I’ve been to a lot of beaches in my life, and I have to say that the beaches in Massachusetts are some of the best. Maybe I’m biased because I’m a Massachusetts native, but there’s nothing like an interesting MA beach with a jetty.
There’s so much variety, from Crane’s Beach on the Northshore, all the way down to Provincetown at Cape Cod.
If you’re not sure where to go, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this list of the 20 best beaches in Massachusetts to help you narrow down your options.
Here are the best beaches in Massachusetts ranked!
25. Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury
Salisbury Beach has a boardwalk and tons of sand for hours of summer fun. Though the water can be a bit rough, Salisbury is a great beach in Northern Massachusetts for kids, teens, and adults, as long as you know how to watch the surf.
One thing that’s interesting about the beach is that it actually extends into several different towns; you can choose to go to Salisbury, Seabrook, Hampton, or North Hampton.
You’ll be able to find everything from ice cream and food to kayaks and paddle boards, all within steps of the beach.
The parking is also incredibly easy; there are no fees for entering the Seacoast area of Salisbury Beach.
There are public bathrooms available as well as lifeguards on watch during peak hours.
If you feel more adventurous, you can even take a quick drive down to Hampton Beach.
Salisbury has become one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it’s so close to home, but I would easily recommend it to everyone who wants a summer filled with sun and fun!
24. Joseph Sylvia State Beach, West Yarmouth
Joseph Sylvia State Beach is one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it’s so easy to get to and has something for everyone.
It has plenty of sand, amazing views, and even a fishing pier that you can fish off of! The water also tends to be calmer than other nearby beaches such as Crane’s Beach.
Since there are no fees for parking at Joseph Sylvia State Park, it makes it super accessible. Plus, once you park your car, everything is within walking distance including the bathrooms!
Joseph Sylvia State Park is another great family beach that offers a boardwalk with cafes and food options for a perfect day filled with fun in the sun. It’s one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because not only is it a great place to soak up the sun, but it’s also great for kids!
One of my favorite things about Joseph Sylvia State Beach is that it doesn’t have lifeguards on duty so if you feel more comfortable without them, they won’t be around.
On the flip side, if you want some extra protection from the ocean, there are public bathrooms available as well as a full restaurant for lunch once you get hungry.
23. Revere Beach, Revere
Revere Beach is great for families because it has public bathrooms, lifeguards to watch the water, and plenty of sand. It’s located right near Revere, so you won’t have to worry about a long drive in order to get there.
Though Revere Beach can be a bit crowded and definitely has a city vibe, I’m including it on this list because it’s one of the best beaches near Boston.
It’s a perfect day trip for anyone who needs a break from the city but doesn’t want to travel too far.
The best part about going during July or August is that you can enjoy some time relaxing in the sun without having to pay any fees!
While there are no resorts or hotels near Revere Beach, it offers everything from skating rinks and arcades to restaurants and bars. You can easily spend an entire day here without feeling like you’re trapped in the city!
It’s one of my favorite beaches because it has so much to offer families, but I also recommend it for anyone who wants a full day outside instead of just an hour or two.
Keep in mind that the beach isn’t amazing (though it is swimmable) but the atmosphere is really fun. Revere Beach almost has a Jersey Shore type vibe, so you’ll want to take advantage of the activities and nearby stands.
22. Chatham Lighthouse Beach, Chatham
Chatham Lighthouse Beach is a great beach if you’re looking for a relaxing day bu the water.
It’s known as being one of the cleanest beaches in Massachusetts, so it’s definitely a great place to go if you have any sensitivities or allergies to seawater.
Chatham Lighthouse Beach is filled with soft sand that wraps around incredibly clear water; it even has views of Chatham Pier, which is really beautiful!
The best part about visiting Chatham Lighthouse Beach is that there are no fees for parking which makes it incredibly easy to access. However, unlike most beaches on this list, there aren’t public bathrooms available. It’s more of a DIY beach.
While I would highly recommend this beach, keep in mind that it doesn’t have any amenities. You can’t buy food or drinks here and there aren’t lifeguards on duty.
Chatham Lighthouse Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Massachusetts if you want a day by gorgeous water sitting on ultra-soft sand. The vibe is really preppy and uppity, but I definitely recommend packing your car full of equipment (like chairs and snacks) since you’re on your own.
