Beaches on the South Shore of Massachusetts have long been known as a major benefit of living in nearby coastal communities south of Boston such as Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell, Hull, Scituate, Marshfield, Hanover, Duxbury, Braintree, Weymouth and Quincy. There are a multitude of choices when it comes to deciding which beaches on the South Shore to visit. Some beaches are for residents only and you need a summer parking sticker, some are hidden gems with no parking at all and some are too well known as the place to go for city dwellers looking to cool off. But with so many choices, there is plenty of sand and waves for all to enjoy. I’ve lived on the South Shore all my life and have been to all of these beaches at one time or another. They all have their own unique features that make people fall in love with them. Get out and enjoy the weather and the beaches on the South Shore no matter what time of the year it is.
This is a list of Beaches on the South Shore of Massachusetts:
1. Nantasket Beach, Hull: This is by far the most popular and largest stretch (3.5 miles) of Atlantic Ocean beach on the South Shore. Nantasket Beach was recently voted the cleanest (water) beach in Eastern Massachusetts and I can attest to that. This beach has mostly hard packed sand as it has a very low tide, which is great for little kids wading in the water. There are lifeguards, bathhouses and an arcade (circa Paragon Park). There is a 1,000+ car parking lot, which is not enough on hot summer days. Everyone seems to have a secret spot they like at this beach for both parking and swimming. I love this beach late afternoon from 4 PM to 8 PM when the mass of sunbathers head home and the sun isn’t too high. There are plenty of fast food and snack eating options as well as family-style sit down restaurants and finer dining establishments like Jake’s Seafoood, LaDalat, Bridgeman’s, Mezzo Mare, The Red Parrot, Saporitos, and Schooners. I think it’s one of the best beaches on the South Shore!
2. Sandy Beach, Cohasset: This is a small but beautiful sandy beach offering resident only parking. Try heading to this beach after normal beach hours when the parking lot empties and non-residents can sneak in.
3. Humarock Beach, Scituate: Some people think this beach is in Marshfield, but once you go back over the bridge, you’re on the Scituate peninsula, which was washed away from the mainland years ago. This is one of the more popular beaches on the South Shore offering a long stretch of beach with fine hard packed sand. Parking is limited and many of the beach-goers own homes and cottages along this stretch of ocean. There are eating and drinking options like the Bridgewaye Inn and Sands End Cafe. The Fourth of July is lots of fun on this beach.
4. Pegotty Beach, Scituate: This is a small half-mile long beach with hard packed sand just outside of downtown Scituate Harbor, which is walkable. You’ll find some surfers here when the wave action is good.
5. Minot Beach, Scituate: This is a well known Scituate beach, mostly for it namesake and views of Minots Ledge Lighthouse. You’ll either have to live near the beach or know someone that does to access the beach.
6. Egypt Beach, Scituate: This is a small private resident-only beach in the North Scituate section of town.
7. Rexhame Beach, Marshfield: This is one of my favorite beaches on the South Shore. It’s a long sandy stretch of beach in Marshfield that is just perfect for a hot summer day. I think it’s one of the best beaches on the South Shore. There are limited non-resident parking spaces, so get there really early if you’re planning on a long family beach day. Did I already say this is one of my favorite beaches on the South Shore!
8. Brant Rock Beach, Marshfield: Brant Rock is a well-known small local hangout beach. Typically people that own or rent homes in the area frequent this beach due to its convenience. It’s rocky like many of the beaches on the South Shore and it has very limited parking.
9. Green Harbor Beach, Marshfield: Lots of people think this is one of the best beaches on the South Shore. It offers a good sandy beach with minimal rocks. Public parking can be tough on hot summer days but there’s parking available at the local lobster pound. Like anything, plan accordingly and either leave for the beach early or go later in the afternoon when others have had their fill of the hot midday sun. Green Harbor is a lot of fun at night with plenty of restaurants and watering holes.
10. Duxbury Beach, Duxbury: When it comes to best beaches on the South Shore, this is one of the state’s most popular beaches with 4 miles of beautiful sand perfect for the summer. Yes, there are rocks and pebbles, but remember we’re in New England not Cozumel. This beach includes sand dunes, ample parking (on the beach with a sticker), a bathhouse and concession stand with the typical beach shack menu items. 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 large sand dunes provide a great backdrop for beach goers. Duxbury Beach is also home to piping plover nests throughout the warmer months of the year so be careful. Parking is about $15 for non-residents unless you buy a summer beach sticker. If you don’t want to pay the parking fee, find the entrance to Powder Point bridge a few miles south. This is the entrance to the resident area where there is a small free lot. If you pack light and are a good walker, you can enjoy this beach for free! You just have to walk the bridge, as all of the parking over the bridge is for residents. This is truly one of the most beautiful beaches on the South Shore.
11.Hingham Bathing Beach, Hingham: This is a small stretch of man-made beach sand in Hingham Harbor. Not a great beach for sunbathing and swimming as it is an inner-harbor stretch of sand with no wave action. Many visitors use it for a picnic or a place to read a book in the adjoining shade-filled park. It’s a great place to watch the Fourth of July fireworks or have a picnic with the family! When I first entered the real estate business 18 years ago, I remember reading my study materials for the real estate license test under a nice shady tree overlooking Hingham Harbor. This is a nice and peaceful place to visit.
12.Wessagusset Beach, Weymouth: Wessagusset Beach has had a revival over the years. Once a beach you would not even consider, it is now a place that is not only convenient, but attractive and safe to swim in. There is newer sand and lifeguards. Bring a cooler with lunch and drinks. Plenty of parking.
13.Wallaston Beach, Quincy: If you’ve traveled to or from the City of Boston to the South Shore and taken the alternate coastline route, you’ve probably driven down Quincy Shore Drive (aka Route 3A) and have passed Wallaston Beach. Over the years, this beach has undergone several major improvements including new sand and most importantly, cleaner water as part of the massive Boston Harbor water cleanup project started 20+ years ago. Today’s Wallaston Beach offers beach-goers 2.5 miles of fairly clean sand and plenty of room to spread out for a game of volleyball or football. There are on-duty lifeguards and free public parking. Most people don’t think of Wallaston beach as a place to swim because of its history and being off-limits so much, but people say the water is clean and okay for swimming. Lots of people just choose to sit on the wall and people watch or work on their tans. It’s a popular beach for walking and jogging after some excellent fried clams and crinkle cut french fries at the local eating establishment like the famous Tony’s Clam Shop, the Clam Box and the long established Beachcomber Irish Bar, featuring live bands and performers for over 50+ years. Another popular spot, just down the street is Quincy’s Marina Bay, offering fabulous views of Boston and the Boston Harbor. This is a destination point for many people during the summer months and weekends.
14.Gray’s Beach, Kingston: This is a small resident-only sticker beach near the Rocky Nook section of town. It’s easy to get to just off Route 3 and Route 3A.
These are not all the beaches on the South Shore but some of the best.
There are some very small private and resident-only beaches on the South Shore, too many to name, as well as lots of beautiful beaches in Plymouth so you don’t have to get stuck in traffic with all the tourists visiting Cape Cod. But this should give you a decent choice of beaches to think about visiting. If you’re thinking about moving, want to be close to the beaches on the South Shore and need to buy a home, please consider using my professional buyer-agent Realtor services. For more information, please contact Realtor George Jamieson with Capital Residential Real Estate at 781-659-2005 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and if you’ve enjoyed the last 25, 30 or 40 years in your South Shore home near our great beaches on the South Shore and think it’s time to pass it on to another family, please call me. I have buyers who are waiting for the perfect home on the South Shore.