Boston summers get hot and the best way to beat the Boston summer heat is to hit the beach! There are lots of beautiful beaches close to the city and many of them are just a T ride away! I know that’s my favorite way to spend a summer day.
This historic beach is a classic choice for anyone on the T. Right on Revere Beach Boulevard, you can easily access it by the blue line and multiple bus lines. There is a lot of free parking on the street next to the beach, but that can fill up by noon or so. The beach boasts two miles of sand, so there’s room even on the busiest, crowded summer days. There are lifeguards on duty for the summer.
This is one of my favorite city beaches. It’s clean, easy to get to and they have a great ice cream shop! Along the beach there are a variety of places to eat including Twist and Shake, Kelly’s Roast Beef and Bianchi’s Pizza. Make sure to stop by between July 24 and July 26 for the annual Sand Sculpting Festival, where people make really amazing things out of sand.
Crane is one of the most beautiful beaches in New England. Located in Ipswich, MA, its five miles of coastline filled with tide pools, sand bars, salt marshes and dozens of types of animals. There are also more than five miles of trails on the beach and throughout the surrounding area. If you want to spend a little more time there, visit the historic Castle Hill with tours of the Great House and even a Casino complex.
Parking is $20-$25 and free after 5 p.m. You can also get there by taking the commuter rail to Ipswich and taking the Ipswich Essex Explorer. The Crane Beach Store sells food and merchandise.
Carson is another great beach right in South Boston. It’s easily accessible by the red line at JFK/UMass or by multiple buses. There is also free parking. The beach has volleyball and bocce courts and even chess tables. The three-mile beach has a great view of the harbor. In addition to the sand and sea, you can visit the historic defensive fortress at Castle Island, Old Harbor and Joe Moakley Park.
This beach is the one to go to if you want to enjoy the great outdoors and a little more peace and quiet than the city beaches. Good Harbor is in Gloucester, MA, about 45 minutes out of Boston. The area around the beach is pretty quiet, but they do have a concession stand for food and other beach gear. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day Weekend until Labor Day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., however the beach is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Good Harbor is often colder than some of the other Massachusetts beaches I’ve been to, but the water is so clear and blue. There are even waves big enough to surf, but surfboards aren’t allowed during lifeguard hours.
There is less public transportation around that area, so you’re best off driving to this one. There is a commuter rail line that goes to Gloucester, but the CATA buses don’t run often from the station to the beach. Parking is $20-$25, but if you go after 4 p.m. you can park for free.
Hampton Beach is a little farther than the rest, but definitely worth it. It’s an hour drive from Boston to the beach in New Hampshire, but there’s so much to do, you could spend the whole day there anyway. It’s very hard to get there by public transportation, so driving is the easiest option. The beach itself is beautiful, but it will get crowded. Parking is $2.00 per hour at Hampton Beach’s central parking lot.
There are lots of shops, restaurants and hotels within walking distance, so even if you’re not a fan of the beach, there’s plenty to keep you busy. They also have a sand sculpting contest running from June 18 through June 20. There are movies every Monday night, fireworks every Wednesday night and free outdoor concerts most other nights during the summer.