The 25 Best Beach Towns in New England from Yankee Magazine
#15–Tied Newburyport, Massachusetts
With a five-mile drive to the beach on Plum Island (most of which lies within neighboring Newbury’s boundaries), Newburyport isn’t normally considered a beach town. Yet it’s hard to resist the intriguing collection of bookstores, boutiques, and top-notch restaurants in town after a day at the ocean. Don’t miss: Bird Watcher’s Supply & Gift carries binoculars so that you can see those piping plovers and other Atlantic Flyway birds at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island.
#15–Tied Orleans, Massachusetts
Spend the morning on Nauset Beach’s exquisite length of dune-studded coastline along Cape Cod National Seashore, the afternoon biking in the shade of the Cape Cod Rail Trail north past the ponds of Eastham, and the early evening watching a Cape Cod Baseball League game, with many players who’ll soon find their way to the Major Leagues. Long-time lovers of Cape towns are accustomed to summer traffic. Don’t miss: An affordable night’s stay at the Ship’s Knees Inn in East Orleans, the nearest lodging to Nauset Beach.
If all you want is one of Cape Ann’s beloved sandy strands, Crane Beach, and arguably the best clam shack in New England, the Clam Box, then you don’t have to go father than Ipswich. The rolling country byways outside the town center also offer great road biking past orchards and along creeks. Don’t miss: Pick-your-own berries and apples at Russell Orchards.
#17–Tied Madison, Connecticut
From the heart of Madison it’s a four-mile drive to one of Connecticut’s favorite sandboxes, Hammonasset Beach State Park. That’s not a deterrent, however, for the countless beachgoers who visit this delightful three-block village of coffee shops, bookstores, and restaurants after a day of lounging. Don’t miss: The country’s top authors may be found reading from their
latest works at RJ Julia Independent Booksellers.