Surfing in Massachusetts might not be as well-known as in some other coastal states like California or Hawaii, but it still offers some excellent opportunities for surfers, especially during the fall and winter months when the Atlantic Ocean produces larger swells.
The best surfing spots in Massachusetts can be found along its coastline, primarily in the eastern part of the state, where the Atlantic Ocean provides consistent waves for surfers of all levels.
Here are some of the best surfing spots in Massachusetts:
Cape Cod is known for its beautiful beaches and has several spots where you can catch some great waves.
The quality of the surf varies depending on the season, weather conditions, and the specific location along the Cape’s coastline. Here are some of the best surfing spots in Cape Cod:
Marconi Beach (Wellfleet): Marconi Beach is one of the most popular surfing spots on Cape Cod. It offers consistent waves and a sandy bottom, making it a great spot for beginners and intermediate surfers. The beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore and provides a beautiful natural backdrop.
Nauset Beach (Eastham): Nauset Beach is known for its powerful waves, making it a preferred destination for experienced surfers. The large, consistent swells create excellent surfing conditions, especially during the hurricane season. However, it’s essential to be cautious of rip currents and strong undertows.
Coast Guard Beach (Eastham): Located within the Cape Cod National Seashore, Coast Guard Beach offers a picturesque setting for surfers. The waves here are typically moderate and suitable for all levels of surfers. It’s a family-friendly spot with lifeguards on duty during the summer months.
White Crest Beach (Wellfleet): White Crest Beach is a popular spot among local surfers. It’s known for its powerful, barreling waves, which can challenge even experienced surfers. The beach has a relaxed atmosphere and is less crowded compared to some other Cape Cod beaches.
Ballston Beach (Truro): Ballston Beach is a more secluded option for surfers looking to escape the crowds. It features consistent swells and provides a great environment for both beginners and advanced surfers. The beach is known for its natural beauty, with sand dunes and grassy bluffs.
Long Nook Beach (Truro): Long Nook Beach is a hidden gem for surfers. It has powerful waves, especially during the fall and winter months, making it popular among experienced surfers. The beach has a rugged and unspoiled feel, and it’s not as crowded as some other spots.
Newcomb Hollow Beach (Wellfleet): Newcomb Hollow Beach is a beautiful, scenic spot that offers great waves for surfers of all levels. It’s known for its sandy bottom and consistent swell. However, it can get crowded during peak surfing seasons.
Cahoon Hollow Beach (Wellfleet): Cahoon Hollow Beach is famous for its massive waves and is a popular spot for experienced surfers. It’s also home to the Wellfleet Beachcomber, a well-known beach bar where surfers can relax after a session in the water.
Nantucket Island, located just off the coast of Massachusetts, offers some excellent surf breaks. The island’s surf scene is characterized by beautiful beaches, clear waters, and a relatively relaxed atmosphere. Here are some details about surfing on Nantucket Island:
Cisco Beach: Cisco Beach is arguably the most popular and consistent surf spot on Nantucket. It is located on the south shore of the island and is known for its sandy bottom and consistent waves. The beach offers a range of wave sizes suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. Cisco Surf School operates here, providing lessons and board rentals for those new to the sport.
Jetties Beach: Located on the north shore of Nantucket, Jetties Beach offers a more protected surf spot, making it a good option for beginners or those looking for milder waves. This spot is popular for longboarding, and it’s a great place to learn the basics of surfing. Jetties Beach is also close to amenities and restaurants.
Madaket Beach: Madaket is known for its stunning sunsets and consistent, fun waves. It’s a bit more remote compared to Cisco and Jetties beaches, offering a quieter surfing experience. The waves here can range from small to moderate in size, making it suitable for a variety of skill levels.
Tom Nevers Beach: Located on the eastern end of Nantucket, Tom Nevers Beach is less crowded and can offer good surfing conditions, especially during the hurricane season when the swells can get larger. It’s a beautiful and peaceful spot for surfers who prefer a more remote setting.
