Massachusetts is known for its coastal cities lining the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay. With sparkling waves and tan sands, boating, sightseeing, and fishing, these picturesque coastal Massachusetts towns are top-tier. Whether you’re looking to move to Massachusetts or want to relocate to a quaint beachfront city, there are plenty of options to check out in the state.
But if you’re not sure what beach towns in Massachusetts to check out, we’ve got you covered. To help you find the right area, Redfin has gathered a list of 14 coastal Massachusetts towns from Nantucket to Plymouth. Let’s dive into some of Massachusetts’s top beach cities, listed in alphabetical order, so you can find the right place for you.
Beginning our list is Chatham, home to about 6,100 people. There are plenty of beaches to explore living in Chatham such as Cockle Cove Beach, Forest Beach, Hardings Beach, Jackknife Beach, Lighthouse Beach, North Beach, and Ridgevale Beach. Living in Chatham, you can explore nature areas like Monmoy National Wildlife Refuge, Tern Island Sanctuary, or Cape Cod National Seashore, visit the Chatham Lighthouse, and spend the day at Oyster Pond Beach.
Another one of Massachusetts’s great beach towns to consider buying a home in is Dennis. There are numerous beaches to visit like Chapin Memorial Beach, Cold Storage Beach, Corporation Beach, Haigis Beach, Glendon Road Beach, Mayflower Beach, Nobscusset Beach, Sea Street Beach, South Village Beach, Trotting Park Beach, and West Dennis Beach. In Dennis, you can also check out the Cape Cod Museum of Art, spend the day at Scargo Lake and see the Scargo Tower, or grab a great local meal in town or by the water.
With just about 520 residents, Edgartown is next on our list of coastal Massachusetts towns. Located on Martha’s Vineyard, there are lots of beaches to explore on a sunny Massachusetts day – East Beach, Edgartown Beach, Fuller Street Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Norton Point Beach, and South Beach. If you find yourself moving to Edgartown, explore the sites on Chappaquiddick Island, see the Edgartown Harbor Light, and check out the charming downtown area where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and parks.
Home to beautiful beaches like Black Beach, Chapoquoit Beach, Falmouth Heights Beach, Megansett Beach, Menauhant Beach, Nobska Beach, Old Silver Beach, Surf Drive Beach, and Woodneck Beach, there are countless places to spend a beach day in Falmouth. With roughly 31,500 residents living in Falmouth, make sure to also explore the Frances A. Crane Wildlife Management Area, check out downtown Falmouth, or take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
The charming beach town of Gloucester has about 29,900 residents, making it another great place to add to your list. You’ll find gorgeous beaches such as Coffins Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Half Moon Beach, Niles Beach, Pavillion Beach, Plum Cove Beach, and Wingaersheek Beach. In Gloucester, you can tour the Hammond Castle Museum, explore the Red Rocks Conservation area, and see the sites around downtown.
The town of Ipswich is a great coastal town to consider renting or buying a home in that only has about 13,200 residents. Some beaches you can visit are Crane Beach, Pavillion Beach, and Steep Hill Beach. There’s lots of activities to do in Ipswich like exploring Sandy Point State Reservation, checking out Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, and having a meal at a local restaurant in downtown Ipswich, among many other local favorites.
With a population of close to 11,300, Nantucket is an awesome coastal Massachusetts town to live in. Located on Nantucket Island, there are plenty of beaches to explore – 40th Pole Beach, Cisco Beach, Coskata Beach, Dionis Beach, Jetties Beach, Madaket Beach, Madequecham Beach, Miacomet Beach, and Nobadeer Beach. If you find yourself moving to Nantucket, make sure to check out the Great Point Lighthouse, tour through downtown and see the Whaling Museum, or have a meal overlooking the water.
With amazing beaches such as Plum Island Beach, Newburyport is great for enjoying a sunny day. Be sure to check out Maudslay State Park, explore the downtown area where you’ll find historic sites and plenty of waterfront restaurants, or stroll the Newburyport Harborwalk Rail Trail.
#9: Oak Bluffs
Just about 4,700 people live in Oak Bluffs where you’ll find beaches like Eastville Point Beach, Inkwell Beach, Joseph Sylvia State Beach, and Oak Bluffs Town Beach. Some other fun activities to do in Oak Bluffs include seeing all the charming houses and historic sites in the downtown area, grabbing a meal at a local restaurant, or taking the ferry to Hyannis Port.
Located along Cape Cod, Orleans has a population of 5,800 and there are lots of beaches to enjoy a picnic at. In Orleans, you can visit Nauset Beach and Skaket Beach. You’ll also have plenty of activities to explore during your free time, like visiting Kent’s Point, exploring downtown Orleans, and having some fresh seafood at a local restaurant.
One of Massachusetts’s historic cities, Plymouth, had to make our list. In Plymouth, there are lots of beaches you’ll want to spend time at, like Nelson Beach, Plymouth Beach, Priscilla Beach, and Surfside Beach. This coastal town is home to 60,800 inhabitants and you’ll find countless other activities like exploring the historic sites downtown like Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, or the Plymouth Village Historic District, hiking through Myles Standish State Forest, and stopping by one of the many local cafes or breweries.
Provincetown has lots of beaches, great for a day outside. Some well-known spots are Boy Beach, Herring Cove Beach, Long Point Beach, and Race Point Beach. Looking for something to do in town? Make sure to hike along the Dune Shacks Trail or the Beech Forest Trail, explore the Provincetown Historic District and visit the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, or birdwatch at Provincetown Harbor Jetties.
Next up on our list is Rockport. There are lots of beaches to check out if you decide Rockport is the coastal Massachusetts town for you. Some of the local spots include Back Beach Landing, Cape Hedge Beach, Front Beach, Long Beach, and Old Garden Beach. In this town of 7,000 residents, you can also explore Halibut State Park, check out the downtown area where you’ll find lots of local restaurants and shops, and visit some of the museums.
With just about 2,700 residents, Wellfleet is a quaint seaside town to consider moving to. You can take in the waterfront views at Cahoon Hollow Beach, Duck Harbor Beach, Indian Neck Beach, Lecount Hollow Beach, Maguire Landing Beach, Marconi Beach, Newcomb Hollow Beach, and White Crest Beach. For a break from the beach, you can also explore the Marconi Wildlife Management Area or Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, hike along the Great Island Trail, and explore the downtown Wellfleet area.
Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the beach towns in Massachusetts. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during June 2023. Average rental data from Rent.com June 2023. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.