Coalition members share 14 of their favorite places on Buzzards Bay

To kick off summer, we’re presenting 14 of our favorite places to enjoy the season: harbors, beaches, trails, and all the other fantastic spots where members like you can discover Buzzards Bay summer long.

1. Westport River Inlet (Westport)

Canoe Rock on the Westport River

The Westport River inlet is a hub of boating activity and a beautiful place to explore.

With its unique mix of beaches, salt marshes, and farmland, the Westport River inlet is a richly diverse estuary that beckons visitors with beautiful coastal views. It’s a hub of boating activity, with sailboats, powerboats, fishing vessels, and kayaks cruising through the quick-moving currents that flow between Westport Harbor and Buzzards Bay.

Westport residents can enjoy the Westport River inlet from two town beaches: Cherry & Webb Beach and The Knubble, which sit at either end of the river’s mouth at Buzzards Bay. If you’re a kayaker, launch from Adamsville Landing and paddle down the West Branch to the inlet.

2. Allens Pond (Dartmouth)

Buzzards Bay’s coastal salt ponds are quiet, protected environments that offer stunning scenery of the Bay and its wildlife. One of the most well-known — and beautiful — salt ponds on the Bay is Allens Pond. Nestled between rolling farmland, sandy beaches, and undisturbed salt marshes, Allens Pond is a haven for birds and the people who enjoy viewing them.

The best spot to see Allens Pond is the Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary that surrounds it. Here, you can hike for seven miles along the beach, the marsh, the woods, and the fields that protect this special coastal habitat. For a special outdoor experience on Allens Pond, try attending an event such as outdoor yoga in summer.

3. Clarks Cove (Dartmouth/New Bedford)

sunrise over New Bedford and Clarks Cove

The calm, protected waters of Clarks Cove are an excellent destination for boating and paddling. Get here early to catch a spectacular sunrise!

The two shores of Clarks Cove are like two sides of a coin: suburban Dartmouth to the west and urban New Bedford to the east. The deep, protected waters in this cove are a great place for boaters to get started on the Bay. Both sides of the cove have beaches and boat launches, so there are plenty of spots for you to get out on the Bay.

For a day on the sandy shores of Clarks Cove, head to Jones Beach in Dartmouth or West Beach in New Bedford. There are also two boat ramps on either side of the harbor: the West Rodney French Boulevard boat ramp is perfect for vessels of all sizes, while the Rogers Street ramp is a good choice for kayaks and small watercraft.

4. Nasketucket Bay/Little Bay (Fairhaven/Mattapoisett)

It’s easy to see why Nasketucket Bay has captured the hearts of so many people. Set between Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, Nasketucket Bay’s clear waters are a prime spot for fishing, paddling, shellfishing, and more.

Start your Nasketucket Bay exploration at Nasketucket Bay State Reservation in Mattapoisett, which offers 371 acres of protected forests, fields, and salt marshes to explore. Or visit West Island State Reservation or Shipyard Farm, which both have trails through farm fields to the bay’s sparkling shores. Bicyclists can hop on the Phoenix Bike Trail and cruise down to Little Bay, while kids can splash at the beach at Seaview Avenue.

5. Mattapoisett Harbor (Mattapoisett)

inlet leading from Eel Pond to Mattapoisett Harbor

Explore Mattapoisett Harbor’s natural beauty along Eel Pond, next to Shining Tides Beach.

Mattapoisett Harbor combines many of the features that make Buzzards Bay special: a quaint coastal village, unspoiled salt marshes, and excellent fishing and shellfishing. No wonder it’s a favorite of many of our members!

There are two town beaches on Mattapoisett Harbor, each with its own distinct flavor. For young families who want to play, head to the Mattapoisett Town Beach: a small, sandy beach with a lifeguard and a playground. If you’re seeking a more natural destination, visit Shining Tides Beach, which sits along scenic Eel Pond — a fantastic place to try blue crabbing with your kids!

6. Great Neck (Wareham)

For those who want to discover nature, Great Neck in Wareham is a favored destination. This peninsula between Onset Bay, the Cape Cod Canal, and the head of Buzzards Bay provides a refuge for rare species that live among the pines and salt marshes.

Like Allens Pond, Great Neck is protected by a Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary. There are four miles of trails here, where you can look for birds, turtles, woodland mammals, and more. For Wareham beachgoers, nearby Little Harbor Beach is a salty retreat for swimming and paddling.

