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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES » MASSACHUSETTS » Cold Water, Hot Sun, and Seaside Charm
Leases get Tangled on Wollaston Beach     BY: Christopher S. Penn
Cold Water, Hot Sun, and Seaside Charm

Summer on the South Shore –Hull/Quincy, Massachusetts

By Danielle Baldassini | July 21, 2011

Previous Article in this Series

ONE returns to the South Shore to look at two more must-swim beaches.

Nantasket Beach

Located in the peninsula town of Hull, Nantasket Beach Reservation is twenty-six acres of historic, kitschy summer fun. In the sixties, the surrounding area was a hub for the South Shore’s youth population, complete with an amusement park and a bustling, Jersey Shore-like nightlife amidst a picturesque seaside community.

The Nantasket Beach Carousel

If you visit today, you can still find the remnants of that scene in the area’s eclectic crowd, quirky tourist shops, and arcades, as well as the iconic Paragon Carousel—a prominent symbol of the beach’s heyday.

The beach itself can be hard to maneuver, especially at high tide, when there’s not much space to walk across the pebbly sand and large rocks close to shore. But it’s so long that there’s plenty of space to park your chair. Just be sure to venture away from the shops and the downtown area if you’re looking for a less-crowded area.

The warmer water temperatures and decent-sized waves can attract a number of surfers.

For a taste of classic Hull, be sure to stop by Barefoot Bob’s, located right across from the beach. The beach grill offers outside seating, cold beer, fresh seafood, and award-winning clam chowder. If you’re in the mood for something fancier, #1 Zagat-rated Saporito’s offers an upscale Italian menu, while Bridgeman’s has a dining room overlooking the “sun and moon-soaked surf.”

Even without the beach, the town of Hull is worth a trip for its fascinating history, scenic, ocean views, and artsy atmosphere.

Wollaston Beach / Quincy Shore Reservation

This 2.3-mile stretch of land in Quincy is great for active people.   Its mixture of woodland trails and marshes are great for hiking, jogging, and biking. At the north end of the reservation, you’ll find Moswetuset Hummock, a summer campsite for Native Americans in the 1600s and now a National Historic Site. Caddy Park, at the opposite end, offers picnic tables and a children’s play area.

A Lifeguard Keeps Watch on Wollaston Beach
BY & COPYRIGHT: Christopher S. Penn

Between these two sits Wollaston Beach, a beautiful spot that becomes particularly magical in the early morning views of Boston just across the water. While not especially known for its swimming, as the water can be a bit on the murky side, laying on the light brown sand, looking out across harbor, or scouting the shore looking for sea glass is an ideal way to spend a summer afternoon.

Bostonians come here for not only recreational activities, but also for a healthy dose of nostalgia as many area establishments have stood the test of time. Tony’s Clam Shop, opened in 1964 and still family-owned, is a great place to check out the scene from its outdoor patio and carries a diverse menu—serving everything from its trademark fried clams, to fresh wraps, and even Middle Eastern specialties.

The Clam Box is another local favorite that has been in business since 1968 and features a large kids menu in addition to scrumptious, fresh seafood with the option to eat in or take out.

The Beachcomber is a Quincy dive bar that just turned fifty in 2009. Although it’s small, dark, and the bathrooms are cramped, there are not many better places to go for an authentic Irish experience in Quincy. The townies are colorful and friendly, and if you come on the right night, you might catch the band playing on the outdoor patio across the street from the water.


Nantasket Beach

213 Nantasket Avenue, Hull, MA 02045

(781) 925-4905

Open year-round from dusk until dawn.


Wollaston Beach

Quincy Shore Drive, Quincy, MA 02170

(617) 727-5290

Open year-round from dusk until dawn.


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