Despite its rough winters, New England enjoys glorious summers, giving travelers the opportunity to escape the suffocating heat down south and discover some of the country’s best beaches and islands.
Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts
Located on Cape Cod, Coast Guard Beach, frequented by poet Henry David Thoreau, is a great family vacation destination. With shallow waves and soft sand, this beach invites visitors to practice watersports, such as boogie or paddle boarding. In early summer, terns and plovers, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, can be seen nesting here.
East Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
East Beach, a secluded enclave in Chappaquiddick, offers an escape from the Vineyard crowds. The beach is perfect for swimming, fishing, birdwatching, and walking. Equipped with picnic tables and bike racks, visitors can make a day of it, and enjoy the spectacular sunset over the Atlantic.
Mohegan Bluffs Beach, Rhode Island
Mohegan Bluffs Beach on Block Island is the most spectacular of the 17 beaches on the island. The bluffs are named after the sixteenth century battle between the Niantic and Mohegan tribes in which the Mohegans were driven to their death over the cliffs. Located 150 feet below the Mohegan Bluffs, the beach is accessible by a staircase. Highlights include the views of Montauk and Long Island.
Goose Rocks Beach, Maine
Located in Kennenbunkport, Goose Rocks Beach stretches for three miles. Surrounded by a barrier reef that is visible at low tide, the beach has historical significance since it was the site of the O'Hara Watercolor School, headed by American renowned watercolorist Eliot O'Hara from 1930 to 1947. The school burned down in the Great Fires of 1947.
Siasconset Beach, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Removed from the Nantucket crowds, Siasconset Beach is easily accessible by bike. The area, a seventeenth century fishing village, is known for its unique cottages, which are randomly arranged. Pets are welcome on-leash before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. in summer, or anytime in the off-season.
Mansion Beach, Rhode Island
Mansion Beach, also on Block Island, is a favorite of surfing enthusiasts on days when the waves are bigger. The beach is named after the home of Edward F. Searles, a mansion that burned down in the 1960s. One of the island’s most scenic beaches, Mansion Beach is located on the northern end of Crescent Beach.
Ogunquit Beach, Maine
Ogunquit Beach, a three and a half mile beach, features Marginal Way, a cliff walk with spectacular coastal views. The beach hosts an annual sand castle contest in July, and the Ogunquit Kite Festival, which showcases hundreds of kites flying along the shoreline.
Plum Island Beach, Massachusetts
Plum Island Beach, which is relatively deserted, is home to more than 800 species of plants, birds, and animals, which inhabit the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Captain John Smith identified Plum Island in his journals when her explored the New World.
Sand Beach, Maine
Situated in Acadia National Park, which was founded President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Sand Beach, a 300-yard, pink-sand beach is ideal for resting while visiting the park. The beach features a unique type of sand composed of shell fragments.
Singing Beach, Massachusetts
Singing Beach, a popular family destination located in Manchester-by-the-Sea, is nearly a half-mile wide. Featuring a 1920s bathhouse and a small snack stand, the beach is ideal for walking and collecting shells, or enjoying the views from the soft sand.