All six New England states have beaches (yes, even land-locked Vermont!), but the finalists for Best New England Beach were all located on the seashore. It was up to readers to decide which coastal destination would win the New England Travel Readers' Choice Award.
The winner and runners-up for Best New England Beach are...
Yes, the Atlantic is awfully chilly in Maine, even on hot summer days. But that doesn't seem to put a damper on beach fun, especially in Old Orchard Beach, which has been a popular destination since travelers arrived via train at the turn of the 20th century. The Amtrak Downeaster is still an option for travelers who want to reach the beach by rail, and with seven miles of soft sand and myriad amusements along the beach and nearby (plus, delicious lobster!), Old Orchard Beach garnered 2013's Best Beach accolades.
New Hampshire's Hampton Beach is the Jersey Shore of New England. Families choose this rollicking beach town on the Granite State's petite seacoast not only because it offers a fine, sandy beach and perfect surf for boogie boarding but because of all of the amusements that line the beach: arcades, shops, a band shell, a concert hall... even a casino!
Madison, Connecticut, is home to the state's largest swath of sand, and Hammonasset Beach State Park attracts beach lovers year-round. Pains have been taken to replace sand lost to the sea in recent storms, so beach-goers will still find room to spread out their towels during the summer of 2013. Gentle Long Island Sound surf makes Hammonasset little-kid-friendy, and a 558-site campground adds to the two-mile beach's appeal as an affordable beach escape.
Descend the wooden staircase to the base of Mohegan Bluffs on the south side of Rhode Island's Block Island, and you'll find a beach that seems like it's on the edge of the world. It's certainly on the edge of New England, and this secluded, uncrowded ribbon of sand is worth finding. It's a magical place to take a dip in turquoise waters and sunbathe beneath magnificent clay cliffs.