August is halfway over, but the weather in New England is stubbornly hot and muggy—which means it’s still beach time.  Since summer is coming to a close, you won’t want to waste any time at subpar beaches.  Check out some of the best New England beaches for an easy and affordable weekend getaway and make the most of these last few weeks of summer.

Scarborough Beach State Park

418 Black Point Road, Scarborough, Maine 04074

Scarborough, Maine, best beaches in New England

Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr – Picture of Higgins Beach, located in Scarborough, Maine

Less than 20 minutes from Portland, Maine’s biggest city, Scarborough Beach is easily accessible.  The sand is smooth and clean, and the water is warm—by Maine standards, anyway.  In August, the water remains in the mid- to high-sixties. After boogie boarding on some of the best waves in Maine, grab a bite to eat at the Mainely Burgers food truck or the concession stand, where you can also rent chairs and umbrellas.

Charlestown Breachway State Beach

Charlestown Beach Road, Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813

Charlestown Breachway State Beach, Rhode Island, beaches in New England

Ben Harwood via Flickr

Charlestown Breachway is a great option for a beach getaway on a budget because of its designated camping area.  Rent an RV with your friends and head to Charlestown, Rhode Island for a weekend of aquatic fun.  The Breachway has a boat launch, and the waters are some of the best in the area for saltwater fishing. You can stay active or relax on the beach and enjoy the view of Block Island Sound.

Ocean Beach Park

98 Neptune Avenue, New London, Connecticut 06320

Ocean Beach Park, New London, Connecticut, best beaches in New England

Nguyen Nguyen via Flickr

This Connecticut beach and boardwalk is one of the livelier on our list.  If you’re tired of swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, don’t worry—there’s an Olympic-sized freshwater pool at Ocean Beach Park.  Unleash your inner kid with mini-golf, the triple water slide, or the game room.  Among this entertainment overload, there is respite in nature.  Make sure to take a deep breath and explore the nature walk and the bird watching observation deck.


Horseneck Beach State Reservation

5 John Reed Road, Westport, Massachusetts 02791

Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Westport, Massachusetts, best beaches in New England

Eddie via Flickr

This 2-mile long beach is located on Buzzards Bay, and its 100-site campground is the perfect place for students to stay. Horseneck Beach State Reservation offers curious beachgoers a chance to explore activities beyond lounging on the sand—although you’ll get a chance to do that, too.  You might want to try your hand at windsurfing on the gusty waters, or for a tamer alternative, break out your binoculars for some of the best bird watching in New England.

Kettle Cove Beach

Kettle Cove Road, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107

Kettle Cove Beach, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, best beaches in New England

Scott McCracken via Flickr

Kettle Cove is small and quiet; it’s one of Maine’s best-kept secrets and a great place to check out the rocky coast.  There is a grassy area if you prefer to picnic sans sand, and if you’re tired of tanning, explore the trails leading to another small cove. Make sure not to miss the tide pools.  It’s easy to spend hours letting tiny hermit crabs crawl on your hands and running your fingers along the rough barnacles.  When you’re worn out from the sun and adventures, visit Kettle Cove Creamery and Café for delicious hand-made ice cream.

Can you make it to one (or more) of these beaches before summer is over?  Get a group of friends together, find a place to stay, and you’re off.  You don’t have to go far to find paradise and enjoy one last vacation this summer.

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