The summer months in Boston aren’t just for tourists. While the city streets are flooded with out-of-towners checking out the historical sites around Bean Town, locals hop on the first ferry to Cape Cod and chow down on lobster and clam rolls. If you’re visiting the Bay State this season and just want to chill out for a day, do as the locals do and hit the beach. Here are a few of our favorite spots, all accessible via public transportation:
Grab a ticket from the ferry booth at Long Wharf (next to the Blue Line Aquarium stop) and enjoy the 20-minute ride to this special spot on Boston Harbor Islands. It is there that you’ll find picnic tables, boat docks and a visitors center with exhibits that dive into the history of the area. Pick out a place on the pebbly beach and enjoy the view of the city from the islands.
Located about three and a half miles from Boston Harbor, this day-trip treasure is one of the best beaches in the city. A short cab ride will get you here, or you can take the bus to South Boston. Castle Island has plenty of sand for stretching out, but you can also go for a run along the perimeter, or set off on a fact-finding mission at Fort Independence, a National Historic Landmark. Insider tip: the hot dogs and lobster rolls on Castle Island are a local favorite! Don’t miss out on tasting both.
Located on the North Shore, Singing Beach is just a 45-minute train ride from Boston. The quaint half-mile stretch of summer excitement is just a short walk once you exit the station in Manchester. Snacks are available for purchase. Lifeguards are on duty through Labor Day as well. On your way back to the city, make sure you stop by Captain Dusty’s for some double fudge brownie ice cream worthy of its own trip.
If you have the time to stretch your search for sand a bit further than the metro area, try one of these New England beaches:
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
One of the best things about New England is that you can go from one state to another in just under an hour. Case in point: Boston to Maine’s Old Orchard Beach. In a little over the time it takes you to scroll through your Twitter feed, Amtrak’s Downeaster train will take you from Boston’s North Station to the Old Orchard stop, where it’s just two blocks to the family-friendly beach. You’ll find plenty to do along the seven-mile coastline the rest of the summer, including the 31st annual Beach Olympics (August 15-17), 5K race (August 16) and car show (September 12-13).
First Beach, Rhode Island
Heading the opposite direction, hop on a commuter bus from Boston’s South Station straight to Newport, Rhode Island, where you’ll land at Easton’s Beach, lovingly known as “First Beach” to locals. From your rented cabana you can either take a nap or delight in the great views of Newport’s famous mansions. If you need more activity, clam shacks, volleyball courts, and outdoor bars and restaurants are all within walking distance.
Photo Courtesy of istock-gmnicholas