One of New England's best kept secrets, Plum Island is an eleven mile strip of dune-lined beach tucked away on the outskirts of Massachusetts' northern-most shore. An offshoot of one of the state's quintessential historic towns, Newburyport, Plum Island offers the quaint comfort of Cape Cod without the crowds. Even on the hottest summer weekends when thousands flock to Provincetown, Hyannis and Chatham, there's plenty of room to spread out and zone out, with few people or clouds in sight, on this serene reserve.
The reason you're here. Pack a cooler and take off your shoes. You know the rest. Some parking advice: most full-time lots charge a daily rate of $20-30, but if you explore the streets alongside the beach, private residents often open their driveways and offer daily parking for around $10.
Beach | Newbury Beach
Northern Boulevard, Plum Island
Bright, luxurious and clean, there's only one place to stay on Plum Island that's sure to take your blues away.
Hotel | Blue
20 Fordham Way
One of the first things you'll see when you walk toward the beach is a sign advertising surfing lessons, and on busier weekends don't be surprised to see a flock of ten or more hanging ten on the island's small but relentless waves. Perfect for beginners, the close to shore and manageable surf will help you learn the craft without sending you head over heels toward a coral reef.
During nesting season, from late April to mid-August, a large section of the eleven mile beach is closed off to help the protected Piping Plover breed undisturbed, but during the late summer and off-season months when this stretch is open, you wont find a more relaxing place to take a sandy stroll.
Park | Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Stop by Colby Farm, a couple miles from the beach, on your way home where you can take a picture of a picturesque sunflower field, and grab some organic produce from their farm stand.
Farm Stand | Colby Farm
50 Scotland Rd, Newbury
Just over the small bridge connecting Plum Island with neighboring Newburyport, this popular seafood spot sources lobsters from the Island's surrounding waters, giving it not only a local touch but also a lower price point compared to Maine lobster.
Seafood Shack | Bob Lobster