Plum Island is a coastal barrier island community located on the North Shore of Massachusetts laying claim to one of the most unique ecosystems in the world and a beautiful beachfront. Plum Island is part of both the City of Newburyport and the Town of Newbury.
Travel to Plum Island from Logan Airport is easy and takes less than an hour on most days. However, if you get caught in rush hour the drive could take closer to two hours so you might want to consider this when planning your airline tickets. Public transportation to Plum Island (Newburyport) is available, but it will require some skillful maneuvering of the local service at http://www.mbta.com/.
If you’re planning on coming to Plum Island to enjoy the beaches you’ve got the right idea. All of Newburyport’s restaurants and shops are within a 5 minute drive from anywhere on the Island. If you’re traveling with kids, the best beach is Sandy Point. The beach provides plenty of whirl pools for the kids to catch crabs and starfish in and should keep them happy most of the day. However, entry to Sandy Point is regulated so you’ll have to get there before 8am on most days. Also, the beach is pretty isolated, so make sure you pack some snacks for lunch.
There’s no shortage of restaurants in Newburyport, with most of them located in the city center on State Street. Here are some of my suggestions:
Abraham’s Bagels & Pizza www.abesbagels.com - The bagels are delicious and they have a cute outdoor eating section.
Agave Mexican Bistro www.agavemexicanbistro.com - This is a higher end Mexican establishment known for its homemade margaritas and lively atmosphere. Just be sure to call for reservations!
Bob Lobster www.boblobster.com - Bob Lobster is a classic New England seafood shack with a great fisherman’s platter
10 Center Street www.tencenterstreet.com - Offers terrific American cuisines. Check out the Jazz Night on Wednesdays, it’s a can’t miss!
Plum Island Grille www.plumislandgrille.com - After a day at the beach there’s nothing better than catching the sunset at this open air restaurant.
Black Cow www.blackcowrestaurants.com - The Back Cow has decent food, and nice ambiance and it sits directly on the river making it a great spot for an early evening cocktail.
Park Lunch www.parklunch.com - Only known to the locals, Park Lunch is great spot to take your kids. The affordable menu is highlighted by their ‘world famous’ chicken fingers and grilled cheese that is sure to leave stomachs full. They also have the largest fisherman platter in town!
It’s important to note that if you’re coming to Newburyport to enjoy a wild late night scene you will likely leave disappointed, as last call at most places in town in 12:15am. The Thirsty Whale is known to stay open the latest and serve the stiffest drinks.
There seems to be a festival every weekend in the summer in Newburyport, but the largest celebration is the Yankee Home Festival that runs from July 31st to August 7th. The parade is fantastic, but if you want a good seat buy a cheap chair at the Richdale downtown and line in on the side of High Street at least 24 hours before the parade.
If you’re traveling with a dog there are several great parks to enjoy a walk. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach but Moseley Woods offers some tremendous trails for the pup and even has the second best jungle gym in town for the kids. The best gym for the kids is actually on a side street called Inn Street
Plum Island is a great beach community to vacation for a family!