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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES » MASSACHUSETTS » Cold Water, Hot Sun, and Seaside Charm
A Rainbow Over Rexhame Beach     BY: Amie Fedora Photography
Cold Water, Hot Sun, and Seaside Charm

Summer on the South Shore - Duxbury/Marshfield, Massachusetts

By Danielle Baldassini | June 29, 2011

The south shore of Massachusetts may not offer many tropical delights, with its chilly water, unpredictable weather, and not always the smoothest sand. In this first part of a two part article, ONE, shows you the best places to visit.

With diverse wildlife, refreshing breezes, spectacular views, and enough character to inspire miles of walking trails along the coastline, the south shore beaches put those south Florida beaches to shame. Here are three of the best.

Duxbury Beach

Duxbury Beach, a six-mile long barrier beach about thirty-five miles south of Boston, offers the quintessential beach experience—complete with a snack bar, public bathrooms, and lifeguards. While the water can be cold, and the rocks seem to outnumber the sand at times, the natural, rugged beauty of Duxbury Beach has made it one of the most popular and well-known on the south shore.

Duxbury Beach
BY & COPYRIGHT: Vova Zinger

It’s also one of the only beaches that offers both a bay and ocean side. The open ocean is colder, wavier, and rockier but always clean. Cross the parking lot to visit the bay side, and you’ll find warmer, murkier water, with plenty of fish and clams.

Duxbury Beach is a great family beach and many parents take their children to the bay because of its warm, calm waters and the opportunity to look for unique wildlife. See if you can spot the prehistoric horseshoe crab, with its dark, hard shell, and long, straight tail.

The beach is also home to the threatened bird species like piping plovers and least terns. During nesting season, large areas of the beach are closed.

Duxbury Beach is also one of the only New England beaches where you can watch the sun set over the water, so if you find yourself staying late, don’t miss it. As the oranges and yellows gleam off the water and slowly fade out, you will marvel at the natural wonders of this south shore gem.

Green Harbor Beach

Green Harbor Beach, located on Beach Street and Bay Avenue in the coastal town of Marshfield, is one of the most pristine beaches on the south shore. Its soft, white sand and calm, clear water perfectly exemplifies New England’s seaside charm.

Green Harbor Jetty
BY & COPYRIGHT: Amie Fedora Photography

Because the beach is located on an inlet, the water is typically warmer than most other local beaches and is one of the best places around to bring the kids for a swim.

Green Harbor Beach is also known for its long jetty, which enables visitors to walk out over the water and jump in when it gets deep enough or simply sit and wave to all the boats that pass by.

Open year-round, the beach is a popular hangout spot for teenagers in the summer.

The friendly, youth-oriented atmosphere is also prevalent in the surrounding shops like the Marshfield Hills General Store on Prospect Street, run by the sister-in-law of comedian Steve Carell (from ‘The Office’). With its quaint front porch, friendly staff, and classic offerings of penny candy and fresh popcorn, it’s a pure slice of old-fashioned Americana.

Parking on the surrounding streets is resident-only, but you can park at Green Harbor Lobster Pound, located right on Ocean Street, for $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. You can also buy some fresh lobster (cooked free of charge) or scrumptious clam strips while there.

Rexhame Beach

This Marshfield barrier beach is teeming with gulls and terns among the beach grass. Located off Standish Street, a short walk over the sandy dunes will lead you to a peaceful, clean beach ideal for birding, walking, or just sitting and staring at the ocean. Rexhame Beach rarely gets as crowded as nearby beaches like Green Harbor, and you can always find a place to spread out your towel. It’s also one of the few local beaches that allows dogs all year round.

Rexhame Beach
BY & COPYRIGHT: Amie Fedora Photography

Nearby Ocean Street also offers much of the old-fashioned seaside charm that Marshfield is known for and is scattered with bars, ice-cream stands, and seafood eateries.

If you’re in the mood for brunch, Arthur and Pat’s is a local staple that offers scrumptious omelets, mouth-watering French toast, a friendly waitstaff, and plenty of colorful locals.

For something more upscale, try The Fieldston for fine-dining in an old, renovated boathouse, complete with a fireplace, extensive wine list, and a creative, seafood-themed menu (Try the lobster macaroni).

If you’re looking to chill with a beer, the well-known Venus II, a two-story ocean-front sports bar and restaurant, is a great place to go and also offers a full menu of pub food staples. It’s right across from the beach, so you can hear the waves crashing as you relax on the deck.

Check back soon for part 2 of our look at South Shore beaches.

ONE would like to thank Amie Fedora Photography and Vova Zinger for allowing us to use their photographs to accompany this article.   To see more from Amie Fedora Photography, please check out their terrific website www.amiefedoraphotography.com.


Duxbury Beach

260 Gurnet Road, Duxbury, MA, 02332

(781) 837-3112

Open from 9AM to 8PM daily


Green Harbor Beach

131 Beach Street, Marshfield, MA 02041

(781) 834-4571 (Green Harbor Lobster Pound)

Open every day from dusk till dawn


Rexhame Beach

Standish Street (end of), Marshfield, MA 02050

(781) 834-5543 (Town of Marshfield Recreation Department)

Open every day from dusk till dawn


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