Westport, a Farmcoast beauty

The Westport River, as seen from River Road.
Lauren Daley for the Boston Globe
The Westport River, as seen from River Road.

WESTPORT — In this coastal farming town, you can bicycle from cornfield to coastline in minutes — without breaking a sweat. The idyll lays smack in the middle of a swath of New England aptly dubbed the Farmcoast. Here, lichened stone walls still divide farms and line roadsides, and a trip to the beach is likely to take you past horses, fields of lettuce, and salt-weathered barns. Just an hour south of Boston, it offers a taste of Cape Cod without that Cape traffic.

To do

Westport boasts miles of sandy beaches, but by far, the most popular is Horseneck Beach State Reservation. Picnic, swim, and sunbathe on miles of sandy shoreline. Ocean breezes make this a fantastic wind-surfing spot. Make a stay of it and park your camper in the campground by the dunes. Bring a bike or sneakers for the ocean-front trail, and binoculars for the wildlife — the reserve encompasses a 600-acre swath of barrier beach and salt marsh. 5 John Reed Road. Beach office: 508-636-8816. Campsite info: 508-636-8817.

Head to Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures on the Westport River to book a kayak or stand-up paddleboard lesson. If you already know the ropes — well, paddles — rent a board and get gliding. The river cuts through an expanse of estuary, bluff, and wood. Birders, you’ll see egrets, osprey, and heron. 489 Old County Road. 508-636-0300.


Get your post-paddle sugar-fix at the Head Town Landing Country Store directly across the street. Best doughnuts in town. 488 Old County Road. 508-636-6191.

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Sip wine, watch the sunset, and listen to live music at Westport Rivers Winery’s Sunset Music series. The postcard-worthy farm-vineyard hosts concerts each Friday in August and Saturday in September. Pack a picnic and your pals — admission is by the carload. ($10 in advance; $15 week of.) Also, tastings Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; tours on Saturdays. Closed Sundays. 417 Hixbridge Road. 508-636-3423.

After a long day at the beach, relax — or, keep relaxing — with an ice-cold Buzzards Bay IPA at Buzzards Bay Brewing. The farm-brewery all but glows green, surrounded by lush rolling hills, tall grass, and hayfields. Grab a gooey grilled cheese from the Fancheezical Food Truck. 98 Horseneck Road. Tuesday-Saturday, 1 to 8 p.m. 508-636-2288.


Beside a stone wall and pasture of grazing cows, Partners Village Store and Cafeoffers a thoughtful curation of books, pottery, jewelry, toys, clothing, stationary, and the like. The cafe serves up seasonal fare, including lobster rolls, hummus and veggie wraps, turkey pesto grilled panini, and seven-layer bars. 865 Main Road. 508-636-2572.

The abutting Art Stable Gallery is, literally, an old stable converted into an art gallery. Shop local art starting at the end of August. (781-801-2039. Located in the same lot, the DeDee Shattuck Gallery exhibits works by local artists and hosts events, from film nights to cooking classes. 508-636-4177, 1 Partners Lane.


Once a barn, Country Woolens now sells anything a farmer, or beach-goer, could need. Think performance outdoor gear from Merrell, Royal Robins, Pendleton, and Carhartt. 842 Main Road. 508-636-5661.

Eat fresh

After a long beach day, sun-baked travelers can feast on fresh seafood at The Back Eddy. Par for the course: stuffed clams, wood-grilled swordfish, pan-seared North Atlantic salmon, applewood bacon-wrapped scallops. Dine outside to enjoy a stunner of a sunset. 1 Bridge St. 508-636-6500.

Handy Hill Creamery is quintessential New England summer fare. Grab an outdoor picnic table and dig into heaping portions of fish and chips, lobster rolls and curly fries, thick coffee frappes and any ice cream flavor your heart desires, from Lobster Tracks to Peanut Butter Pie. 55 Hix Bridge Road. 508-636-8888.

The Bayside Restaurant boasts gorgeous views of the waterfront and Audubon sanctuary and serves up fried Rhode Island calamari, lobster and asparagus salad, fish tacos, coconut shrimp, and baked scallops among other sea-to-table fare. 1253 Horseneck Road. 508-636-5882.

For a cozy barn-turned-pub vibe, head to Bittersweet Farm Restaurant & Tavern, where guitarists often strum by the fireplace in the downstairs tavern. Enjoy bacon-wrapped scallops, farmhouse steak tips, fried oysters, clams on the half shell, and buffalo chicken flatbread. Upstairs is more formal dining. (438 Main Road. 508-636-0085.) Pizza lovers, grab a slice of Farmers’ Market or Westport Bacon Bleu at sister property Ten Cousin’s Brick Oven Pizza. 977 Main Road. 774-264-9700.



The Paquachuck Inn is a charming little seaside bed and breakfast, a stone’s throw from Westport Point. The historic inn, which dates to the Whaling era, was originally built of hand-hewn timber and local stone circa 1827. Enjoy the water view and wake to the smell of salt air and breakfast. 2056 Main Road. 508-636-4398.

Lauren Daley can be reached at