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Discover the beaches and sand dunes of Plum Island

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Plum Island, Massachusetts, located about an hour from Boston, is a wonderful day trip to consider in New England. In Plum Island, visitors can discover some of New England’s nicest beaches, as well as hike around the nature preserve to observe native plant and bird species to New England. At 8 miles in length, but only about half a mile in width, the island is very easy to discover in a single day.

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The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge protects the majority of Plum Island’s natural habitat, which is a sanctuary for several native bird species, insects and plants. The plover nesting beaches, for example, are strictly protected year-round, so that the birds can lay their eggs without human intrusion. Many photographers and bird watchers visit the island daily, year-round, to capture the serene beauty of the refuge. The Refuge hosts both saltwater marshes and fresh water marshes, fed by the ocean and Parker River. The Refuge also has a number of trails and boardwalks within the marshes, allowing visitors to experience the lovely landscape, which includes flat estuaries, marshes with reeds that tower above one’s head, sand dunes, and – of course – beautiful beaches. The entry fee to the refuge is only $5 per car, which is definitely worth it for the lovely walks, views and swimming.

One of the most highly-rated beaches on Plum Island is the Sandy Point State Reservation, located on the southern tip of Plum Island. Sandy Point is a local hotspot, and thus most parking spaces are filled up before 7 A.M. on weekends; the beach there is in high demand! The early-risers who get there fast enough are treated to a secluded beach that faces another gorgeous Massachusetts beach across the sound – Crane Beach. And since the Sandy Point beach is facing the mainland, the water tends to be a bit warmer, as it is sheltered by the sound. Parking space is limited at Sandy Point State Reservation, so that beach is never overly crowded. However, if arriving before 7 A.M. is not an option, most of the eastern side and northern tip of Plum Island is lined by beaches, so there really are many spots to choose from for swimming, sun-bathing and even fishing. Plum Island has several designated fishing areas, and night fishing is also popular there.

Check out the slideshow for just a small glimpse at the beauty of Plum Island. And be sure to subscribe to receive more interesting travel ideas!