One of the greatest things about a Boston summer is the close proximity to nearly 200 miles of Massachusetts coastline. Get that sunscreen ready, because we’re going to the BEACH!
There are many fantastic places to get your toes in the sand that are just a hop, skip, jump — and splash! — from the city. From the North Shore to the South Shore and everywhere in between, these family-friendly Boston-area beaches are the best!
0 Barnes Avenue, Boston (main parking area)
799 Bennington Street, Boston (entrance via Anthony and Dee Dee Marmo pedestrian overpass)
A waterfront beauty located right in Boston, Constitution’s shallow water makes it a popular spot for swimming with young children. There is a concession stand, bathhouse, shade shelters, picnic areas, and gorgeous views of Boston Harbor and Logan Airport. There is also a large playground where your train-loving kid can watch the T pass in and out. Constitution is a local hidden gem for its quick drive for Boston-area residents (with ample parking!), and it’s accessible by public transportation.
2010 Day Blvd., Boston
If you’re looking for convenience, Carson Beach is the perfect beach for you! It is easily accessible from the Red Line via the JFK/UMass stop, and it has free parking if you choose to take the car. There’s also a bathhouse with restrooms, changing rooms, and showers, making it easy to clean up for the trip home! Make sure to take a beautiful walk around Castle Island while you’re there!
North Shore Beaches
When it comes to favorite north-of-Boston beaches, Wingaersheek is the one! Situated in the western part of Gloucester, Wingaersheek Beach runs along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay. At low tide the beach stretches for hundreds of yards, so the kids can run free on the long sandbar. The large rocks make a perfect natural playground for young explorers — and the nooks and crannies and tide pools are home to many fascinating sea creatures. There is also a convenient on-site snack bar and showers available. A boardwalk at two of three entrances makes it easy to drag strollers and wagons onto the beach. For daily parking availability updates, check the Gloucester Beaches Facebook page.
55 Ober Street, Beverly
Lynch Park in Beverly not only hosts a beautiful beach with lots of shaded area, it also has a splash pad for kids and a substantial playground. An on-site snack bar and a beautiful rose garden add to the appeal of Lynch Park as a lesser-known spot to kick back with the family this summer.
1 Nahant Road, Nahant
A more well-known beach for many parents — but for good reason — Nahant boasts ample and inexpensive parking ($10 for MA residents for a day, or purchase an annual state parks pass), plenty of tide animals to delight the kids, small waves, and a gradual water decline. The beach also has a long path you can use for stroller walks or bike rides.
State Reservation Road, Salisbury
Overlooking the point at which the Merrimack River feeds into the Atlantic Ocean, Salisbury Beach is a great place to swim, boat, or camp. There is ample parking, restrooms, and changing rooms. After you enjoy your time at the beach, be sure to take a ride on the carousel and visit Joe’s Playland, a classic beach arcade and ice cream stand!
119 Beach Street, Manchester-by-the-Sea
If you want your kids to get a kick out of the beach, visit Singing Beach and listen to the music made by the sand! (No, we aren’t kidding! The sand at Singing Beach is actually named “singing sand” because it produces sound. The sound emission may be caused by wind passing over dunes or by walking on the sand!). Parking may be a bit difficult to find, but the beach does feature accessible restrooms, a snack shack, and changing areas. There is a $7 walk-on fee for visitors over 12 years old to visit the beach during hours when it is staffed by lifeguards.
310 Argilla Road, Ipswich
There is no shortage of things to do — or beauty to find — at Crane Beach. The property boasts more than 1,200 acres of beachfront, dunes, and maritime forest for exploration, as well as a large parking lot, a snack bar, new restrooms, and a changing facility. It is also the perfect spot to see the piping plovers — beautiful endangered birds that nest along the shore.
South Shore Beaches
435 Gurnet Road, Duxbury
A favorite of South Shore dwellers, this beach spot in Duxbury comes out on top for both convenience and on-site amenities. Ample paid parking is available, and there is convenient access to an ice cream shop, restaurant, and bathrooms. Plus, the beach itself is a beautiful sight! Be sure to bring a bucket to collect rocks and shells at this beautiful accessible beach!
212 Nantasket Avenue, Hull
If you’re looking for south-of-Boston beaches, try Nantasket! In addition to swimming, making sand castles, and basking in the sun, guests at Nantasket Beach can enjoy many other things that this classic beach town has to offer! Stroll the promenade, ride the carousel, and enjoy the many tasty dining options! Nantasket has ample parking, a bath house, and restrooms, and it’s staffed by lifeguards over the summer months.
Quincy Shore Drive, Quincy
This 2.3-mile-long beach is just a hop, skip, and jump from the city! There is a wide paved path along the shoreline for walkers, roller bladers, and bikers to enjoy. There is plenty of on-street parking, and not one but two clam shacks! In addition, Caddy Park on the beach’s southern end has more than 15 acres of fields and marsh, as well as a play area, lookout tower, and picnic tables.
186 Onset Avenue, Wareham
This peaceful town beach is perfect for families! It is located right in the middle of historic Onset Village. The calm water is perfect for younger beach goers. A kayak outfitter is located right at the beach if you would like to go for a paddle around Onset Bay, and Cape Cod Canal River Cruises depart right from the parking lot (kids ride for free on some days — be sure to check it out!).