By: Rachel Ventura
I may make some enemies for this, especially right now in the middle of Summer, but I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t like the beach. I’ve just never been a fan. My relationship with the sun and history with melanoma is one of the reasons, but even more than that, I just don’t enjoy the sand and water. Unless I am in Florida or someplace tropical, I think the sand is dirty and gross, and the water is cold, dirty, and murky. Not to mention all the planning, travelling, lugging, changing clothes, and sand everywhere. It’s all just more of a hassle than I care to deal with.
At one of our most recent trips, I was disgusted at the site of the sand. I won’t mention the name of the beach, as it’s a place we enjoy and I’m really hoping it was a fluke. But the beach was covered in cigarette butts, animal feces, dirty band aids, and bones. Yes, bones. I’m pretty sure they were from ribs and chicken wings. Seriously, who eats those things at the beach? And way more importantly, who throws them on the ground and leaves them there? How inconsiderate can you be? There were plenty of trash cans all around. I just don’t get it. It was so gross that I felt sick to my stomach the whole time we were there.
But all that being said, my kids LOVE the beach. Since I’m not going to let my idiosyncrasies (read: craziness) rule their life, I do manage at least a handful of beach trips each summer. I’m sharing with you the few favorite places that we frequent. Also, one of the best tips I ever got is to pack light. I am an over-packer. For sure. But for the beach, I truly believe less is more. I take 1 bag, and it’s my trusty zip-top organizing utility tote from Thirty-One. It is seriously the most perfect beach bag. It’s not too big (but big enough), has tons of pockets, zips closed, and is water resistant. Inside, I pack 2 towels, all of my necessities, lunch (if needed), snacks, and any other items we may need. We also bring a beach bucket, with assorted beach toys inside, and a blanket to sit on. That’s it. It makes the trip so much easier not to have too much stuff to lug in and out of the car. I bring a change of clothes for the kids as well, but leave them in the car, and change the kids there before we leave.
Our favorite spot is Town Neck Beach in Sandwich. It helps that my parents live there. My kids love to go visit Grammy and Pop at “the cottage,” which almost always includes a trip to the beach. We always walk from my parents’ house. I do they know charge for parking during the day, though I’m not even sure how much it is. I don’t think it’s too much, and whatever it is, it’s worth it. It’s a beautiful beach! There are port-a-potties and though there is no permanent snack shack, there is almost always a truck in the parking lot selling food and treats. One side is the real beach where you can see the beginning of the Cape Cod Canal. It’s fun to watch all sorts of boats coming in and going out. The beach starts off with dunes and very nice sand, but then it gets very rocky. The water is also very cold. For these reasons, we usually stay on the river side of the beach. Here you have the Sandwich Boardwalk, which is fun to take a stroll, or for the adventurous, to jump off during high tide! The beach on this side is sandy, the water isn’t too deep, and it’s much warmer. There are always crabs, fish, even shrimp to check out, which is always fun. It’s also a wonderful place to take family photos, as we did just the other night with Captured Memories! Here are a few photos from the shoot, as well as some other favorites that showcase the beauty of this beach!
We recently checked out Nelson Beach in Plymouth for the first time and really enjoyed it! We’ll definitely be going back. The splash pad and playground is a definite plus, but we had the most fun on the beach. We went during low tide and were able to walk out pretty far. We found all sorts of shells, sea glass, periwinkles, and seaweed. Tons of fun!
It’s not the ocean, but we love visiting Houghton’s Pond in Milton. There are lifeguards, bathrooms, a bathhouse, and a snack shop. There are also trails to hike and explore and a really nice playground. It’s a beautiful spot to spend the day! My kids love to swim and build sandcastles while here, and on the way out, we grab an ice cream at the snack shop. Perfect day!
What are your favorite local beaches? Please share so my clan and I can check them out and hopefully, add them to our list of favorites!