From the white-sand shoreline of Cape Cod Bay to the cliffs of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts’ beaches are nothing short of jaw-dropping.
There are beaches that adapt to the experience you enjoy the most; some are lined with restaurants and bars, others are more secluded and natural, with towering sand dunes to explore.
The beaches are Massachusetts’s main attraction during the summer months, so they tend to get quite busy.
Bonfires on the beach are a Boston nighttime favorite.
Our list of the 5 best beaches in Massachusetts includes a variety of options.
From dog-friendly beaches to beaches ideal for surfing and water sports that are easily accessible by public transport.
1. Chatham Lighthouse Beach
This is the largest beach located in Chatham, just below Chatham Light, which is an operational lighthouse located at the Coast Guard Post.
The town itself is only a half-mile from the beach.
One of the main attractions of Chatham Lighthouse Beach is hiking and nature walks to Monomoy Island.
This area is ideal for fishing and watching the seals migrate every day.
You should not try to swim at the southern tip of the beach, as the currents are very strong.
Swim only in the area marked for your own safety.
Crane Beach, Ipswich
One of the most beautiful beaches on the east coast, covering about 1,234 acres, is Crane Beach.
It is known for its clean, soft sand, calm waters, and miles and miles of mind-blowing views.
You will notice that many locals enjoy this beach on weekends and holidays.
Children enjoy playing volleyball in the sand and swimming.
The beach is lined with sand dunes, which help keep it protected from storms.
For those who enjoy hiking, you can explore the five-mile trail that crosses the dunes and mudflats and passes through the pine forests on the north shore.
2. Joseph Sylvia State Beach
Joseph Sylvia State Beach is very popular with families due to the warm water and many swimming opportunities.
The beach is shallow from the shore, but slopes down gradually and gets deeper.
This beach runs along the Nantucket Sound shoreline and stretches between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
If you head towards Edgartown, you will find numerous concession stands.
If you want to hike or bike, you should visit Sengekontacket Pond, a 750-acre tidal pond.
The beach offers visitors the opportunity to see rare bird species, which are protected in a shelter between the beach and the pond.
3. Madaket Beach, Nantucket
A relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere permeates this beach on the west coast, which is one of the most impressive beaches on the island.
This beach is famous for its incredible sunsets, and many locals and visitors gather here to enjoy the afternoon together.
Travelers enjoy renting bikes and following the Madaket road for six miles until they reach the Atlantic Ocean.
You can also access this beach by car.
If you decide to ride a bike and want to stay until sunset, the Nantucket bus service allows people to take their bikes on the bus back into town.
Make sure you head over to Madaket Millie’s takeout for some delicious tacos before hitting the beach.
4. Horseneck Beach State Reserve
Horseneck Beach State Reservation is the beach to head to for activities.
From sailing, boating, and fishing to biking, bird watching, and camping, you can spend days enjoying this hot spot.
There are many picnic areas to enjoy on this two-mile beach.
Since it is located at the western end of Buzzard’s Bay, it is one of the most popular beach destinations.
Horseneck Beach is open from sunrise to sunset; It costs $ 20.00 for non-residents and $ 13.00 for MA residents to park.
This beach is not suitable for pets from April 1 to September 15.
Restrooms are available for public use.
5. Mayo Beach
Mayo Beach overlooks Wellfleet Harbor and the breakwater.
Although it is considered a long beach, once the high tide comes in, the beach loses a lot of space.
When the tide is low, there is not much water to swim in, so time is key when visiting Playa de Mayo.
Playa Mayo is surrounded by beach grass, which gives you a more authentic and natural experience.
The view is incredible, with all the boats in the harbor and the island dunes in the distance – it’s a hard place to beat.
Once the kids get bored of the beach (if that’s possible), you can take them to the playground located across the street.
Buy some food in the harbor area and enjoy a picnic on the beach with free parking.