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  • Tour de Turtle Beach Town Bone Ride: Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Essex, Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester By The Sea



     

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    Summer has arrived, which means it’s time to do some Tour de Turtle beach bone rides. Because believe it or not there are other beaches in New England that don’t involve watching the freak show at Hampton Beach. This week we started our journey on the north shore, traveling through the towns of Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Essex, Gloucester, Rockport, and Manchester By The Sea. That brings our count to 131 out of 351 towns and cities that we’ve already visited. Search the zip trip category on our search bar to see if we’ve already been to your town. After we go to all 351 we’re gonna rank them from nicest to crappiest and have a 64 town tournament in which voters will vote to decide what the biggest dump in the Bay State is.

    Here’s how we ranked today’s trip them from best to worst…..

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    1. Manchester by the Sea

    You know you’re living in a swanky place when they make you add “by the sea” after the name of your town. But Machester by the Sea is easily the nicest town we’ve visited on ANY of the Turtleboy bone rides. It’s the second wealthiest town in Massachusetts (out of 351) per capita, and you have to be filthy rich to live there. So yea, it’s way too nice for anyone from Worcester, and I’m pretty sure the woman in this picture could smell the Worcester on us as we drove by:

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    That man in the background is taking his dog for a walk in the ocean. Because that’s just how they roll in Manchester by the Sea. Nothing but mansions, a lovely downtown, and a beautiful town beach that only residents are allowed at.

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    2. Newbury

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    Newbury is a mostly rural, spread out town with lots of nice homes.

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    It’s only beach is on Plum Island and it’s actually wicked nice.

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    How have we never been to or even heard of this place? Look at those pictures. It’s 80 degrees out with blue skies and no one is there!! Apparently the way to keep out the Lawrence trash is to get rid of arcades and fried dough. Because Plum Island seems to be nothing more than a beach with a couple streets and some beach homes, and wouldn’t ya know it – there’s no motorcycle freak show encircling the people who are trying to enjoy a nice quiet day at the beach.

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    3. Ipswich

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    If you’ve ever met anyone from Ipswich, they never leave Ipswich. Because it’s a beach town oasis, far removed from the riff-raff. And everyone in town owns a boat.

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    It’s pretty spread out and rural and the houses are lovely.

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    Ipswich is kind of shaped like an octopus, and it’s tentacles create beach areas that you have to drive a long way to.

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    Jeffrey Neck’s beach is for the locals and Crane’s beach is for the common folk. It’s pretty nice there.

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    Ipswich also has a lovely downtown and a Greek festival. No wonder no one ever leaves.

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    4. Rockport

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    We’d rank Rockport higher, and on most other bone rides it would be the top ranked destination, but it’s a pain in the ass to get to. The worst. Route 128 basically ends in Gloucester and it turns into a clustefuck at that point. But once you get there you’re in paradise. The homes and beachfront neighborhoods make you feel like you’re on Nantucket.

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    There’s lots of traffic downtown, but that’s because there’s lots of stores and places to load your kids up with sugar.

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    The beach area is small, which seems to fulfill the mission of keeping the element from creeping up into Rockport.

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    5. Newburyport

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    Newburyport is one of three beach towns on this bone ride that have no beach, which seems to defeat the purpose of being on the ocean. This is the closest thing to being a beach in Newburyport:

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    Cool.

    But Newburyport does have a lot of charm to it. It’s historic looking, but well kept up and extremely clean:

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    It’s more of a place to live than it is a beach town, and it’s a really close drive to a bunch of beaches, so you kind of get the best of both worlds. Nice place.

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    6. Rowley

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    Just like Newburyport, Rowley is a beach town with no beaches. There’s really not much there at all. This is downtown Rowley:

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    It’s basically a cut through town to real beach towns. There’s some nice homes there, but it’s really, really boring as hell.

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    Yay Rowley!!

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    7. Gloucester

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    Do you like traffic? If so, then you will love Gloucester because it is a congested and densely populated traffic nightmare.

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    Once you actually get to the harbor though it’s wicked nice. This is one of the coolest places in Massachusetts to take a walk or read Turtleboy on your phone.

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    There’s a couple beaches in town with some really nice scenery.

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    And if you’re afraid of sharks then your kids can play in the Gloucester moat

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    But like I said, have fun getting there.

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    8. Essex

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    Essex doesn’t have any beaches, but it’s got plenty of antiques. This place is like the Brimfield antique show with less Walmartians.

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    That’s about all there is to Essex. A main road with a bunch of traffic and antique shops.

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    Other than that it’s an extremely rural marshy looking place with some nice homes, but no real neighborhoods. In short, you should probably wait until you turn 60 years old to consider moving to Essex.

