15 Best Things to Do in Westport (MA)

This quintessential New England seaside town sits at the western end of Buzzards Bay, just off the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border.

Westport’s coastline is dramatic, home to a two-mile stretch of magical Horseneck Beach, surrounded by sand dunes.

At the east end of the beach is Gooseberry Island, which juts out into Buzzards Bay for stunning ocean views.

Inland, Westport is pastoral farmland, crisscrossed by stone walls and dotted with centuries-old houses, a 17th-century factory, a renowned winery, contemporary art galleries, and gentle strolls in the countryside. 

1. Gray’s Grist Mill

Arriving at the state line on Adamsville Rd, you’ll be greeted by a scene that looks like something straight out of a picture book.

The shores of Grey’s Mill, dating from the 17th century, are surrounded by historic buildings, including this water-powered flour mill. With giant 54-inch granite stones, this mill has continuously milled corn for over 360 years.

Today, Gray’s Grist Mill cornmeal is sourced from local Rhode Island Narragansett Flint corn, aged in an outdoor corn cot by the elements.

At the store, you can purchase special blends for making jonnycakes and pancakes/waffles, as well as Rhode Island maple syrup, locally roasted coffee, and cookbooks. 

2. Buzzards Bay Brewing

You’ll never have to search long to find a craft brewery in Massachusetts, but there aren’t many with a solid reputation like Buzzards Bay Brewers.

This can be found on a farm in pastoral fields surrounded by forests and using locally grown/crafted ingredients, including the farm’s own wheat.

Two of the famous beers are Flounder, an unfiltered light beer made from a blend of local barley and white wheat malts.

The Buzzards Bay IPA, on the other hand, is more than just an IPA, as it is made with a new crop of hops each year, creating new aromas and flavors.

There are over a dozen other beers on regular rotation, as you’ll find at the bar, which is welcoming in the winter and has a large outdoor area in the warmer months.  

3. Portas Da Cidade

Southeast Massachusetts has had an important Portuguese heritage since the late 19th century following immigration from the Azores and Madeira.

This is still noticeable in things like cultural celebrations, and churches, but also in cuisine, so you are in a good place to try authentic Portuguese food with recipes already passed on from generation to generation.

This is the case with Portas Da Cidade, which, in the purest Portuguese style, offers a wide variety of cod (bacalhau), breaded, simmered, grilled, or grilled.

Some popular choices are Mozambican-style shrimp, filet mignon with stuffed shrimp, and the classic Bife à Portuguesa, egg-topped tenderloin with a rich sauce.  

4. The Bayside Restaurant

Near Westport Point, this family-owned and operated restaurant offers impressive views of Buzzards Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, and part of the Allens Pond Reserve.

Bayside Restaurant’s specialty is New England-style seafood, fresh from the Atlantic Ocean and sourced from New Bedford and the Boston waterfront.

Think lobster rolls, fried scallops, fried clams, and fish & chips. Many of the recipes have been in the family for generations, and that applies to the selection of delicious homemade cakes, from lemon and apple to blueberry and meringue.  

5. Westport Town Farm

Sloping down the eastern tributary of the Westport River, this 40-acre reserve is managed by reserve trustees and has a fascinating story to tell. For more than a century, this property was Westport’s rundown farm and dispensary.

A farm, barn, corn nativity scene, and colonial stone walls all testify to the age of the site. From the farm, you can cross a landscape of hillside meadows, dry pastures, and grazing fields surrounded by old stone walls.

On the one-kilometer detour, you can admire the tidal river and its salt marshes, before climbing up to the barnyard. 

6. Gray’s General Store

A few meters from Grey’s Grist Mill in Adamsville, Rhode Island, you’ll find a rustic-looking building with Gray’s sign on the porch.

It is said to be the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States, open from 1788 until closing in 2012, when its owner, Grayton Waite, passed away.

He is the sixth generation to run the store, which reopened in 2013 when his son and sole heir leased the property to his father’s cousin, who had worked there for 16 years.

In the early 19th century, this building also housed the first post office in the village of Little Compton. Gray’s General Store sells collectibles, gifts, antiques, frozen goods, packaged candy, and more.  

7. Weatherlow Farms

Founded in 2014, Weatherlow Farms raises grass-fed meat (beef, lamb, chevon, pork), as well as pasture-raised poultry and eggs.

Another highlight is the flowers for special events, grown and kept on the farm, while the hotel’s elegantly lit barn houses weddings, parties, and other special events. other private activities.

