Life's a Beach - Page 2

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Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Forty miles of windswept sand dunes, kettlehole ponds, bogs, scrub forest, and marshes combine to form the serene Cape Cod National Seashore. As logic dictates, the farther out you go, the fewer people you'll encounter. Newcomb Hollow Beach on the Wellfleet/Truro line fits that bill, where you'll most likely be sharing the beach with surfers in the early morning hours. The waters on the Bay side of Cape Cod are warmer and have less surf, thus make for an ideal sand-stomping ground for the under-seven set. Paine's Creek in Brewster is one of those small gems that's popular with the pail-and-shovel crowd. However, venture here at high tide or you may be walking a mile out to sea to find the water.

Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Wingaersheek's shallow waters are a firm family favorite for day-tripping Bostonians. At low tide you can walk close to a mile to a gleaming white lighthouse jutting out from the tip of land at Annisquam. When the water rushes in, indentations in the sand make ideal warm wading pools for toddlers who may be wary of ocean waves. The older kids love the large rock formations on either side of the beach, where you can clamber up and down the boulders looking for crabs.

Wallis Sands State Beach, Rye, New Hampshire
Bordering the Atlantic for a mere 18 miles, it's not so easy to ditch the crowds in New Hampshire. Try the wide crescent shoreline at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye. It tends to be a little more laid-back than nearby Hampton, but with so little coast in the state, all the beaches are on-the-beaten-track.

Footbridge Beach, Ogunquit, Maine
At Ogunquit's three-mile-long Main Beach in southern Maine, sunbathers are packed like sardines in summer. To escape this swarming mass of civilization, head two miles north on Ocean Street and turn right to reach the Footbridge Beach parking lot. Gently lapping waves and an expansive stretch of sand reward families with the patience to wander.

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