Plum Island Offers a Beautiful Stretch of Beach in the Newburyport, MA, Area
Newbury Beach represents the best of North Shore Massachusetts beach travel
by Eric H., article initially published in May of 2007
If you happen to see any lions wandering around the metro Boston area or if you're just looking for a late summer respite from fast-paced, stressed-out civilization, then a visit to Plum Island is the remedy for feeling overextended. Named after the beach plum bushes seen everywhere on this 11-mile barrier island, Plum Island (accessible by car) is a relaxed New England coastal oasis located on the northern Massachusetts coastline. The area consists of beautiful marsh land, long stretches of beach, expansive fields with deer running, a mix of ramshackle cottages and seaside mansions, and the stunning 4,662 Parker Wildlife Refuge.
Newbury Beach is one of Plum Island's major attractions and a certified New England hidden gem. While nearby crowds flock to the more honky-tonk Salisbury and Hampton Beaches where, apparently, Halloween occurs 365 days a year, Newbury Beach quietly offers a mile-and-one-half of high quality sandy beach, great ocean swimming (not as cold as nearby Maine) and fewer crowds (especially farther down the beach). Newbury Beach connects the interesting, eclectic city of Newburyport (which looks more like a town) with the Parker Wildlife Refuge -- featuring 6.5 miles of sandy beach, 3,000 acres of salt marsh, magnificent dunes and great bird-watching opportunities, including the rare Piping Plover located at Sandy Point Reservation (a state park at the tip of the Refuge).
Although Newburyport is a small city, you are easily able to relax and feel safe in this outside masterpiece of federalist architecture built by ship owners and captains, brick walkways, restaurants with indoor and outdoor harbor side dining (10 Center St., the Grog and Starboard Gallery are highly recommended) and shopping galore (no chain stores, thank goodness). Once downtrodden, Newburyport has become revitalized to the point where it is now a favorite destination for New Englanders not wanting to travel far. For those outside of New England, you'll love the salt-air feel of this interesting, historical museum piece in the form of a city.
Plum Island offers something for everyone, whether it be the nature lover, urbanite looking for peace, suburbanite looking for no strip malls, and of, course, those who mistake dried piles of grass for a lion. Plum Island is authentic New England in the purest sense, a coastal treasure with no pretensions just waiting to be discovered.
For more information on Plum Island, visit the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce Web Site.
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