21. Mayflower Beach, Dennis
Mayflower Beach is also one of the best beaches in Massachusetts because it has a great boardwalk filled with restaurants and bars that you can enjoy even if you aren’t a fan of swimming.
The best part about going to Mayflower Beach is definitely the boardwalk. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to have breakfast, lunch, or just a few beers by the water without having to get their feet wet.
It’s located right near Dennis (on Cape Cod) where all of the other amazing beaches are, so it’s really easy to get from the main stretch over to Mayflower Beach quickly!
I would recommend parking closer towards where you find public bathrooms off Rt 134 since they’re not on site. The parking fee isn’t cheap, so you’ll want to budget in advance or find alternative transportation.
However, the boardwalk is so pretty and makes for a perfect day! There are tons of shops you can walk through or just sit outside at near the water. The area might be crowded (as it often is), but I love that there are restaurants available to eat at even if you don’t have your own food.
Of course, Mayflower Beach offers some amazing waters for swimming as well if you’re into that! But I would recommend visiting this beach more in the evening when the sun isn’t directly overhead. The lifestyle is the main attraction.
I feel like Mayflower Beach has a really fun environment filled with people who enjoy hanging out on the boardwalk and eating at restaurants. Even if you’re not a fan of swimming, it still makes for a really fun day!
20. Aquinnah Public Beach, Aquinnah
If you’re looking for the best beaches in Massachusetts, then you definitely need to stop by Aquinnah Public Beach.
It’s located on Martha’s Vineyard and is known as being one of the most beautiful beaches in all of New England.
The main reason for this is because Aquinnah Public Beach sits just on top of one of the huge cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard, so it has overlooks that are directly into the ocean. You can enjoy amazing views while relaxing on some soft sand!
I would recommend parking near the public bathrooms (off Catherine Kiley Way) since they aren’t available on site even though it might be a little more expensive. However, if possible I would also recommend arriving early since parking spaces go fast!
The best part about Aquinnah Public Beach is the breathtaking views. There are so many cliffs, so every angle you turn you’ll be able to see some incredible scenery. It’s truly one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts for this reason.
However, if you visit this beach during the summer months, keep in mind that it can get crowded quickly!
Whether you’re into swimming or just hanging out on the sand and taking photos, Aquinnah Public Beach is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for one of the best beaches in Massachusetts.
19. Plum Island Beach, Newburyport
Plum Island is one of the best beaches in Massachusetts because it’s relatively unknown to most people traveling here from other areas.
It’s also one of the cleanest beaches which I always love supporting! The water is incredibly blue and there aren’t any rocks or shells in the area – just pure white sand that feels amazing against your skin.
The best part about going to Plum Island is definitely walking along the beach and watching everyone bask in its beauty while feeling waves crash against their feet.
You can find parking near Boat Beach off Rt 1A.
However, since it’s not a huge tourist spot I would recommend bringing some snacks or lunch with you if you plan on staying the entire day. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any places to get food nearby unless you have your own!
Keep in mind that the water can be a bit rough, depending on the weather. Occasionally, there’s a bit of an undertow at Plum Island, so you’ll want to check reports before you go.
It’s absolutely incredible how peaceful this beach is while also being one of the best beaches in Massachusetts. You can simply enjoy a beautiful day on the sand with nobody else around and not having to worry about loud music blaring from a crowd of people!
18. Plymouth Beach, Plymouth
Located right in Plymouth, this beach is a wonderful place to visit if you’re traveling with your family.
The best part about visiting Plymouth Beach is that it’s arguably one of the safest beaches in Massachusetts because it has lifeguards all throughout peak hours!
There are also plenty of places for parking nearby and there are restaurants within walking distance if you decide to eat lunch or dinner at this spot.
On top of all of that, Plymouth Beach is incredibly clean! I love going during the fall months when water temperatures have dropped a little bit since then it’ll feel especially refreshing against your skin.
The other thing about Plymouth Beach is that there are all types of shells along the shoreline specifically whelks! The best part about these shells is that they’re known as mother-of-pearl oysters . You can literally crack them open an exposed the mother-of-pearl!
On top of that, if you’re into water sports then Plymouth Beach is a great spot for surfing since it’s located near some swells.
