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Beaches and land in the middle of a large body of water. Shutterstock

Boston’s best beaches, mapped

Most of these Boston-area beaches are accessible via mass transit or a short drive from downtown

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This map pinpoints the 17 best beach options in and around the Boston area. Most of them are no more than a half-hour by car (or public transit) from downtown Boston.

A few options probably involve at least a day trip or maybe even making a weekend of it down the Cape or up the Shore.

Do check parking fees and other possible admissions costs and times before venturing forth.

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1. Carson Beach

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Carson Beach
Boston, MA

Barely a half-mile from the JFK/UMass Red Line stop, Carson includes food vendors as well as volleyball and bocce courts.

Along with M Street Beach and Pleasure Bay, the expanse also forms the three-mile stretch of parkland along Southie’s slice of Dorchester Bay.

In the foreground is tall wild grass. In the distance is a beach along a body of water. There are city buildings in the distance. Boston Globe via Getty Images

2. Savin Hill Beach

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Malibu Beach
Boston, MA 02125

This beach next to Malibu Beach near the similarly named Red Line stop includes a tot lot, protected swimming, and baseball diamonds.

In the foreground is wild grass. There is a beach and a body of water in the distance.

3. Dorchester Shores Reservation

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This state-run spot includes three main attractions: Malibu Beach, Victory Road Park, and Tenean Beach. Together, they line much of the mouth of the Neponset River leading into Boston Harbor.

There are tennis and basketball courts as well as a bathhouse and playgrounds.

A sandy beach adjacent to a body of water.

4. M Street Beach

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(617) 727-5290

Barely a half-mile from the JFK/UMass Red Line stop, M Street forms the three-mile stretch of parkland along Southie’s slice of Dorchester Bay along with Carson Beach and Pleasure Bay.

A sandy beach with a lifeguard chair.

5. Pleasure Bay

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Pleasure Bay
Boston, MA 02127

Together with Carson and M Street beaches, the beach along this body of water forms the three-mile stretch of parkland along Southie’s slice of Dorchester Bay.

There is plenty of room for biking, strolling, and simply chilling on benches and beachfront.

A sandy beach adjacent to a body of water. There are storm clouds in the sky. Shutterstock

6. Wollaston Beach

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Wollaston Beach
Quincy, MA

With 2.3 miles of oceanfront, Wollaston Beach bills itself as the biggest beach fronting Boston Harbor.

It’s part of the larger state-run Quincy Shores Reservation, which itself includes plenty of hiking and biking opportunities as well as picnic tables and a play area for kids.

A sandy beach and a body of water. There is a pier in the distance. Shutterstock

7. Constitution Beach

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Constitution Beach
Boston, MA 02128

The state-run beach includes a bathhouse and a concession stand.

There are also tennis, handball, and basketball courts.

In the foreground is a lawn and trees. In the distance is a sandy beach and a body of water. Wikipedia

8. Spectacle Island

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Spectacle Island
Boston, MA

There are actually a few sandy beaches on this island, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Boston by ferry.

Spectacle also features the Boston Harbor Islands’ tallest hill, which provides pretty cool skyline views.

The island opens for visitors in mid-May.

In the foreground is a large expanse of grass alongside a body of water. In the distance is a city skyline with various tall buildings. Shutterstock

9. Revere Beach

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Revere Beach
Revere, MA 02151

America’s oldest public beach (b. 1896), the state-run Revere is probably the most popular Massachusetts beach in terms of visitors.

Its attractions include several miles of shoreline, a bandstand, food vendors, and lots of shelters from the sunshine.

It is accessible via two T stops: the Blue Line’s Wonderland and Revere Beach stations.

A sandy beach near a body of water. Shutterstock

10. Nahant Beach

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1 Nahant Rd
Nahant, MA 01908
(781) 485-2803
Visit Website

This beach is part of a 67-acre nature preserve complete with hiking trails and playing fields.

Due to its location at the end of a peninsula—and to the general spareness of the Nahant population—it will feel perhaps the most isolated of all these selection on this map. 

