Articles from the Boston Compass, Boston Compass

AUGUST 2017 COMPASS #90: Places You Can Hang

Beachy getaways from your smelly life.


I know. You’re paying too much to live with too many total shit pigs in too small a space in one of the Boston area’s beloved student ghettoes or well foliated $8 pour over/stroller havens. The kitchen smells like a death camp and so does the roommate’s cat’s shit box. (I know, I know they’re all depressed and out of Adderall and have had a really tough year. Sometimes though, you gotta fake it ‘til you make it and Just. Clean. The litter box, kid.) What the hell do I know though? I live with my parents. Anyhow, time to get away, even for just half a day…

Our fair city on the hill has loads of great places to swim, but here’s a list of a few beaches on the North Shore that are worth the journey by car (sadly, the best way), MBTA and/or bicycle. All are map-able on that device in your pocket.

Gas House Beach, Marblehead (all the way down Gas House Ln off of Orne St.). Gas House Lane looks like a private driveway, but it opens up on an adorable beach in a cove. The neighborhood also features a Civil War Prison/Fort and some beautiful colonial burial grounds if you like to rub. HP Lovecraft loved this town for a reason. Head back to downtown Marblehead for affordable food and drink. (Blue Line to Wonderland 442 bus to Marblehead, get off at the last stop)

Eisman’s Beach, Swampscott (Puritan Ave. opp. Smith Ln.) Walk past the aptly named Fisherman’s Beach and get onto Puritan ave to find this Beach. It doesn’t smell like Fisherman’s or the beach back in Lynn, thank god (algae disorder, sore subject). My favorite part is going rock climbing during low tide from beach to beach starting here and going north. Recommended for when people in the large houses lining the shore are less likely to be home. Wave at their gardeners and contractors as you pass. Swampscott is a bourgeois food desert but the big Mission on the Bay seems to be running a decent M-Th pub food happy hour. (Commuter Rail to Swampscott or Blue Line to Wonderland and 442 bus to Swampscott)

Waikiki Beach Salem (At the End of Winter Island Road past the Plummer Youth Promise campus) This beach is adjacent to the Winter Island camp-ground which technically costs money to park and camp at, but is free to enter on foot. There’s plenty of parking a quarter mile away on the approach to the Salem Willows park and arcade. The beach has a secluded feel when the campground is not full and some tropical touches and is one of my local favorites. A pretty path winds around the whole place leading to plenty of great make-out and 420 spots. Head to one of the willows Chinese Joints for a classic chop-suey sandwich and then play some skee ball. (Commuter Rail to Salem 450/451 us to Salem Willows/Winter Island)

-N.A. Havusha

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