The South Shore offers a smorgasbord of beautiful beaches, both ocean and freshwater, from which to escape the heat this summer. If you want to enjoy the sun and sand without the hassle of navigating traffic-choked Cape Cod bridges, Plymouth seems to be the destination of choice for weekend and summer-long vacationers.
Here are a few of the beaches to consider in America’s Hometown.
- White Horse Beach – a 560 ft. public beach known for the landmark rock on its north end, which bears the painted image of an American flag. The soft, white sand beach with a relatively calm surf is also the site of a townwide 4th of July fireworks display and celebration that dates back to the 19th century. A section of this beach is private, but a major portion is public. There are no restrooms, lifeguards are on duty through Labor Day, and you can park on the street if you can find a spot.
- Plymouth Long Beach – a favorite among the locals and the not-so-locals, this 3-mile long barrier beach juts out into blue Atlantic. It has restroom facilities and a snack bar, and paid parking is available for out-of town guests. Several species of endangered birds make nests in the dunes in the early summer months, which restricts the number of 4×4 vehicles that are allowed in the area at that time. The beach is open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Fresh Pond Park – a popular freshwater beach and picnic area in the Manomet section of Plymouth. Season’s parking tickets are available to residents, and out-of-towners can park for a daily fee. Leashed dogs are permitted on the beach, and lifeguards are on site all summer long. The park includes restrooms and playground areas as well as the 62-acre natural kettlehole pond with depths of up to 30 feet.
- College Pond – another great freshwater spot for swimming, canoeing, picnicking and fishing. Also a natural kettlehole pond, College pond is a scenic spot with about one mile of shoreline, but it has no restroom facilities, and no lifeguards on duty.
- Duxbury Beach – a 6-mile long barrier beach that runs through sections of Marshfield, Duxbury and the Saquish area of Plymouth. If you’re looking for amenities, you’ve hit the jackpot with this beautiful sandy beach, which houses a bathhouse with showers, restrooms, snack bars, a lunchroom and a full-service restaurant called Blakemans that’s open Thurs.-Sun., 5-8 p.m. Four-wheel drive vehicles are allowed on the beach with “over-sand” permits required. Not allowed are dogs, alcohol or fires. Daily parking is $15/car.
Plymouth is home to many other beaches, including some that are open only to town residents. For a complete guide, go towww.seeplymouth.com/beaches-and-parks.