7 Best Beaches in New England (and Awesome Nearby Campsites)

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7 Best Beaches in New England (and Awesome Nearby Campsites)

When thinking of New England, you might not immediately think of beaches. But, there are some truly great beaches in New England!

Enjoy the rocky coast, the brisk water, and of course lobster! That is, after you’ve spent your day at any of these 7 best beaches in New England… or awesome campsites!

 Hampton Beach – New Hampshire

The main beach at Hampton Beach encompasses miles and miles of sand and water. This year-round community is a village with lots of shopping and places to eat.

Hampton Beach has soft white sand that is perfect for digging your feet into! While you’re at Hampton Beach, try exploring the tide pools at low tide… see what ocean life you can find! This pristine beach stretches into nearby towns and state parks, most of which have lifeguards.

 Location: NH-1A, Hampton, NH 03842

Great Nearby Campsite: Hampton Beach State Park

Hampton Beach State Park is a great option for camping right near the beach. Sites might need to be booked up to 11 months in advance, said one reviewer. There are no amenities, but many of the 28 sites have full hookups and the park has overflow camping for those who can boondock. There are bathrooms on site.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 8/10. Easy access once you find parking, clean, white sand and lifeguards make this a great stop.

beaches in new england hampton beach

Narragansett Town Beach – Rhode Island

Narragansett Beach is a 2.1 mile long sandy beach with lots of parking and cabana areas.

There are concessions near the parking lot, and even special areas for surfing. The waves are not huge but are great for boogie boarding and some surfing.

Location: 39 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett, RI 02882

 Great Nearby Campsite: Fishermen’s Memorial State Park and Campground

Fishermen’s Memorial State Park and Campground has 164 sites in a self-proclaimed “seaside village”. It’s very close to area beaches and is a mile from the Block Island Ferry, which is a great day trip.

Amenities include bathhouses, horseshoe, fishing, playground and tennis.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 8/10. The waves off the coast of Rhode Island are fun! They are perfect for boogie boarding and body surfing.

Image source: Dee and Tula Monstah on Flickr

Coast Guard Beach – Massachusetts 

Located in Eastham on Route 6 Cape Cod, Coast Guard Beach is a great place to swim, search for seashells, and catch some rays.

The water will be chilly, and the sand is coarse. In the winter, the beach is great for walking. You won’t have to dodge sunseekers because the wind will be brisk and only the brave will keep going for more than a mile!

Fees for the beach are $25 for a daily vehicle. Pedestrians and bikes are $10 and the Cape Cod National Seashore Annual Pass is $60. (No entrance fee for those under 16 or active duty military.)

Location: Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, MA 02642

Great Nearby Campsite: Atlantic Oaks RV Resort

Atlantic Oaks RV Resort is a great place to use as a jumping off point for the Cape. Sites range in price depending on time of year and needs. Tent sites are $45 at high season and sites with water, 50 amp service, sewer, and cable TV are $80 a night. Dogs are $4 per night. Sites are pull thru and there are amenities. The campground is just off the Cape Cod Bike Trail.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 7/10. It’s beautiful, but the water is chilly for swimming for more than a few minutes.

Sachuest/Second Beach – Rhode Island

Sachuest Beach, also called Second Beach, is a mile-long sandy beach with good surf for kids.

There’s a concession stand, bathrooms and a picnic area with grills. There are seasonal parking passes for $140 for non-residents. And, Parking is free after 4 p.m. You can check for daily parking passes, which they’ve had in the past and may have again.  Dogs are not allowed, except early in the morning on a lease.

Location: 315 Sachuest Point Road, Middletown, RI 02842

Great Nearby Campsite: Second Beach Family Campground

Second Beach Family Campground is a seasonal campground that does not allow tent camping or dogs. There are 44 pull through sites that include electricity, sewer and water hookups. There are bathrooms and showers. Reservations for the season start March 1.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 7/10. If you’re in the area, this is a great beach for spending the day. The parking can be a bit challenging often filling up before 9 a.m.

Crane Beach – Massachusetts

New England’s Crane Beach is part of the Crane Estate. The Crane Estate is a large conservation area with beach, dunes, and forests. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in New England!

The beach is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily. If you are not a member of the trust, admission up to 6 people per car will cost $45 on weekdays and $50 on weekends. During the season there are lifeguards, rangers, a store and bathhouses. They also provide floating beach wheelchairs for mobility challenged guests!

It is a very popular beach for its white sand and peaceful atmosphere.

Location: 310 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA 01938

 Great Nearby Campsite: Cape Ann Campsite

Cape Ann Campsite is a seasonal campground with 200 sites. Rates start at $40 for a wooded site with $10 more for electric and $10 for sewer. Big rig sites are $60 base rate with water and electric and sewer for 2 people.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 9/10. It’s a great place for a relaxing day in nature, soaking up the sun and surf.

Image source: Valerie Hinojosa on Flickr

Old Orchard Beach – Maine

Old Orchard Beach shares the name with the town it’s in. It’s a 7-mile-long sandy beach. OOB, as it’s called, is so much more than the beach.

Once you’re done sunning yourself on the soft sand and playing in the water, you can get a bite to eat at one of the pier fries stands, or take a walk on the pier that juts out over the water.

Want a thrill? Try Palace Playland, an amusement park, right on the beach with thrill rides and tame rides as well as games of chance. There’s something for everyone.

Parking is available on the road and in private parking lots. Prices vary depending on how close to the water you want to park.

Location: The beach goes both ways from the Pier, which is located at 2 Old Orchard St. Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064

Great Nearby Campsite: Paradise Park Resort Campground

Paradise Park Resort is within walking distance of the beach and everything else in OOB. They have many amenities for those staying in the 239 sites, including 2 heated salt water pools, a playground, shuffleboard, camp store and bathhouses. Prices are around $100 for full hookups in the height of the season.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 9.5/10. This beach has it all. You will have to deal with crowds of people as it’s a popular place.

Ogunquit Beach – Maine

Ogunquit Beach is one of the more popular beaches in New England. It has been ranked as one of the Top 25 Beaches in the US on TripAdvisor.

The 3.5 mile beach has soft, white sand, warm water and gentle waves. There are lifeguards on duty, and there are snack shacks and public bathrooms. At the southern end of the beach there is an outlet for the Ogunquit River that people can swim in where the water is really warm for Maine. There is also Footbridge Beach in the middle. It’s a great place to stake your umbrella for the day.

Parking can be expensive ranging from $15 to $25 and the parking area nearest the southern beach is not large.

If Ogunquit is too busy, try going up Route 1 through Wells to Drake’s Island Beach.

Location: Beach Street, Ogunquit, ME 03907

Great Nearby Campsite: Pinederosa Campground

The Pinederosa is a family campground just up the road from Ogunquit in Wells. It has a mix of seasonal sites and overnight sites. There is a heated pool, laundry, cable and bathrooms. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit.

New England Beach Vibes Score: 9/10. Route 1 in the summer can be quite packed in this area! However, Ogunquit has great walking paths, the Ogunquit Playhouse and quaint shops for guests to enjoy.

The beaches in New England are clean, beautiful and refreshing. Don’t think that just because the water doesn’t warm up to 80 or 90 degrees that it’s not worth visiting! These beaches, as well as others in the area, are awesome for fun in the sun. And, when you get too hot, just cool off in the Atlantic Ocean.  

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

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As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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