The northeast isn't too famous for its mild winters, but our summers can get quite hot. When late May hits, New Englanders grab their sunscreen and iced coffees and hit the beach to bask in the scorching sun. Here's six fantastic beaches if you ever find yourself in New England.
1. Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut
Hammonasset Beach — or Hammy as I like to call it — is the perfect mini vacation. It's got soft sand, good seafood restaurants and a campground just a short walk from the beach. The water gets warm pretty fast and when the late afternoon sun hits, you just have to take a nap under the umbrella. When I want some more sun during my summer camping trips, Hammy's my go-to.
It's about $20-$80 a night depending if you want a standard tent site or a cabin. The campground has a store, a recreation center and surprisingly clean bathrooms with showers. There's also a lot of parking at the beach and grassy areas all around if you don't like the sand.
2. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Not to be confused with The Hamptons, Hampton Beach is a long stretch of sand in New Hampshire that attracts mostly families. The sand is almost white and so soft that you'll immediately want to take off your flip flops.
The boardwalk boasts all types of different foods, stores and activities that both children and adults could explore. On special occasions, there'll be fireworks and sand sculpture competitions along with other events.
If you go, be sure to arrive early — parking spots fill up QUICK. And after you manage to squeeze in between two SUV's, you still have to pay the meter. It is worth the trouble, though, trust me.
3. Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Old Orchard is a beach town on the coast of Maine that I'll probably end up retiring to one day if the Maldives doesn't work out. Shops and restaurants line the streets of Old Orchard Beach along with arcades and fast food. Along the boardwalk, you can find all kinds of trinkets and specialty items — I highly suggest trying anyone's root bear float.
There's even an amusement park on the beach, as scary as that may sound — and look. The ride prices can get a bit high so if you have kids, I'd either steer them away or just get one ride for the memories.
4. Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island
If you think Rhode Island is too small to have beaches, you're wrong. Narragansett is one of the cleanest beaches I've ever visited — the dirtiest being Revere Beach in Massachusetts. Narragansett is also a beach town like Old Orchard, but you have to pay $8 per person for admission in addition to parking.
If it lacks in things to do, this beach makes up for it in land. The beach is nearly 20 acres long and has beautiful waves to go along with it. If you get bored simply get up and go for a stroll — super relaxing and calm.
5. Good Harbor Beach, Massachusetts
Good Harbor Beach is one of the many sandy coastlines Massachusetts offers. Next to Wingaersheek Beach, Good Harbor has a small area — but giant waves. It can get pretty crowded during the weekends, but there are lots of hidden spots where you can set up.
Parking is $25-$30 depending on which day you go and if the lot fills up, you'll have to see which residents are willing to take you. Most of them are pretty nice and will let you park for the normal beach fee.
There aren't that many amenities around other than a few restaurants within a mile so be sure to bring some reading and beach toys.
6. Fire Island, New York
New York isn't technically a part of New England, but I had to sneak this one in. Fire Island is a peculiar case because while you can camp there like Hammonasset, they also offer wilderness camping which lets you sleep right on the beach. With a reservation and a permit, you can have the beach 24/7.
Fire Island does get pretty busy during this time of the year because it's only about an hour away from the city. New Yorkers tend to get out of the hot concrete jungle and indulge in the cool sea breeze. If you're going to be wilderness camping, you'll probably want to book early in the spring.
If you do find yourself at Fire Island, be sure to visit the lighthouse and Watch Hill which will give you beautiful views.