Basically, this beach is perfect for families and those looking to have a fun time splashing around in the ocean without fear of injury or danger.
The only downside is that the waves at Plymouth Beach can get a little rough in this area, but otherwise it’s an awesome beach to relax on. It’s one of the best beaches in Massachusetts that’s near an interesting town with restaurants and bars, too.
17. Nantasket Beach, Hull
If you’re looking for one of the best beaches in Massachusetts and happen to be traveling with your dog, Nantasket Beach is where you should go! It’s a wonderful beach to visit year round since it doesn’t shut down like most beaches do here in the winter.
One thing that makes Nantasket such a popular spot is its location right near the Boston area, thus making it incredibly accessible if you’re visiting from out of town. This is definitely one of the better beaches near Boston if you’re willing to take a short drive.
The water isn’t as cold as other beaches on this list and I would recommend going during low tide so you can walk along the ocean floor and explore some sea life!
However, I will say that Nantasket isn’t the cleanest. The vibe has a bit of a Jersey Shore feel, but it’s a lot of fun and the rules are really lax.
Another unique feature is that you can go biking here whenever you want- it’s a perfect spot for riding your bike and taking it all in!
16. Singing Beach, Manchester-By-The-Sea
Singing Beach is one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it’s simply gorgeous.
It has this quaint town like setting with shops and restaurants right on the beach, thus making it incredibly enjoyable for visitors to explore.
During high tide, there are dunes so you can easily walk all the way out to the water. You’ll have a wonderful time walking along as waves crash against your feet. This is one of my favorite parts of Singing Beach.
However, during low tide, there aren’t really any dunes so don’t expect anything to protect you from rough currents or dangerous waves. The beach changes depending on the tide, so you simply have to stay aware.
One of my favorite things to do when visiting Singing Beach is renting a paddleboard for the day. It’s an awesome way to take in the scenery and you also get some exercise at the same time.
Singing Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Massachusetts especially if you’re traveling with your family or dogs because it’s incredibly pet-friendly!
15. Spectacle Island Beach/East Boston Bay Beach, Boston
Spectacle Island Beach is a place where you can canoe in the Boston Harbor. Though the actual beach isn’t awesome for swimming, it’s one of the best beaches near Boston for just about everything else.
It’s located right in the heart of Boston so it’s no surprise that this beach is one of the best beaches in Massachusetts. Not only does Spectacle have incredible views, but it also has a ton of activities that most other beaches don’t offer, mainly because of the location.
The main thing that makes this a special part of Massachusetts is that during low tide, you can walk out to an island called Spectacle Island which happens to be a bird sanctuary where you’re able to see all kinds of wildlife thrive and hang out with them!
In addition to walking onto an island at low tide, there are several kayak rental spots where you can go paddling for a few hours. It’s an awesome way to see the skyline from where it began!
Spectacle Island is definitely one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it’s not too crowded and there are always fun things to do here all the time.
14. Humarock Beach, Scituate
Humarock Beach is one of the best beaches in Massachusetts if you’re looking for something with a bit more character! This beach has beautiful views and it’s quite secluded.
This beach requires a bit of exploring to get to because there aren’t many roads that lead here, so once you find your way, it becomes worth it. You can explore the coastlines where there are giant rock formations and this part of the beach is definitely unique compared to others on this list.
You also have a lot of privacy at Humarock Beach because a lot of people don’t know about this place or simply choose not to go here It’s one of those hidden gems that remain out-of-the-way from the usual crowd while still being a perfect place to enjoy the ocean while it’s calm.
Humarock Beach has become one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it’s not too remote that you can’t do anything special, but it’s far enough where you won’t bump into people.
13. Marconi Beach, South Wellfleet
Marconi Beach has that secluded feel to it, but still gives you an opportunity to have fun with your family or friends. It’s a great mix of everything if you’re looking for beaches on Cape Cod.
This beach has a huge portion where people can hang out and enjoy themselves for hours on end. There are also big rocks close by where you can climb atop to take some beautiful photos or just relax there while enjoying the view.
If you continue walking down this small stretch of beach, you’ll be able to find some incredibly well-preserved pieces of history from when Marconi brought the first ever international wireless message here in 1903! It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re into that sort of stuff.
