By 4Squares Residential Group in Partnership with Judi 411
Sun worshipers, ocean swimmers, and beach bums unite! School's out, summer has arrived, and the 4Squares Residential Team is ready for some epic beach day trips in MA!
Read on for our 4 top tips on what to do & what to bring, and most importantly, our 4 favorite places to enjoy fun in the sun.
Where to Go: 4Squares Favorites from Shore to Shore in MA
A day at the beach means different things for different folks. Some of us enjoy a spur-of-the-moment trip at the start or end of the day. Others only consider their beach day trips in MA a success if they've set up day camp and brought along a never-ending buffet of food. Then there are the folks who crave a week-long stay by the beach. They want to come and go as they please while touring about in neighboring towns.
Depending on the mood that strikes you, here are our suggestions for short, medium, and long beach day trips.
Quick Trip: Nahant Reservation, Nahant, MA
Beach day trips in MA need not be a full day's adventure. Just zip up Route 1A to the nearby Nahant Reservation for an early morning beach trip to beat the heat of the day. Take a stroll along the promenade overlooking Nahant Bay, or let your little ones build castles by the seashore and be home by lunchtime!
A half-hour drive from Medford, "Nahant," as the locals call it, offers parking, but you'll need to plan an early start. On weekends, the parking lot is full as early as 8:00 am.
Maybe you prefer the beach in the late afternoon or early evening? Grab a bite at Tides Restaurant & Pub and enjoy the sunset from the Oceanside deck while sipping one of their signature cocktails or mocktails.
For more information on restrictions, what facilities are available, and parking costs, check out the Department of Conservation & Reservation's website.
Fun-Filled Family Beach Day: Half Moon Beach, Gloucester, MA
For families planning beach day trips in MA from sun-up to sundown, head northbound to Gloucester, located on "The Other Cape" --- Cape Ann!
Many Medford locals opt for Good Harbor Beach or Wingaersheek for a family beach day. But the 4Squares Team? We prefer to head off the beaten path. We put our chairs in the sand at the seaside sanctuary at Half Moon Beach at Stage Fort Park.
Named for its crescent shape, Half Moon is a small, quiet beach that makes beach day trips in MA feel like an island getaway. Restrooms at the nearby Visitors Center and cookout/picnic areas make setting up beach camp easy. The concrete access ramp enables accessibility for beach goers of all abilities, and there's enough shade for fairer-skinned family members to seek solar solace.
Beach MA Vacation Getaway: Mayflower Beach, Dennis, MA
Of course, no beach blog is complete without mentioning Cape Cod! If your post-pandemic vacation plans include a pilgrimage to Barnstable County, a stop at Mayflower Beach in Dennis is a must.
Tucked between Chapin Beach and Bayview Beach, Mayflower's pristine, soft-sand beaches are a photographer's dream. Tidal flats at low tide span for hundreds of feet, making for excellent walking space and perfect for catching a spectacular mid-summer sunset. Kiddos can splash around in the smaller waves and explore the tidal pools as the waters recede.
And what summer vacation is complete without ice cream (especially after a long walk on the beach)? Hit up The Ice Cream Smuggler and enjoy homemade ice cream that The Food Network declares as "The Best Thing I Ever Ate"!
New Hampshire: Jen's Nostalgic Family Favorite!
Hampton Beach: A great spontaneous getaway, Hampton Beach is best known for its two epic arcades: Funarama and Playland Arcade. Big kids (aka parents) can enjoy a date night at the Sea Shell Stage, which features bands playing music from all generations.
Before You Go: Hot Tips for Foolproof Beach Day Trips in MA
1. Find shade or DIY your own: While some beaches offer some shade, you can't go wrong by bringing at least a beach umbrella. For an extended time in the sun, a pop-up tent with mesh-screen ventilation is a better bet. You'll feel calmer, and the mesh fends off black flies and the dreaded greenheads common on North Shore Massachusetts beaches.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Caffeine may be the elixir of life, but not for a day at the beach. Opt for a smaller iced coffee or a half-caf on your pre-beach Starbucks run. Freeze water bottles the night before to feel refreshed and stay cool while enjoying the summer breeze by the bay. Snack on fruits and veggies with high water content like watermelon, grapes, celery sticks, and cucumbers to mix it up a bit!
3. Pack more towels than you think you need: The general rule is two towels per person. One towel for drying off, and the other for sitting on the sand or in your folding chair. It is better to have an extra towel and not need it than to need (an extra) one and not have it!
4. Apply sunscreen like it's your job: Nothing ruins beach day trips in MA (or anywhere!) like coming home as Larry the Lobster. Even on an overcast day, UV rays are surprisingly strong. Slather on sunscreen before you leave the house, then re-apply at least once an hour (or more if you are on the fair-skinned side). For a complete list of sun safety tips, click here.
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