayak and explore the Merrimack and Parker Rivers Walk along the boardwalk and picnic in waterfront park
Visit the new Joppa Flats Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, where sightings of over 300 species of birds have been recorded
See a movie at the Newburyport Screening Room