The barrier beach known as Plum Island runs for about nine miles, from just south of the Merrimack River mouth down to Ipswich Bay. It provides protection for the Great Marsh, a vast and vital area where most of the aquatic species in the region begin their lives.
About two-thirds of the island makes up the federally run Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a very popular undeveloped beach and birding destination spanning the towns of Newbury, Rowley and Ipswich. A stretch of about three miles at the northern end is residential, with the majority of the homes falling within the town of Newbury and the rest within the city of Newburyport.
Plum Island has several unique restaurants, along with a few stores and other businesses. It’s a wonderful place for either seasonal or year-round living, and that division averages about 50-50. Homes on the island run from affordable condominiums to large waterfront houses. Many properties have views of at least one body of water: the Atlantic Ocean, Plum Island Basin, the Merrimack River, Joppa Flats, or the Parker River.