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Photographs of the 25 Best Beach Towns in New England

by in Jul 2012
Photographs of the 25 Best Beach Towns in New England
18 votes, 4.17 avg. rating (83% score)
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How do you go about choosing the twenty-five best beach towns in New England? It wasn’t easy, but we can guarantee that regardless of your personal criteria, there’s a beach town for you on our list.

Using fourteen criteria, ranging from the availability of beach food to accessibility of town amenities to lodging for all budgets, we found the 25 Best Beach Towns in New England. Whether you’re looking for waves to ride, long sandy stretches or lots of family activities, there’s a beach town for you on our list.

1. Ogunquit, Maine

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Elena Elissee/Shutterstock
#1: Ogunquit, Maine.

2. Provincetown, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Christopher Seufert Photography/Getty
#2: Provincetown, Massachusetts.

3. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by MD/Nantucketstock.com J. Greg Hinson
#3: Nantucket, Massachusetts.

4. Newport, Rhode Island

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Butch Lombardi
#4: Newport, Rhode Island.

5. Old Harbor, Block Island, Rhode Island

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Istockphoto/Thinkstock
#5: Old Harbor, Block Island, Rhode Island.

6. Edgartown, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Istockphoto/Thinkstock
#6: Edgartown, Massachusetts.

7. Kennebunkport, Maine

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Edella/Shutterstock.com
#7: Kennebunkport, Maine.

8. Rockport, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Istockphoto/Thinkstock
#8: Rockport, Massachusetts.

9. Chatham, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Design Pics/Thinkstock
#9: Chatham, Massachusetts.

10. Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Kathy Marciante/Courtesy of South County
#10: Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

11. York Beach, Maine

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Istockphoto/Thinkstock
#11: York Beach, Maine.

12. (Tied) Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Stockbyte/Thinkstock
#12 (Tied): Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

12. (Tied) Falmouth, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Istockphoto/Thinkstock
#12 (Tied): Falmouth, Massachusetts.

13. Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Ruth Schneider/Veer
#13: Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.

14. Narragansett, Rhode Island

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Laura Stone
#14: Narragansett, Rhode Island.

15. (Tied) Orleans, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Stockbyte/Thinkstock
#15 (Tied): Orleans, Massachusetts.

15. (Tied) Newburyport, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Suzanne DeGeorge
#15 (Tied): Newburyport, Massachusetts.

16. Ipswich, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by David Stone
#16: Ipswich, Massachusetts.

17. (Tied) Madison, Connecticut

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Hemera/Thinkstock
#17 (Tied): Madison, Connecticut.

17. (Tied) Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Chee-Onn Leong/Shutterstock
#17 (Tied): Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

18. (Tied) Little Compton, Rhode Island

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Butch Lombardi
#18 (Tied): Little Compton, Rhode Island.

18. (Tied) Plymouth, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Hemera/Thinkstock
#18 (Tied): Plymouth, Massachusetts.

19. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Sean Donahue Photo/Shutterstock.com
#19: Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

20. Hull, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Shutterstock
#20: Hull, Massachusetts.

21. Brewster, Massachusetts

Best beach towns in New England
Photo/Art by Alloy Photography/Veer
#21: Brewster, Massachusetts.

Read more about the 25 Best Beach Towns in New England in our July/August issue of Yankee Magazine.

A special thanks to our contributing photographers. Follow the links below to see more of their New England photography.

Suzanne DeGeorge — sdegeorge.com
Butch Lombardi — eastbayimages.com
David Stone — stoneystonephoto.com
Laura Stone — laurastonephotography.com/
J. Greg Hinson, MD — nantucketstock.com

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
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8 Responses to Photographs of the 25 Best Beach Towns in New England

  1. MikenJayne March 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    This area is where we lived for most of our lives <3

  2. Joe Marrone July 26, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Someone was sleeping at the switch on this one. Dennis, MA has better beaches than most of your list.

  3. Kathleen September 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    This is my favorite beach – Footbridge – in Ogunquit, ME.

  4. Peddle Pete September 7, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    Leave your bike at home when visiting Narragansett. Not bike friendly. The town is set up for cars and for parking cars in the shoulders of most of the roads. I went on vacation and could not believe there were no places for bikes to ride. Speeding and the amount of cars in the town was enough to deter me from ever going back. If you want good riding go to the cape. Just my thoughts.

  5. Helen Scoggins October 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    I love Hampton because I worked there the summer after I graduated from high school. My son works there now. Wonderful memories

  6. Mbonacello December 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Grew up going to Watch Hill and Narragansett, year round. The area still holds a special place in my heart. Add Block Island to the triangle and there is no better place. I prefer it over the Cape, personally.

    Still love Old Orchard Beach as well. Planning a trip there this summer, cannot wait to share it with my children and family

  7. kathy July 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    I grew up on Watch Hill beach (year round) and its the home of my soul. I wish it was kept more of a secret! People don’t know their beach manners, the unwritten code of seating and personal decorum. We’re getting resentful here. Never used to be this way. If you can’t mind your manners, sit on top of other people, talk loudly on your phone and yell to your children across the beach then go to Misquamicutt!

  8. nonginthirath@aol.com February 4, 2016 at 7:59 am #

    I have lived in RI my entire life, but I prefer either going to Cape Cod, Old Orchard Beach or York Beach to RI beaches. They are over crowded and there are so many rude and ignorant people there all the time. We spend a lot of time on the Cape, all year round. We’ve been going to the Cape for New Year’s Eve for the past 2 years and have already started to make plans to go again this year. We were fortunate enough to get First Night Chatham buttons for this year and it was the best First Night I have ever been to. It was well organized and there was plenty to do for the entire family

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