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Boston Beaches

Page history last edited by Michael Feldman 12 years, 6 months ago

Beach within reach

For an urban escape, it's just a short hop on the T to the sea

Adapted from the Boston Globe by Michael Feldman


Boston Globe article on Boston Beaches


Boston Beach Guide


Slideshow of Boston Beaches with Maps


So you don't have a car. And every weekend, your neighbor slathers on the Coppertone and drives to the beach, leaving you high and dry in the ci-tay.




Fret not, car-free citizens of Greater Boston. Just because you don't have a car does not mean you can't go to the beach. With the nation's sixth-largest public transit system at their service, Bostonians have more than a dozen beaches within an hour of home, some only minutes away. As long as you live near a subway station or bus stop, you can spend a day at the beach. Our prize for the most urban-feeling shore goes to South Boston, where you find Castle Island, L Street Beach,and Carson Beach. Here, the sunburned descendants of Irish brick masons share sand with elderly Vietnames e fisherwomen and Dominican middle-school students. You'll hear Cambodian and Creole mixed with the tinkling of the ice cream truck and the bumping bass of the 69 Boys; you'll smell hot dogs and salt water. You will also have to pause inyour conversation every few minutes as yet another jet plane roars low overhead on its way to Logan Airport.


for a map of the South Boston Beaches


Services and facilities: Restrooms, information, concessions, bicycling, fishing, scenic overlook, picnic area, swimming, playground. Directions: Take the Red Line to Broadway T station, then No. 9 or 10 bus to end of line; or Red Line to South Station, No. 7 bus; or Red Line to Andrew T station, No. 10 bus; or Green Line to Copley Station, No. 9 or 10 bus to end of line. Also: Red Line to JFK-UMass and walk to Carson.


The prize for best-known urban beach goes to Revere Beach. Ask a Bostonian if there are any city beaches, and he or she will likely mention this one. While it might be regarded as the anti-Vineyard, Revere Beach is nonetheless loads of fun, convenient for most city dwellers, and a great place to people-watch.


It's easy to find this beach. Just get on the Blue Line and follow all the people with their radios blasting merengue or hip-hop. It's a youthful beach, popular with teenagers and 20-somethings, especially those who listen to WJMN-FM. This popularity comes in part because of the long sea wall where you can sit and scope for ''hotties.'' For Boston babe watch, this is the place to go.

At a venerable 102, Revere is the oldest public beach in America. Public concerts at the bandstand and easy T access make it one of the most popular beaches in the state. Lifeguards are on duty from late June to early September. Downsides are loud noise from incoming jets, and sometimes smelly water.


for a map of Revere Beach


Boston Globe article on Revere Beach


Services and facilities: Swimming, fishing, bandshell, playground. Directions: Take the Blue Line to either Revere Beach or Wonderland stations, then walk east one or two blocks.


Our prize for southernmost urban beach goes to Wollaston Beach in Quincy. This gently curving beach has all the joggers on the sea side and all the food shacks on the city side.


for a map of Wollaston Beach


Wollaston Beach is best known for its jogging/bicycling trail, which runs about 2.3 miles. Caddy Park, at the southern end of the beach, has more than 15 acres of fields and a lookout tower. Moswetuset Hummock, at the beach's northern end, is a mix of woodland trails and marshland used in the 1600s as a Native American summer campsite. There are nice views of Quincy Bay and the 144-acre Squantum Marsh.


Services and facilities: Bathhouse, handicapped access, bicycling, fishing, hiking, observation tower, swimming, playground. Directions: For Caddy Park, take the Red Line to Wollaston Station, walk to Hancock Street, turn right and walk one block to Beach Street, turn left, and continue on Quincy Shore Drive. For Moswetuset Hummock, take the Red Line to North Quincy Station, transfer to No. 211 bus, exit at East Squantum Street and Quincy Shore Drive, proceed to the small wooded knoll 200 yards east.


While the beaches of Revere, Southie, and Quincy are well known, there are others easily reachable by T. In Dorchester, you've got Malibu, Savin Hill,and Tenean beaches. With the Southeast Expressway and Morrissey Boulevard nearby, however, the beaches are almost too urban, which is to say noisy and polluted.


for a map of Malibu Beach


Services and facilities: Restrooms, bathhouse, first aid, information, fishing, picnic areas, playground, supervised swimming, tennis, basketball court. Directions: To Malibu and Savin Hill beaches, take the Red Line to the Savin Hill T stop, then follow Savin Hill Avenue 1/4 mile. To Tenean Beach, take the Red Line to Fields Corner, then the No. 20 bus to within walking distance.


The least-urban award goes to the Lynn Shores Reservation - including Nahant Beach, Lynn Beach, King's Beach, Red Rock Beach, and Long Beach - which offers some of the best beaching in the state. These beaches are scattered throughout Lynn, Nahant, and Swampscott, and include 4 miles of waterfront, 2 miles of jogging trails, a mile-long system of fragile sand dunes (Long Beach), and tide pools brimming with marine life (Red Rock Park). There is no lifeguard program at King's Beach, and access from Boston requires two bus transfers. Services and facilities:


Restrooms everywhere except Lynn Beach, bathhouse, first aid, information, concession, ballfield, bandstand, bicycling, boat launch, fishing, jogging, swimming, tennis, tot lot. Directions: Take the Green or Orange Line to Haymarket T station, transfer to No. 400, 440, 441, or 442 bus to Central Square in Lynn, transfer to No. 439 bus to the rotary near the boathouse. Or take the Blue Line to Wonderland, transfer to No. 441 or 442 (Marblehead) bus to Central Square in Lynn, transfer to No. 439 bus to rotary near the boathouse.


for a map of Nahant Beach


There's also Winthrop Beach, a 1-mile stretch of waterfront in Winthrop where the locals hang out, watching the planes landing at Logan Airport. The main attraction is a long sea wall that makes for nice sunbathing and girl/boy watching. Services and facilities: Restrooms, lifeguards on duty from late June to early September, swimming. Directions: Take the Blue Line to the Orient Heights T stop, transfer to the Winthrop bus. Because Constitution Beach is tiny, this half-mile of sandy beach in East Boston can be one of the most crowded of metropolitan Boston's beaches. But the crowds can be fun when there's a concert. As with most of the beaches in the area, noise from the airplanes landing at Logan causes constant disruptions. Services and facilities: Restrooms, bathhouse, picnic tables, basketball courts, tennis courts, ice rink, swimming, boating, bandstand, concessions. Directions: Take the Blue Line to the Orient Heights T station. Walk east.


Nantasket Beach, at the Nantasket Beach Reservation in Hull, is famous for the Paragon Carousel. A great place to take children, but there are no dogs allowed during the summer. Other fun summer stuff: band concerts and outdoor dance lessons. Services and facilities: Restrooms, three bathhouses, concessions, carousel, lifeguards. Directions: Take the Red Line to Quincy Center and transfer to No. 220 (Hingham) bus.


for a map of Nantasket Beach


Some beaches have been closed to swimmers this week because of sewage overflows caused by recent storms. Swimmers' advisories were posted yesterday at Carson, Tenean, Constitution, and Wollaston beaches because of high bacteria counts. Before heading to one of these beaches, check its status with the Metropolitan District Commission at 617-727-5264, ext. 517.

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