Also known as the Bay State, Massachusetts has some of the best beaches in the country, if not the world, making it one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in America.
It has approximately 200 miles of coastline dominated by the three great bays of Cape Cod, Buzzards and Massachusetts. Some of the beaches are serene and secluded, while others are bustling and lively.
This state borders the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean, making it ideal for beach life.
Many people already know Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, but it doesn’t hurt to explore other lesser-known, beautiful and new stretches of sand that you can find along the coast of Massachusetts. This article will share the eight best beaches in Massachusetts.
Suggested: Best camping in Massachusetts
Best Beaches in Massachusetts MAP
Crane Beach, Ipswich
Praia da Garça is at the top of our list of the best beaches in Massachusetts. This long, narrow beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean in Ipswich.
Crane Beach is particularly famous for its breathtaking beauty. It is an ideal place for families, couples and anyone looking for a romantic moment.
The shorelines here remain untouched by developments and construction. As a result, most of the beach is open and free from crowds, leaving ample space to enjoy the incredible views of nature.
Crane Beach is flanked on its north side by a large marsh lagoon, which offers excellent opportunities for bird watching as it attracts many species of birds during the different seasons.
Crane Beach is ideal for swimming and surfing due to the calm waters. The beach also has an extensive sandy wetland. However, this part of the beach is restricted to the public due to wildlife conservation efforts carried out by local wildlife biologists.
This beach is made up of gently sloping dunes, mostly covered by dune grass.
Crane Beach comes with free concessions and restrooms.
Mayflower Beach, Dennis
Mayflower Beach is a favorite family getaway among Dennis residents on Cape Cod Bay. It has some of the best surf spots in the country. With over 15 miles of beautiful coastline, it’s never far from water sports.
Mayflower Beach is breathtaking. A series of trees and low branches complement its long, golden strip of sand. This set of trees also helps block out the sun. With the land breeze, it looks like a tropical island.
In the summer, crowds are quite common, and you’ll want to get to Mayflower Beach by 9 am to grab a good spot along the coast.
The waters are calm, the scenery is spectacular and there are a variety of activities to enjoy. They retreat to unveil extensive tidal flats, incredible pools and many beautiful low sandbars at low tide.
In addition to exploring its sands and taking pictures of the sun’s rays shining on the sand, you can have a picnic with friends and family, play games or even look for shells and snails.
Overall, Mayflower Beach is a local favorite and a popular destination for tourists.
Madaket Beach, Nantucket
Surrealism at its best, Madaket Beach on Nantucket is a popular hangout for tourists. It is located at the southwest end of the isolated island of nantucket.
It is famous for its mesmerizing sunsets and soft sands. The soft sands mean you can get here quickly by bike, bus or car.
The sand here is a beautiful golden hue surrounded by a white sandy beach, contrasting beautifully with the turquoise waters of the ocean.
This beach is famous for its blue holes formed when ocean water recedes and collides with the sand. Bird watchers can also appreciate the seabirds that flock to the beach.
The old fishing village vibe and vibrant crowds make Madaket Beach one of the most popular beaches to visit in Massachusetts.
The beach is excellent for sunbathing, paddling and strolling. However, its strong waves make all swimming activities difficult. To meet this challenge, lifeguards keep an eye out during the summer.
From here, the sunset is an incredible sight. One can sit on the fine sands or dunes and enjoy the stunning sunsets over the ocean and the neighboring island of Tuckernuck.
In addition to the swimming challenges, there is a lack of sufficient amenities on this beach. However, that doesn’t mean you have to walk long distances for lunch. The famous Millie’s restaurant is a short walk away. To ensure a great time, people can also bring their own packaged food, drinks and other accessories such as chairs.
Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown
Herring Cove Beach is an excellent beach for anyone looking to escape the crowds of the busier beaches. Located outside of Provincetown city center, this is a big secret that many locals keep in their back pockets.
It’s hard to imagine why people would want to come here just to escape the bustling crowds at other beaches. But a visit will make you understand that there is more to this serene beach than just a calm atmosphere. It has a perfect combination of a beautiful beach, calm and clear ocean waters and fun activities to enjoy.
This place is also ideal for taking pictures of the sunset. The sparkling light on the water makes for some amazing images. One can also see seals and whales in the sea at times.