During high tide, this part of the beach is an excellent place to go clamming because you can find a lot of them in the intertidal zone.
Marconi Beach has a bit of everything, which makes it one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts. Not only do you have plenty to do while you’re here, but the scenery is beautiful and there’s something for everyone!
12. Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Westport
Horseneck Beach has plenty of parking and the beach isn’t too crowded, which makes it perfect for a day trip.
There’s something about Horseneck Beach that makes you want to stay forever with all the activities available. There are lifeguards on duty and tons of spots where you can go kayaking via canoe or paddleboard if you’re looking for adventure!
The main attraction here is that during low tide, there’s a sandbar that appears which stretches quite far into the sea. It creates an awesome opportunity to explore nature at its finest without getting wet since most parts of this area are flooded during high tide.
Horseneck Beach is one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it has a perfect blend between recreation and relaxation. There’s always something to do here and you won’t get bored easily!
11. Nauset Beach, East Orleans
If you’re on the Cape, you simply cannot miss out on Nauset Beach. It’s one of the best beaches in Massachusetts and it attracts people from all over the state!
The water is super clear here and it’s not too crowded, so if you want privacy combined with excellent views and beautiful scenery, then look no further than Nauset Beach! Most of this part of the coastline is composed of huge boulders that are perfect to climb atop during low tide.
If you’re hungry or thirsty, there are tons of places where you can grab a bite to eat or drink something cold while enjoying the view. I highly recommend this place for anyone who wants to spend time relaxing a beach without having to worry about anything else.
Nauset Beach is definitely one of my favorite beaches in Massachusetts because it combines everything you need into one package. It’s a great place to unwind and relax with friends and family, but there are also tons of activities to do if you’re looking for adventure.
10. Old Silver Beach, North Falmouth
Old Silver Beach is another great place for families that are looking to have fun with their kids in Falmouth.
There are plenty of places that are ideal for swimming, but the most popular section of Old Silver Beach is where you can find a long stretch of sand perfect for playing different games like beach volleyball or for building sandcastles.
The best part about coming here is exploring all the small caves and crevices along the shoreline which make it feel like an adventure without leaving the beach itself!
Old Silver Beach is also one of the best beaches in Massachusetts if you’re into photography. The views are incredible!
9. Menemsha Beach, Edgartown
If you’re looking for one of the best beaches in Massachusetts, then you simply cannot ignore Menemsha Beach. It’s a bit tough to get to (unless you’re on Martha’s Vineyard for the summer), but the ferry trip is totally worth it for a day.
The best part about this place is that it’s not crowded at all and its remote location makes everything feel even more private.
For me personally, the best time to come here is early in the morning because during low tide, there are some incredible tidal pools which make for fun discoveries! You might even be able to find crabs walking on land if you look carefully enough.
8. Green Harbor Beach, Marshfield
When it comes to beaches in Massachusetts, Green Harbor Beach doesn’t usually come up on most lists. However, I think that this place deserves more credit than what it gets and definitely needs to be recognized as one of the best beaches.
The views here are stunning! The sand is always soft and the water is calm, but there’s also a long jetty that’s perfect for kids who get bored during a beach day.
If you’re looking for an off the beaten track experience then Green Harbor Beach is perfect because not many people know about this amazing place outside of Marshfield!
However, if you do decide to visit though, I suggest coming early in the morning so you’ll have no problem finding parking, as there aren’t a lot of spots.
7. Madaket Beach, Nantucket
Madaket Beach is one of the best beaches in Massachusetts if you love scenic views and exploring, but it does require some work to get here.
It’s usually super expensive for a ferry ride out to Nantucket (unless you’re lucky enough to be able to hitch a ride with someone), but I think the experience alone makes it worth it.
You’ll definitely want an early start though because parking can be tricky! The morning hours are best for making your way around this part of the island because during high tide, you won’t be able to access most areas.
The water here is also remarkably clear and what’s even more impressive is how well preserved Madaket Beach has been kept over time! There are no hotels or restaurants around here, so it still maintains its natural beauty.
6. Mayo Beach, Waterville
The best beaches in Massachusetts aren’t just about having pristine white sand. Sometimes the best view can be had from a spot with rocky, more rugged terrain because that’s when nature really shines!
