Summer 2008 Beach Guide

Amy Julian

Even if you are taking summer courses or spending your three-month UMB hiatus punching the clock, you can still take advantage of the great beaches Boston (and other areas in Massachusetts) has to offer. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Boston’s Best Beaches

Closest Beach: Malibu Beach/Savin Hill Beach, Dorchester.

If you don’t mind the sight of the large gas tank (hey, it’s the world’s largest copyrighted piece of artwork!) and you are really going to lie in the sun or walk anyways, this beach is great. While the water gets crowded very quickly, it’s a great place to relax, have a picnic and catch some rays. Plus, it’s just a few minutes away from UMB, so there’s no excuse that you can’t find it!

Best South Shore Beach: Wollaston Beach, Quincy.

Helpful hint: go far down to either end of the beach if you are going at night for a romantic, moonlit walk with your sweetie; otherwise, the slew of drunken high schoolers may detract from your desired ambience. If you’re going during the day, there’s usually no problem with partying, and the beach offers nice views of Marine Bay and the city.

Best not-really-a-beach: Castle Island, South Boston. Okay, so the beach here is only a couple hundred feet and can get pretty crowded with kids and dogs, but it’s the ambience of Castle Island, and the immense amounts of spots to lay in the sun that really make Castle Island a charmer. Some of my fondest memories are of Castle Island, skipping rocks on the beach, watching the planes fly overhead, touring the Castle, and eating French fries and chocolate ice cream (yes, together) from Sullivan’s.

Best swimming beach: Buzzard’s Bay, Falmouth.

I hear they have some of the warmest water in the state, so for those who are looking to hang ten or even just wade in the water without a ton of seaweed wrapping around your feet, Buzzard’s Bay is the place for you.

Best beach food: Revere Beach, Revere.

Okay, so you probably wouldn’t go to Revere Beach for its pristine water or soft-as-silk sand. While the city of Revere has made leaps and bounds in the beautification of Revere Beach, the beach is still lacking a bit. But the real beauty of Revere Beach is the great eateries there-Kelly’s Roast Beef, Bianchi’s pizza, Kell’s Crème, and a whole slew of clam shacks and surf-and-turf eateries. Plus, you’ll feel nostalgic walking along the beach, knowing that it’s actually the first public beach in North America! Tip: Don’t go after 6:00 p.m., unless you’re into drag racing, pumping Latin music and rowdy teenagers.

Best Beach in Massachusetts (from sources): Crane Beach, Ipswitch.

While I’ve never been there, I have heard nothing but great things about Crane Beach. The sand is clean, the water is clear and the views are magnificent. Only drawback is the admission fee, though if you go after 3:00 p.m., it’s half-price. The beach boasts a 4-mile shoreline, so there’s plenty of room to spread out along the beach. Perfect for photographers too, who are looking to capture the beauty of one of the best beaches around.

Top Five Things You Need for the Beach

Don’t forget to pack these essentials in your beach bag!

1. SUNSCREEN! After hearing all of the bad things that my skin has likely endured from 9 years of tanning beds, I’m trying to wean myself off of the sun a bit. With skin cancer becoming more and more of a problem, and the prospect of wrinkles, brown spots and other sun-related problems, having a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25 (more if you tend to burn easily) is a must for a day at the beach. Reapply every 2 hours or so, using about 2 medicine cup-sized globs at a time. And don’t be fooled by any myths: applying numerous SPF’s will not give you added protection. You will only get the protection of the lowest SPF.

2. Water. It’s important to stay hydrated at the beach, as your skin is losing water through sweat. Re-hydrating with water will ensure you stay hydrated, and while running to the bathhouse every hour may be inconvenient, sipping on agua will help you stay out of the ER.

3. Sunglasses. While it might seem obvious, it’s important to protect your peepers from the sun’s rays too! Evidence shows that UV rays can damage your fragile eyes, even causing cataracts! So be sure to throw your shades in your tote as you are walking out the door!

4. Change of clothes. How many times have you had to drive home or sit on the T with sand in your crotch? Not fun. Or worse, sitting in a wet bathing suit, feeling plain yucky. Save yourself the yucky feeling and throw in a light sundress or a clean pair of board shorts. Trust me; the clean feeling is worth it!

5. A friend! Just don’t try and stuff them in your beach bag! Let’s face it, alone we can all get kinds of boring. Going to the beach is a great way to bond with your buds and have a good laugh. Spending time with friends at the beach with friends: the epitome of summer vacation.

UMB students talk: What are some of your favorite beach reads?

“Usually the newspaper, I like to stay on top of my current events.” – Junior John L.

“I’m finishing up Meagan Crane’s ‘Frenemies’ right now. It’s a light, easy read and it’s a real page turner! Anything like that, chick-lit, girly books that don’t make you think too much.” – Sophomore Jackie M.

“I wanna pick up Jose Canseco’s new book [Vindicated]; it seems pretty interesting.” -Senior Chris S.

“I’m not really into books, more magazines-like Cosmo, Lucky and the celebrity magazines, too.” – Sophomore Chondra J.

“I like a lot of random, weird stuff; it depends on my mood.”- Junior Dave P.