Today, Rene shares a roundup of her favorite local beaches:
We're not far from the summer solstice but after that beast of a winter -- and thanks to a very warm spring -- the beach has been calling my name (cue the sounds of crashing waves, squawking seagulls, and music from the ice cream truck)! Expand your sunbasking and sand castle building horizons with a trip to a beach that you might not have visited yet. Did your favorites make this list?
1. Spectacle Island (Boston). A quick ferry trip from downtown deposits you on Spectacle Island, which features sandy beaches, a boating marina, and an informative visitors center. And you really can’t beat the city view from this beach.
2. Short Beach (Revere). After serious updates and revamping in 2011, Short Beach is a favorite for families in Revere and Winthrop. The beach is accessible via public transportation and nearby Belle Isle Marsh offers guided tours of the salt march, which runs into the beach.
3. Nantasket Beach (Hull). A quick drive south of the city delivers you a world away at beautiful Nantasket Beach. This sandy beach boasts acres of tide pools and sandbars at low tide, making it ideal for kidfriendly, lowanxiety exploration.
4. Plum Island (Newbury/Newburyport). Tiny Plum Island has a lovely, sandy coastline that is popular with families because of its small size. Keep your eyes peeled for seals out in the Atlantic, or park at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and explore the many birds who live there.
5. Salisbury Beach State Reservation (Salisbury). This beach is a beach and then some. Camping facilities, a boat launch, and an updated playground and amenities make it a great destination for a full day of fun in the sun.
6. Carson Beach (South Boston). Carson Beach recently won accolades for its cleanliness and water purity (removing that "Dirty Water" stigma!), and is accessible via the Red Line. Carson receives bonus points for magnificent views of Boston Harbor and being a part of the Harborwalk.
7. Wingaersheek Beach (Gloucester). Wingaersheek is well-known as a family-friendly beach, thanks to super soft sand and calm, shallow water. Parking is pricey, so prepare to spend the whole day to make it worth the trip.
8. Crane Beach (Ipswich). Crane Beach is consistently the top-rated beach in the state, and well worth the meandering drive to Ipswich. If the kids get antsy in the water they can explore the many trails that run through the sand dunes or the neighboring Crane Estate for a change of pace.
9. Singing Beach (Manchester-By-The-Sea). Cut out the rage-inducing traffic and take the commuter rail to Singing Beach. The short walk from the station will lead you to a rocky beach with spectacular views, reminiscent of the Maine coast.
10. Walden Pond State Reservation (Concord). OK, so this is not an ocean beach, but I love this one nonetheless. Walden Pond is a great place to beat the heat, nestled in the cool woods in Concord. Plan to get there early; due to its popularity (and inexpensive parking), Walden Pond typically hits capacity level early in the day.
Image credit: Crane Beach by Christine Koh