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BEST NORTHEAST BEACHES
This page of our website is based on an eight-day early anniversary trip we took several years ago in September. The farthest north we had ever vacationed before this trip was Virginia Beach. In those eight days we drove (from our home in Northeast Tennessee) all the way up the East Coast, visiting beaches in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, across the Canada border, and back–a total of approximately 2,500 miles–stopping in a different state each night. That was alot of driving, but it was a great way to see the coastline and some of the best Northeast beaches!
Being from the South, the only beach terrain I was accustomed to seeing was sand, so the rocky beaches were new and especially beautiful to me! And the farther North we traveled, the longer the long rocky beaches became! The first thing that came to my mind was one of my favorite Barry Manilow songs, Time in New England: . . . Time in New England took me away. . . . long, rocky beaches. . . . and you by the bay. . . By the time we got up to about Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I felt like I was living the song; I think I sang it the remainder of the trip (much to my husband’s chagrin, I am sure.)
New Jersey’s state seashell is the Knobbed Whelk
Atlantic City is probably best-known for its casinos, shows, and other nightlife. But we beach-lovers are gonna find a way to sneak down to that coastline and at least take a peek at that beautiful beach! (And I did sneak a peek . . . . and it definitely a beautiful, best Northeast beach!)
More New Jersey lighthouses:
Rhode Island’s state seashell is the Quahaug, or Hard Clam.
Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State. With more than 400 miles of beautiful coastline and over 100 public and private beaches, it’s easy to see why the coast is one of the state’s main attractions!
Watch Hill Beach
Point Judith Beach
More Rhode Island lighthouses:
(Connecticut does not yet have a state seashell; one has been suggested, but not yet accepted.)
Connecticut offers more than 300 miles of rugged coastline, bays, harbors and coves. A historical maritime atmosphere is dominant along the coast, making the area a unique, most enjoyable area to visit!
Lighthouse Point Park Beach
I know this is not technically a beach, but this little harbor just captured my heart! Hubby and I spent a couple of hours there just walking hand-in-hand, eating lunch at a little sandwich shop, and just enjoying the quaint, seaport harbor atmosphere. Truly one of the most memorable stops on our entire trip! If you have time, catch a glimpse into Mystic’s historical maritime past at the Mystic Seaport Museum.
More Connecticut lighthouses:
New Haven Lighthouse at Five Mile Point
Best Northeast Beaches
Massachusetts’ state seashell is the New England Neptune.
Absolutely breathtaking! My first words upon seeing Cape Cod Beach were, “Ohhhh . . . . if we ever move, I wanna live here!” My husband’s reply was, “Yeah, you and what rich man?!! Do you know how much just a little piece of land and a hut would cost up here?” (Come on now, can’t a country girl dream just a little bit?)
More Massachusetts lighthouses:
Best Northeast Beaches
(Maine does not yet have an official state seashell.)
The Maine Coastline . . . . Wow, what a grand finale to our amazing Northeast Coastline roadtrip! Indescribably Beautiful!!! The best way to see this gorgeous state’s long, rocky beaches mixed with gorgeous white sand beaches and lighthouses galore (66 in all, I think) is to rent a car, drive South to North, and enjoy while you take lots of pictures!
Just across the southern Maine state line is Kittery, the state’s oldest settlement . . . . and gorgeous sandy beaches!
A little farther North is York, the oldest chartered city in America. Be sure to visit York Beach and Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse while there.
Ogunquit Beach was named the best beach in New England by New England Cable News. It sure doesn’t take long to see why!
In Kennebunk, you will find more pristine beaches. One landmark that may be of interest, especially if you are into politics, is the Bush Presidential Retreat at Walker’s Point. Also, be sure to check out the shopping, dining, and galleries in Dock Square!
Mount Desert Island
Mount Desert Island, referred to by the locals as just The Island, is the largest island in the state (with an area of 108 square miles) and the home of Acadia National Park (about half the island) and Bar Harbor. The best way to see the island is to drive the entire loop (Loop Road), which takes between one to two hours. Loop Road is a 2-lane, one-way, scenic road (not a highway) with lots of places to pull over to take pictures and just savor the view for a moment, so be sure you plan enough time to enjoy! The cost to access Loop Road was $20 when we were there, which has been a few years; but the access fee was good for awhile (a year, I think), and the view is well-worth the fee!
(Note: A very special Thank You to my older brother, Dr. Randy Hammer, for allowing us to post this gorgeous photo!)
More amazing Maine lighthouses:
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