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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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Carson Beach

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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

Savin Hill Beach

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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.

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.

M Street Beach

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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.

Pleasure Bay

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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

Wollaston Beach

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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

Constitution Beach

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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

Spectacle Island

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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

Revere Beach

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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

Nahant Beach

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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

Crane Beach

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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

Wingaersheek Beach

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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

Half Moon Beach

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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

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

Race Point Beach

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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

Nauset Beach

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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

Singing Beach

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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

Carson Beach

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.

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

Savin Hill Beach

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.

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

Dorchester Shores Reservation

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.

A sandy beach adjacent to a body of water.

M Street Beach

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.

A sandy beach with a lifeguard chair.

Pleasure Bay

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.

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

Wollaston Beach

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.

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

Constitution Beach

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.

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

Spectacle Island

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.

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

Revere Beach

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.

A sandy beach near a body of water. Shutterstock

Nahant Beach

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. 

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

Crane Beach

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.

A tall staircase with sand on the stairs. Shutterstock

Wingaersheek Beach

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.

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

Half Moon Beach

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.

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

Good Harbor Beach

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.

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

Race Point Beach

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.

A beach at sunset. Shutterstock

Nauset Beach