Fishing is permitted from the banks of the Merrimack River; surf fishing is also allowed during the off-season
Swimming is permitted in the ocean only; not allowed on the south side of the jetty or from the shore of the Merrimack River
Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10 AM to 4:45 PM (weather permitting)
Fishing, Boating, Swimming, Sunbathing, Camping
Showers, Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Lifeguards, Boat Ramps
Free to access
Various parking areas near the beach, fees vary
As one of the only public beaches between Boston and Maine, Salisbury Beach is one of the most popular seaside destinations in Massachusetts. It's an excellent place to go swimming, boating, and camping. Continue reading to learn all about this sandy beach!
About Salisbury Beach
Salisbury Beach is located in Salisbury, the northernmost town in Massachusetts. It overlooks the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Merrimack River. The open beach stretches for miles and offers lots of seaside fun for Massachusetts locals and visitors.
Salisbury was settled by Salisbury Bay colonists in the 17th century. Even before colonists settled, the Pennacook tribe of Native Americans lived in Salisbury.
European colonists arrived in Salisbury in 1638. The first settlement was near the beach, while only five families settled in the actual town of Salisbury.
Settlers built the first pathway to the beach in 1645. Then, the residents voted to keep the beach as open common land in 1649.
Today, many people enjoy visiting one of the state's most popular ocean beaches, especially during the summer months. It's a great place to boat, fish, and camp. Many beachgoers enjoy swimming, too. You can find lifeguards on duty during the day.
Getting to Salisbury Beach
Salisbury Beach is sandwiched between private land and the Salisbury Beach State Reservation. While many people get there through the reservation, you can also get to the beach from town.
Either way you go, you'll take Route 1 to Beach Road. Then, you'll drive all the way east down Beach Rd. If you're going to the state park, you'll turn right onto State Beach Road and drive until you're at the park. If you're heading to the public beach access, you'll continue straight until you make your way to the water.
Although getting to the beach in town is pretty simple, many people prefer using the park entrance. This offers a large parking area and more amenities, including restrooms, changing rooms, showers, a playground, a pavilion area, and more.
Parking at the Beach
Since there are several ways to get to the beach, there are also various options to park. You can find metered street parking along with several paid lots. With that said, parking is limited due to various nearby attractions and businesses that also use these spaces.
Again, if you access the beach via Salisbury Beach State Reservation, there are large lots with plenty of space.
Parking at the state reservation is free from Labor Day till Memorial Day. During seasons, it's $14 for MA residents and $16 for non-MA residents.
Salisbury Beach State Reservation
As we mentioned, this is a popular place to visit at the beach. It takes up the southern edge of the beach, boasts sand and sea, and has salt marsh and tidal flats around it. The reservation offers many amenities and activities, including the following:
- Renovated bathhouses with restrooms, changing rooms, and showers
- Picnic pavilion
- Large campground with tent and RV sites
- 4 miles of beachfront
- Two boat ramps
- Fishing opportunities
Salisbury Beach is a fun place to hang out on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. We highly recommend checking it out, whether you're a local or someone looking for a New England beach vacation.
The beach is split into two distinct sections, making it suitable for various beachgoers. The northern area is outside the park, while the southern end is a part of Salisbury Beach State Reservation.
We recommend checking out the reservation entrance if you're looking for amenities or visiting with children. It's also an excellent place to go camping and spend time in nature.
Meanwhile, the public area is also great, especially if you're simply looking to relax or stay close to other nearby tourist attractions.
You'll find an expansive, well-maintained coastline no matter what area you choose to visit. From May through September, lifeguards are also on duty, making it an ideal destination for families with children.
Overall, we love Salisbury Beach for a relaxing beach day!
Where to Stay
If you're looking to spend the night in the area, you can find several accommodations. If you prefer hotels, you'll have to head inland, where there are a few options. Otherwise, a vacation rental or camping at Salisbury Beach State Reservation are your best options.