Siasconset Beach: Also known as Sconset Beach, this spot is located on the eastern end of the island and can offer fun waves when conditions are right. It’s a less crowded spot, and the waves are generally suitable for surfers with some experience.
Great Point: Accessible only by 4×4 vehicle or on foot via a long hike, Great Point is on the northern tip of Nantucket and offers a more adventurous surfing experience. The waves here can be unpredictable and challenging, making it a spot for experienced surfers seeking a more remote and rugged experience.
Nantucket’s waves tend to be more user-friendly compared to some mainland locations, making it an excellent destination for beginners and families looking to enjoy the sport in a picturesque island setting.
Martha’s Vineyard offers some excellent surf breaks. Located off the coast of Massachusetts, it is known for its beautiful beaches and offers some great surfing opportunities, particularly during the late summer and early fall when hurricane swells can produce excellent waves. Here are some of the best surfing spots on Martha’s Vineyard:
South Beach: Located on the southeastern part of the island, South Beach is one of the most popular and consistent surf spots on Martha’s Vineyard. It offers a variety of waves suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced surfers.
The sandy bottom and consistent swell at South Beach make it an ideal spot for learning to surf or honing your skills. The beach can get crowded during the summer months, so arriving early or surfing during the shoulder seasons can provide a more relaxed experience.
Katama Bay (Katama Beach): Katama Beach is another popular spot on the island. It’s known for its long sandy stretch and excellent waves, particularly during hurricane swells. The waves here can be challenging and are best suited for more experienced surfers. It’s a picturesque spot with dunes and clear waters, making it a favorite among local surfers.
Menemsha Beach: Located on the island’s western side, Menemsha Beach can produce some fun waves when conditions are right. It’s a quieter spot, which can be a refreshing change from the more popular beaches on the island. It’s suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers, with varying wave sizes depending on the day.
Squibnocket Beach: Squibnocket Beach, on the southwestern part of the island, is known for its powerful and often barreling waves. This spot is more suitable for experienced surfers who can handle challenging conditions. The beach has a scenic backdrop with rock formations and cliffs.
State Beach: State Beach, situated between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, offers a combination of waves, suitable for surfers of various skill levels. The beach is relatively family-friendly, with nearby amenities and a laid-back atmosphere.
Lighthouse Beach (Aquinnah): Lighthouse Beach, located near the Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah, can provide excellent waves when conditions align. It’s a remote and peaceful spot, but the surf can be powerful. It’s best suited for experienced surfers.
Norton Point Beach: Norton Point Beach is situated at the southern tip of the island and is known for its shifting sands and unique surf conditions. It can offer good waves, but access can be challenging due to the constantly changing landscape. Norton Point often requires a beach pass or access via off-road vehicle.
Additionally, consider the time of year when surfing at Martha’s Vineyard, as late summer and early fall tend to bring the best surf conditions to the island due to hurricane swells in the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy your surfing adventure on this beautiful island!
Scituate, located south of Boston, is known for its surf culture. Scituate, a picturesque coastal town located on the South Shore of Massachusetts, offers some excellent surfing opportunities for enthusiasts looking to ride the waves in a charming New England setting.
The quality of surfing in Scituate can vary depending on the season, weather conditions, and the specific location along its coastline. Here are some details about the best surfing spots in Scituate:
Peggotty Beach: Peggotty Beach is one of the more popular surf spots in Scituate, and it’s suitable for surfers of various skill levels. The beach offers consistent waves and a sandy bottom, making it a great place for both beginners and more experienced surfers. It’s known for its laid-back atmosphere and scenic views.
Egypt Beach: Located in the Egypt section of Scituate, this beach can produce good waves during favorable conditions. It’s known for its powerful and sometimes barreling waves, making it more suitable for experienced surfers. It’s a picturesque spot with large, rocky outcrops adding to the scenery.
