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South Shore Massachusetts Beaches
Where to Find the Best Beaches on the South Shore of Massachusetts
Cape Cod is well known for its sandy beaches and rolling dunes, but let's not forget that there are some excellent beaches to choose from right on the South Shore of Massachusetts. These well-kept secrets will are worth the short drive--plus, no waiting in bridge traffic. Read about favorite beaches like Wollaston, Nantasket, Plymouth Beach, Duxbury Beach, and lesser known beautiful beaches in Marshfield, Kingston, and Scituate right here.
Nantasket Beach photo by Nantaskart.
The Most Popular Beach in Quincy
There's plenty to keep you busy at Wollaston Beach. Nearby are historical sites like the Adams National Historical Park, United First Parish Church, and the USS Salem. On the beach, you'll find a large expanse of clean sand, 2.5 miles to be exact. Boating, swimming, and on-duty lifeguards are all summer perks, as well as plenty of parking, local restaurants and the largest marina in the area, Marina Bay. Wollaston Beach is located in the city of Quincy.
Gray's Beach, a small beach, is a little known part of Kingston off of Route 3A near Rocky Nook. Access is allowed only with a resident sticker.
One of the state's most popular beaches, Duxbury has 4 miles of clean sand perfect for the summer. It includes sand dunes, ample parking, a bathhouse and concession stand. Get there early on summer days, it gets packed quick. The beach extends out to Saquish Neck and Saquish Village, a peninsula which actually is part of Plymouth. The village is private, while the rest of the neck requires a permit sticker. The large sand dunes provide a great backdrop for beachgoers. Duxbury Beach is also home to several piping plover nests throughout the warmer months of the year.
Photo of Duxbury Beach by muffinman.
What is your Favorite South Shore Beach?
A large, sandy beach in Marshfield that is not as well known as Duxbury, but might be just as good. Behind the beach, you'll find the South River Marsh, which is worth a look. There are only 25 non-resident parking spaces, so get there really early if you're going on a warm day. Behind the beach, you can see the South River, which has several walking trails in and around the scenic area.
Brant Rock is a well-known local hangout and small, rocky beach. Close to Duxbury Beach, this small, rocky beach has limited parking. Easily accessible from Route 139, it can get crowded very quickly during the summer months.
A sandy beach very close to Duxbury Beach with public parking available at the local lobster pound. It's a local favorite because of its lack of rocks, however, it can be hard to find parking on a hot day.
Photo by Rexhame Beach by Vulch.
This is a well known Scituate beach, but is for residents only. There are great views of Minots Ledge Lighthouse and some large rocks in the ocean, however you'll either need to live here or know someone that does to access the beach.
This small rocky beach in N. Scituate is resident only. Nearby are Peggotty Beach and Glades beach, however, these are both private as well.
Photo of Scituate Lighthouse by Lee Cullivan.
The South Shore's Best Known Beach
Nantasket boasts miles of beach, public parking and is easily accessible from anywhere on the South Shore. With over 1000 parking spaces as well as street parking and local restaurants, Nantasket can become very crowded during the summer months.
To reach Nantasket Beach, take rte 228 North until you reach Nantasket Beach in the town of Hull.
Photo of Nantasket Beach by vanhoosear.
This beach peninsula offers 3 miles of perfectly sandy beach for the public. From this beach, you can see Saquish Neck, and at the end, Plymouth's "Bug Light." From the rear of the beach, Eel River empties into Plymouth Harbor. Views of Plymouth Harbor and the Mayflower can be seen from this side of the beach.
White Horse Beach
This large Plymouth Beach is mostly private, however, the South Beach section is public. Travel down route 3A until you reach Rocky Hill Road. Take Rocky Hill Road until it ends, then take a left. On the right, you'll find public parking. There is plenty of white sand and little crowds here. Just as impressive as any Cape beach, this shoreline has large expanses of open, clean white sand and dunes.
This popular beach is actually part of Bourne (or Sagamore), MA, but is on the "mainland" side of the bridge (the non-Cape side). Accessible from the last exit before the Sagamore bridge, this beach is easy to find and much less crowded than some of the other South Shore beaches. A huge parking lot, conession stand, restrooms and picnic tables are all available. To the right of the beach, you'll find the Cape Cod Canal. Access this on Route 6 in several spots for a 5-mile bike path on each side of the canal.
Photo above and below of Plymouth Bug Light by mrtgt.
White Horse Beach, a private beach in Manomet
What's Nearby? - Other places near the South Shore of Massachusetts
Here are some other destinations close to the South Shore of Massachusetts:
- Plymouth Rock- Landing point of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, this can be found on the Plymouth Harbor waterfront, along with the Mayflower II.
- Plimoth Plantation- A recreation of old Pilgrim times, only minutes away from downtown Plymouth and Plymouth Rock.
- Cape Cod- 15 minutes south of downtown Plymouth, cross the Sagamore Bridge via Route 3.
- Boston- It's only a 45 minute drive from most points of the South Shore to Boston.
- Onset/Wareham- The small harbor community of Onset lies at the west entrance of the canal on the "mainland" side. Small shops, canal tours and bridge views are just some of what you can expect to see.
Drop by and say hello here!