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    9. Salisbury

    Salisbury is Hampton Beach junior. Just like Hampton you have to take a two lane highway of broken dreams and cheap motels just to get there.

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    Downtown isn’t bad looking, not that anyone goes to Salisbury to go shopping.

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    There’s a couple normal looking neighborhoods, but nothing to write home about:

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    But mostly it’s a bunch of trailers and broken down minivans sitting idly in people’s driveways.

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    And once you get to the beachy part of town, it starts to look just like Hampton, except SLIGHTLY cleaner.

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    But still, there are no shortage of white rape vans

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    Abandoned restaurants

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    Boarded up buildings

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    Salisbury free yard sales

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    It might look a little run down, but the economy is booming and there are plenty of jobs selling fried dough, cheap t-shirts, or dancing on poles.

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    We were there pretty early so luckily we missed the beach rush.

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    But just like Hampton Beach, it has all the lures for Haverhill’s finest to roll in there – fried food, arcades, $5 tee-shirts, and guys aimlessly driving around on Harley’s making unnecessary noise just so they can let you know how big their weeners are.

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    So did we get this list right? And what beach towns should we go to next?

     

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    Discussion

    1. Basset


      Next bone ride Outer Cape. Stay away from Hyannis, Bourne, and Yarmouth

      1. Earl Holliman


        Salisbury: Mass’s Ghomorrah to NH’s Hampton Beach Sodom.

    2. Kate


      As someone who grew up in Ipswich- nice job, this is very accurate. However, you neglected to mention that many of these towns are so small with very little to do, that many young kids tend to turn to drugs and many of these towns have horrible drug problems- especially heroin. It is very sad.

    3. Dada5000


      I voted Rowley for exactly what you said. Salisbury is actually my favorite because after about a half hour of unattractive humans eating fried dough and being loud you can put down a few bucks and escape to the state park beach which is quite nice. Also their are watering holes close by for when you need to medicate.

    4. me13


      I love Hampton beach. I have children though. They would be bored to tears at those quaint Norman Rockwell looking towns. Hampton beach was rated as having very clean water. Salisbury is much trashier than Hampton. Hampton has a nice children’s park right by the beach and water slides. Is a short drive to water country water park too. They have updated many buildings and the public bathrooms. The motorcycles are not as big of a presence as they once were years ago. They added to the charm. If anything it is certain groups of people who have begun to take over some of the businesses who are ruining the charm.

      1. Earl Holliman


        The “certain people” is hence the reason Hampton is no longer happy. Seriously, save some gas money and stop in Lawrence on your way to Hampton. Same difference.

    5. IHateFeistyLawyerLady


      Gloucester, heroin capital of MA. North Shore sucks moose cawk.

      Give me Wellfleet, Edgartown, Orleans, Eastham and Newport RI

      1. FiestyLawyerLady


        Hello,

        May I provide you with a safe space? A cozy queen bed, it comes equipped with a doll so you can show me where I hurt you, and an office desk with one pull out drawer so you can store your hurt penis away safely.

        Booked for July but August has a few days left.

        1. wtatnuckgangsta


          If it’s any consolation, I love you FiestyLawyerLady. And as a broad, I hate most broads. So, congrats on getting through my broad hate filter. Take that however you want.

          1. FiestyLawyerLady


            So, I love you too. Simply because if you love ME… YOU must be one broad with a good sense of humor! 😉

    6. Dora the explorer


      It was seem the concept of Massachusetts towns escapes some of the posters here.

    7. Blink's or Die


      C’mon, TB! Salisbury beach is much worse than Hampton beach!

      I know, I know. . . comparing a dog turd to a cat turd but still.

    8. Reddog


      TB, I think you smoked too much errb on your trip. Is it just me,or were many of the pics used multiple times? And many seemed out of order. I’m all discombobulated.
      I never knew west tatnuck gangsta was a chick.

    9. JakeG


      Why did no one tell me there was an arcade at Salisbury Beach!? I was just there like 2 weeks ago!!

    10. john


      i love that park in gloucester with the huge rock and all the old cannons. got a hidden beach behind the rock a beach on the other sid. cliffs and trails i dont give a fuck about herion im from worcester its part of life. wish we had a ocean view and beaches fuck outta here. they have a huge herion problem in orange mass and theres not one dominican in the town. and there the frog boy down the street in rockport.

    11. Concerned


      TB when you give your final assessment of all the towns. Please give us some clues on how much the run down shack goes for in The lowest north shore community verses an average price ranch in Worcester. This is how you know where their problems ,with family Money will send their problem riff raff.

    12. Fatfingr Lou


      Worcester-on-Crackstone…the hardest working city at redefining working!

    13. Rich


      Newburyport has a beach. It’s the Northern tip of Plum Island, at the mouth of the Merrimack River. Great beach.

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