It’s heatin’ up this week and we’re dreaming of warm sand and partly sunny skies. While we’re sitting in air conditioning with wanderlust, we’ve compiled some of our favorite New England ocean getaways for you all in the area!
Watch Hill Beach | Westerly, RI
Watch Hill was probably not on your radar until Tay Tay came around and bought a house there, and to be honest, it’s kind of messed things up for the normal Watch Hill goer. Christa spent her childhood going to Watch Hill – popping into the shops, getting peppermint ice cream at the St. Clair Annex Ice Cream Fountain, and riding the super old carousel. It has real waves, and the soft sandy beaches are perfection. While the parking costs have gone up (and you need to be there before, like, 9am), we still recommend giving Watch Hill a try. We’re thinkin’ maybe early September after the kids are back in school and the summer crowds have died down.
From Boston: about an hour and a half, from Hartford: a little over an hour and 15 mins
Old Lyme Beach | Old Lyme, CT
A few weekends from now we will be beachin it with our old friends from high school in Old Lyme (check our last year’s pictures). While it doesn’t have those RI waves we were talking about in Watch Hill, it has exactly what you need out of a beach – water, sun and sand. We don’t venture too far from the beach itself, but we’ve heard it has a couple rowdy beach bars and if you’re looking for some fresh produce on the way home, we love this little farm stand off the main road that has amazing pies and local berries!
From Boston: about 2 hours, from Hartford: a little over 45 mins
Hammonasset State Park | Madison, CT
This Connecticut State Beach has a lot of things going for it – a set parking price of $13 for instate residents (YES), 4 main beaches to choose from, and it has spots for grills, camping and parties. It does fill up fast on the weekends with an unbeatable parking price like that, so get there early.
From Boston: 2 hours and 15 minutes, from Hartford: a little less than an hour
Wingaersheek Beach | Gloucester, MA
If you’re into taking mile-long strolls on crystal-blue sand bars, this beach is definitely for you. While not ideal for swimming, it’s great for a picnic, laying out, and taking a dip in the pockets of cool water. If you’re going with a family, be sure to bring some supplies for crabbing and digging up snails, because these flat rocks make the perfect little eco-systems for them! Turns out Gloucester has an adorable town center as well — we did some thrift shopping and also popped into a renowned seafood restaurant for lunch, Short & Main (if you’re an oyster fan, they do $1 oysters for the first hour of opening every Sunday!).
From Boston: About 50 minutes, from Hartford: 2 hours 10 mins
Crane Beach | Ipswich, MA
Grassy dunes and long boardwalks welcome you to this awesome stretch of beach. This beach is roomy, giving you lots of space to set up camp. But prepare yourself for that cold Atlantic water, because it is not forgiving! We went when there was a storm approaching, so it was hot & humid, but with waters that actually hurt to be in — I’m hoping that was just a fluke! On the bright side, we went on a busy Saturday, but didn’t have any problems parking in their giant lot at a reasonable price.
From Boston: about an hour, from Hartford: 2 hours 20 mins