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Sandy Point State Reservation: Tips to Plan Your Trip

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
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Sandy Point State Reservation, located at the southern point of Plum Island, offers beautiful views, a protected cove with calm waters, and an escape from overcrowded beaches. While Sandy Point is considered one of the most coveted beaches in the area for locals and visitors alike, planning ahead is a must for a successful trip. Newburyport.com, utilized pictures taken by local photographer/resident Lani Shumway to create the featured slideshow video. Check out Lani’s website to view more of her beautiful photos.

The most important thing to know before heading to Sandy Point is that there is extremely limited parking. There are about 15 spots at the main lot with the closest access to the beach, and an additional 25 spots a short walking distance away from the beach entrance. During summer months, and many times even off-season, these lots fill up quickly and cars line up to wait for spots to open up as visitors exit. The best way to score a place to park at Sandy Point State Reservation is to arrive early in the morning or to flip your beach day and opt for a dinner picnic. While parking is a challenge, it is also the reason why you will never find Sandy Point overcrowded, even on the best beach days.

To access Sandy Point, visitors must enter through the guard gate at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. The entrance fee is $5 per car, or opt for an annual $20 pass if you plan on visiting often. The pass gives you access to Sandy Point as well the other beaches and hiking trails located on the refuge.

The refuge will post a sign at the gate if Sandy Point’s lot is already full. Visitors can then choose to either still make the trek out to Sandy Point and wait in the 1-in-1-out car line or park in one of the other five lots on the refuge that offer beach access.

From the gate, it’s about a 20-minute drive, traveling 6.5 miles along paved and dirt roads. While the drive is slow-moving, it’s a great opportunity to take in spectacular views of the beaches, marshes, and wildlife that make up the refuge. Beware, your car will kick up a lot of dust along the way, so save any planned car wash trips for after your beach excursion!

A visit to Sandy Point State Reservation is always well worth all the planning when you can snag a spot and spend the day. Families love to visit this beach to swim in the calmer waters during high tide and to explore the tidal pools filled with ocean life and shells during low tide. Sandy Point also offers amazing views of Crane Beach for photographers, a quiet sanctuary to observe wildlife, and is a favorite place to drop a line and fish.

Know Before You Go:

  • The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset
  • There are no bathrooms at Sandy Point State Reservation. The closest one is located at Lot 4.
  • Campfires, drones, kites, and pets are prohibited everywhere on the refuge
  • During Piping Plover season, certain areas of the beach may be marked off to protect nests. However, unlike other parts of the refuge, Sandy Point State Reservation does not completely close to the public.

Hellcat Interpretative Trail also called Hellcat Boardwalk Trail – Plum Island 

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Hellcat Interpretative Trail Parker River Boardwalk Trail, Plum Island, MA

The Hellcat Interpretative Trail, often referred to as the Hellcat Boardwalk Trail for its planked pathway, is located in Plum Island’s Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The trail, which is handicap accessible and appropriate for kids and adults alike, offers a guided experience and breathtaking views.

The 1.4 miles long Hellcat Trail is divided into two different paths on either side of the road that runs through the refuge— a 0.6 mile Dunes Trail and an 0.8 mile Marsh Trail. Each section features lookout points and interpretive stations along the way to learn fun facts about the refuge and habitats. Visitors can choose to do just one of the paths or the entire loop. To reduce disturbance to wildlife all hikers must stay on the boardwalk at all times. Maps are available online and at the ranger station when you enter the refuge.

The Hellcat Interpretative Trail was originally built in the 1970s by high school students in the Youth Conservation Corps but recently got aHellcat Interpretative Trail Parker River Boardwalk Trail, Plum Island, MA big upgrade in the fall of 2020. The wooded boardwalk was replaced with synthetic plastic planks and widened to make it more accessible. Along with upgrades to the trail, The Marsh and Dune loops, which were previously two separate paths, are now connected with a new portion of the trail.

