Best Beach Towns North of Boston

Photo: Kristin "Shoe" Shoemaker

If you want to experience some great beach towns, take your search north of Boston. Whether you’re looking for a stretch of sand and water for swimming, sunbathing, sand castles or just enjoying the beach town atmosphere, some of the best locations are found in the North Shore.


The coastal town of Rockport is full of things to do and experience. The community offers several festivals, including the annual Lobsterfest. Full of great shops and miles of beaches, Rockport is also a favorite of artists. Front Beach and Back Beach sit on the outskirts of the downtown area. Back Beach is a popular spot for scuba diving, while Front Beach creates the perfect location for kids to splash in a rocky stream.


About 30-miles from Boston, Ipswich offers the appeal of a rural location with sweeping ocean and river views. It’s a good spot for outdoor recreation, full of open space and plenty of things to explore. The town also boasts some Colonial architecture, making it a favorite for year-round residents and summer visitors, alike. Crane Beach offers four miles of shoreline, plus miles of trails winding through the dunes.


Known for its sailing vessels, Marblehead is sometimes called the “Yachting Capitol of the World”. This sailing destination and summer tourist spot also boasts parks, walking trails and conservation areas. Devereaux Beach is the town’s most popular beach with five-acres of sand, a playground, grills and picnic tables.


Manchester-by-the-Sea is a charming town that’s also about 30 miles from Boston. While Singing Beach feels secluded, the town’s commuter rail station is only a half-mile walk from the beach. The beach offers sweeping views of rocky islands, the ocean and the rugged shoreline. Its big claim to fame though is its name, derived from the squeaking noise people sometimes hear when walking along the sand. The best way to heart it is to take walk in the dry sand, right above the high tide line.  

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