The 10 Best Beaches in New England

Learn from the editors of Yankee, and from our readers, where the best beaches in New England are.

Cape Cod Beach
©Yankee Magazine/Mark Fleming

Learn from the editors of Yankee, and from our readers, where the best beaches in New England are.

Have you ever wondered where to find the warmest water, or the least crowded beaches in New England? How about where to catch the best surfing wave, or the best bird-watching? The beaches that stretch along New England’s coastline beckon both locals and tourists to their sandy shores. With so many choices, how do you decide which of the best New England beaches are worth the trip?

For the kids at heart, our pick for the best honky-tonk beach is a family favorite of New Englanders, generation after generation. At this beach in Maine, you can start with the small amusement parks; then move on to the carousels, arcades, and miniature-golf courses; top it off with cotton candy, fried dough, and, of course, fudge and taffy. Immersed in the carnival-like atmosphere, you almost forget there’s a beach here. And it’s a doozy. The legendary seven-mile-long sandy beach is also 700 feet wide, so you’ll always find a spot, even on the hottest day.

For those who prefer the earth to the surf, you’ll love our pick for the best freshwater beach, a striking lake in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. As you approach, you will see the deep, dark glacial waters come into view, dwarfed by the majestic granite cliffs that stand almost directly across from each other.

Windjammers in coastal New England
©Yankee Magazine/Mark Fleming
Photo Credit : ©Yankee Magazine/Mark Fleming

We haven’t left out Cape Cod, either. Henry David Thoreau walked the coastline from Eastham to Provincetown three times in the mid-19th century, comparing his treks along the desolate seascape to “traveling a desert.” Naturalist Henry Beston followed Thoreau’s path to Eastham. In The Outermost House, Beston describes his experience of living for a year on the dunes of Coast Guard Beach. If you follow our instructions, you’ll soon have this slice of Cape Cod National Seashore to yourself.

From the warmest water to most scenic beaches in New England, we share our picks in the 10 Best Beaches in New England—one of many great guides in our special Beaches Collection!

Want to find the best New England beaches for your weekends away this summer? Our Beaches Collection reviews the best beaches in New England, from the coast to the forest. With your Yankee All-Access Charter Membership, you have full access to everything in the Beaches Collection, including:

Scenes from Lake Winnipesaukee
©Yankee Magazine/Mark Fleming