Beaches and land in the middle of a large body of water. Shutterstock

11. Crane Beach

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Crane Beach
Ipswich, MA

This Ipswich beach doubles as a nature preserve.

Hiking opportunities abound (5.5 miles of trails), and facilities include a bathhouse, picnic tables, concessions, and an information kiosk.

Your best bet getting here via public transit is to take the commuter rail from North Station to Ipswich.

A tall staircase with sand on the stairs. Shutterstock

12. Wingaersheek Beach

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Wingaersheek Beach
Gloucester, MA 01930

This popular North Shore spot along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay includes concessions, restrooms, and outdoor showers.

A sandy beach, tall grass, and a body of water. Shutterstock

13. Half Moon Beach

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Western Ave
Gloucester, MA 01930

The small beach is part of Stage Fort Park, which sits on the site of Gloucester’s first European settlement way back in the early 1620s.

There are restrooms in the park’s visitors’ center and plenty of space for picnicking.

In the foreground are rocks and a body of water. Shutterstock

14. Good Harbor Beach

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The North Shore spot fronting the Atlantic includes restrooms, concessions, and outdoor showers.

A body of water and a sandy beach. In the distance are various buildings along the beach. Shutterstock

15. Race Point Beach

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Race Point Beach
Provincetown, MA 02657

This expansive Cape beach includes restrooms; and there are bike trails off the parking lot.

Make a day of it.

A beach at sunset. Shutterstock

16. Nauset Beach

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250 Beach Rd
Orleans, MA 02653
(508) 240-3780
Visit Website

This popular Cape Cod destination features a 10-mile run of beachfront as well as all the summer trimmings: Showers, restrooms, a boardwalk, food vendors, and a picnic area.

Recent storms have accelerated erosion at Nauset, but local officials appear to be getting ahead of the challenges from it.

A sandy beach and a body of water. Shutterstock

17. Singing Beach

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119 Beach St
Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944
(978) 526-2019
Visit Website

This nearly half-mile-wide beach is reachable via the Rockport Commuter Rail Line from North Station. 

A sandy beach, body of water, and a hillside with trees, rocks, and houses. Shutterstock

1. Carson Beach

Carson Beach, Boston, MA
In the foreground is tall wild grass. In the distance is a beach along a body of water. There are city buildings in the distance. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Barely a half-mile from the JFK/UMass Red Line stop, Carson includes food vendors as well as volleyball and bocce courts.

Along with M Street Beach and Pleasure Bay, the expanse also forms the three-mile stretch of parkland along Southie’s slice of Dorchester Bay.

Carson Beach
Boston, MA

2. Savin Hill Beach

Malibu Beach, Boston, MA 02125
In the foreground is wild grass. There is a beach and a body of water in the distance.

This beach next to Malibu Beach near the similarly named Red Line stop includes a tot lot, protected swimming, and baseball diamonds.

Malibu Beach
Boston, MA 02125

3. Dorchester Shores Reservation

Boston, MA 02125
A sandy beach adjacent to a body of water.

This state-run spot includes three main attractions: Malibu Beach, Victory Road Park, and Tenean Beach. Together, they line much of the mouth of the Neponset River leading into Boston Harbor.

There are tennis and basketball courts as well as a bathhouse and playgrounds.

4. M Street Beach

Boston, MA 02127
A sandy beach with a lifeguard chair.

Barely a half-mile from the JFK/UMass Red Line stop, M Street forms the three-mile stretch of parkland along Southie’s slice of Dorchester Bay along with Carson Beach and Pleasure Bay.

5. Pleasure Bay

Pleasure Bay, Boston, MA 02127
A sandy beach adjacent to a body of water. There are storm clouds in the sky. Shutterstock

Together with Carson and M Street beaches, the beach along this body of water forms the three-mile stretch of parkland along Southie’s slice of Dorchester Bay.

There is plenty of room for biking, strolling, and simply chilling on benches and beachfront.

Pleasure Bay
Boston, MA 02127

6. Wollaston Beach

Wollaston Beach, Quincy, MA
A sandy beach and a body of water. There is a pier in the distance. Shutterstock

With 2.3 miles of oceanfront, Wollaston Beach bills itself as the biggest beach fronting Boston Harbor.

