The well-groomed beaches of Plum Island, located in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, are worth the effort of the trek from Boston. The water is clear and blue, but quite cold. You can easily find a secluded spot to sunbathe or bird-watch, a popular activity, but make sure to call in advance in late summer to ask about greenhead flies; they can be vicious here. From I–95 follow Route 113 East (becomes Route 1A South) 3½ miles to Newbury. Then, take a left on
Rolfe's Lane and a right on to the Plum Island Turnpike. Amenities: parking (fee); toilets. Best for: swimming; walking; solitude.
Plum Island Blvd., Newburyport, Massachusetts, 09150, USA
978-465–5753-(including parking info)