Some of the best beaches in Massachusetts - from the North Shore's Ipswich and Gloucester, to Cape Cod's National Seashore.
Crane Beach - Crane Beach, part of Crane Wildlife Refuge in Ipswich, is a white beach that stretches for miles. Beware of greenhead season, though. The annoying bugs bite and tend to be around late July to early August. Avon Skin-so-Soft sometimes works as a repellant.
Good Harbor Beach - A popular, although pricey, beach in Gloucester with food stands, bathrooms, and interesting scenery.
Nahant/Lynn Beach - Nahant Beach is a long stretch of ocean with a boardwalk on which runners are often seen passing by.
NESurf.com - This site offers the latest news and announcements about surfing in New England
Parker River National Wildlife Preserve - The scenic area on Plum Island (accessible through Newburyport) includes several beaches, walking trails ideal for bird- and wildlife-watching, and spots for kayaking. Many of the beaches are closed for part of the season to protect nesting piping plover birds. Cost of parking is under $10.
Salisbury Beach State Reservation - A 3.8-mile affordable beach in the northernmost section of Massachusetts. The area allows camping.
Wingaersheek Beach - A popular, although pricey beach in Gloucester, Wingaersheek's rock formations create small pools perfect for little ones.
Coast Guide - A handy guide from the state to Boston Harbor and the North Shore
Coastal Trails of Massachusetts - Not all of these spots have swimming, but this is a great list of scenic trails along the Massachusetts shore, compiled by the state
Halibut Point State Park - See the North Shore coastline from one of its most scenic spots