Now that you’ve explored some of Newburyport’s beach offerings, consider venturing out to some of the area’s other fantastic sandy shores. There’s no shortage of spots to try, so if you’ve got the time (and if July finally gives way to weekend sunny skies), hit them all.
Good Harbor: Like much of the oceanfront in the state, a spot at Good Harbors, one of the city’s largest beaches, is awarded to the early bird. Because of Gloucester’s somewhat remote location on the far eastern seaboard, prepare to give yourself an hour to make the trek. Don’t worry, despite the distance, it’ll be worth it.
Located on Thatcher Road/Route 127A, this stretch of sea boasts white sand and plenty of surf for those who need large, crashing waves to really feel like they’re at the beach.
At low tide, visitors are in for a special treat, as the water retreats enough to clear a passage to the city’s iconic Salt Island. The approximate 5-ace formation is a quick walk from shore, and by scaling to the top, you’ll be rewarded with some great views.
Gather as many people as you can in one car because parking at this highly popular spot goes for $30 during the week and $35 on weekends.
Wingaersheek: Another coveted spot for non-locals, this beach sits at the western part of the city, at the end of Atlantic Street off Route 133 and Concord Street.
This summer, parking at the lot, which runs for $30-35 per car, has been filling up by mid morning, so plan to arrive no later than 10 a.m.
A perfect family-friendly spot, the beach offers restrooms, showers and concessions. Tidepools are brimming with sea life, so little ones can have fun searching for hermit crabs, tadpoles, snails and maybe even a sand dollar or two!
If you’re looking for massive waves, Wingarsheek is not the spot for you. Waters remain calm throughout the summer, perfect for those looking to dip their toes or relax in a beach chair with a book.
Just down the road from Gloucester is the quaint, coastal town of Rockport. Allow for some time later in the day to stroll the downtown — the picturesque streets and shops are worth a look.
Front: The perfect spot to beach and browse is at Front Beach. If you’re there early enough you’ll be able to snag a metered spot on the street, or private lots are scattered around town — the one on Main Street offers a shuttle to and from the beach.
As with most beaches in Rockport, Front is relatively small, so if you’re going in hopes of walking miles of sandy shoreline, this isn’t the spot for you. During low tide there is an expanse of large rocks that make for a great place to lay out a towel and sunbathe. You might even get lucky and find some sea glass!
Crane Beach: One of the most well known beaches, located on Ipswich’s Crane Estate, is also one of the hardest to get into — at least this year.
Visitors are required to purchase a timed entry pass, for the entire day, morning or afternoon. Similar to Gloucester, load up your car (up to six people) for the best bang for your buck, as a day pass will set you back $45. Morning and day passes must be purchased in advance and are nonrefundable, so plan accordingly.
Once you’re in, there’s plenty of sand and sea to enjoy. This spot is also great for the adventurer (or for those who get tired of sunbathing all day), as the beach offers more than five miles of sand laden trails that wind through the dunes (offshoots of the Bay Circuit Trail).
One of the most spectacular aspects of the Crane Estate is the 2,100 acre Castle Hill. Located just a five minute drive from the beach, the Gatsby-esque building boasts breathtaking architecture and views. It does require an additional entry fee, but if you’re new to the area, it’s certainly worth checking out.