If life’s a beach, Massachusetts has it good

The Bay State has 451 public beaches and 731 miles of beachfront.

photograph from ap images; illustration by lucy naland/globe Staff

With Summer here, we look at the Bay State’s many, many beaches.

60 — Massachusetts towns and cities with saltwater beaches

5 of the state’s most popular saltwater beaches:

> Revere Beach (Revere)


> Nahant Beach (Nahant)

> Nantasket Beach (Hull)

> Salisbury Beach (Salisbury)

> Horseneck Beach (Westport)

1895 — Year Revere Beach became America’s first public beach


26 — Number of saltwater beaches run by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, free to visitors (some charge for parking)

730 — Approximate miles of beaches in Massachusetts

1,519 — Miles of tidal shoreline in Massachusetts

3.8 million — Approximate number of travelers to Massachusetts In 2015 who went to the beach

15 — Approximate percentage of Massachusetts tourists those beachgoers represent


451 — Number of uniquely named beaches that allow public access

18 — Number of lighthouses on Massachusetts public beaches

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“I wasn’t serious, it was just a little joke. I know you can’t fry clams like chips!”  — “Tarr,” a fisherman whose first name is lost to history, after others jeered him for suggesting Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman fry some clams on July 3, 1916; Woodman’s of Essex still sells the fried clams woodman is credited with inventing

Sources: Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism; New England Historical Society; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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