Every now and then, we discover special places that leave us so surprised, we can’t help but share it with everyone we know. That’s how I feel about Blue Inn on the Beach in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
If you’re looking for a quiet escape, it doesn’t get much better than beautiful barrier beach island Plum Island, which sits about an hour North of Boston. Its low profile makes it the perfect getaway for Boston workaholics and vacationers alike.
No, this blog is not sponsored. Although it should be, let them know. 😉
In this blog, I share:
- Detailed hotel review of Blue Inn on the Beach
- My birthday adventures
- Where to get birthday essentials on Plum Island
- Where to eat on Plum Island, including late night bites
- What to do on Plum Island
Read on for my hotel review and birthday adventures at Blue Inn on the Beach on Plum Island.
[This post was originally posted November of 2022. Updated Febuary of 2023]
A Birthday Beach Getaway
Raise your hand if you just celebrated your birthday! If you did, happy birthday, yay! If you didn’t, your birthday is coming up soon, you’re here just in time to get some inspiration.
Birthday celebrations are the best, especially when the fun goes on your entire birthweek. Okay, who am I kidding.. If you’re a girl, you probably celebrate your birthmonth. Guilty myself. 😁
I’ve had some incredible birthdays in my lifetime but there was something special about my 28th.
Maybe it was because this Fall baby is used to foliage backdrops and chilly sweater kinda weathah, which, don’t get me wrong, is lovely and cozy, making every birthday picnic or party I’ve ever celebrated outside a pinch me moment.. But, every now and then, it’s nice to be surprised by what you thought wasn’t possible.
I’m talkin’ 70s bathing suit weather in October, the sun shining bright, not a cloud in the sky. This year, this ocean loving birthday girl got to experience a beach birthday for the very first time in her life.. and she loved it!
Now, Mother Nature either got a little busy and forgot to dial the heat down or, she was giving me a gift. Either way, I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday.
Blue Inn on the Beach in Plum Island
This birthday, my family surprised me with a weekend trip to Plum Island in Massachusetts. Here is where we stayed at an incredibly charming waterfront boutique hotel aptly named, Blue Inn on the Beach, off the island’s coast in the picturesque town of Newburyport.
The whole birthday trip was a surprise. The only thing I was told was what to pack. So, in the car I went!
A little sleepy from the massage I had just received a couple hours before, I was ready to take a nap. But, I couldn’t sleep! I was too excited!
Plum Island, New England’s Best Kept Secret
Plum Island is so unknown that many Massachusetts locals don’t even know of its existence. As the employee checking me in shared, most people who stay at their hotel had been living in Boston for years before they heard of Plum Island.
It’s one of the few remaining places in New England and the world, really, that is accessible without the chaos that comes after big influencers blow a place up on social media. I guess it’s safe to say that its beauty lies in its lack of buzz.
Needless to say, this hidden gem is New England’s best kept secret, but it won’t be for long, it’s too amazing. 😁
Plum island is made up of 4 towns: Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury & Newburyport.
The Drive to Plum Island
Since my cute family wanted the destination to be a surprise, I was given just one instruction… do not look out the window.
Of course, I couldn’t follow instructions. To be fair, who can just sit in the car for an hour and never glance up? Even tech addicts can’t stay glued to their phone for that long.. or can they? 🤔
So, I glanced up and saw hints of the destination we were headed to. I knew where we were going the minute I saw adorable beach cottages.
The Hotel Review – Our Stay at Blue Inn on the Beach
After we arrived at the hotel, I was really excited. The beach town had an incredible charm to it. We had only been there for 5 minutes and already, I was thinking about what I’d have to sell to buy a house here. 😂
At least for the time being, I could enjoy a weekend stay at Blue Inn on the Beach.
Then, it was time to see our cozy beach cottage, which we struggled to find at first. The hotel’s cottages looked like they were part of a neighborhood, not a hotel property. Since we arrived at night, we had trouble seeing in the dark and we were all scattered about rolling our luggage as quietly as we could trying to find our cottage’s number.
I kept thinking we were bound to enter someone’s house. If it weren’t for the blue color theme consistently throughout their cottages, we very well may have. It was a Hansel and Gretel situation. We followed the blue sea glass pathway until it led us to our private entrance.
Beachfront Suite vs. Cottage
Originally, we had the option of choosing a beachfront room or suite in the hotel’s main building or one of the hotel’s beach cottages right across the street.
During my first stay with the hotel in the Spring, I had the chance to stay in one of their beachfront suites which offered a fireplace, widespread balcony perfect for lounging and enjoying the ocean. Suites on the lower floor have a patio with lounge chairs as well.
However, the larger space was perfect for my family and what ultimately sold us!
The great thing about the outside of the cottage is that it’s designed for relaxing in the Summertime. It’s also nice to enjoy in the Fall.
Not too far from the cottage’s entrance, there’s a courtyard for all guests to enjoy with Adirondack chairs and a firepit.
Although the cottage doesn’t have an ocean view, there is a rooftop deck you can access by climbing a small ladder. But, the beach was super close, just a few steps away, not even a minute walk from the hotel.
Our Beach Cottage
We got the 2 Bedroom Queen Cottage, which is 822 sq. ft. and sleeps 6 people. Or, if you have an even larger group, you can also rent out the 1 Bedroom King Cottage w/ Roof Deck located on the first floor of the cottage. That way, you have the whole cottage. If you have a dog, they also offer a Dog Queen Cottage.
By coincidence, we got cottage #16, which is my birthday! It was meant to be.
Each cottage has a private porch a small grill, 2 lounge chairs and a small bistro table with 4 chairs, where you’ll find your breakfast basket every morning.
After entering the cottage, I first noticed the open concept which made the room look bright and inviting.
A Birthday Welcome
As soon as I entered, a happy birthday card and a gift was waiting for me. It included a selection of goodies – 2 boxes of local cookies and handmade bath soaps. I really liked the hotel’s special touch of welcoming me. No better way to speak to my heart than sweets and self care products!
The Interior Design
The cottage was giving off major beach getaway vibes with a mix of modern and beach house décor, which immediately put me in the mood to relax. I also noticed the white walls and floors which were a stark contrast to the blue accents coming from the artwork and furniture.
One of my favorite furnishings was the art deco-ish, transparent cerulean blue plastic high top chairs which were very cool and edgy.
Our beach cottage had 2 floors. We had the bottom level where there was a private porch, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a living room and a kitchen.
With the exception of a dishwasher, the kitchen comes with everything you need to enjoy your stay like a sink, refrigerator, stove, oven, kitchen knife set, microwave, silverware, wine glasses, corkscrews and plates. There’s also a coffee machine with coffee pods and tea pods available.
There’s also a breakfast bar top for 3 people, which I liked, so you could eat or have a drink comfortably or sit and chat when someone’s cooking. Even the plates and drink glasses were blue, in theme with the hotel, which I thought was a cute touch.
After talking to the staff, I learned that a lot of people steal these items. If you stay, please don’t do that… or the beach will curse you! 😏 Speaking of stealing items, there is also a safe in the cottage.
The bathroom had a clean, modern look with a glass shower with tiled walls and flooring, nice smelling soap, conditioner & shampoo from Lather and different sets of towels. There’s also a hair dryer.
I loved the bathroom’s heated floors and adjustable lights to control brightness for when it’s late and you’re just trying to brush your teeth before bed without waking back up again.
The living room was an open space beside the kitchen with a long couch which turned into a queen pull-out sofa sleeper. There was also a 47″ flat screen with Apple TV, coffee table, closet and a lounge chair as well as a basket with beach towels.
Each small bedroom has a plush queen sized bed with 4 pillows, 2 nightstands, a Tivoli Bluetooth radio, a 32″ flatscreen TV, a mirror and closet which contained waffle kimono bathrobes and a shelf and hangers.
It was a cozy space with a window to let in fresh air. I liked the beachy theme of the room. The bed had blue throw pillows and a bed topper. There’s also an iron.
My sleep was pretty comfortable. I say pretty comfortable because the pillows were a little too mushy and soft for my liking. If this is a problem for you, ask housekeeping if they have different pillows. I wish I had.
It was also a little chilly. I regretted not turning up the heat before going to sleep. There weren’t many blankets so I was cold. I asked for more the next night.
The downside to being on the bottom level was that there was a noisy guest above us. If noise bothers you easily, get the 1 Bedroom King Cottage upstairs.
However, I did enjoy my bed’s soft sheets.
The hotel seemed very clean! There was even a shine to it. All the pillows were in place, every surface spotless, no complaints.
I liked that the cottage’s design made it easy for you to hang out and relax with everyone in the main room and then retreat to your own room at night.
Sometimes it’s the small things. I enjoyed the heated floors, adjustable lights and robes the most.
A Birthday Celebration
After a day of fun, there was a surprise waiting for me. Thanks to our fridge, my family was able to hide a beautiful birthday cake. It was such a nice surprise to come back to after a day out and about. 🥰
My brother designed the cake to resemble the landscape of Iceland, where I’d be celebrating the rest of my birthday month.
The outside of cake was designed to look like ice and waterfalls while the inside is red velvet cake which my brother chose to resemble the fire of a volcano.
The bakery did an incredible job. I couldn’t believe how perfectly the cake matched not only my “Fire and Ice” birthday theme, but our beach cottage, which had blue elements very similar to the cake.
We popped some bubbly and cheersed to an amazing getaway.
Complimentary Hotel Offerings
As a guest, you will enjoy a complimentary breakfast basket delivered to your door every morning as well as free wifi, parking (1 car/room) and personalized concierge services. There’s also fruit infused water and cookies at the check in office where you can also purchase alcoholic beverages, juices and water to enjoy at the beach.
When you’re ready to hit the beach, the hotel also provides complimentary beach towels, chairs, toys, boogie boards, beach umbrellas and bikes.
You’ll also find a few hot tubs on the property, some even overlooking the ocean.
Funnily enough, we mistook the Master Suite’s hot tub as the hotel’s public hot tub. Just as we were about to go in, the guests staying in the suite appeared and we were mortified! 😱 Luckily, they were really sweet. He and his wife were celebrating their wedding at the hotel. I only apologized a million times.
Later, they felt guilty and came to our hot tub with some champagne flutes and a bottle of champagne with happy birthday wishes. It was a lovely gesture that made my birthday morning so much sweeter, literally.
Let’s Hit the Beach!
On my birthday, I went outside to find a breakfast basket left outside on our patio table. I was so excited and decided I wanted a picnic on the beach!
With my beach chairs and picnic basket in tow, I walked across the street to the hotel’s main building where I accessed Newbury Beach by a set of stairs.
Plum Island was once used as a pasture for horse, cattle and hogs in the 1600s.
Of course, because it was Fall, I didn’t plan on warm weather and therefore, left my bikini at home. But, I still got to enjoy the surroundings. Instantly, I was transfixed by the silence.
Perhaps being in the complete opposite direction of it’s more popular Massachusetts cousins, Rockport, Cape Cod and Nantucket is what makes Plum Island such an appealing destination. Who doesn’t enjoy fewer tourists, less noise and more relaxation?
I was soothed by the sound of waves crashing, people surfing beside seals popping their cute heads out of the water, dogs frolicking, seagulls flying overhead. I even saw a dolphin!
The beach is very clean with white sand, dunes and marshes. Not a stray sandal or beer bottle in sight. It was very pretty.
What made it even better was the gorgeous weather which felt like a Summer day! There had just been a hurricane that created a mini sand cliff which was perfect for me to dangle my legs while enjoying views of the ocean from an elevation.
When you’re on the beach, you’ll encounter mostly locals taking their morning jog or walking their dog. Occasionally, you’ll get a few stragglers from a beach wedding.
Other than that, it feels like your own private beach. And that’s exactly how I want to feel when I’m taking a beach vacation. No loud music, no eyesore from a flock of umbrellas that beach block you… No family circus. Just me and my picnic, peace, calm and all is right with the world.
My dad wrote, “Happy Birthday” for me in the sand as I ran into the water, dancing in circles with my birthday hat, completely wet up to my knees.
The Beach Picnic
My breakfast basket included a pitcher of coffee, water bottles, chia seed pudding, hard boiled eggs with spinach and some pickled relish, muffins and fruit! It was just what I needed to start my morning off right. I wonder if the menu changes every stay.
Then, out of the blue, a dog runs by me, not once, not twice, but 3 times, kicking sand up in my picnic basket! Good thing he was a cute doodle.
The hotel can host your event at their property and help arrange it for you. They do quite a few weddings and bachelorette parties. You can even rent their Blue Suite which has an indoor event space for a max of 30 people. Or, go big or go home! Get their Event Package which includes the follow rooms at a 3 night minimum:
- Blue Suite (indoor event space)
- Lark Suite
- King Oceanfront Suite
- Queen Oceanfront Suite
Overall, it was a lovely weekend and dare I say, a dream beach getaway. Everything felt very easy and convenient. I would definitely come back to Blue Inn on the Beach!
I feel blessed to have such an amazing family. They put so much thought and effort into planning the perfect birthday getaway. It was a special send off. I felt so loved.
What I Didn’t Like About the Hotel
Honestly, other than the pillows being a bit thin for my liking, I have no other complaints about the hotel.
What I Liked About the Hotel
My favorite things were:
– the hotel’s location right on the beach
– complimentary offerings
– multiple hot tubs, each with a unique view of the ocean
– clean cottage
– relaxing environment with little noise (other than the guest which was out of their control)
– convenient beach access without any parking hassles, fees or walking far
– free parking & wifi
I’m so happy I got to spend my birthday on Plum Island at Blue Inn on the Beach, which made my birthday very memorable.
Celebrating a Birthday?
Here are the vendors my family ordered my cake, balloons and flowers from.
My brother custom ordered my cake from Buttermilk in Newburyport. For an extra charge, the hotel can order and deliver your cake.
Pick up same day, allow 2 hours for them to fulfill your balloon order.
Beach Plum Flower Shop located in Tannery Marketplace in Newburyport.
What to Do Around the Hotel
After exploring Newburyport, it’s hard not to fall in love. The cobblestone sidewalks, quaint shops, cafes, artwork and historic buildings with beautiful architecture are all quintessential New England, giving off a very charming and welcoming vibe.
- Stroll Downtown Newburyport
- Range Lights Community Sculpture Garden
- Go to the Spa
- Shop at Newburyport Market
- Check Out Newburyport Lighthouse
- Take a boat trip around Plum Island
Where to Eat on Plum Island
You can’t go wrong with any of these seafood restaurants on Plum Island.
- Sea Level Oyster Bar
- Plum Island Grille
- Bob’s Lobster
- Plum Island Kitchen
- Georgie Porgie’s at the Beachfront
Late Night Food in Newburyport
You party animal, you!
- Trina’s Starlite Lounge at Paddle Inn (Somerville)
Bar: until 12 AM (weekdays), 12:45 (weekends). Special late night menu served from 10 – 11 PM.
- The Grog Restaurant (“The Grog)
Kitchen open till 12 AM.
- Stone Crust Pizza
This brick oven pizza joint serves up hot slices until 1 AM. Now that’s what I’m talkin bout! 🍕
TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES
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That’s a Wrap!
I hope you enjoyed my review of Blue Inn on the Beach. Maybe you’ll consider Plum Island in Massachusetts for your next bash… or, just for a fun beach getaway in New England! Whoever needed an excuse for an escape?
Have you gone to Plum Island? Would you go? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.
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Until next time… keep it real.
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At Real Girl Review, we value truth and always strive for accuracy. Posts are updated regularly. If you read something that still doesn’t sound right, contact me at email@example.com. I will investigate the facts and make changes as I deem necessary.
Hahaha Henry that’s awesome! Good for you for knowing how to celebrate.
I just saw this on Instagram. I’ve literally lived in Boston my entire life & never knew about this beach! The hotel looks incredible.
Hi Donna! You’re right, I was so relaxed! 🤗
You look so relaxed!!!
I celebrate my birth month, then birth week, then my big celebration on my birthday. I follow that by continuing to celebrate my birth week, then my birth month.