7. Onset Bay (Wareham)

As far as summer family destinations go, we can’t think of many spots more ideal than Onset Bay. With ample beaches, a historic village, and tons of water activities, Onset is the perfect blend of recreation, conservation, and fun.

Hit the sand at popular Onset Beach, or discover nearby Shell Point Beach for a fresh perspective on Onset Bay. From Onset Beach, you can also rent a kayak at Nemasket Kayak Center and explore the bay on a paddling adventure.

And don’t forget to check out the many activities at our Onset Bay Center.

8. Buttermilk Bay/Red Brook (Wareham/Bourne/Plymouth)

Buttermilk Bay is nestled at the head of Buzzards Bay where the towns of Wareham, Bourne, and Plymouth meet. Not only are these sheltered waters scenic, but they provide an excellent place to fish, shellfish, and paddle.

You can experience all Buttermilk Bay has to offer from the Lyman Reserve, a Trustees of Reservations property set along the bay’s northwest shore. This ecologically rich area protects Red Brook, a treasured coldwater stream that protects one of the best native sea-run brook trout fisheries in the eastern United States.

9. Cape Cod Canal (Bourne)

people bicycling and fishing along Cape Cod Canal next to the railroad bridge in Bourne

From biking to fishing, you can enjoy a day exploring one of Buzzards Bay’s most interesting waterways on the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway.

With boats parading past, birds spiraling overhead, and the smell of salt in the air, bustling Cape Cod Canal is a favorite place of many of our members. This busy waterway is a famous destination for fishing, but it’s also a fantastic spot for bike riding along the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway.

One spot on the Cape Cod Canal that our members love is Herring Run Recreation Area, which sits near the canal’s midpoint on its northern shore. True to its name, this recreation area is home to a herring run where you can watch fish migrate upstream in spring.

10. Little Bay (Bourne)

For a beautiful Cape Cod paddling adventure, look no further than Little Bay in Bourne. Surrounded by wooded shores, Little Bay is a protected paradise for kayaking and paddleboarding, as well as shellfishing.

To get to Little Bay, head to Little Bay and Monks Park, a protected network of trails along the water’s edge. You can launch your kayak from the sandy beach at these adjoining Bourne Conservation Trust and town of Bourne properties and explore the shores of Little Bay all the way north to Monument Beach.

11. Megansett Harbor (Bourne/Falmouth)

Megansett Harbor’s calm, inviting waters welcome Falmouth boaters and beachgoers each summer. This wide, circular harbor on Cape Cod is an excellent destination for swimming, paddling, and setting off on a boating adventure on Buzzards Bay.

Megansett Beach is a mainstay for swimmers, while boaters can launch from Megansett Harbor Landing next door. But if you’re looking for a different spot to explore on Megansett Harbor, check out Lawrence Island. This protected peninsula that separates Megansett and Squeteague harbors is a unique place that you can explore on foot or by kayak.

12. Quissett Harbor (Falmouth)

Moon over Quissett Harbor

Quissett Harbor’s peaceful shoreline, sheltered waters, and outstanding recreational opportunities make it a must-visit for any Buzzards Bay lover.

No Buzzards Bay list is complete without scenic Quissett Harbor, a favorite place for many of our members. Quissett Harbor’s peaceful shoreline, sheltered waters, and outstanding recreational opportunities make it a must-visit for any Buzzards Bay lover.

To experience Quissett Harbor, we’ve got one destination for you: The Knob. With trails that lead out to a breathtaking Buzzards Bay view, this protected spit of land at the mouth of Quissett Harbor is one of the top spots around to catch a sunset over the water.

13. Cuttyhunk Pond (Gosnold)

For those seeking an escape, head to our members’ favorite island destination: Cuttyhunk. Sailors on Buzzards Bay enjoy stopping into scenic, secluded Cuttyhunk Pond to spend the night and explore the quiet island.

If you’re looking for a spot to lounge on the shore near Cuttyhunk Pond, head to Church’s Beach. This sandy beach curves along the pond’s outer edge, providing incredible Buzzards Bay views while you swim and splash.

14. Buzzards Bay

We couldn’t leave Buzzards Bay itself off this list! The wide open waters of Buzzards Bay beckon anglers, boaters, and explorers each summer to fish, sail, cruise, and enjoy our local waters. Whether you prefer fishing along the Elizabeth Islands or sailing in the Bay’s salty breezes, everybody has their own favorite spot on Buzzards Bay to discover.

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