If you are just passing by, you can visit the Farm Shop at 845 Sodom Rd, which offers high-quality meat and poultry, as well as flowers, plants, baked goods, dairy products, homemade sauces, pickles, frozen ready-to-eat foods, and even pet snacks. 

8. Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery

Planted in 1982 and opened in 1986, this vineyard is run by a family of four generations of winemakers.

This beautiful piece of land was chosen for the loamy, well-drained New England soil and the climate of southeastern Massachusetts, which is cool but moderated by the Gulf Stream.

Reflecting famous regions like Burgundy and Champagne, Westport Rivers uses traditional methods, with minimal processing, to craft wines as diverse as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Grüner Veltliner, as well as a selection of sparkling wines.

The winery is open for tours and tastings, Monday through Saturday, and there’s always something to do, with a series of sunset concerts in the summer and carriage rides through the vineyards. in the fall.  

9. Dedee Shattuck Gallery

Named after its owner, this contemporary art gallery is set in a woodland and idyllic meadow, in a building inspired by Westport’s historic Quaker architecture.

A Westport cultural destination, the gallery is fundamental to the growing attraction of emerging local artists, as well as prominent regional, national, and international names.

Open April through December, the Dedee Shattuck Gallery presents engaging solo and group exhibitions and offers an exciting program of events, featuring live performances, readings, lectures, and discussions.  

10. Camara Conservation Area

The Westport Land Conservancy looks after several small natural areas around the town, and one point of interest is this 43-acre mixed freshwater and hardwood forest on the vast South Watuppa Pond.

There’s a half-mile of trails on the grounds that take a break for the day, with a stretch leading you north to an erratically large icy region.

Camara Conservation Area is located in an area of ​​open public space, across the Fall River and the town of Tiverton, Rhode Island.  

11. Horseneck Beach State Reservation

A place of pristine natural beauty, this 800-acre public recreation area includes two miles of sandbar beaches, dunes, marshes, and sheltered estuary habitats.

Horseneck Beach State Reserve attracts hundreds of thousands of people each summer, with lifeguards on duty from July 1 through Labor Day.

The beach faces southwest on a crescent-shaped stretch of sand bordered by low rolling waves and naturally dotted with pebbles, so bring water shoes if you plan to wade through the shallows in This.

There’s a campground at the east end of the beach near Gooseberry Neck, with 100 sites, each equipped with fire rings and picnic tables. 

12. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

East of Horseneck Beach is the ecosystem-rich Lake Allens Wildlife Sanctuary, which protects the coastline and inland habitat.

On more than 600 acres, along 7 miles of trails, you can venture past or past beaches (1.5 miles long), woodlands, Allens Ponds, swamps, and farm fields with swathes of trees. Labyrinth stone wall.

During your travels, you’ll visit many viewpoints to observe the reserve’s diverse wildlife, with more than 300 bird species recorded at the site.

An important resident is the piper, which nests on the beach in the summer. There’s a wildlife-focused program in the quaint Stone Barn, built in the mid-19th century, and on a sunny summer day, the Butterfly Garden is a delight.  

13. Gooseberry Island

Connected to the mainland by a short causeway, lonely Gooseberry Island lies at the southern tip of Horseneck Beach State Reserve.

Shaken by ocean breezes, you could easily spend an hour or two exploring the island via its winding sandy path, stopping occasionally for views of Buzzards Bay.

This location has long been recognized as an observation point and during the Second World War became the logical location for a concrete observation tower, still in place, to spot German U-boats…

The western slopes are windswept, with waves lapping against the rocky shore, while the eastern slopes are sheltered, with a sandy beach flanked by gentler waves. 

14. Osprey Sea & Surf Adventures

One of the best things you can do in the summer in Westport is canoeing along the town’s safe waterways.

To help you, this store located right on the Westport River’s navigable East Fork, sells and rents everything you could possibly need for a kayak, paddle, and stand-up paddleboarding experience.

This location is the perfect starting point, no need to change routes. Osprey Sea & Surf Adventures stays busy all summer, organizing camping, sightseeing, and learning, teaching important boating, boating, and safety skills. 

15. Handy House

Owned by the Westport Historical Society, Colonial Handy House is a unique showcase of architectural trends in southern Massachusetts during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Starting with three bays on the right (east) side, the house was built in three distinct phases from about 1710 to 1825, when it reached eight bays.

The interior is sparsely furnished, so you can easily spot the different stages of construction by looking closely at the walls, plaster, floors, hinges, windows, and architectural elements. other. Handy House is usually open on Saturdays during the summer.  

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