There’s a cape in Massachusetts with pristine beaches, gentle hiking trails, and seafood fresh from the docks. It’s never crowded, prettiest in summer, and only 30 miles from Boston. Arrive at blissful Cape Ann, and the first word to escape your lips will be Ahhh.
Related: America’s Best Little Beach Towns
Summer brings a craving for lazy, sunbaked days featuring ocean breezes and an inclined beach chair. Luckily, you don’t need to travel far to stake out your place in the sand: we’ve collected 18 easy beach weekend getaways from major U.S. cities.
For a still-sleepy beach destination, set your GPS to Anna Maria Island, just down the Florida coast from Tampa, where the pace lends itself to long days spent sunbathing and nights spent tucking into just-caught seafood along the waterfront. If you prefer your sunshine with a side of fresh sushi, creative cocktails, and street artists, head for Santa Monica, CA.
Related: Best Vacation Spots
Of course, Florida and California are hardly the only states that offer such escapes. This summer, you might explore the windswept beaches of Ocracoke Island, NC, or stroll among the boutiques, waterfront restaurants, and Victorian-era buildings that make up Port Townsend, WA.
Delaware serves up an old-fashioned romantic getaway at Rehoboth Beach, where couples take evening strolls along the boardwalk and compete at the kind of arcade games that will kick your nostalgia into high gear.
Your summer starts here.