Like the Free Turtleboy Facebook page to follow our posts when our other page is arbitrarily suspended. If we ever get shut down for good, this will become the new Turtleboy Sports main Facebook page.
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…..
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:
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.
Newbury is a mostly rural, spread out town with lots of nice homes.
It’s only beach is on Plum Island and it’s actually wicked nice.
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.
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.
It’s pretty spread out and rural and the houses are lovely.
Ipswich is kind of shaped like an octopus, and it’s tentacles create beach areas that you have to drive a long way to.
Jeffrey Neck’s beach is for the locals and Crane’s beach is for the common folk. It’s pretty nice there.
Ipswich also has a lovely downtown and a Greek festival. No wonder no one ever leaves.
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.
There’s lots of traffic downtown, but that’s because there’s lots of stores and places to load your kids up with sugar.
The beach area is small, which seems to fulfill the mission of keeping the element from creeping up into Rockport.
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:
But Newburyport does have a lot of charm to it. It’s historic looking, but well kept up and extremely clean:
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.
Just like Newburyport, Rowley is a beach town with no beaches. There’s really not much there at all. This is downtown Rowley:
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.
Do you like traffic? If so, then you will love Gloucester because it is a congested and densely populated traffic nightmare.
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.
There’s a couple beaches in town with some really nice scenery.
And if you’re afraid of sharks then your kids can play in the Gloucester moat
But like I said, have fun getting there.
Essex doesn’t have any beaches, but it’s got plenty of antiques. This place is like the Brimfield antique show with less Walmartians.
That’s about all there is to Essex. A main road with a bunch of traffic and antique shops.
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.
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.
Downtown isn’t bad looking, not that anyone goes to Salisbury to go shopping.
There’s a couple normal looking neighborhoods, but nothing to write home about:
But mostly it’s a bunch of trailers and broken down minivans sitting idly in people’s driveways.
And once you get to the beachy part of town, it starts to look just like Hampton, except SLIGHTLY cleaner.
But still, there are no shortage of white rape vans
Boarded up buildings
Salisbury free yard sales
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.
We were there pretty early so luckily we missed the beach rush.
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.
So did we get this list right? And what beach towns should we go to next?
We urge you to support the Turtleboy Sponsors by doing business with them. Without them none of this is possible. Click on any of them to check out their sites or Facebook pages.
Wormtown Brewery, Union Tavern, Scavone Plumbing, Bennie’s Cafe, JJM Insurance, Smokestack Urban Barbecue, Smitty’s Tavern, Julio’s Liquors, Solarreviews.net, The Gun Parlor Range, Attorney Anthony Salerno, Harris Auto Body, Rotti Power Equipment in West Boylston