The summer’s sweltering heat makes many a Bostonian long for open sand and cool water. Leaving Boston and heading to the beach isn’t only about escaping the crowds – it’s also about finding peace and solitude. This guide will offer you beach locations that are easily accessible by public transportation or only a short road trip away. From the recently greened Boston Harbor Islands to the beauty of the North Shore’s white sand beaches, you’ll find a beach that is right for you. – By Cristy Maldonado

Foursquare Favorite: Constitution Beach
Homer St.
Boston, MA 02128
Read all the tips on Foursquare

New-in-2013 beach equipment—a playground, tennis and handball courts, picnic areas, and shade shelters—make this a great beach for families. Foursquare users point out one potential pitfall, however: proximity to Logan airport has meant some locals are concerned about water pollution.


Head to Foursquare to sort reviews by these tastes:

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Spectacle Island (credit: The Boston Harbor Association)

Spectacle Island

Boston Harbor Islands

Opened to the public in 2006, the Boston Harbor Islands boast a wide array of activities for the adventure seeking Bostonian. Spectacle Island is only a short ferry ride away and boasts a pebbly beach, boat docks, and a visitor center with restroom facilities and concessions. The Harbor Islands are easily accessible via public transportation. After taking the Blue line to the Aquarium stop, walk the to Columbus Park side of the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. There you’ll find informational kiosks, ticket booths, and the ferry docks.

(credit: Elizabeth Evans)

Carson Beach

Day Boulevard, South Boston

Where can city dwellers go to embrace the sun that is both nearby and T-accessible? Enter Carson Beach in South Boston, located about 1/2 mile from the JFK/UMASS stop on the Red Line. This beach boasts sand volleyball courts, a bocce court, restrooms and food vendors.


Revere Beach

Route 1A, Revere
Parking: Metered parking on Revere Beach Blvd.

Few Bostonians may realize that Revere Beach was the first public beach in the United States. Located at the end of the MBTA Blue Line’s Wonderland T stop, Revere Beach is a local hotspot. In addition to traditional swimming and sunning activities, this beach also hosts a yearly sand sculpture festival perfect for families.

Crane Beach in Ipswich (credit:

Crane Beach

290 Argilla Road, Ipswich
Parking: $20 weekdays, $25 weekends, 50% off parking after 3pm; Walk-on: $2

Crane Beach, a wildlife reserve and recreation area in Ipswich, is a rare gem. White sand, tide pools, and sand bars abound along the nearly 4 miles of pristine coastline. Crane’s offers food service from burgers and hot dogs to salads and made to order sandwiches. The concession stand accepts cash and credit cards. Restrooms, changing booths and showers are also available. The beach is accessible by public transport. Catch a Newburyport/Rockport line train from North Station to Ipswich. From the Ipswich train station, take a CATA shuttle to the beach.

Singing Beach in Manchester-By-The-Sea (credit:

Singing Beach

119 Beach Street, Manchester-By-The-Sea
Parking: $25 Mon-Thursday non-residents, only resident parking Fri-Sunday; Walk-on: $5

Another beloved Cape Ann beach spot, the beauty of Singing Beach will make your heart soar – and your feet too. Known for the mysterious sound the sand makes under your feet, you will find adventure and great beach front for exploring. Singing Beach is also accessible via the MBTA Commuter Rail. Parking policies may vary depending on events.

Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester (credit: Jay Albert)

Wingaersheek Beach

Atlantic Avenue, Gloucester
Parking: $20 weekdays, $25 weekends, $15 after 3pm, Free after 5pm

Part of beautiful Cape Ann on the North Shore of Massachusetts, Wingaersheek Beach is known for its still waters and low tide, making it a perfect family friendly beach. Conveniences like a concession stand, restrooms, and showers are available.

Cristy Maldonado is a Boston-based blogger in constant pursuit of fun activities in the city. Read more of her work at

Comments (13)
  1. Nancy Wise says:

    I loved to take my kids to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester when they were young~~another great beach!!

    1. Mary says:

      I agree with you. Should have been listed first.

  2. Isabel says:

    SInging and Wingarsheek Beaches are awesome

  3. Jess says:

    Why are there no South Shore beaches listed? Duxbury Beach is amazing so is Rexhame Beach in Marshfield and Hummarock (technically Scituate but accessed via Marshfield) are all public beaches that are worth a visit.

  4. Everett wells says:

    You failed to mention the South Shore where you’ll find the nicest all around beach in Mass, the water is warm, the waves are large and the beach goes on for miles………

  5. Adeline says:

    How about Craigville Beach in Centerville, MA??? One of the all time best beaches around – and parking isn’t a fortune. Restrooms, showers on site, and food near by.

  6. Cristy says:

    Hey Everett wells, Adeline, and Jess,

    Sorry to not list some of your favorites, but thanks for mentioning them here and sharing with other readers! I’ll be sure to visit too :)

  7. Ginny says:

    Good Harbor Beach was chosen as the Best Beach by readers of Northshore Magazine, who know that it is better than your North Shore choices. Good Harbor, has something for everyone and does not have the Green Head flies that invade Cranes, Wingaersheek, Plum Island and many of the Cove beaches every summer.

    1. Cristy says:

      Hi Ginny,

      Thanks for your feedback. I’m sure many readers would love to visit Good Harbor. I’ll be sure to add it to my list of beaches for next summer.


  8. Jay Albert says:

    You spelled Wingaersheek Beach incorrectly!

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