Summer is winding down this week, but I have a few more summer travel posts to share! To me, summer is a state of mind (or so I try to remind myself when I am shoveling snow and falling on icy sidewalks), and this year, like those past, was filled with time outside and moments where I fell in love with the season over and over again.

This past weekend we took a last minute, last weekend of summer getaway to somewhere close to home, Ipswich. While we are lucky to travel around the US and internationally fairly often, I am always craving a getaway that combines my love of New England and the sea and one that’s not super far away. I wanted to relax for the weekend without having to take a huge journey, and that’s just what we did. Once again, we used Flipkey for our rental, which I have found to be super easy, along with having lots of options. (Read about our Flipkey experience in Sonoma, one of the best getaways of my life.)

beach cottage

Back to Ipswich. . .

After way too much traffic to get from Boston to Ipswich, we were met with beautiful coastal views as we made our way to the peninsula of Little Neck, accessed by a narrow road not far from Ipswich town. A friendly greeting from the property manager, including zucchini bread made by his mom, and a tour of the cottage set the tone for a great weekend.

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For me, the cottage was love at first sight. With two makeshift bedrooms, one that doubled as the living room, it was the perfect amount of space for four of us, and the rustic, beachy nature of the place was as though I had designed it myself.

beach cottagebeach cottage

Inside was so sweet, with all of the comforts of home, including good WiFi and air conditioning, while still feeling like a relaxing throwback to a bygone era. We certainly didn’t need the air conditioning; windows open allowed for cool cross breezes to come through, making it very comfortable, especially for sleeping.

The inside was a little piece of cottage heaven, but the porch. . .

beach cottage Unless we were sleeping or out, we spent all of our time on the porch. Stretching the length of the cottage and screened in (perfect for my husband and friend who are bug bite magnets), the porch was an oasis with water views all around. Also, it was SO quiet that we could mostly hear the current of the water and the wind in the grass at the water’s edge. Peaceful.

coastal living

The porch was great for evening chats until we moved inside to be respectful of the neighbors, and it was blissful for late afternoon happy hour with Domaine Chandon and a cheese plate.

happy hour

On our first morning, I happened to open my eyes just at sunrise, and while everyone else was tucked in, ran outside barefoot into the cool, dewy grass to take this photo. Something about a summer sunrise, especially one that I got all to myself, makes my soul so happy. This was something I will never forget.

sunrise in Ipswich

I can’t say enough about this cottage, and I could easily see us spending a week there next summer. Little Neck feels like a world away, but it’s just a few miles from Ipswich town and all of its stores and restaurants. Crane Beach is also nearby, but the Little Neck cottage comes with access to a private beach for the community as well as access to Pavilion Beach, a few minutes’ walk away.

Ipswich

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Tags: beaches, beachy, coastal living, Ipswich, Massachusetts, New England, summer, Travel

I love any excuse to get out and about in our neighborhood, so when I read about the Dorchester Bike & Brew Fest, despite the fact that I don’t do much biking, I knew I would have to at least stop by.

Dorchester bike

The festival took place on a gorgeous late summer night in Ashmont’s Peabody Square. With the street closed off to traffic, it was the perfect setting for people of all ages to mingle and for kids to run around without parents having to worry about traffic. Dorchester has a huge sense of community, and every time we go to local events, we run into people we know and meet some new friends as well.

Dorchester

The festival centered around bikes and local brews. There was plenty of information on biking in the area, and this cool mobile home took care of the brews. It was a pub-on-wheels for the night, and probably the most popular spot at the festival!

Dorchester Bike and Brew Many great aspects of the community were featured, including local leaders and the Boston Police ice cream  van, which is just a brilliant idea for creating positive experiences with police for kids from an early age. The area around the ice cream van was full of smiles!

Boston Police Ice Cream Truck  

There were a number of food trucks at the festival, but our noses kept bringing us back to Sheherazad where we tucked into fragrant Iraqi red chicken and a fried cauliflower wrap. . . some of the best food I have eaten lately!

sheherazad food truck

Iraqi red chicken

cauliflower wrap

Sitting on the sidewalk eating dinner with the setting sun, laughing neighbors, and live music as the backdrop, I was as happy as can be. It doesn’t take more than great people and simple, delicious food to make my day.

The Bike & Brew Fest was a great time, and while I know logistics can be complicated, I wish it was something that could happen a few times a year.

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Tags: beer, bikes, Boston, community, Dorchester, dot, events, festivals, local beer

One of the best parts about our visit to Asheville last month was that we were visiting locals for a wedding, and all of the wedding events had great local touches. The night before the wedding wasn’t your traditional rehearsal dinner but rather was a casual get together at the very cool space that is Salvage Station.

 

salvage station asheville

A riverfront complex of buildings including a concert hall, lawn games, and several bars, Salvage Station offers all sorts of experiences all in one place, all depending on what area you choose.

salvage station asheville salvage station asheville

From a giant PBR can that houses a local beer bar inside to the River Bar and  Riverside seating to the wide expanse of lawn, Salvage Station has enough space for everyone and was fun for the kids and adults in our party.

salvage station asheville

salvage station asheville salvage station asheville

Since I was with my niece and nephew, we spent a lot of time exploring, checking out the river, playing table tennis, and playing with an antique cigarette machine. . . bad auntie!

salvage station asheville

live music ashveille

In addition to all of the seating areas, Salvage Station has one big warehouse-like space that features live music and plenty of seating, perfect for our big family.

salvage station pulled pork When we tired of exploring and found ourselves hungry, we went to the food stand and picked up some truly excellent fare including pulled pork, tater tots, and fish tacos. The food was simple, fast, and fresh, great for a busy night of socializing and sampling local Asheville beers. We ate and we were up and about again!

fish tacos

Without being invited to the pre-wedding celebrations, we might not have found Salvage Station, so I am excited that it all worked out the way it did!

Have you gotten a good insider recommendation from a local when traveling recently?

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Tags: art, Asheville, Food, North Carolina, Restaurants, Travel

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