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The 10 Most Memorable Things To Do on the Massachusetts North Shore

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6 of 10

Squeak Your Feet on the Singing Beach
Singing Beach photo - Manchester by the Sea Massachusetts North Shore Beach

The unique natural sand at the Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, squeaks out a tune beneath your feet.

© 2007 Kim Knox Beckius
The Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, is named for its unusual sand, which squeaks or "sings" beneath your feet. I was a bit dubious until we tried it for ourselves. You won't produce a tune by simply strolling along the sand (and it's not very musical when wet), but if you shuffle and scuff your feet on the dry sand with a bit of authority, you will, indeed, produce a distinct squeaking sound.

Musical sand isn't the only thing that makes this a special beach. Its small parking lot, which is open to the public Monday through Thursday but reserved for Manchester-by-the-Sea residents only Friday through Sunday, makes this Boston North Shore beach rather exclusive, although Manchester Parks & Recreation Director Matt Casparius assures me: "Anybody can go to the beach."

A few hints:

  • Arrive early; the parking lot is usually full by 11 a.m., even on weekdays.
  • Take the commuter rail from Boston to Manchester, and the Singing Beach is just under a half-mile walk from the station.
  • Head to the Singing Beach in the off-season: before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.
  • Check the Gloucester Harbor tide chart before your visit, as much of the beach is underwater at high tide due to erosion that occurred during the winter of 2012-2013.
As of 2013, admission to the Singing Beach is $5 for residents and non-residents; children under 12 and seniors 65 and older are admitted free. Parking for non-residents Monday through Thursday is $25 per car including admission.

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