It’s part of the larger state-run Quincy Shores Reservation, which itself includes plenty of hiking and biking opportunities as well as picnic tables and a play area for kids.

Wollaston Beach
Quincy, MA

7. Constitution Beach

Constitution Beach, Boston, MA 02128
In the foreground is a lawn and trees. In the distance is a sandy beach and a body of water. Wikipedia

The state-run beach includes a bathhouse and a concession stand.

There are also tennis, handball, and basketball courts.

Constitution Beach
Boston, MA 02128

8. Spectacle Island

Spectacle Island, Boston, MA
In the foreground is a large expanse of grass alongside a body of water. In the distance is a city skyline with various tall buildings. Shutterstock

There are actually a few sandy beaches on this island, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Boston by ferry.

Spectacle also features the Boston Harbor Islands’ tallest hill, which provides pretty cool skyline views.

The island opens for visitors in mid-May.

Spectacle Island
Boston, MA

9. Revere Beach

Revere Beach, Revere, MA 02151
A sandy beach near a body of water. Shutterstock

America’s oldest public beach (b. 1896), the state-run Revere is probably the most popular Massachusetts beach in terms of visitors.

Its attractions include several miles of shoreline, a bandstand, food vendors, and lots of shelters from the sunshine.

It is accessible via two T stops: the Blue Line’s Wonderland and Revere Beach stations.

Revere Beach
Revere, MA 02151

10. Nahant Beach

1 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA 01908
Beaches and land in the middle of a large body of water. Shutterstock

This beach is part of a 67-acre nature preserve complete with hiking trails and playing fields.

Due to its location at the end of a peninsula—and to the general spareness of the Nahant population—it will feel perhaps the most isolated of all these selection on this map. 

1 Nahant Rd
Nahant, MA 01908

11. Crane Beach

Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA
A tall staircase with sand on the stairs. Shutterstock

This Ipswich beach doubles as a nature preserve.

Hiking opportunities abound (5.5 miles of trails), and facilities include a bathhouse, picnic tables, concessions, and an information kiosk.

Your best bet getting here via public transit is to take the commuter rail from North Station to Ipswich.

Crane Beach
Ipswich, MA

12. Wingaersheek Beach

Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, MA 01930
A sandy beach, tall grass, and a body of water. Shutterstock

This popular North Shore spot along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay includes concessions, restrooms, and outdoor showers.

Wingaersheek Beach
Gloucester, MA 01930

13. Half Moon Beach

Western Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930
In the foreground are rocks and a body of water. Shutterstock

The small beach is part of Stage Fort Park, which sits on the site of Gloucester’s first European settlement way back in the early 1620s.

There are restrooms in the park’s visitors’ center and plenty of space for picnicking.

Western Ave
Gloucester, MA 01930

14. Good Harbor Beach

Gloucester, MA 01930
A body of water and a sandy beach. In the distance are various buildings along the beach. Shutterstock

The North Shore spot fronting the Atlantic includes restrooms, concessions, and outdoor showers.

15. Race Point Beach

Race Point Beach, Provincetown, MA 02657
A beach at sunset. Shutterstock

This expansive Cape beach includes restrooms; and there are bike trails off the parking lot.

Make a day of it.

Race Point Beach
Provincetown, MA 02657

16. Nauset Beach

250 Beach Rd, Orleans, MA 02653
A sandy beach and a body of water. Shutterstock

This popular Cape Cod destination features a 10-mile run of beachfront as well as all the summer trimmings: Showers, restrooms, a boardwalk, food vendors, and a picnic area.

Recent storms have accelerated erosion at Nauset, but local officials appear to be getting ahead of the challenges from it.

250 Beach Rd
Orleans, MA 02653

17. Singing Beach

119 Beach St, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944
A sandy beach, body of water, and a hillside with trees, rocks, and houses. Shutterstock

This nearly half-mile-wide beach is reachable via the Rockport Commuter Rail Line from North Station. 

119 Beach St
Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944