Ipswich

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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

That’s Massachusetts for you. Just when you think you’ve discovered all of your favorite MA beaches, seaside towns, and waterside watering holes, friends have suggestions for more, and locals lead you in new directions. The possibilities of summer in Massachusetts are endless; why is the season so short?! Next year, we are taking a week off for a staycation. I long to have extra days to sip and linger at Westport Rivers Sunset Music Series and trips to Horseneck Beach and to camp at Spectacle Island or hike at World’s Endto take the ferry to Provincetown, not to mention to indulge in the bounty of the sea and local farms. It is summer, and I am in my annual love affair with Massachusetts.

 

Our July 3 truly felt like a holiday. We got together with friends and headed North to the sweet town of Ipswich where we were introduced to Salt Kitchen & Rum Bar and instantly saw why it is a local favorite. And it’s not just because they offer so many different types of rums, including local option Privateer. The interior is adorably  coastal and rustic, staff is friendly and warm, and the food was delicious.

Salt Rum Bar

I loved my Big Foot cocktail, which included Ragged Mountain Rum, Chipotle Maple Syrup, and Lime, for a sweet and spicy kick.

 

Big Foot rum cocktail For lunch I indulged in the Lobster Wellington, which was amazing, with its tender sweet lobster and corn in a flaky puff pastry, served with a salad to balance it out.

Lobster Wellington During lunch we learned that our destination, Crane Beach, was at capacity, which 1) made it impossible to go there but 2) made us not really want to even attempt it if it was that crowded. Luckily, bartenders and bar patrons always have the best knowledge, and we were on our way to a hidden gem of a beach nearby that turned out to be even better than our first choice. The water and sky were perfectly blue, and it felt so good to be on the hot sand. The water, on the other hand, was a little chilly, as you can see from my bracing below. Still, it was all so perfect, the quintessential New England summer day, so very welcome after a hellish winter.

beach in Ipswich

Since laying at the beach works up quite an appetite, we stopped at CK Pearl on our way home. This was another new-to-us spot, and it is a new favorite. The deck is right on the water, providing great views of beautiful nature and boats.

CK Pearl

CK Pearl The filter for this photo is sunscreen. I love it.

 

Our waterside feast included Octopus Carpaccio and oysters, paired with bubbly, of course. CK Pearl is an amazing spot to relax, and it’s right across the street from the famous Woodman’s if you also need a fried clam fix. We’ll definitely be back this summer.

Octopus Carpaccio    oysters  I took a little over a week off from blogging to visit family, get lots of work done, and enjoy a holiday weekend, and I am now excited and refreshed and looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs and updating my own.

Cheers to the best month of the year!

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Tags: beaches, cocktails, Food, Ipswich, Massachusetts, oysters, rum, staycation, summer, vacation, wine

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