Best of Boston

2002 Best Beach, North

Revere Beach Reservation

Born from the civic altruism that also created the Emerald Necklace, Revere Beach was the first public beach in America, and thanks to a centennial restoration that began in 1996, it’s again one of the best. The bathhouses might still be funky and the surrounding apartment buildings can be eyesores, but the bandstand is spiffed up, and the sand and water are clean, making the nearly three-mile crescent lapped by the Atlantic one of New England’s most beautiful beaches. If it were in Rio, there would be a song about it. Where else can you watch 747s set down like giant birds as you do the backstroke, or forgo your summer potboiler to read the tattoos on passerby? If Revere is the people’s beach, then power to the people.

Revere Beach Boulevard, Revere, 781-284-0039,