Minot Beach: Minot Beach is another spot in Scituate that surfers frequent. It can offer good waves when conditions align, making it suitable for all skill levels. It’s known for its sandy shoreline and proximity to the iconic Minot Lighthouse.
Plymouth Avenue Beach: This beach is situated near the mouth of the North River and can provide some enjoyable waves. It’s typically less crowded than some of the more popular spots in Scituate, offering a quieter and more relaxed surfing experience.
Third Cliff Beach: Located in the Third Cliff section of Scituate, this beach can offer fun waves, especially during swell-producing weather systems. It’s a beautiful spot with high bluffs and scenic views of the ocean.
Fourth Cliff Beach: Fourth Cliff Beach is part of the Scituate Coastal Reservation and is a lovely, somewhat secluded spot for surfing. It can offer good waves when conditions are favorable. It’s also a great spot for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
Surfing in Scituate offers not only great waves but also the chance to enjoy the charm and natural beauty of this coastal New England town.
The North Shore of Massachusetts is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, and it’s often considered one of the premier surfing destinations in the northeastern United States. It offers a variety of surf spots that cater to surfers of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders.
The North Shore’s surfing reputation is due to its consistent swells, diverse breaks, and the rich surf culture that has developed over the years. Here are some of the best surfing spots on the North Shore of Massachusetts:
Plum Island: Located in Newburyport, Plum Island is a great spot for surfers of all levels. It offers a variety of breaks and conditions depending on the specific beach area and tide. The waves here can range from mellow and forgiving to powerful and challenging.
Salisbury Beach: Salisbury Beach is another favorite spot for North Shore surfers. It’s known for its consistent and quality waves, making it suitable for surfers of all skill levels. The beach offers a welcoming and friendly surf culture.
Ipswich: The town of Ipswich has several beaches that are popular among local surfers. Crane Beach and Castle Neck are known for their scenic beauty and can produce good waves during favorable conditions.
Gloucester: Gloucester offers a range of surf spots, each with its unique character. Good Harbor Beach is known for its consistent waves, while Long Beach and Cape Ann tend to be more suitable for beginners.
Rockport: The rocky coastline of Rockport can provide some exciting waves. Surfing here can be more challenging, and it’s typically better suited for experienced surfers.
Manchester-by-the-Sea: Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea is a beautiful spot for surfing. It’s known for its long sandy beach and consistent swells, making it suitable for all levels of surfers.
Nahant: Nahant, located just north of Boston, offers rocky and reef breaks. It can be a challenging spot that’s best suited for experienced surfers who are comfortable with the rocky bottom.
Lynn: Lynn Beach and King’s Beach in Lynn can offer good waves during certain conditions. The surf culture here is welcoming, and it’s suitable for a range of skill levels.
The North Shore of Massachusetts is known for its cold water, so surfers should be prepared with appropriate wetsuits to stay warm, especially during the winter months.
The North Shore’s rich surfing history and vibrant surf community make it an exciting and rewarding destination for surfers looking to ride the waves in New England.
When planning a surfing trip to Massachusetts, it’s essential to consider the time of year and weather conditions. The best time for surfing is typically in the fall and winter when the Atlantic Ocean produces larger swells. However, this also means colder water temperatures, so you’ll need suitable wetsuits to stay warm.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to check surf forecasts and conditions before heading out, as Massachusetts weather can be unpredictable, and surf conditions can vary greatly depending on the day.
Always prioritize safety and be aware of local regulations and surf etiquette to ensure a positive surfing experience in Massachusetts.
Curley, Bob. “Six Swell Surf Towns in the Northeast.” Your AAA Network, 7 Aug. 2023, magazine.northeast.aaa.com/daily/travel/day-trips/northeast-surfing-destinations/
Malamut, Melissa. “10 New England surf spots worth visiting (even just to gawk).” Boston.com, 13 Aug. 2016, boston.com/travel/travel/2016/08/13/10-new-england-surf-spots-worth-visiting-even-just-to-gawk/