New England may be known for its long and brutal winters, but a summer spent in New England is delightful. The vast coastline of New England is teeming with picturesque scenery and dreamy beaches. From naturalistic views to miles of sandy shores and open blue waters, the beaches of New England are one of a kind. Whether you are a local taking a day trip or a tourist traveling from the other side of the world, these New England beaches are something you are sure to remember. In this blog, we will be highlighting the top ten beaches in New England.
East Beach, Charlestown RI
With 3 miles of a desolate beachfront, campsites, and fishing, East Beach is undoubtedly one of the best New England beaches. Home to Rhode Island, the remote aspect of this beach is what makes it so breathtaking; you are surrounded by only sand, waves and nature. On one side of the 3 mile stretch lies the vast beachfront and on the other you’ll find a small bay called Ninigret Pond where you can catch some freshwater shellfish. Just be sure to remember your license. Having a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended because you can go off-roading further down the sandy stretch to access the campsites. This New England beach will not disappoint as it includes a variety of attractions.
Popham Beach State Park, Phippsburg ME
Many people visit Maine for lobster, but don’t miss the chance to see this incredible beach. Located in Maine's midcoast region, Popham Beach State Park is extraordinary. As one of the most unspoiled beaches in Maine, Popham Beach is known for its novel sandy bay that changes shape as the tide washes in and out. At low tide, a sand bar unveils making it possible to walk to the nearby Fox Island. You will be soaking up the scenic views, but don’t become too distracted or you may get stranded as the tide comes back!
Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island RI
Behold … the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and a luscious sand beach; the Moghean Bluffs are known as the “must-see” beach in Rhode Island. It is easy to hop on a quick and affordable ferry from Point Judith, Rhode Island or New London, Connecticut to get to the island. On the island you will find this magnificent beach. Block Island is relatively small so it is easy to get around. Once you arrive at the Bluffs, you will be standing about 200 feet above the beach with an epic view of the ocean. Then make your way down the 140-and-something steps and you will have arrived at the beach which also serves as the base of the 200 foot cliffs. Dip in the ocean, bask in the sun, admire the majestic ocean … leaving yourself plenty of time before having to hike back up the cliffs!
Mayflower Beach, Dennis MA
Cape Cod is the New England vacation destination. Are you really a New Englander if you haven’t been? There are over 100 beaches to visit in Cape Cod, but your first stop should be Mayflower Beach in Dennis, Massachusetts. Located in the center of Cape Cod, this beach is unparalleled with beauty. What makes this beach stand out from other beaches in the Cape is the soft, shimmery white sand and turquoise blue waters. The low tide, extending along the spacious shoreline makes for the dreamiest sunsets. Step out into the sand bar as the sun descends and time slows.
Half Moon Beach, Gloucester MA
Named after it’s crescent shape, Half Moon Beach is a gorgeous little beach immersed in the depths of nature. Large rocks, over-arching trees and other vegetation outline the crescent shaped shore giving it a secluded feel. Here you won’t find large crowds, as this is a “hidden” beach nestled away in Stage Fort Park of Gloucester, Massachusetts. After your beach day, stop by the charming town of Gloucester for some fresh seafood and lavish views.
Jenness Beach, Rye NH
Although New Hampshire has a very small coastline, there are plenty of beautiful spots that make for a relaxing day of sun and surf. Located in the town of Rye, Jenness Beach is one of New Hampshire’s top rated. This beach is especially popular among those who want to find serenity, compared to the more popular and toursity Hampton Beach. Jenness Beach is also a hot spot for surfers. There is a great surf shop across the street with affordable lessons, so give it a try!
Harvey’s Beach, Old Saybrook CT
Connecticut’s coastline stretches along the Long Island Sound creating many smaller, more tranquil beaches with smaller waves as compared to the coast along the Atlantic Ocean. Located in Old Saybrook, Harvey’s Beach is a scenic destination with velvety sands, marsh fields and beautiful beach glass. The town of Old Saybrook also hosts many events on the beach such as movie nights and yoga. Old Saybrook’s quaint seaside views make this beach worth a visit.
Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport ME
Imagine lush white sands that extend for miles, with island views caught in the distance. Goose Rocks Beach is another beach utopia found in Maine. Located on the southern coast of Maine in Kennebunkport, Goose Rocks Beach is known for its fluorescent blue waters and plush sand that make long beach walks (or naps) enjoyable. However, you’ll want to get here early as parking fills up relatively quickly. Once on the beach, you’ll find that there is plenty of room to have your privacy. Similar to Gloucester, Massachusetts, Kennebunkport is a charming little seaside town that you won’t want to miss to complement your visit to Goose Rocks Beach.
Norton Point Beach, Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard MA
While most picture a tropical paradise when the word “island” comes to mind, New England’s islands offer something special and unique that is incomparable. Martha’s Vineyard, located off the coast of Cape Cod, has a quaint charm with desolate destinations; a true bliss for nature lovers. Norton Point Beach is nothing but a thin stretch of sand surrounded by waves and wildlife. This beach serves as a nesting site for endangered birds, a site for thrilling fishing and of course the pristine beach makes for a lovely summer outing. The best way to experience this beach (like a true New Englander) is with a four-wheel drive vehicle; you’ll be able to join the crew of other off roaders and drive all the way down the sandy stretch!
Sand Beach, Bar Harbor ME
With an endless amount of activities to do and places to see, Bar Harbor is undoubtedly one of the top destinations to visit in New England. Most visit for hikes around Acadia or sightseeing in downtown Bar Harbor. Yet only some experience the “geologic rarity” known as Sand Beach. As a sign indicates, Sand Beach is a “geologic rarity” due to the shore’s unique composition of sand and shell fragments. If you are a beach lover and mountain enthusiast, Sand Beach will be your paradise. You really get the best of both worlds at this beach- sandy shores and blue waves surrounded by enormous mountains covered in evergreen trees.
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Whether you are drawn to dozing off in warm sands or catching some waves, you’ll want to visit one, or all, of these top ten New England beaches. New England is a magical place with some of the best beaches in the United States. You won’t regret planning a trip to any of these New England beaches.