If you’re looking for one of those kinds of beaches then I highly recommend checking out Mayo Beach in Waterville.
You have to walk down a lot steps to get here, but it’s totally worth exploring every level and discovering all the different plants and trees growing there.
The views are kind of hidden though since this beach isn’t popular among boat tours or photographers, so you’ll probably have most of the place to yourself if you come early!
5. Duxbury Beach, Duxbury
I know that Duxbury is actually more famous for its sand dunes, but I consider Duxbury Beach to be one of the best beaches in Massachusetts because it’s so close to Boston.
It’s only about a 40 minute drive from Boston so if you want to check out one of the most beautiful beaches without having to go too far then this is perfect!
Like most other top-notch beaches on this list though, parking can get really difficult during high tide which makes early morning hours your best bet.
Duxbury Beach is really fun if you have a car that can drive on the sand! In fact, part of the beach is drive-on only.
I definitely recommend checking out Duxbury beach for a pristine, slightly-preppy beach day.
4. Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester
There are two sides to Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, MA and both are equally amazing!
What makes this beach incredible is that it’s big enough to accommodate crowds during busy tourist seasons and small enough where you can easily escape the crowd if you want some silence.
You definitely won’t feel cramped during high tide, even when the crowds are heavy.
The sand here is also incredibly soft and perfect for building sand castles! In fact, this may be one of the best beaches in Massachusetts specifically for gorgeous sand. There are also rocks which kids love exploring, so it’s fun for everyone.
Wingaersheek Beach does get really windy though, so don’t forget your windbreaker if you’re visiting during colder months!
You can head to the backside by boat only (which has a lot of sandbars and turns into a massive party beach in the summer) or you can pay for parking at the regular beach.
For those of you who are staying in Boston, Wingaersheek is only a 20-30 minute drive and is definitely one of the best beaches near Boston.
3. Crane Beach, Ipswich
Crane Beach is a really special place to visit, not just because it’s one of the best beaches in Massachusetts, but also because the entire area around the beach has been set up like a museum.
You can literally spend an entire day exploring and reading about all the different trees and plants that are native to this area.
Plus, there are some unique rock formations that make for perfect photo ops! The vibe here is less party-like compared to other popular beaches I’ve listed, so if you’re looking for something more low key then definitely come here.
There are also areas where you can watch horseshoe crabs migrate during spawning season which will make your trip even more worthwhile! You’ll love walking along the trails here too because you can see deer and all kinds of birds.
But don’t get me wrong: Crane Beach is one of the best beaches in Massachusetts because of the sand and water, too. The swimming is truly pristine!
There are lifeguards on duty and public bathrooms in the summer, though you do have to pay an entrance fee to get through the gate.
2. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod
One of the best beaches in Massachusetts, Coast Guard is actually located right on the tip of Cape Cod.
It’s close to several national parks and isn’t too far from Nauset Light (another fantastic place I highly recommend checking out if you’re into history!)
Coast Guard Beach is also another wonderful place to visit if you’re an avid biker like myself! During peak hours there are always lifeguards on duty which makes this such a fun and safe location to swim at.
I would definitely recommend going during the off-season though because parking is terrible during summer months. You can either pay to park in the large lot next to the beach or you can take a bike and park it at one of the designated bike racks.
There are also public bathrooms, but they’re closed during winter months. This makes Coast Guard Beach perfect for those who want a less crowded experience during New England’s hot summers!
1. Race Point Beach, Provincetown
Race Point Beach in Provincetown is incredibly gorgeous and perfect for exploring.
It’s a super long beach, which means you’ll always have space to spread out if you get there early enough! Not only that, since the beach is so large it really does feel like you’re one with nature sometimes.
One thing I love about Race Point specifically is all the cool tide pools which make for fantastic photo opportunities! Just be mindful of where you step though because some areas can be very rocky or slippery depending on when you visit. Besides that, this beach truly has a little bit of everything: soft sand, surfable waves, and unique rocks!
There are also glass beaches nearby which makes for fun hiking during the day while the tide is out.
Public bathrooms are available during the summer, but they’re closed in the winter months. There’s also a nearby parking lot but it can get crowded pretty quickly so you might have to wait awhile to find a spot!