Drive for about an hour from Boston and you’ll reach either the North Shore or the South Shore, two collections of coastal towns, the most famous of which is New England’s birthplace, Plymouth. But beyond the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock, there is so much more to see along both shores of Massachusetts. If you’re heading South, here are my must-see experiences, from oyster farming to wine tasting to antiquing.
Become a pilot for a day at Pilgrim Aviation, where you have the chance to get behind the wheel of a Cessna 172. Certified instructors help you with takeoff and landing, but once you are off the ground, you get to fly the plane as much as you like! The views from the air are breathtaking, and you may be surprised how turquoise the Atlantic Ocean looks from above.
Island Creek Oysters
Oysters served at some of the most delicious restaurants on the east coast, including Per Se in New York City, come from Island Creek Oysters in the tiny town of Duxbury. Take an Island Creek tour and get an inside peek at how their oysters go from farm to table. See how oyster babies are made in the nursery, then head out to one of the oysters skiffs on Duxbury Bay where you can taste the oysters as they are pulled from the sea. It doesn’t get fresher than this.
Viewfinder Tip: Island Creek Oysters has next-day delivery, so even if you can’t visit the South Shore, you can get a taste of Island Creek at your dinner table!
New Bedford Antiques at the Cove
There are numerous antique shops in the historic town of New Bedford, but the largest in the area is New Bedford Antiques at the Cove. This giant 55,000-square-foot warehouse is a treasure trove of cool finds from vintage dolls to antique beer steins and old-fashioned cameras. I dare you to walk out empty-handed!
Tia Maria’s Portuguese home cooking
Back in the whaling days, many Portuguese came over to New England to work on whaling ships and then settled in the area, especially around New Bedford. Tia Maria’s European Café is one of several places in New Bedford where you can get a taste of Portugal. The cozy restaurant on a cobblestoned street in the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park draws locals and tourists alike for the friendly atmosphere and classic Portuguese dishes like Chourico Bombeiro and Shrimp Moçambique.
Westport Rivers Vineyard
Westport Rivers Vineyard is a fifth-generation winery known for its sparkling wines. The picturesque property is an ideal setting to relax in as you taste a few glasses of bubbly, like their award-winning 2007 Westport Brut or their easy-drinking Farmer’s Fizz prosecco-style wine.
Chef Franco Carubia’s lobster roll at the Winsor House Inn
Dinner at the Winsor House Inn
The Winsor House Inn in Duxbury is a lovely place to enjoy dinner. The first Winsors sailed over on the Mayflower and became wealthy shipbuilders in Duxbury. The house was passed down through the generations until around the turn of the 20th century when it was abandoned and remained so for nearly 30 years. Tales of the property being haunted started to spread in the small town until the 1930s, when Daniel Winsor converted the family home into an inn. Today, the Winsor House Inn has tons of charm and is one of the most delicious restaurants in the area, where Chef Franco Carubia serves up one of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever had, among other locally sourced dishes.
What’s your favorite town on the South Shore of Massachusetts?