by Mabel Sterritt & Kelly Bryant
Is there anything that represents summer better than a trip to the beach? With so much shoreline stretching across New England there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Do you head to the location with the big waves or the beach with convenient parking? Why not both? Here are 15 beaches that stretch from New Hampshire to Rhode Island offering the very best for beachgoers. Pack up the car, slather on the sunscreen and set out on your own beach getaway!
New Hampshire Family Beaches
With just 18 miles of coastline, New Hampshire has nonetheless become a popular seaside destination for those who like to play in the sand and don’t mind a chilly dip in the ocean. Camping is allowed at the dune-top campsites. 160 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, N.H.
Rye and Jenness Beaches
These two beaches are located next to each other, with Rye being the more popular of the two since it’s near shopping and restaurants. Jenness State Beach is a less-crowded alternative, but it does have changing facilities and bathrooms, and is a great swimming beach. 2280 Ocean Blvd., Rye, N.H.
Massachusetts Family Beaches
If you’re looking to stay within the city, Carson Beach is the perfect “getaway.” Easily accessible by subway and offering free public parking, this beach gives families the perfect vacation without having to leave the city. Babe Ruth Road and William J Day Blvd., Boston, Mass.
Coast Guard Beach
Consistently ranked one of the cleanest beaches in the country, Coast Guard Beach is known for its beautiful waters and soft sand, while offering a picturesque backdrop of Cape Cod’s famous marshes. Parking is $15 and shuttle service to the beach is provided. 2 Ocean View Dr., Eastham, Mass.
Families can expect to see everything at Crane Beach, from glowing sand dunes to gentle, rolling waves. The $25 parking may seem pricey, but the beach stretches for miles, allowing you to find the perfect spot away from crowds while still enjoying the views. 310 Argilla Road, Ipswich, Mass.
This scenic and sandy barrier goes from Marshfield to Gurnet Point and Saquish (part of Plymouth) in the south. Bring your camera to capture the picturesque views of the coastline while enjoying a day of fun with your family. Daily parking fees are $15. 206 Gurnet Road, Duxbury, Mass.
Horseneck Beach State Reservation
Horseneck Beach offers big waves, big dunes and big crowds. With an inexpensive $7 parking fee, Horseneck attracts families from all over the state with its lively atmosphere. 43-67 John Reed Road, Westport, Mass.
Located in Hull, this beach allows families to spread out on more than five miles of sandy beach. Parking fees vary, and both residents and out-of-state visitors can purchase a MassParks parking pass. Play in the sun and water during the day, then visit the many boutiques and galleries in the area. Nantasket Avenue, Hull, Mass.
Race Point Beach
For those not up to big waves, Race Point Beach offers calm, clear waters and a great spot to watch a sunrise. The trip to the end of the Cape Cod National Seashore is worth it; admission is only $3 for bikers and walkers. Parking is $20. Race Point Road, Provincetown, Mass.
Rhode Island Family Beaches
Fort Adams Beach
Part of Fort Adams State Park, Fort Adams Beach overlooks Newport Harbor and has a roped-off swimming area that’s perfect for families and children. The best part: parking is free and there are no entry fees. Harrison Ave., Newport, R.I.
Mackerel Cove (Jamestown Town Beach)
A small, half-mile long beach with calm water that’s quiet and good for families with small children. Parking is $15 per day for nonresidents, and $15 per season for Jamestown residents. Beavertail Road, Jamestown, R.I.
by Mabel Sterritt & Kelly Bryant
Misquamicut State Beach
Besides offering all the regular charms of a beach, Misquamicut also offers mini-golf, water slides, go-carts and other family-friendly activities. Rhode Island residents can expect to pay between $10 and $14, while outside visitors can expect to pay from $20 to $28. 257 Atlantic Ave., Westerly, R.I.
Ninigret Park Beach
A freshwater pond located in Ninigret Park for those that prefer freshwater to salt water. The beach is also near tennis courts, picnic tables and nature trails, while also offering free parking, lifeguards and bathrooms. Rte 1A, Park Lane, Charlestown, R.I.
Roger Wheeler State Beach
With little to no waves, pristine white sand, convenient bathrooms and a snack bar, Roger Wheeler is the perfect beach for families. Rhode Island residents can expect to pay between $10 and $14, while outside visitors can expect to pay from $20 to $28. Seasonal passes are available. 100 Sand Hill Cove Road, Narragansett, R.I.
Mabel Sterritt is a former intern with Boston Parents Paper.
What to Bring to the Beach
So you’re dreaming of lazy days soaking up the sun, are you? If you’re on a budget, chances are you want to arrive to your beach destination with all of the things you need for a memorable and comfortable stay so that you don’t find yourself paying full-price on gear that you forgot at home. Here’s a checklist of both must-haves and nice-to-haves to make your trip perfection.
• Sunscreen (and plenty of it)
• Beach towels
• Beach umbrella
• Cooler for food and beverages
• Sand toys
• A beach read
• Beach chairs
Where to Stay When at the Beach
If you want to turn your beach destination into a bona fide vacation, take a look at one of these family-friendly hotels adjacent to the sand and surf.
The Seascape Inn
955 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, N.H.; 603-926-1750
Direct sandy beach access at Plaice Cove. Explore the tide pools or stroll along the beach to surfing areas.
Bayside Resort Hotel
224 Route 28, West Yarmouth, Mass.; 508-775-5669
Not only are you close to the beach, but Bayside is also in close proximity to some other family fun attractions like mini golf, trampolines, and whale watching.
Sea Crest Beach Hotel
350 Quaker Road, Falmouth, Mass.; 508-540-9400
While the Sea Crest might not have that typical Cape Cod feel that you’d expect from the area, the modern space does have a private beach and is close to the ferries to Martha’s Vineyard.
Blue Whale Inn
54 Winnapaug Road, Misquamicut, RI; 401-675-7416
Just a short walk from the water you’ll find this inn that is a lovely respite for families who want to smell the salty sea air and frolic in the sand for a couple of days.
70 Winnapaug Road, Misquamicut, R.I.; 401-348-8953
A major bonus for staying at the Breezeway? The resort has its own section of Misquamicut Beach with free parking. It’s music to any ocean lover’s ears.