North of Boston/Merrimack Valley beaches offer excellent sand, swimming and water sports

wingaersheek beach
Wingaersheek Beach

end of Atlantic Street Gloucester, MA Phone:

This beautiful beach faces Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay. A very long sandbar is exposed at low tide, offering gorgeous views and many walks among many tide pools and neighborhoods of aquatic life. Water is a bit shallow, so it’s warmer than you might expect. The walk from the parking lot is short and easy. Food, drinks, beach toys, and other beach necessities are sold at the concession stand. Restrooms and showers are available, daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The beach is handicapped accessible and a beach wheelchair is available.
Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Surfing, inflatable objects and all flotation devices are prohibited during the day. Alcohol is prohibited. Carry In-Carry Out policy requests visitors to remove their own trash.
Parking: $30 per vehicle and on the weekends and $35 per vehicle on holidays. Fees may be reduced after Labor Day. Lot has handicap parking spaces.
Directions: Take Route 128 North to Exit 13. At the bottom of the ramp, turn left onto Concord St and follow for about one mile. Watch for a traffic island with a sign saying "Wingaersheek Beach." Turn right onto Atlantic Street and follow to the end.
crane beach-credit-trustees of reservations
Crane Beach

Argilla Road Ipswich, MA, 01938 Phone: 978-356-4354

The four miles of white sand of Crane Beach form one of the most picturesque swimming beaches in all of New England, and is also among the world's most important nesting sites for the threatened piping plover. Rustic elevated boardwalks protect an extensive dune habitat complex. In-season visitors will find lifeguards and rangers, bathhouses with toilets and changing areas, outside showers, picnic tables, bicycle racks, the Crane Beach Store, and water fountains. Voted "Best Beach" by Best of Boston three years in a row.
Pavilion Beach

Stacey Blvd. Gloucester, MA Phone:

This beach is located on the eastern end of Stacy Boulevard, a very short walk from the center of the city and Fort Point". Parking is very limited and there are no restrooms. Porta–Potties are available a short distance away on the boulevard. Alcohol is prohibited and the beach is not guarded.
Pavilion Beach is also the home of the famous Greasy Pole Challenge and a blessing of the fleet held during the world-renowned St. Peter’s Fiesta celebrated each June to honor the patron saint of fishermen. (It was postponed in 2020 because of COVID-19.), St. Peter.
Directions: Take Route 128 North into Gloucester. At Exit 12, take the first right off of the rotary onto Washington Street. In 1 mile, Washington Street becomes Middle Street. Take the first left on to Angle Street and then right onto Commercial Street. Turn left to stay on Commercial Street. Pavilion Beach will be on the right.
Singing Beach

119 Beach Street Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA Phone: 978-526-2019

Singing Beach is about one-half mile wide. It has a bathhouse and parking for 120 vehicles. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Long Beach

Off Route 127A (Thatcher Road) to Long Beach Road Gloucester and Rockport, MA Phone:

Beach is long, flat and sandy with a easterly view that includes the two lighthouses on Thatcher's Island. Beach crosses the border of Gloucester and Rockport. From Gloucester, go past Good Harbor Beach to the fork at Rockport Road. Near here are some small private paid parking lots a short walk near the beach. There is no public parking on the Gloucester end. From Rockport, take Route 127A to Seaview Street and the parking lot there. Rockport beach sticker is required here. Beach has life guards.
Fee: Rockport parking sticker is required. Buy it at the Rockport Chamber of Commerce (Main Street) or Rockport Town Hall (Broadway). It is $25 per season.
Half Moon Beach - Gloucester, MA - Photo Credit North of Boston CVB
Half Moon Beach and Cressy's Beach

Route 127 (Western Avenue) to Hough Avenue Gloucester, MA Phone:

This is a large, friendly park with walking paths, ball fields, bathrooms, and room for picnics. The park has two beaches.
Half Moon Beachis a small quiet beach with good swimming waters. Lots of boat traffic to watch. Life guards on duty daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Bathrooms and picnicking areas are nearby. Parking costs $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends and holidays. The beach is handicapped accessible with a concrete ramp to the sand. Cressy's Beachis sand and rocks and less crowded by Half Moon. Less good than Half Moon Beach for swimming and better for solitude, reading, and walking.
Fees: Parking costs $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends and holidays. Stickers for the season also my be purchased from the town of Gloucester.
Salisbury Beach State Reservation - Salisbury, MA - Photo Credit Gary Miles
Salisbury Beach State Reservation

1 Beach Road - Route 1A Salisbury, MA, 01952 Phone: 508-462-4481

This very beautiful ocean beach stretches almost 4 miles along the Atlantic. People flock to this lovely place to do ocean swimming, boating, fishing, and trailer camping. The property has a large parking area for day visitors, bathhouses for swimmers and sunbathers, comfort stations, boardwalks over the dunes, a pavilion and a playground.
Lynn Shores & Nahant Beach Reservation

Lynn Shore Drive Lynn, MA Phone: 781-485-2803

Four miles of waterfront offers swimming at Long Beach and King’s Beach. A public walkway for walking, jogging, and bicycling extends for two miles across the reservations, facing Nahant Bay. Lots of packed sand is visible and accessible at low tide at King's Beach and Long Beach on Nahant Bay. Visitors also enjoy the sand dunes along Long Beach and tide pools at Red Rock Park. Open year round, dawn to dusk
The property also has ball fields, racquetball and tennis courts, a play area, a visitor center, a bathhouse Very large parking lot at Long Beach requires a fee May through September, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. On-street parking on Lynn Shore Drive is close to Red Rock Park and King's Beach.
Directions: Lynnway (Rt. 1A) to Carroll Parkway to Nahant Rotary and, then, either Nahant Causeway to boat launch and Long Beach at Nahant Beach Reservation, or, Lynn Shore Drive to Red Rock Park and King's Beach at Lynn Shore Reservation.