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Boston is an Atlantic Ocean city and the water is an important part of life here. When the days get warmer, there’s nowhere better to be than on the sandy New England beaches having a picnic, swimming, kayaking, or simply enjoying the sunsets. The presence of the islands in Boston Bay makes your beach options even more diverse. The shoreline is extensive, you’ve got a great choice of places to go, and the infrastructure is on point. What else is needed for a nice little oceanfront break? Here are the nine best beaches near Boston for you to enjoy.
Officially the oldest public beach in the U.S. (established in 1896), Revere Beach is where Bostonians go when they want to be one-on-one with the ocean. It’s super accessible, too, just get off at the Wonderland stop of MBTA, and you’ll immediately feel the Atlantic breeze and salty scents of this Boston beach. Three miles long, it’s an amazing outdoor playground that is also famous for the annual Sand Sculpting Festival, one of the world’s best beach festivals worth traveling for. Revere also tops the list if you’re looking for the best beaches near Boston for quality family time. The trip to the beach by subway from Downtown will take you less than 25 minutes.
Marblehead is closer to Salem than it is to Boston, but Devereux Beach is absolutely worth the 40-minute ride. You will escape the crowds and get a dose of New England’s simple outdoor bliss. It’s dog-friendly, family-oriented, and very scenic. Combine your beach visit with a tour of the picturesque historic city of Marblehead and have a hearty meal at one of the many local eateries. If you happen to be in Marblehead for the 4th of July, it’s one of the best destinations for watching 4th of July fireworks.
There’s something special about island recreation. In the case of Boston, you are lucky to have easy ferry access to Harbor Islands National & State Park, one of the best state and national parks in Massachusetts. Come to Spectacle Island for superb views of the Downtown, scenic hiking, and sandy beaches. You can swim here, try kite-flying, and have a nice little picnic by the water. The whole island is one 114-acre park ideal for a fresh air-filled half-day trip for the whole family. During the summer, the ferries depart seven days a week from Long Wharf, and the journey takes around 30 minutes. A cool perk of Spectacle Island is that you can also visit in the spring and autumn; just check the official ferry info for the schedules.
If you’re serious about swimming in the Atlantic, head to Nahant Beach. A crown jewel of the beaches near Boston, this Essex County destination is known for its fantastic ocean panoramas, beautiful dunes, and carefree spirit. The water here is cleaner than on the beaches of Boston proper, so you can fully engage in all the activities. Try kayaking, have a blast canoeing, test the cold waters by getting soaked, and tame the waves surfing in the windy weather. Nahant Beach is a fantastic choice for families with playgrounds, sports facilities, and boating infrastructure. Tides Restaurant & Pub supplies visitors with delicious American fare and seafood. All of it is just 30 minutes away from Downtown Boston by car.
Located less than 15 minutes away by car from Downtown Boston, Constitution Beach is great for a pleasant urban outdoor experience. Be aware, though, that it’s a place that overlooks the runways of the Boston Logan International Airport, so expect aviation sounds and sightings. Recently renovated, this stretch of Boston beach features a bathhouse, children’s playground, basketball courts, and a picnic area. Constant water quality monitoring ensures the safety of swimming. You can kayak here, too. Due to the geographical position, the waves are almost non-existent. Pets are not allowed, so check out other Boston beaches if bringing your furry friend is a must.
When you want a quick beach getaway, South Boston’s Carson Beach is the Boston beach to choose. The JFK/UMass station of MBTA is nearby, so it’s also connected to the rest of the city. For Bostonians, it’s the go-to spot for picnicking. Grilling is allowed, the views are great, and the area is well-maintained. The proximity to the center and the panoramic Harbor vistas make it one of the nicest beaches near Boston. Swimming is allowed, and the water quality is generally high. However, conditions may vary, so always look at the official regulations before going for a swim.
For a more tranquil beach near Boston that also has that charming New England small-town ambiance, head to Winthrop. Usually less crowded than its Harbor counterparts, it is a stretch of sand and stones. You can observe waves crashing into the iconic Five Sisters seawall, enjoy relaxed hiking, engage in collecting rocks and seashells, take on surfing, or simply dip your toes into the chilly Atlantic waters. It’s perfect for relaxing, as buzzy Boston feels worlds away in leisurely Winthrop. The colorful porched houses along Shore Drive create a picturesque backdrop for your outing.
Pleasure Bay Beach on Castle Island
Oceanside pleasure is guaranteed at the aptly named Pleasure Bay Beach. First of all, there is a scenic sandy beach with a lifeguard station, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Then you’ve got Fort Independence, a 1634-built bastion fortification that allegedly inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.” It’s always great to combine the beach visit with a relaxing hike exploring the historical grandeur of the old structure in one of America’s best cities for exploring history. Further south from Pleasure Bay, you will find two other awesome beaches near Boston, such as M Street and L Street, that provide even more breezy outdoor fun.
Savin Hill Beach and Malibu Beach
A couple of top-rated beaches near Boston, Savin Hill Beach and Malibu Beach are in the Dorchester neighborhood. Savin Hill Beach is a continuation of McConnell Park, and Malibu Beach is found next to Morrissey Boulevard. While swimming is possible and there is a bathhouse, it’s not the first thing you would do here. Bostonians primarily use this area for sunbathing, walking, and family outings. From April to September, the beaches are off-limits for the dogs, but the rest of the year is dog-friendly. Savin Hill and Malibu are on the fringes of South Boston. You can reach them by subway, getting off at the station called Savin Hill.