Massachusetts is home to great eats, passionate sports fans, world-renowned universities and fascinating historical sites. Yet, the most exciting part of the Bay State in summer is its 1,519 miles of shoreline. Check out these beaches the next time you’re ready to have some fun in the sun.
Coast Guard Beach
Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is one of the many beaches that make up the Cape Cod National Seashore. It is ranked as one of the most popular Massachusetts beaches on TripAdvisor and has even been declared the fifth best beach in the United States in 2018 by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach.”
There is plenty of room on this beach, so it never feels overcrowded. The warm surf is perfect for catching waves, although the tide may be too challenging for smaller children. Nature lovers will appreciate watching the nesting plovers and terns. You can also take a walk out to the Nauset Spit, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some seals!
Parking is limited to only disabled visitors and staff in the busy summer months, which keeps the beach looking pristine. Other visitors can take a convenient shuttle to the beach.
Although it’s one of America’s top 10 beaches according to Travel Channel, Moshup Beach in Martha’s Vineyard is surprisingly quiet, frequented mostly by locals and those who like to venture off the beaten path.4 Its most prominent feature is the colorful Gay Head Cliffs made of red, orange and yellow clay. Atop the cliffs sits a 51-foot lighthouse accessible via stairway. Those who make the climb will be rewarded with an excellent view.
The sand on the beach itself is smooth. Visitors enjoy the large waves, which are excellent for surfing, although swimming is somewhat dangerous due to the undertow. All in all, this is a great destination for adult Bay Staters looking for a unique beach experience.
If clay and surfing isn’t your style, you may prefer to drive a little farther to Menemsha Beach, also in Martha’s Vineyard. Foodies and families alike will love it here. Since this is an active fishing area, there are many local restaurants with the freshest, most savory seafood around. Parents will feel safe letting their kids play, as the beach has calm waves and plenty of lifeguards.
If you’re looking to lounge on a blanket, this may not be the best beach for you. It’s scattered with rocks, so be sure to bring the proper footwear and collect a few shells to remember your trip.
Try to stay until dusk, as this beach is renowned for having the most beautiful sunset view in the area. While you’re waiting, snap a quick pic of the Swordfish Harpooner statue!
Children’s Beach in Nantucket is another Travel Channel favorite for good reason – it’s an oasis for toddlers and their families. During the summer, the beach has full programming for tots, including:
- NanPuppets shows
- Circus yoga
- Kite making
- Hula hooping
- Team sports
- Friday movie nights
- Saturday night concerts
- And much more
After you burn off all that energy, swing by the Hungry Minnow for a bite to eat!
If you don’t have little ones in tow, or if your kids are a little older, consider stopping by Surfside Beach, which is just a 15-minute car ride away.
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