Beaches in Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is a beautiful coastal city on the North Shore with a number of swimmable beaches. Most of these beaches are small and have calm, shallow water with beautiful views of Salem Harbor and/or the ocean.

The water quality at these beaches are monitored frequently and they are considered clean and safe for swimming.

Have you been to any of these beaches in Salem? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of them!

The following is a list of beaches in Salem:

Collins Cove Beach:

Address: 44 Planters Street, Salem, MA

Collins Cove features a small, 500-foot long sandy beach that offers beautiful views of the ocean and is one of the best spots in Salem to watch the sunset.

There are no restrooms and no lifeguards on duty so swim at your own risk but the water is calm and shallow.

It’s best to swim at this beach at high tide since it can get muddy when the tide is out and some beachgoers recommend that you wear water shoes due to broken glass on the beach. Limited free street parking is available.

Dead Horse Beach:

Address: Restaurant Row, Salem, MA

Dead Horse Beach is a small sandy beach located at Salem Willows Park overlooking Beverly Harbor.

The beach reportedly derives its name from the fact that the residents of Salem used to bury their dead horses on the beach in the 1850s before the area was developed.

It’s best to swim at this beach at high tide due to the mud flats. Although there are no restrooms at the beach there are restrooms at Salem Willows Park and free on-site parking.

Every January, the town holds its annual Christmas tree bonfire on the beach during which thousands of the town’s discarded Christmas trees are burned.

Derby Wharf Beach:

Address: 160 Derby Street, Salem, MA

Derby Wharf Beach, also known as Derby Wharf, is a small sandy beach located at the end of Derby Wharf, which is a historic pier extending into Salem Harbor. The beach is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

The beach is relatively small and is not designed for swimming or sunbathing due to broken glass and debris that sometimes wash ashore. It is more commonly used for walking, picnicking, and beachcombing.

Adjacent to Derby Wharf Beach is the Derby Wharf Light Station, a historic lighthouse built in 1871. The lighthouse adds to the picturesque setting and is a popular attraction for visitors to the area.

While Derby Wharf Beach may not offer typical beach activities like swimming or sunbathing, it provides a pleasant spot for relaxing, scenic walks, and exploring Salem’s maritime heritage.

Forest River Park:

Address: 32 Clifton Ave, Salem, MA

Forest River Park is a small park that features two sandy beaches, Pioneer Beach and Forest River Point Beach, that features views of Salem Harbor, picnic areas, a playground, swimming pool, a baseball field, restrooms, on-site parking lot and a living history museum called Pioneer Village. There are no lifeguards on duty so swim at your own risk.

Juniper Beach:

Address: 23 Beach Avenue, Salem, MA

Juniper Beach is a small sandy beach, in the residential neighborhood of Juniper Point, that features a designated swimming area and a seating area on the promenade.

There are no restrooms and no lifeguard on duty so swim at your own risk. Very limited parking is available at the entrance to the beach.

Misery Islands:

Address: Salem, MA

Misery Islands are a pair of islands, 83-acre Great Misery and 4-acre Little Misery, off the coast of Salem in Salem Sound.

The islands earned their name when shipbuilder Captain Robert Moulton became stranded on the islands during a storm in the 1620s and described his time there as “three miserable days.”

The island features trails for hiking, private secluded beaches for swimming, public outhouses and scenic views of Salem, Marblehead and Beverly.

The islands are part of the Misery Islands Reservation, a protected area managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Visitors can access the islands via private boat or through organized boat tours.

Ocean Avenue Beach:

Address: Ocean Avenue, Salem, MA

Ocean Avenue Beach is a small rocky/sandy beach on Ocean Avenue. There is no parking lot and no lifeguard on duty so swim at your own risk. There is also a lot of boat traffic in the area due to its close proximity to Fred J. Dion Yacht yard.

Osgood Beach:

Address: Intersection of Savoy Road and Hemenway Road, Salem, MA

Osgood Beach is a private sandy beach at Osgood Park that features a designated swimming area with lifeguards, a boat ramp, a dock, and views of Jeggle Island. The beach is relatively wide and provides plenty of space for visitors to relax and enjoy the view.

The park also offers facilities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. The park and beach are only open to members of the Osgood Park Association.

Steps Beach:

Address: Columbus Ave, Juniper Cove, Salem, MA

Steps Beach is a small rocky/sandy beach at Juniper Cove. The beach is named after the set of stone steps that lead down to the beach.

Waikiki Beach:

Address: 60 Winter Island Rd, Salem, MA

Waikiki Beach is a small sandy island beach located at Winter Island Maritime Park. The 45-acre park features a picturesque shoreline with views of the harbor, nearby islands, and the historic Salem coastline.

The park is also home to a pier, a historic lighthouse, campground, visitor center, restrooms, picnic tables, concession stand, playground and lifeguards. The park charges a daily parking fee.

Willow Ave Beach:

Address: Willow Ave, Salem, MA

Willow Ave Beach is a small sandy beach in a residential neighborhood at the end of the avenue. The beach is home to an above ground sewer pipe that leads out from the beach and crosses the small cove but the pipe does not empty into the water and the city is planning to remove and redirect the pipe sometime in the future.

Sources:
Are Salem Swimming Beaches Tested for Water Quality.” See ClickFix, seeclickfix.com/salem_ma/questions/2495-Are-Salem-swimming-beaches-tested-for-water-quality
Winter Island Park.” Salem Ma, salemma.gov/winter-island-park
Misery Islands.” The Trustees of the Reservations, thetrustees.org/place/misery-islands/
Forest River Park.” Salem.org, salem.org/listing/forest-river-park
Safety.” Salem Maritime National Historic Site, nps.gov/sama/planyourvisit/safety.htm
Derby Wharf Beach.” National Park Service, nps.gov/places/beach.htm
Dead Horse Beach.” AARP, local.aarp.org/place/dead-horse-beach-salem-ma.html
Willow Avenue.” Swim Guide, theswimguide.org/beach/8088
Derby Wharf Beach.” National Parks Service, nps.gov/places/beach.htm

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. In addition to his website, William has contributed travel stories and articles to various travel publications, and his work has been featured in several magazines and online platforms. He also collaborates with tourism boards and travel companies to promote sustainable and responsible travel practices. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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