Summer is here, and with it visions of white sand, sparkling water, and something cold and sweet in your glass. But for many of us, the reality is a sweaty commute, steam rising off the pavement, and a quick dodge from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned building. If you're not lucky enough to be able to jet off to your own private island this summer, here are five beaches that are within easy reach along the East Coast.
Crane Beach in Ipswich is a nature preserve, which means no boardwalk, no cheesy souvenir stands, just a snack bar and miles and miles of beautiful beach. Don't forget to grab lunch at the famous Clam Box!
Eat the freshest fish you'll ever taste in Gloucester, a historic fishing town, or scuba dive at Back Beach in Rockport, one of the best scuba diving destinations in the area.
Maine has an enormous coast, and it is really hard to go wrong with any of the beaches. If you can stand temperature, the swimming in Maine is hard to beat. Old Orchard Beach has lots to do for families, like lobster boat tours, an amusement park, and mini-golf.
Ogunquit offers Marginal Way, a stunning paved beach walk, complete with a shuttle ride back to the beginning. Scarborough beach state park is so beautiful that it served as an inspiration for painter Winslow Homer. For a day of glorious scenery, enjoy Maine!
Don't forget to grab lunch at the famous Clam Box!
Hit the North Shore, and check out the gorgeous beaches on Cape Ann and the North Shore.
Check out Asbury Park for you Springsteen fans!
Reality TV has given the Shore a bad rep, but the fact is that New Jersey boasts 130 miles of coastline, and it has something for everyone. Consider Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach Water Park for family fun.
Beautiful coastline, a clean boardwalk, and a quaint, quirky town add up to a wonderful weekend destination at Rehoboth Beach.
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is friendly to ATVs, dogs, horses, and who knows what else.
The Outer Banks is 100 miles of barrier islands in North Carolina. Jockey's Ridge is the largest sand dune on the East Coast, and offers up some spectacular views and is a great kite-flying destination.
The lighthouses are beautiful and the beaches themselves are very clean.