Ready to head out on a hike? Here’s what you need to know before you go. All visitors must pay $5 per car to enter the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, unless they have an annual parking pass. Once on the refuge, the Hellcat Boardwalk Trail is about 3.5 miles from the entrance and closest in vicinity to parking lot 4 (the same lot you would also find the lookout tower from). And while your pup may love a good hike, you need to leave all four-legged family members at home—pets are not allowed anywhere on the refuge.

The Hellcat Trail is open year-round but make sure to keep tabs on when the greenheads arrive in mid-July. These pesky horseflies are prevalent on Plum Island and make for a less than ideal hike.  Another environmental factor to keep an eye out for is poison ivy, which is present on parts of the trail. When possible wear pants and a long shirt to protect yourself. If you’re hoping to cool off with a swim after your hike, be aware there is no beach access available from the Hellcat Trail. You will have to exit the trail and walk or drive to a parking lot that offers beach access.

US Coast Guard

By Joe, Joe

Coast Guard Open House, Yankee Homecoming Newburyport

US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River

Protecting Our Local Waters for Over 225 Years

 Newburyport’s Maritime First Responders 

The US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River is a critical resource closely connected to Newburyport’s maritime history and a strong source of pride for locals. The US Coast Guard, originally named the Revenue Cutter Service, was officially established on August 4, 1790 to enforce tariffs and prevent smuggling with the use of ten oceangoing vessels…known as cutters. The very first revenue cutter to enter active service, the USRC Massachusetts, was built in Newburyport in 1791. In 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the US Life-Saving Service and was renamed the US Coast Guard…then and now, dedicated to enforcing US maritime laws and saving lives at sea. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the US Coast Guard came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River in Newburyport is one of only 19 surf stations in the country…defined by the area having seas or swells greater than 8′ or winds exceeding 30 knots at least 36 days a year. Station Merrimack River is the only surf station in New England and one of only 4 surf stations along the entire East Coast, reminding us that the Merrimack River waters, though beautiful to be on and surrounded by, can often be unsafe and challenging to navigate.

The adverse winter and spring weather conditions often occurring in the Northeast allow the crew at Station Merrimack River to conduct trainings to stay proficient in a host of rescue skills and prepare for the busy summer season, May through Labor Day. US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River has a 29′ response boat and (2) 47′ motor lifeboats capable of responding to distress in up to 50 knots of wind, 20′ breaking surf and 30-foot seas. Along with ensuring the education and training of their surfmen and women, their primary focus is on recreational boater safety, fisheries law enforcement and conducting search and rescue.

The motto of the US Coast Guard is Semper Paratus, (Latin for ‘Always Ready’). Station Merrimack River currently has 30 strictly active-duty crew members and it is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are considering a career change with hands-on training in which you will truly make a difference, there are many opportunities and paths to take in the US Coast Guard and they are encouraging more women to join their diverse ranks. Members of the Guard live and are guided by their core values: Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.

US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River opens its doors to the public during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming held each August. You can tour the boats and meet the crew who will answer questions and provide boater safety information at the annual Coast Guard Open House event. You can also see live views of the station and the Merrimack River any time from the Newburyport.com Live Web Cams hosted by the Lighthouse Preservation Society. A visit to Newburyport’s Custom House Maritime Museum is a must for history buffs; members of USCG Station Merrimack River often volunteer here.

Whether you have lived in Newburyport for years or are just visiting the area, you can be appreciative of the rich seafaring history here and grateful for the men and women of USCG Station Merrimack River and the duties they perform each and every day. Help them by being prepared before you head out onto the water…know the boating and paddle craft rules to follow and stay aware of the often-unpredictable currents. Though they are well trained and certified to handle any situation, the Coast Guard would rather provide you with the information to prevent a distress signal rather than respond to one. One of the best parts of enjoying these local waters is having fun while staying safe. Article written by Newburyport.com Correspondent, Jenny Davis.

 

US Coast Guard

Station Merrimack River
65B Water Street
NewburyportMA 01950
(978) 462-3428

Date of Conveyance: 1881
Station Built: 1882

Coordinates:

42°48′37.68″N 70°51′53.48″W

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Events

Bartlet Mall

Bartlet Mall

Bartlet Mall

A Scenic Park Rich in History

Bartlet Mall, a gorgeous historic park at the intersection of Pond and High Streets, is a great place for ice-skating, sledding, and enjoying nature. Its scenic views provide the setting for a wide variety of popular community events, including Yankee Homecoming Olde Fashioned Sunday, Art on Bartlet Mall, and the Newburyport Lantern Festival.

