Nahant Beach vs. Nantasket Beach

Who has the finest stretch of sand?
nahant nantasket beaches

From left: Photographs by Charlene McBride (Nahant); Todd van Hooser (Nantasket); Courtesy of Rob Corddry and Jamie Denbo (Portraits)

nahant nantasket beaches headshots

FOR THE NORTH SHORE:
Actress/comedienne Jamie Denbo, a Swampscott native, spent her childhood flying kites at Nahant.

FOR THE SOUTH SHORE:
Ballers co-star Rob Corddry, a Weymouth son, spent his teenage years cruising the Nantasket boardwalk.

RC: My best memories of Nantasket are—it’s just kind of the same memory happening over and over and over again. Mostly every night during a given summer in my high school days, it would be my friend Jeff coming to pick me up in his shit-box 1964 Mustang, driving to Nantasket Beach, parking, and popping the hood. And so the chicks, I don’t know, would walk by and be impressed.

JD: For me, going to Nahant wasn’t about rebellious behavior. It was about learning to appreciate a beautiful sunrise. It was about the kite flying, too. There’s something about the way the beach is enclosed that makes it good for flying kites nine months out of the year. You would drive with your friends to get Kelly’s Roast Beef, bring it back to Nahant Beach, and get your kite, whether it was a cheap one or a fancy one. Fewer people and fewer tourists meant that you could play your music a lot louder, and we did that.

RC: My friend Jason, who’s from Nahant, said he was jealous of our beach because we had an amusement park. His aunt and uncle used to rent a house in Hull for the summer. It was more fun.

JD: Yeah, more fun if you like crowds and jacked-up prices. If you want something classier, like a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc on a picnic blanket, I’d stick with Nahant.

RC: Kind of like the South Shore itself, at Nantasket there’s no pretense. It’s kind of what I love about the Boston area—good people who bust balls, talk fast, and have fun. We would cringe at being called townies, but it is that sort of feel. Whereas Nahant, never having been there, strikes me as the tony Boston Brahmin snobs.

JD: He’s not necessarily wrong, but that’s fine. We’ll be the Kennedys and he can be the Wahlbergs.

—As told to Brittany Jasnoff

*** WINNER ***

South Shore, for those glorious summer nights.


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Brittany Jasnoff
Brittany Jasnoff Executive Editor at Boston Magazine bjasnoff@bostonmagazine.com