Ok, so this is one of my regular haunts-the Shell Point Beach on Onset Bay. It's nice because if you get there early, you can park for free all day long. If you get there late, you are probably going to find yourself crawling up and down the sidestreets to find a parking spot.
There are many reasons why I love this spot. For one, the beach is kept very clean and well-maintained. The only problem I had with it until this year was its lack of lifeguards at the shellpoint end. However, problem has been remedied as of now. They have a lifeguard by that end of the bay!
There is plenty of room, this end of the beach rarely gets crowded, as it seems it is mostly frequented by locals who know about this hidden gem. As for the tourists, they tend to park down by the pier...where I believe you have to pay.
There are no bathrooms at this end, so go before you show up! If you are adventurous there are some woods...but the nearest bathroom is a hike.
Also, depending on the tide, there is a bit of a dropoff. There are warning signs posted. My kids know the "up to your waist" rule, but if you are with small children who tend to venture off fearlessly...or can't read...watch them closely because it gets deep all of a sudden. Now don't get me wrong, it's shallow for a ways out, but once it gets deep you will soon find yourself in over your head.
My directions go something like this: From Cranberry Highway head towards Onset Beach, go past the pier, keep going until you see a little statue of a chef and take a left...follow that to the end and take a left. Parking lot is on your right.
Ok, so my directions are lacking in clarity but it's one of those things you know how to get to...but can't explain. Look up Atlantic Ave, in Onset, MA. That will get you there.
Ashton's favorite thing to do there: Hunt for hermit crabs. He is the ultimate shell-point crabber. Once he found a hermit crab I proclaimed to be a grain of sand, until it proved me wrong by sticking its legs out and scurrying across his hand!!
My favorite thing...Mellina's Sandwiches. Look for the girl carrying the sign. It is bright yellow, you can't miss it. She will give you a menu to order a delicious sandwich or panini from...and voila it is delivered to your beach spot in no time. She walks up and down the beach, so keep an eye out for her if your picnic is lacking something. Then stop at Nana's ice cream and candy for a cone on the way home. It makes for the perfect day.
So, if you want a nice day in the sun for free, check this spot out. Bring the sunscreen, as it is very sunny and bright. Bring a couple of quarters because there are about 10 ice cream trucks that frequent there. I mean, I would say that they were the same one coming back again and again, but one is blue and some are white-so I know there are many.