Bartlet Mall is an ideal place for taking a walk, walking the dog, having a picnic, biking or running. The Mall features a basketball court and one of the top 8 playgrounds in the Newburyport area, which means fun for people of all ages!

There are wide walkways and a series of footpaths that border the Mall and lead to the Frog Pond. It has also become a highly photographed area by many local photographers. The benches, walkways and shade trees create a beautiful setting.  And the view of Frog Pond, with its resident ducks and ornate cast iron fountain, is lovely.

Bartlet Mall dates to the 1600s when the first English settlers used the area as a place to water and graze sheep. It was also a training area for militias that would go on to fight in the Revolutionary War. The Mall was professionally landscaped in the late 1880s using plans by landscape architect, Charles Eliot. This work resulted in the beautiful paths and grassy lawns enjoyed by visitors today.

The historic Superior Court building, constructed in 1805, sits at the edge of Bartlet Mall. It is one of the oldest active courthouses in the U.S. Charles Bullfinch, who designed the Massachusetts State House in Boston, was also the architect for the Superior Court Building.  In fact, both Bartlet Mall and the Superior Courthouse are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bartlet Mall is a shimmering and beloved jewel in the heart of Newburyport’s historic district.

Bartlet Mall

High & Pond Sts.
Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-7223

 

For upcoming events at Bartlet Mall, check the Newburyport.com Events Calendar.

Plum Island Airport Managed by Plum Island Aerodrome

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
Plum Island Airport, Newbury MA

Plum Island Airport Historic Contributions to Aviation

Plum Island Aerodrome

Plum Island Airport, Newburyport MA
Image by Ethan Cohen of UAV Look

Plum Island Airport History and Current Operations

Do you know about the impressive history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury? Many advances in aviation occurred on Plum Island. The first flying field in New England was built on Plum Island. The original runway over the sand dunes and marshes was made of wood! The Burgess Company built over one hundred different types of airplanes at Plum Island Airport until the end of World War I.  The founder of the Burgess Company built planes for the Wright Brothers and is recognized for his contributions to aviation.

Nowadays, the runway is asphalt, not wood! The Plum Island Airport offers several services to the flying community including flight instruction, aircraft fueling station, parking tiedowns and more. Glider rides and scenic flights are available to the general public throughout the year. The Airport is also used for public services including emergency medical evacuations and Coast Guard rescue operations.

The airport is a nonprofit organization. Volunteers are responsible for a great deal of the work at the airport. The goal of the organization is to make sure the historic nature of the Plum Island Airport is preserved and to inform the public about the history of the airport. The airport also hosts a number of community services, such as tours for schools, youth groups, and community organizations. It is also frequently used to host local fundraising efforts. Featured here is the Newburyport Scout Troup 21 hosting a food drive in support of the Pettengill House.

There is a museum located at the Plum Island Airport. The Burgess Aviation Museum highlights the history of the Plum Island Airport and is open year-round for self-guided tours.  Visiting the Airport and the Museums is free to the public.  Check the Plum Island Airport website for more information and make sure to schedule group tours in advance!

Plum Island Airport is a great place for plane lovers to stop and watch planes take off and land. In addition to its rich history,

Liberty Law Rob Ciampitti Frying from Plum Island Airport to Nantucket for a Real Estate ClosingPlum Island Airport enables local licensed pilots to significantly decrease travel time to regional destinations such as Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. If they are planning a vacation or have a need to schedule business travel, the Plum Island Airport can turn a 2-4 hour car/ferry trip into a 30-45 minute flight. Featured here is Rob Ciampitti, Newburyport Pilot and Partner in Liberty Law & Title flying to Nantucket for a Real Estate closing.

