9 of our favorite beaches north of Boston
Summer is breaking and the beach beckons. And, of course, we all have our favorite stretches of sand for a day in the sun or an evening picnic. But after more than a year of staying close to home, many of us crave a little variety this summer, maybe even a little adventure.
For those who fancy a little novelty by the sea, we have gathered our favorite beach destinations from all over the North Shore. So pack that beach bag, apply some sunscreen and start your seaside explorations.
Salisbury Beach State Reserve
Although the beaches stretch along approximately four miles of the Salisbury coastline, this stretch at the junction of the River Merrimack and the Atlantic Ocean allows visitors to experience beach relaxation without the hustle and bustle of the city.
Something special: The reserve is home to 484 campsites, making it one of the only places in the state where you can camp almost directly on the beach.
Approvals: Toilets and showers are available, and there is plenty of room for a picnic. A playground provides plenty of entertainment outside the sand for children.
Car park: Daily parking fee of $ 14 for Massachusetts residents and $ 40 for foreigners.
Gloucester, at the end of Atlantic Street.
Located where the Annisquam River meets Ipswich Bay, this family-friendly beach offers vast expanses of sand for relaxing, towering boulders for climbing, and ever-changing configurations of tidal pools for exploration.
Somethingspecial ng: The low tide reveals a long sandbank which allows pleasant strolling, wading and wading.
Approvals: The concession stand offers sandwiches, snacks, and ice cream, and a slush cart often operates on the beach. Basic items, from sunglasses to sand toys, are also on sale next to the food stand. Toilets, showers and changing rooms available.
Car park: A main public lot and two auxiliary lots open at 8 a.m. and offer plenty of parking, but get there early they often fill up quickly. $ 30 weekdays, $ 35 weekends and holidays.
Ipswich, at the end of Argilla Road.
One of the area’s most iconic beaches, Crane Beach features acres of pristine white sand, enchanting seaside habitats, and sweeping views across Ipswich Bay to the ocean.
Something special: Beyond the beach, visitors can walk miles of trails through dunes, forests and marshes, exploring various natural habitats and maybe even spot a deer or fox.
Approvals: Bathrooms, changing rooms and showers are available. A refreshment stand sells snacks and drinks, and the beach store has everything from sunscreen to handcrafted gift items.
Car park: Prepaid and timed reservations will be required again this year. For members of the reservation trustees, parking is $ 25 on weekends and $ 15 on weekdays. Parking for non-members is $ 45 on weekends and $ 30 on weekdays.
Located in the heart of downtown Rockport, this small, sandy crescent offers a unique combination of splendid ocean views and scenic architectural beauty.
Something special: A rocky stream cascades down to the north end of the beach, creating a perfect spot for kids to splash around and exercise their imaginations.
Approvals: Public toilets available. No concessions, but a variety of restaurants and cafes are within walking distance. A playground in the park across the street offers kid-friendly entertainment.
Car park: Paid parking is available near the beach, or visitors can park for free at the Blue Gate lot on the outskirts of town and take a $ 1 shuttle to the beach.
Beverly, 55 Ober St.
Home to two beaches, this beautiful historic park offers a variety of easily accessible seashores: spend time swimming, sunbathing, or exploring tidal pools in the rocky expanses. An adjacent rose garden adds even more to the experience.
Something special: When the ocean isn’t enough, kids can frolic in the fountains and sprinklers in the park’s wading pool.
Approvals: Bathrooms, concession stand and plenty of grassy lawn for picnicking or kicking a ball.
Car park: On-site parking is free for Beverly residents. Non-residents pay $ 10 on weekdays and $ 20 on weekends.
Marblehead, 99 Ocean Ave.
On the causeway connecting Marblehead Neck to the mainland, Devereux Beach offers 5.5 acres of sandy shoreline with stunning ocean views.
Something special: For a typical New England view, stroll along the sidewalk along Ocean Avenue and see dozens of sailboats anchored in the picturesque tree-lined cove across the street.
Approvals: Bathrooms and picnic pavilions available, as well as a concession stand and play area.
Car park: Limited parking for non-residents costs $ 15 Monday through Thursday and $ 20 Friday through Sunday.
Manchester-by-the-Sea, End of Beach St.
Named for the melodic noises its sand sometimes makes underfoot, Singing Beach is a modest but beautiful place, easily accessible, yet secluded enough to feel like a true escape.
Something special: Singing Beach is one of the only places on the North Shore to access a beach by train – the town’s suburban train station is just half a mile away.
Approvals: The 1920s public baths have a small snack stand, bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers.
Car park: A small public lot offers non-resident parking for $ 25, while spaces last, and local Scouts run a private lot across the street for $ 25. Visitors walking the beach from private parking or the train will be charged $ 7 per person; an annual pass is available for $ 20.
Dead horse beach
Salem, avenue du Fort.
The name might be a little dark, but this beach adjacent to Salem Willows Park offers a light, family-friendly outing.
Something special: Stroll to the Salem Willows Arcade to play classic games, let the kids take a ride on the bumper cars, or munch on the place’s signature popcorn.
Approvals: Public toilets are available. Food available in several establishments in the park.
Car park: Free parking available in Salem Willows Park.
Nahant, 1 Nahant Beach Road.
The long strip of land that connects Nahant to Lynn is made up of beach and road and not much else, allowing visitors to feel like they are immersed in the sun and sand.
Something special: If you’re feeling adventurous, check out local kitesurf companies that offer lessons along Nahant Beach.
Approvals: Newly renovated public baths offer clean and updated bathrooms, changing rooms and showers.
Car park: Look for street parking along Lynn Shore Dr. or pay for parking along the beach – $ 10 for Massachusetts residents, $ 40 for non-residents.