Travel

Our Day Trip Guide to Duxbury

Where you can relax on the beach, take a tour of an oyster farm, and browse titles at the South Shore’s oldest indie bookstore.


We all need a break from city life sometimes, if even just for a few hours. Our day trip guides highlight all of the gems within a short drive from Boston. Here, we explore Duxbury.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Duxbury, MA

Distance from Boston: 34 miles
Driving Time: 1 hour

A.M.

They call it “Deluxebury” for good reason. A seaside enclave on the South Shore, Duxbury may have a rep for being a ritzy suburb, but the historic town is also a peaceful spot ideal for anyone who wants to get away from the city and enjoy some fresh ocean air. Start your day at the Foodsmith, home to the breakfast board of your dreams. Grab a seat out front to enjoy an egg and cheese sandwich, or bring it with you to catch some sun at Duxbury Beach, a sprawling 7.5-mile long barrier beach filled with rolling sand dunes and beach grass. Assuming you don’t have a resident sticker, you can find your way onto the sand by spending $20 to park in the lot at the Marshfield end of the beach. Or if you get there early enough, you may be able to snag a spot in the tiny lot at the beginning of the Power Point Bridge. But if you’re loaded down with umbrellas, beach chairs and coolers, be warned that the bridge was once in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest and longest wooden bridge and you will feel every step of the almost half-mile walk to the beach.

If you’re feeling nice and toasty from the sun, spend some time browsing the quaint, independent shops in town. Stop by the Studio, a fine gift shop that’s been around since the ’50s, for a hostess gift or ocean-inspired decor. Another gift shop, Three Buoys and a Mermaid also has women’s fashion and home decor. Also worth a stop is the Westwinds Bookshop, the oldest indie bookstore on the South Shore, which has a great sale room for snagging bargains.

Photo by Emmy Hagen

P.M.

If you plan your trip a month in advance, you should be able to snag a spot on one of the highly-coveted tours of the 11-acre Island Creek Oyster Farm. You’ll cruise Duxbury Bay on a 27-foot Carolina Skiff tour boat while feasting on all-you-can-eat oysters and learning how the acclaimed spot rose to fame. If you’re lucky, you may even learn how to shuck like a pro. (We’d advise wearing gloves if you’re a first-timer!) But for those who prefer a spur-of-the-moment jaunt down the South Shore, you don’t have to miss out on the fun. The Raw Bar at Island Creek Oyster Farm features a stunning, relaxed patio where folks hop right off their boats to grab a plate of oysters and a glass of rosé. Just steps from the water, you can play a few rounds of lawn games while feasting on the raw bar all the way until dusk.

Don’t skip a stop at the beloved Farfar’s Danish Ice Cream Shop, home to delectables cones filled with flavors like maple walnut and Swiss chocolate almond. Before you head back to the city, stop by Snug Harbor Fish Company to grab some local, sustainable seafood and bring a little bit of the shore back with you. If you know there’s something special you want ahead of time, call with 24-hours notice, and they may be able to have it ready for you when you arrive. Soak in the sunset around the corner at the marina, where you can watch the boats come in before saying goodbye to the coastal dreamland.