On Thursday, my birthday, my husband gifted me with my first flying lesson with Murray Aviation at Plum Island Airport. Since Plum Island is right next door to Newburyport, a family favorite destination, we headed there afterwards for some shopping, sightseeing and lunch.

As I hadn’t eaten a big breakfast before my flight (just in case!) I found myself in need of nourishment around 11:30 a.m. We ended up at 17 State Street. I must admit, I was a bit suspicious of the place as we were seated in our comfy booth.

You have to understand, 17 State Street is a newer restaurant in Newburyport, taking over for the beloved Fowle’s Soda Shop. I had spent many a childhood afternoon at Fowle’s counter. I remember their chocolate milk, their ice cream and the small newsstand that occupied much of the middle of the store. Above you can see a picture of the old Fowle’s in its prime.

But the promise of a late brunch won me over and I ordered a pineapple mimosa (best idea ever) and the cinnamon pancake. Right on the menu, the restaurant laid out in plain letters that the cinnamon pancake was their claim to fame as it had been featured on The Phantom Gourmet. At this point, I was still suspicious. But as soon as I dug in, my fears were set aside.

This was comfort food that Fowle’s would be proud to serve. It was rich, ooey, gooey and though very original, it was not at all fancy. Perfect. And very reasonable! I know that next time I hit up Newburyport I’ll be making a stop at 17 State Street.

After lunch, we set out to do a bit more shopping. One of the must-sees of Newburyport is the Oldies Marketplace. As I am saving up for my trip to Paris and Amsterdam, I refrained from making any purchases though a few old typewriters were calling my name. It’s a treasure trove of furniture, vintage clothing and toys, as well as other odds and ends.

My mom bought a wicker chair that she is fixing up for her living room. And at $25 it was such a find!

If you find yourself in Newburyport, make sure to visit these destinations as well as Soufflés Coffee Shop, Dyno Records, and The Dragon’s Nest Toy Shop. And don’t forget to take a stroll along the waterside for some gorgeous ocean views. It’s a great way to spend a sunny summer day with your family, friends or significant other.


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