I’ve long maintained that Rockport is my favorite Massachusetts town. And that’s still true. Mostly. Rockport IS my favorite, but if I could choose to live in any town, it would be Newburyport. (If only it weren’t quite so far north!)
This winter I traveled up to Marblehead, MA for work and was able to explore the area for a bit. This visit (and this post) are more than a tease than anything else!
A few weekends ago I spent the weekend hanging out with a good friend, and we spent Saturday lollygagging around one of our favorite seaside towns – Gloucester (glaw-sstuh), Massachusetts. Do people still use phrases like lollygagging? Is it just me? Mom, what have you done to my vocabulary!?
I’ve really missed living on the North Shore of Boston, so it was a pleasure to run rampant on our old stomping grounds.
I have a confession to make. Before I met my husband, I thought Long Island was a small blip off Manhattan where a small grouping of people said things like “Tawmmy wawnts a hawt dog” and Ray Romano constantly evaded his mother.
My deepest apologies. I now know better. (Although I still can’t watch Everybody Loves Raymond without cringing.)
Case in point? Today’s featured day trip to Shelter Island.
Shelter Island is an 8000 acre island that is located in between the two forks of Long Island’s east end. About one-third of the island is protected and will be kept in a forever-wild state. The island is accessible by ferry.
While we saw many people at the beaches, we opted to spend most of the day biking taking in the scenic views. I was in for a rude awakening – after the nice, flat roads of Cape Cod, I definitely got my workout biking up some of these hills!
Bike Rentals are available in town at Piccozzi’s Garage Bike Shop. I would say that’s an unbiased recommendation, but it’s not. Not only are they related to Moose, but I am pretty sure they are the only bike shop on the island too.
We also stopped by Reddings Market for lunch.
I highly recommend the sweet potato waffle fries! And the caprese panini. YUM. We ate outside on weathered cafe tables and enjoyed people watching, cool car sitings and petted the many cute leashed dogs that passed by our table.
The market was filled to the brim with snacks, sodas and other artisinal food pantry items.
I had massive chalkboard envy at Reddings! Look at that huge chalkboard wall covered with colorful and delicious menu options.
There were beautiful scenes at every turn. If you’re looking for a lazy (and aerobic – the biking, remember?) day, Shelter Island is a great place to visit.
Also, barnwood is my new favorite thing. Anybody have an old barn they are knocking down? I wouldn’t mind trashpickin’ at your place.
Shelter Island is home to many other sites:
Like the Pridwin Hotel, if you’re looking to live out your “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” fantasy. (My sister-in-law and I both decided this family summer camp is just like the one in Dirty Dancing.)
Also, the Perlman Music School, Itzhak Perlman’s school, which holds many free concerts in the summer.
We ended the day with dinner at Fresh the restaurant at Shelter Island Country Club. The restaurant is located on the highest point on Shelter Island accessible to public, so the views down the fairway are lovely.
How do you feel about Long Island? Biking up hills? Putting Baby in a corner?
My husband’s family lives in Long Island, so we go there often! Occasionally during the summer we will take a day trip to Fire Island. Fire Island is a barrier island about 30 miles long on the southern shore of Long Island. There are all types of communities and beaches as you go along the very narrow island – some for families, and some not (aka naked beaches)!
To get there you will need to take a ferry, which are located all along the coast of Long Island. Don’t plan on taking your car with you. Most places don’t allow cars period.
I visited Ocean Beach and Sunken Forest and they were both amazing beaches! The water is chilly and has really big waves and the sand is white and silky.
Apparently Ocean Beach is called the “land of no” because you can’t bring any food or beverages with you, nor can you listen to a radio or “disrobe” as the sign says. We, however, snuck in food and drinks. Just don’t eat in front of the lifeguards. Although this rule is highly annoying, the beach is picture perfectly clean!
Sunken Forest is a great place to take a walk through on the raised boardwalk and offers lots of shade. You’d hardly know you’re at the beach when you’re in the middle of this park.
Because there are no cars allowed at Ocean Beach everything is within a close walking distance. Ocean Beach is covered in people riding bicycles and wagons. There are sidewalks and walkways all across the island.
Looking for a bite to eat? Check out Maguire’s at Ocean Beach! They have a beautiful bayfront dining deck and delicious menu. (That mozzerella bacon panini rocked my world. Just sayin’.) And the inside of the restaurant is awesome too! Check out those fishing nets on the ceiling.
There are also a lot of cute shops – some with classic touristy beachware and others with some really fun finds.
Fire Island makes a great day trip! Especially if you are looking for a beach near New York City. There are many different beaches and communities all along the island, and Ocean Beach and Sunken Forest are only two of them. Be sure to research the beaches before you go because they all have different flavors.
Have you been to Fire Island?