5 Seaside Getaways to take this summer from Boston, while safely Social Distancing:
- Cape Cod, MA
No matter where you are coming from, Bostonians always call it “the Cape.” Cape Cod is known for beautiful beaches along its 400 miles of shoreline. My favorite beaches are the ones along the Cape Cod National Seashore, especially Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet on the Lower Cape. While the surf is rough, there are lifeguards on duty, a parking lot, and The Beachcomber, one of the best beach bars/restaurants in America. For family fun, you may want to try one of the more tranquil beaches on the bay side of The Cape. I have always enjoyed the Cape’s great bike trails, such as the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which runs from Yarmouth to Wellfleet or Shining Sea Bike Trail in Falmouth. For a scenic ride, take route 6A or “Old Kings Highway” (just to remind you are in New England) from Bourne to Provincetown, a distance of about 65 miles.
- Portsmouth, NH
One of the many charming New England seaside cities, I love biking from historic and vibrant Portsmouth, NH along scenic Route 1A, also known as Ocean Boulevard, to the honky tonk locale of Hampton Beach and back. The whole New Hampshire shoreline is less than 20 miles long, and is worth a drive. Portsmouth has a few well-preserved museums dating back to the early colonial days of the 17th century. Portsmouth is surprisingly lively considering it’s in low-key New Hampshire. The downtown has many restaurants, bars, galleries and street performers.
- Portland, ME
This quaint New England seaside city has converted numerous pre-war maritime warehouses to art galleries, restaurants and bars. This among other coastal state capitals is a walkable historic city that now has many breweries and is flush with colonial history. I love shopping in the quaint city center, biking down to the lighthouse and grabbing a lobster roll from the food truck.
- Gloucester, MA
The North Shore city of Gloucester is known as a fishing port and it’s the setting for the book and subsequent movie The Perfect Storm. In fact, The Crow’s Nest dive bar is still located in downtown Gloucester. I enjoy a beach day at Good Harbor Beach. For cyclists, the Essex Scenic Route is a beautiful bike route through seaside Essex, Gloucester, and Rockport.
- Newburyport, MA
This charming small city is also located on the North Shore. The stately brick Federal-style houses and the brightly- colored wooden houses come right out to the edge of the sidewalk, attesting to the early history of Newburyport, before cars were prevalent. The Essex County Superior Courthouse, designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in 1805, is a beautiful brick Federal-style building overlooking a pond. In the downtown waterfront area are many interesting shops and restaurants.