Updated: Oct 23, 2020
I'm in love with summer...always have been. I'll take the sun over the snow any day of the week. My dream is to have a house overlooking the water. Even with my sister telling me I do not want to deal with flood insurance..I'm still hopeful for an ocean view one day. In the meantime, I'll take in as much of the ocean as I possibly can. This past week, I spent quite a bit of time going to both Salisbury and Plum Island beaches with my kids, niece, and nephew, who were visiting. What's not to love about listening to a good band on the beach or just reading a book, while lounging out on the sand?
Up until this past Thursday and the latest Covid restrictions, Alex Anthony band was playing on the Plum Island Beach offering up a free concert to homeowners, renters, and anyone else lucky enough to know about the outdoor event. We got to enjoy this on three different occasions while eating lobster rolls. Good times.
Jen and I enjoying the music on Plum Island. Alex Anthony Band is playing in middle pic. I'm a fan! This band is great! You can follow the band on Facebook, which lists their local schedule:
While Massachusetts might be known for such hot spots as Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, where both presidents and celebrities vacation, this state has an abundance of drop dead beautiful beaches to choose from. The North shore, my neck of the woods, is surrounded by beautiful sandy landscapes, and I am lucky to have three within my reach. Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Plum Island, and Crane's Beach offer breathtaking views of salt-marsh and dune filled, grassy hill beaches with boardwalks to the sand and long stretches of beach that can accommodate large numbers of people. Salisbury and Plum Island are on the Atlantic with no obstructions..so you can expect big waves, surf, and rip currents. Crane's Beach in Ipswich Bay does not have the big ocean waves the other beaches have and is a great and safe bet for small kids. You will not have to worry about rip currents. All of these offer bathrooms.
People line up for beach pizza...because it is just THAT GOOD!!!
Salisbury Beach has a lively, fun vibe with a 'center' that offers a small boardwalk, arcade, restaurants, bars, world famous 'beach pizza' and souvenir shops stocked with beach gear. You can find day pass public parking in a few lots, some free on street parking, and metered on street parking that border the beach and give you easy access to the food/hops. There are also a ton of beach rentals..that are usually booked a year in advance. If you want a safe bet and don't want to deal with searching for parking, go to the Reservation and pay for your day pass,$14 MA residents/$40 non residents. If you decide to park on the street or in public parking, you'll be in the thick of all the action the center has to offer (but..the public bathroom for off street is awful and a hike from the beach!)
If you're lucky, you'll spot a whale or the occasional seal. Every now and then, a Great White will be spotted and are known to partake in these waters as well. Summer has its share of rumors about fishermen spotting a Great White off of Salisbury Beach. Knowing this, I don't think anyone really ventures out too deep...Jaws awaits!
We had a solid week of great weather and awesome beach time at Salisbury
My Eats Recommendations at Salisbury Beach:
Groundswell - smoothies, sandwiches, and acai bowls
Surfside - casual, outdoor eating overlooking ocean
Sea Glass Restaurant - finer dining with amazing ocean views
Tripoli Pizza - famous beach pizza
Dave and I enjoying dinner at Surfside - check out the nice beach view!
Surfside offers a diverse menu with fun, outside dining. It's my go to for Friday nites with my hubby.
Plum Island is a more laid back, sleepy, and quiet setting that offers just enough..for the people visiting the smaller island and for those who reside here permanently. There's an ice cream shop, souvenir shop, snack shack at the public access beach, and Plum Island Grill Restaurant. This is not a beach that screams,"COME VISIT US." The people here enjoy their privacy. There is no on street parking - zilch. You have to park at the beach lot and pay for your day pass, which is $5. Due to piping plover season, the beach has large areas that are blocked off from any 'human' visitation. Birds are priority here...parking is slim pickins'. I had to drive a good 20 minutes into the beach to find parking in a designated lot. It was well worth it though. We had privacy and there were tons of sand dollars washed up on the beach. If you're lucky, you'll find parking at the very end of Plum Island's Sandy Point State Reservation. Ipswich is a stone's throw away from this beach, and the water here is calm without any rip current. There are 10 parking spots tops, but it's a beautiful location. Plum Island has a large number of vacation rentals as well; all usually booked well in advance. And...you are just 15 minutes from downtown Newburyport..a beautiful, quaint New England City with history, restaurants, and cute shops.
My Eats Recommendations:
Plum Island Grille: https://www.plumislandgrille.com/
Bob Lobster - driving/biking distance from Plum Island
Plum Island Grill
Beach life is my preferred way of living, and in the future, I envision a small house, hammock, boat, and a relaxed way of life...someday.
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Sunset on the Plum Island marsh