Many folks from the local area ride bikes to Plum Island Beach and enjoy taking a break at the airport while they treat themselves to delicious eats from Metzy’s. During the warm weather months, Metzy’s Taqueria Truck is frequently parked at the airport and folks can enjoy delicious, authentic Mexican food while catching picturesque views.

A visit to the Plum Island Airport is just one of the many fun and interesting Things to Do in the Greater Newburyport area!

Plum Island Airport

24 Plum Island Turnpike
Newbury, MA 01951

Airport Operations Tours/Working Museum: 508-269-4941

Burgess Museum: 978-270-6744

Flight Instruction: 781-325-2135

 

Directions:

From I-95 take exit 86 MA-113 W Newbury/Newburyport. Follow-113 East/ Storey Avenue continuing on to High Street/Rt 1A. Turn left at Rolfe’s Lane/ Ocean Ave. Turn right at the end of Ocean Ave on to Plum Island Turnpike. The airport will be on the right.

Metzy's Taqueria Truck at Plum Island Airport

Metzy's Food Truck at Plum Island Airport

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Historic Farm in Newbury

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is a historic 231-acre property in Newbury with events and activities for you and your family to enjoy. The property features exhibits and interactive activities that demonstrate what it was like to live on a farm throughout the centuries. Much of the land at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is still under active agriculture!

Visit the expansive open land and tour the farmhouse to see what life was like in Newbury in the 1690s! The farm was originally used to raise cattle, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens. In addition, fruit, vegetables, flowers, barley and fresh meadow hay have been grown on the land. The main house was built with local stone, most likely from nearby Plum Island. There are several outbuildings including a large barn and visitor center that was originally a carriage barn.

There are many fun outdoor events at the Farm including Vintage Baseball from May to October. It’s a lot of fun to watch baseball being played with rules from 1881!

You can also visit sheep, goats, chickens and a horse on the property. The Farm partners with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to foster these friendly animals.  The Farm Friends is a program geared toward children 3 to 6 years old. The children who sign up for this program get to spend time with farm animals, listen to a story, and create a neat craft item to bring home. Programs run at various times throughout the year so be sure to check the Farm’s website for details.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm owned and operated by Historic New England, a cultural preservation organization. The season for Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is from June 1st to October 15th, the grounds are open year round during daylight hours. It’s a great place to enjoy a stroll, ride bikes, cross-country ski, and ride horses. There is plenty of parking at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

5 Little’s Lane
Newbury, MA 01951
978-462-2634

Directions: Take I-95 to Route 113, Newburyport. Route 113 turns into Route 1A (High Road). Follow Route 1A for 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Little’s Lane.

Plum Island Light House the Newburyport Harbor Light

By Laura Bentley, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Newburyport.Com, Laura manages Business Development, Fundraising, the VIP Program, Blogging and the Events Calendar.
Plum Island Light House, Newburyport MA

Plum Island Light House/Newburyport Harbor Light

Guide Us Through the Channel

Plum Island Light House, Newburyport MA

The Historic Plum Island Light House

The Plum Island Light House also know as the Plum Island Light or the Newburyport Harbor Light, has a very interesting history. It was first lit in 1788 with a lantern burning whale oil. And it was the 13th lighthouse to be constructed in the U.S..  It was needed to guide boaters into the treacherous mouth of the Merrimack River and into Newburyport Harbor. The strong currents and shifting sands at the mouth of the harbor present a serious challenge to boaters to this day.

Newburyport Harbor was very active and important to the U.S. for whaling, fishing, shipbuilding, and trade. There were many ships coming in and out of Newburyport Harbor. Before the lighthouse was built, fires on the beach in Plum Island were used to guide mariners. It was the business people of Newburyport in the 1780s that paid to build the Plum Island Lighthouse. President George Washington appointed the first keeper of the Plum Island Lighthouse, Abner Lowell. And three generations of Lowells served as lighthouse keepers at the Plum Island Lighthouse.

There were storms that damaged and original Plum Island Lighthouse. In addition, shifting sands meant that the Lighthouse had to be moved several times.

