POINTS OF INTEREST
In a quiet Cape Ann town 32 miles north of Boston, this beach gets its name from the musical squeaking sound its gold-color sand makes when you step on it. The beach is popular with both locals and out-of-towners in summer. It's also worth a visit in fall, when the crowds have gone home and you'll have the splendid shores all to yourself. There's a snack bar at the beach, but it's worth taking a 10-minute stroll up Beach Street into town to get a cone at Captain Dusty's Ice Cream (60 Beach St., March–October). The easiest, and cheapest, way to get here is by MBTA's Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line from Boston's North Station to the Manchester stop, which is a 15-minute walk from the beach. From downtown Boston the train takes 45 minutes and costs $10.50 each way. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking.