As veteran North Shore boaters know, the Merrimack River is a busy and sometimes dangerous place, especially the waters at its mouth (aka, The Bar), where it meets the open ocean. In fact, the mouth of the Merrimack, which is bordered by Salisbury Beach to the north and Plum Island to the south, is considered one of the most dangerous inlets on the East Coast, if not the country, and caution should always be used when navigating the river mouth, even in fair conditions. Inside the river, the strong current (up to 4 knots) and heavy boat traffic, which includes vessels from 150 feet to kayaks, demand constant vigilance at the helm. Cautionary notes aside, the Merrimack has much to offer boaters who don't mind crowded waters. And one of the river's major attractions is the historic city of Newburyport, situated 3 miles from the inlet on the southern bank. Here you'll find narrow streets flanked by historic buildings, excellent restaurants, a beautiful waterfront and lots of interesting boutiques and shops. In fact, Newburyport could be considered a "trendy" place these days, and it welcomes boaters of all types. Better still, it's an easy place to get around on foot.