The current lighthouse dates from 1898. Since 1927 the lighthouse has been powered by electricity. The last keeper left the Lighthouse in 1951 when the light was automated. Today the lighthouse flashes a green light to guide boaters.  It is still very important to have this lighthouse in operation to guide boats safely through the turbulent area where the Merrimack River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The Plum Island Lighthouse is located across from the Park River National Wildlife Refuge at the northern section of Plum Island.

Today the lighthouse is owned by the City of Newburyport. Friends of Plum Island Light lease it from the City and care for it. The grounds are open to the public. The Friends of Plum Island Light offer periodic public tours inside the Plum Island Lighthouse.

The picture perfect Plum Island Lighthouse is one of the great lighthouses to visit in New England and the North Shore.  It’s a “must see” for any lighthouse enthusiast and worth the visit if you are in the Greater Newburyport area. For more general information on Plum Island attractions visit our Plum Island Beach page and check out our Plum Island Parking article for parking lot information.

Plum Island Light House

Northern Boulevard
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 973-6935
FriendsofpiLight@gmail.com

The Friends of Plum Island Light maintain the lighthouse and sometimes open the tower. Call (978) 973-6935 to see when open houses are offered.

Directions:

From the Newburyport Harbor Range Lights on Water Street in downtown Newburyport, continue east on Water Street for 1.3 miles, where Water Street will become Plum Island Turnpike. Follow the turnpike for 1.8 miles to Plum Island, and then turn left on Northern Boulevard. Continue on Northern Boulevard for 1.3 miles to the northern end of the island, where you will see the lighthouse on your left.

Clipper City Rail Trail

Clipper City Rail Trail, Newburyport MA

The Clipper City Rail Trail –
A Bike Path Lined with Exceptional Local Art

Run, Bike, Scoot, Skate or Stroll it!

Experience the Clipper City Rail Trail – Newburyport’s Bike Path

The Clipper City Rail Trail is more than just your average bike path! Whether you live local to the Newburyport area or you are just coming for a visit, the Clipper City Rail Trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area. In addition to the natural beauty that sounds the Clipper City Rail Trail, you will find many wonderful works of art that line this popular bike path. Enjoy unique sculptures, murals, unique signage and even a a steel “Steam Locomotive” play sculpture with a cow catcher, coal car, bell and whistle by artists Scott Kessel and Matt Niland.

Inspiration for Newburyport’s Clipper City Rail Trail came from The City of Newburyport’s Senior Project Manager Geordie Vining. On a family trip to Paris, George and his family enjoyed the art along the Seine River and realized that art shared in a public space had far more ability to have broader cultural impact than art behind closed doors.

The original phase of the bike path runs from the  MBTA Commuter Rail Station over to Cashman Park, a picturesque spot on the Merrrimack River.  Construction has extend the path through the South End neighborhood of Newburyport down to the river so that folks can experience even more of Newburyport via the Clipper City Rail Trail. The last phase of the project is slated to connect the two ends providing folks a safe connection across the Rt. 1 traffic circle. Whether your ready for serious exercise or a leisurely stroll with the dog, this local bike path is a wonderful place for all to enjoy.

Along your bike route stop and experience exciting Newburyport destinations such as the Newburyport Art Association and the Custom House Maritime Museum. If you work up an appetite, stop at one of the many restaurants along the way such as Metzy’s Cantina right next to the Newburyport Commuter Rail Station or Sea Level Oyster Bar to enjoy beautiful water views as you pass through downtown.

 

Clipper City Rail Trail

Merrimack River to the MBTA Station
Merrimack River through the South End

Rail Trail Map

Detailed Rail Trail Overview

Joppa Flats Education Center

By Joe, Joe

Enjoy the nature of Newburyport

Joppa Flats Education Center

Education Opportunities for people of all ages

Explore Newburyport salt marshes, coastal waters and more at the Joppa Flats Education Center (JFEC) located near the entrance of the Parker River Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

This 52-acre wildlife sanctuary includes not only outdoor grounds, but indoor observation areas, making JFEC a great educational experience all year round.

From guided tours and marine touch tanks, to art exhibits, summer camps and programs for EcoKids, adults and birders, you’ll experience a variety of species recorded locally each year.

