Best of Boston

2003 Best Beach, North

Good Harbor

The only bad thing about Good Harbor is the small parking lot—which, if you’re lucky enough to snag a spot, isn’t such a bad thing. The lack of parking keeps the crowds down, meaning it’s actually possible to avoid having sand blow into your sandwich every time someone shakes out a towel. The half-mile stretch of white beach appeals to young and old alike, with a tidal river and seaweed-covered rocks to explore and services including lifeguards, showers, and a snack bar. Get there at low tide for a walk out to Salt Island before the water rushes back in to cover the thin sandbar that connects it to the mainland. It’s a trusty alternative to Crane, another favorite North Shore beach.

Thatcher Rd., Gloucester,