Best. Summer. Ever: Get your pale, white ass to the beach this 4th of July weekend, with our help

We compiled New England's best beaches, by T or by land or by sea....for our Summer Guide. Check out a few of our favorites- you've got a long weekend to soak up all the UV rays you can handle. Don't forget the sunblock. Or the discreet cooler of beer. (But be careful with those open containers, the fines are a real bitch.)

1. Boston Harbor Islands

Just a quick ferry ride away. Swimming allowed at island beaches on Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, Spectacle, and Lovells islands. Lifeguards on duty only at Spectacle Island. more

2. Castle Island

Always hopping in the summer months, Castle Island has got a supervised swimming area, fishing, picnic tables, restrooms, first aid and life guard functions, and concession stands. more

3. Crane Beach

Reader's Pick for best beach, Crane has got (along with miles of sandy shoreline) rolling green lawns, toilets, a bathhouse, picnic area, and a snack bar. more

4. Gloucester Beaches

Accessible by car, train, or ferry. We like Good Harbor beach- it's beautiful and has a bathhouse and snack bar. Be forewarned, though, parking is a bit pricey. Half Moon Beach is smaller and Cressy's is a more natural, rocky beach- but you can bring a grill and set up shop to BBQ. more

5. Salisbury Beach

An easy hour or so's drive north, Salisbury had nearly four miles of ocean beach, bathhouses with showers and toilets, a public-access boat ramp, and campgrounds. Boating and fishing are also available. Lifeguards on duty. more

6. The Cape/Nantucket

If you find yourself out there, we suggest Jetties Beach. Jetties has a beautiful boardwalk, lifeguards, changing rooms, concession stand, public tennis courts, volleyball nets, and restrooms.Windsurfing, sailboat, and kayak lessons and rentals available too! more

Lost, confused, need more summer guidance? Refer to our Best.Summer.Ever. guide to find out what's going in your 'hood and beyond



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