The Joppa Flats Education Center also offers annual events like the Superbowl of Birding, Plum Island CoastSweep and Merrimack River Eagle Festival, making nature all the more fun.

Plus, the JFEC in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has banded and released 36,000 birds and counting from its Bird Banding Station on Plum Island, a popular stopover point along the East Coast for migrating birds. The research collected during the banding process is entered into a database with the longterm goal of studying the relationships between some of these bird species and habitat types.

The Joppa Flats Education Center in connection with the Audubon Society of Massachusetts relies on volunteers and donations from the community. Learn more about how to contribute here.

Joppa Flats Education Center

One Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950

978.462.9998

joppaflats@massaudubon.org

joppaflatsdaycamp@massaudubon.org

Programs, Classes & Activities

Summer Camp Sessions & Schedules

Private Functions & Upcoming Tours

Birder’s Certificate Program – College course with trips to destinations like Cuba, Kenya and Big Bend National Park.

Love

Waterfront Park

By Joe, Joe

Newburyport’s Waterfront Park

You’ll be having some fun down at the boardwalk

Experience the Sunrise at Waterfront Park

Newburyport Waterfront Park is positioned in the center of downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts.

A perfect green space, Waterfront Park has a great boardwalk that runs along the Merrimack River and plenty of benches to stop and enjoy the waterfront views and boating activity.

Waterfront Park also plays hosts to a variety of exercise classes, the occasional summer wedding and plenty of live entertainment from local theater performances to world class bands during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming and Riverfront Music Festival.

As part of an Urban Renewal Project in the 60’s, Waterfront Park was taken by eminent domain by the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority (NRA) and is now maintained and managed by the Newburyport Waterfront Trust, a team of five Trustees appointed by the Mayor. The duty of the Trust is to, “Keep the public ways and Boardwalk “open” for the benefit of the general public.”

Some have expressed interest in a new vision for the park as seen in this Waterfront Master Plan by Union Studio Architecture and Design. In this design the park would increase in size with the addition of two three-story mixed-used buildings and more parking, costing a developer an estimated $30 million.

Citizens for an Open Waterfront remain in support of open views of the Merrimack River including recreational activities like volleyball and a wading pool, as well as improved parking, however the group rejects the proposed buildings as the centerpiece of the design.

Waterfront Park

Downtown Newburyport, behind the Firehouse Center of the Arts
Newburyport, MA 01950

 

Managed by the Newburyport Waterfront Trust

Special events that require use of any portion of the Waterfront Park require approval. Park Use Application

Plum Island Pink House

By Damian Turco, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Founder & Principal Attorney of Turco Legal, Attorney Turco is highly regarded as an expert in the areas of divorce and family law. He has represented hundreds of clients through divorces, modifications, contempt matters, and other family law matters from beginning to end. He sits on multiple committees for the Mass Bar Association, has been recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the state’s upcoming top 25 lawyers of 2015. Attorney Turco’s donates considerable time to help within the community. He serves on the board of LARC, a legal non-profit that helps thousands of lower income folks get desperately needed legal help. He also volunteers his time monthly delivering legal assistance at homeless shelters, day shelters, and soup kitchen’s in Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, and Salem.
Turco Legal
Plum Island Pink House, Newburyport MA by Damian Turco

How many times have you driven past that old pink house on your way out to Plum Island and wondered what it’s all about?  There’s something about that house that just sets the tone as it whisks by the car.  It’s kind of eerie looking.  Kind of beat up by the weather over the years.  It certainly seems like it’s in an odd place.  I used to live out on the island and like many of us, still frequent the great natural space out there.  That house just seems to catch my eye every time I come around that bend.  Is it the remnant of a lovely estate?  Maybe a millionaire who just had to be by the airport but not too far from the beach?

Nope.  It turns out, as I never would have imagined, that the only thing it’s a remnant of is a spiteful divorce from 1925!  What??  How is that possible?  But it is as I learned from Amanda Hoover’s Boston.com article this morning.  And as a Newburyport divorce lawyer, I must say, I’m intrigued.  As Amanda’s story explained, the house is the centerpiece of a poorly drafted divorce separation agreement which required the Husband to build the Wife with an exactly replica of their downtown Newburyport marital home.  The only problems is that the agreement didn’t say where it had to be built. . . oops.  Read more about this story and why good drafting is critical in any divorce here on my Newburport Divorce Blog.

