Hot summer days are the perfect time to take advantage of New England’s magnificent beaches. Many often associate beach outings with loading up their cars and heading to the ocean, but the Boston area boasts plenty of beautiful beaches conveniently accessible by public transportation.
Let’s take a look at a few of the options for a fun-filled day in the surf and sand.
Revere Beach, America’s first public beach, is a classic New England beach destination.
With the soft white sand and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll have a sunshine-powered day of recreation. You’ll be able to see piping plovers and glimpse seagulls flying overhead – as well as planes from nearby Logan Airport.
Revere Beach Boulevard is filled with several restaurant options, including Mexican, pizza, ice cream, and the iconic Kelly’s Roast Beef, which in addition to roast beef, also has classic New England seafood dishes like fried whole belly clams.
The beach has restrooms and several shaded areas, such as a Victorian gazebo, in case you need a break from the heat.
How to Get There: Take the MBTA’s blue line to Revere Beach or Wonderland station; the beach is just a few minutes away.
Buses: 110, 117 or 450
Winthrop Beach, a little more off the beaten path than Revere Beach, is considered a hidden secret by residents and those in the know. This beach is primarily pebble-filled with a small sandy area.
This beach dates back to the 1600s when it was primarily used for clam digging, lobster fishing, and kelp and rock harvesting. It also features giant rocks for climbing. If the tide is low enough, you can walk out to the “Five Sisters,” five wave breakers built in 1935 to protect the nearby neighborhoods from the large swells that occur during storms.
How to Get There: Take the MBTA’s Blue Line to Orient Heights, then a Route 712 bus to the Shirley St and Cutler St bus stop or a Route 713 bus to Veterans Rd at Cutler St, and then walk a short distance east to Winthrop Shore Drive.
South Boston Beaches – L Street, M Street, and Carson Beach
These three interconnected beaches meld effortlessly into one another, forming a continuous 3-mile stretch – so one trip on the Red Line gets you access to three different beaches.
L Street, M Street Beach, and Carson Beach overlook Dorchester Bay and offer amazing views of the Harbor Islands. These popular beaches feature spots to walk, jog, skate, or bike along the Harborwalk.
How to Get There: To get to Carson Beach, take the T’s Red Line to JFK/UMass and walk along the waterfront north to the beach – it’s approximately half a mile from the T station, so you’ll be there in about 10 minutes.
To get to the L and M Street Beaches, take the Red Line to Broadway Station and then the Number 9 bus to City Point; beaches are just a short walk to the east. Alternatively, you can walk (about 15 minutes) from Broadway Station or catch the #9 bus at Back Bay Station.
Singing Beach – Manchester-By-the-Sea
The serene Singing Beach, which gets its name from the squeaking sound the fine white sand makes when it’s walked on, combines, and is an excellent beach for relaxing, walking, or jumping into waves.
This half-mile-wide beach offers clear blue water, a bathhouse, restrooms, and a small snack stand, offering summer treats like hot dogs, Slurpees, and ICEEs. You can also stop by nearby Captain Dusty’s for an ice cream cone.
Singing Beach has a walk-on fee of $10 per person (a season pass is $35 per person). People over age 65 do not need to pay the walk-on fee.
How to Get There: Take the MBTA’s commuter rail to the Manchester Depot station. Singing Beach is a half-mile walk from the train station. To get there, walk up Beach Street (away from downtown) for approximately 12 minutes.
Lynn Beaches – Nahant, Lynn, King’s, and Long Beaches
The North Shore city of Lynn offers four connected beaches accessible via public transit. Nahant, Lynn, King’s, and Long Beaches are all part of the Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation. These beaches also connect with Lynn Shore Drive and Red Rock Park. The area also features a mile-long system of fragile dunes parallel to Long Beach. You’ll discover tide pools often filled with colorful marine plants and animals at Red Rock Park.
If you’re in the mood for racquetball or tennis courts, you can find courts near the Lynnway Rotary. There’s also a boat launch at Lynn Harbor, perfect for spending the day sailing in the sun.
Note: There is no public restroom facility at Lynn Shore Reservation and no lifeguard at King’s Beach.
How to Get There: To reach Nahant Beach, take the Blue Line to Wonderland and then a Route 439 bus to Nahant Rd opposite Wilson Rd.
For Lynn Beach and King’s Beach, take the Blue Line to Wonderland, and then take a Route 441 or 442 bus to Broad St at Nahant St and walk for about eight minutes.
Front Beach and Back Beach, Rockport
The rugged shores of Rockport offer two beach options, each offering a different experience — Front Beach and Back Beach.
Front Beach offers a more secluded experience and a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. There are lifeguards, public restrooms, and a swim platform 30 feet from shore. It’s close to the downtown area, making it easy to make a day trip that includes restaurants, shopping, and art galleries.
Back Beach is best known for its rocky shoreline, sweeping ocean views, and surf – and features one of the North Shore’s most protected dive sites, making it a popular option for scuba divers.
How to Get There: Take the MBTA Commuter Rail – Newburyport/Rockport Line to Rockport and walk about nine minutes to the beaches.
Beaches Outside Massachusetts
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Take the Amtrak Downeaster to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to enjoy this impressive seven-mile-long beach with seemingly endless sand and glorious views of the Atlantic. During the summer, Old Orchard Beach’s population swells to over 75,000, with many people coming down from Canada to enjoy the beach.
You can stroll along the Old Orchard Beach boardwalk and visit local shops, restaurants, and bars. Old Orchard Beach Pier, originally built in 1898, also has eating, drinking, and shopping options.
How to Get There: Amtrak Downeaster from Boston to First Street platform daily through October. Leaves from North Station and Woburn and Haverhill in Massachusetts. The beach is just a two-block walk.
Narragansett Town Beach, Narragansett, Rhode Island
Narragansett Town Beach is a classic New England Saltwater coastal beach located in the center of the town of Narragansett. This beach is a surfer’s paradise, with an area set aside specifically for surfing, and the beach holds competitions all summer long. This 19-acre beach is popular in the summer, drawing 5,000 beach-goers daily.
How to Get There: From Boston, take the commuter rail or Amtrak to Providence and then take the RIPTA bus No. 14 from Providence’s Kennedy Plaza to Town Beach.
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