Dunes often surround this landscape. The peninsula’s long, sprawling sands and lush tidal marshes offer some fantastic views of the bay.
An added feature of this beach is clothing optional. That means naturists can come here, relax and enjoy the sun. Many bathers also visit the nearby Pilgrims’ Monument.
Marconi Beach, Wellfleet
Marconi Beach is famous among locals and tourists alike. It is named after the famous Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Guglielmo was the man credited with sending the first transatlantic wireless message from the very shores of this beach.
Marconi Beach is a favorite for surfers and sailors and a great spot for families and bathers.
Marconi Beach is located along the Cape Cod National Seashore outside of Wellfleet. It is one of the best beaches in the Cape because it has a fun sandy beach and a beautiful dune setting.
The water there is generally calm, but strong currents sweep at times. This beach is best visited right after a storm or a calm day.
One of the best things about this beach is its cleanliness. It’s not clogged up with a lot of debris or pieces of plastic that are so common on other famous beaches.
Steep sandy cliffs and high cliffs back to the beach, allowing it to offer some stunning views of the Atlantic and the bay below.
The size of this fantastic beach varies every year. This fluctuation results from the wild winds and waves that occasionally make landfall. Strong winds make Marconi an ideal place for bodyboarding, surfing and skimboarding.
Nauset Beach, Eastham
Nauset Beach is located south of the famous Cape Cod town of Eastham. The beach here attracts many tourists from all over the country.
It is a safe and calm location for water activities and serves as an ideal spot to relax and watch the sun set over the ocean.
The beach is flanked by soft dunes spread out beautifully along its edges.
Nauset Beach stretches for about 10 miles along a large part of Cape Cod’s east coast.
This ample space ensures that the beach is never crowded. Many parts are almost deserted most of the time. This means you can take up as much space as you like while swimming and enjoying other recreational activities.
The famous widow’s walk on its headlands is the most notable geological feature of this beach.
Here too, seals can be spotted as they swim in the sea.
Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester
Wingaersheek Beach is located in Gloucester and stretches for about ten miles along the Annisquam River.
The name comes from the Dutch word for wings and refers to two sets of parallel dunes and sand plains that connect at the ends, making it an ideal spot to enjoy sunbathing and swimming.
Topographies like these are limited to some areas on Cape Cod. Wingaersheek Beach is one of the finest beaches in Massachusetts, covering thousands of acres. Its beach fronts consist of crystal clear waters and soft sands.
Visitors can also enjoy many other activities here such as seafood, fishing, cycling and hiking. In addition, there are also areas available for camping and hunting. Most of the land on Wingaersheek Beach was part of Camp Edwards – a military base built during WWII.
The availability of toilets, showers and changing rooms also plays a significant role in making it a convenient place to visit.
Chatham Lighthouse Beach, Chatham
Chatham Lighthouse Beach is named after the charming lighthouse to the north. Occupying the southeastern corner of Cape Cod, the pristine white sand beaches of Chatham Bay are flanked by dunes, providing a pleasant setting for picnics.
The beach faces North Beach Island and Nantucket Sound.
As a result of the adjacent corridor, the waters here are calm and tranquil and suitable for families with children.
At low tide you can walk to some sandbars where you can see seals resting or migrating daily up and down the coast.
In addition to all the sunbathing and swimming experiences, the beach’s historic old lighthouse, built in 1877, also acts as a significant attraction.
These are just some of the best beaches in Massachusetts that you shouldn’t miss on your next visit. However, there are many other fantastic beaches in Massachusetts. These eight managed to climb to the top rankings in Massachusetts due to their perfect environment for recreational activities like swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, fishing and shellfish.
They also feature scenic beauty unmatched by other Cape Cod beaches, making for a memorable experience.
Most of these beaches also have bathrooms, changing rooms and other facilities needed to enjoy a sunny day at the beach.
Some of these beaches have something unique to offer visitors, such as historic lighthouses, wetlands that provide great opportunities for birding, and beautiful salt flats that help create an ideal environment for plants and marine life.
While the beaches mentioned in our list are the best in Massachusetts, there are many more that you should include on your next visit.
Whether you want a relaxing weekend or just a day at the beach, Massachusetts and its wonderful beach life have it all.