Ashworth by the Sea is a picturesque getaway spot, enhanced by views of the ocean and imbued with a relaxing, traditional New England vibe. Rooms can fit two city escapees or suburban fugitives, and may come with two queen or one king-sized bed, plus a balcony ideal for silent, romantic stargazing or pedantically pointing out made-up constellations. On the night of your arrival, you’ll receive a $20 voucher toward dinner for two in Breakers Restaurant, which features coast-appropriate fare such as the lobster roll ($18) or the Atlantic haddock beach special ($10.50); the next morning’s meal will come with a $10 voucher for a breakfast of $20 or more. You and your significant other, family member, or strange traveling companion with a handcuff bracelet can enjoy the heated waves of Ashworth’s indoor pool, or bask in the electric glow of the wireless Internet.
Warm lighting blankets the rustic interior of Riverside Lounge, creating a relaxing retreat for enjoying a draft beer, cocktail, or full meal. The flickering flames of the fireplace invite couples to cozy up beside it as they share portions of lightly battered calamari and lobster mac and cheese. The bar, meanwhile, blends chic woodwork with brick walls and an inviting atmosphere where patrons can relax and sip one of 17 draft beers, a seasonal wine, or a pitcher of white or red sangria. A collection of sports-showing TVs decorates the bar like wreaths on a door, while outside the view offers the natural splendor of the Powwow River Waterfall, which flows adjacent to the lounge’s canopied tables and violin-playing sparrows.
For more than 25 years, the maritime enthusiasts at The Lighthouse Preservation Society have worked to maintain the endangered lighthouses of the United States, some more than 200 years old. Their efforts have sponsored National Lighthouse Day, helped create the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act and the National Lighthouse Museum, and raised nearly $6 million toward more than 160 lighthouse-restoration projects. Day to day, they lead lighthouse tours and present lighthouse-related presentations, gather historic documents and artifacts, and manufacture replica replacement parts.
They also ignite lighthouse-centered enthusiasm through special events and private dining at the Newburyport Lighthouse. Lauded by Yankee Magazine, the intimate multicourse meals pair sea- and land-focused dishes with views of the town harbor and historic waterfront buildings. The small circular room, nestled at the top of the lighthouse, surrounds diners with padded benches and panoramic windows.
Plum Island Beachcoma reopened in 2011 after a seven-year hiatus to serve American favorites in a laid-back, beach-themed setting and continue a tradition as a local hangout that stretches back to the 1950s. Surrounded by bright yellow walls and beach paraphernalia, diners watch sports on flat-screen TVs and dig into lobster-salad sandwiches with sliced avocado and 8-ounce Angus-beef burgers. The beachy vibe is carried on in entrees such as fish tacos and coconut-crusted chicken, made with ingredients plucked from Hawaii's fabled coconut-chicken trees.
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A new dining destination built for hungry linksmen fresh off rounds on Black Swan Country Club's golf course, Keon's Grille rustles up delectable 19th-hole fare in a casually classy setting. The chicken-and-shrimp cavatelli sets up sautéed chicken breast medallions with grilled shrimp ($18) on a blind date, ending, as is customary, with both participants covered in pesto cream sauce. Beef fiends can fix on the angus burger ($8) or bleu bacon burger ($9.50), which caps a juicy patty with Maytag bleu cheese and apple-smoked bacon. For a taste of the mighty sea, diners can down panko crumb-encrusted baked haddock ($19) or the Maryland-style crab cakes, which come in an entourage of roasted corn and sweet potato hush puppies ($11). Multiple flat-screen TVs line the bar walls, letting patrons keep up with basketball scores, baseball trades, and dangerball injuries.