Photo by Karen Lynch.

 

Plum Island Beach

By Joe, Joe

Plum Island Beach, Newburyport

Plum Island Beach

Newburyport’s Beach – Explore, Play, Relax!

 

Plum Island Beach is a beautiful New England barrier island offering locals and visitors an opportunity to explore, play and relax.  A family-friendly Newburyport attraction, Plum Island Beach offers many fun and interesting things to do. Discover amazing bird watching and the natural beauty of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.  Enjoy fishing, boating, kayaking or just chill out on the beach and make sure to visit the cool Plum Island restaurants. Slideshow video created by Newburyport.com, utilizing pictures taken by local photographer/resident Donna Landry. Check out Donna’s Instagram page to view more of her beautiful photos (dlandry5) or watch her perform live with her band, The Boondock Sinners.

Plum Island is named for the beach plum shrubs that grow in the dunes and is 11 miles in length. There are three popular Plum Island Beach destinations on the island: The Refuge, Plum Island Center and The North Point. As you come across the bridge towards Plum Island, turn right on Sunset Drive to reach the Refuge entrance. If you’re heading to Plum Island Center continue straight a few blocks on Plum Island Boulevard.  As you pass through Plum Island Center, follow the road as it veers to the left. Continue a few miles on Northern Boulevard to the North Point parking lot. Each area of Plum Island Beach has a parking lot and offers either public rest rooms or portable restroom options.

The Refuge, (Parker River National Wildlife Refuge) runs through Newbury, Rowley and down to Ipswich spanning 4,700 acres including 3,000+ acres of salt marsh and provides habitat for over 300 species. On the far Southern Point of the Island you will find Sandy Point State Reservation, a very picturesque Plum Island Beach located across from Cranes Beach in Ipswich, MA. The Hellcat Interpretive Trail is another very popular destination also located on the Refuge. Make sure to check the Refuge website or facebook page before planning your trip as the Refuge closes at certain points for the protection of Piping Plover breeding and nesting. The Refuge offers beach access from the following Refuge parking lots: 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. Public restrooms are located at lot 1, lot 4 and the Refuge maintenance area and all restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Other Refuge lots offer portable restroom options.

Plum Island Center is located in Newbury and is the best choice if your priorities include being near restaurants, ice cream and convenience stores. There are a few parking lots just across the street from the the main beach entrance and portable restrooms are located on the edge of the beach.

The North Point of the Island is located in Newburyport and is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Merrimack River at the mouth of the Newburyport Harbor. This part of Plum Island Beach offers beautiful views but swimmers are warned to stay close to the shore and not to swim out to the sandbar as the tides are known to change rapidly causing dangerous conditions. The Plum Island Light House is a picturesque historic landmark located at the Northern end of the Island, across the street from the North Point parking lot and public restrooms. If you have kids they are certain to spot the cool playground on the edge of  the beach next to the parking lot.  Captains Fishing Parties is a another popular destination located directly on the beach offering both public and private boat trips.

Although Plum Island is a popular vacation destination, the majority of residents live on the Island year round. If you’re looking to purchase a home on Plum Island you will find a very broad range of homes and price points.

Directions from Boston

Take I-95 North to Exit 86, Rt. 113 East. As you drive through Newburyport, MA Rt. 113 will become Main Street and then will turn back into Rt. 113 as you leave Newburyport and pass into Newbury.  You will pass the Newbury Town Green on  your right and take a left at the traffic light on to Rolfe’s Lane.  At the end of Rolfe’s Lane you will take a right on to Newburyport Turnpike and follow it over to the beach.  You will pass the Newburyport Airport on your right and Bob Lobster on the left.

If you want to go to the Parker River National Wildlife Reservation Beach, take a right at the Plum Island Grille, on to Sunset Drive.  Keep straight if you want to head to the main public beach.

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