by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent

Summer is here! The days have grown longer, the landscape has become greener, and the parking lots at our public beaches are overflowing with cars. July and August will bring their fair share of sunshine, heat and humidity. For some, this is an invitation to spend as much time outdoors as possible. For others, it’s an impetus to seek shelter in a shady spot.

Whether you embrace the heat or simply endure it, bear in mind that here on the South Shore in the summertime, it is pretty much always cooler by the ocean. Below you’ll find a list of public parks and other scenic places where you can sit and enjoy the breeze. Staying cool doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. Many of these spots are stroller and wheelchair accessible too!

Also, don’t miss our 2023 Explore South Shore Challenge, Know Your Local Waters. Each week we feature a river, stream, pond or other waterway, and highlight public places you can visit to experience it first-hand. Watch for daily posts on Facebook and Instagram. The program also includes a weekly trivia question, with a chance to win a custom NSRWA prize package.

Gray’s Beach Park, Kingston

Island Grove Park, Abington

Located on Park Avenue, on the banks of the Shumatuscacant River, this historic 53-acre property features walking trails, a playground, a seasonal swimming area, plus occasional benches in both forested and open areas. Ample on-site parking. Wheelchair access from Wilson Place.

Watson Park, Braintree

This 22-acre park on Gordon Road features athletic fields, playground, and a splash pad. Look farther and you’ll also find a partially paved walkway along the Monatiquot and Fore Rivers, with numerous benches overlooking the water. Wheelchair access. On-site parking.

Sampson’s Pond, Carver

This large pond on Lakeview Street in South Carver is a great spot for fishing, paddling and swimming. It’s also a wonderful spot to enjoy the breeze. Bring a chair and park it in the sand at the water’s edge. A concrete path provides access. Part of the Weweantic River watershed, with on-site parking for Carver residents.

Lawrence Wharf, Cohasset

This tiny property on Cohasset’s Inner Harbor, part of the Gulf River watershed, features a shade pavilion with benches and interpretive signage. Wheelchair access. Roadside parking on Border Street.

Creedon Memorial Park and Hewitt’s Landing Walkway, Hingham

Howland’s Landing Park, Duxbury

The views are extraordinary from this hillside park, which features both wooded and grassy areas. Located on Standish Shores, overlooking Kingston Bay, with on-site parking.

Lingan Street Beach, Halifax

This sandy beach on the shore of West Monponsett Pond (Taunton River watershed) features grass, shade trees, and a picnic area overlooking the water. A Halifax recycling sticker is required for parking.

Ludden’s Ford Park, Hanover

That’s not a typo, it’s a new name! Historians now agree that it was James Ludden (not Luddam) who carried Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony across the river here, to visit Governor William Bradford in Plymouth. This 22-acre property features numerous benches and picnic tables with views of the Indian Head River. Located on Elm Street, with on-site parking.

Creedon Memorial Park and Hewitt’s Landing Walkway, Hingham

This tiny, grassy park is located in the Hingham Shipyard development. It links directly to the Hewitt’s Landing Waterfront Walkway, which extends behind a residential area along the edge of the Weymouth Back River, providing 0.25 miles of easy, scenic walking. Wheelchair access. Limited on-site parking on HMS Halsted Drive.

Pemberton Point, Hull

Located on Main Street at the tip of the Nantasket peninsula, this scenic and historic spot overlooking Boston Harbor is ideal for fishing, birding, and nature contemplation. Several interpretive signs outline the area’s history. Parking is available at the MBTA terminal; resident parking on site.

Damon’s Point, Marshfield

Gray’s Beach Park, Kingston

This town park overlooking Kingston Bay features a small beach, a playground, and athletic facilities, along with a 0.25-mile paved walking loop, a picnic area, and seasonal restrooms. Wheelchair access. Open to the public year-round, but a Kingston parking sticker is required from April to October.

Damon’s Point, Marshfield

This special spot on the North River offers wooden benches and spectacularly scenic vistas. Limited on-site parking.

St. Catherine’s Chapel Park, Plymouth

This pleasant, grassy 2-acre park on White Horse Beach Road offers 0.25 miles of crushed stone/paved walking paths, numerous benches, and interpretive signs that tell the history of the area. Wheelchair access. Limited on-site parking. Close to the ocean, and part of the Beaver Dam Brook watershed.

Scituate Harborwalk

A concrete walkway (with a guardrail) extends for a half mile along Scituate Harbor and Satuit Brook with benches and beautiful water views. Wheelchair access. Ample parking on Cole Parkway.

Scituate Harborwalk

King’s Cove Park, Weymouth

This small grassy park in North Weymouth, at the foot of the Fore River Bridge, features a 0.25-mile paved walking trail and numerous benches, with views of King’s Cove and the Fore River. Wheelchair access. On-site parking.

Kezia Bacon’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to protecting our waters. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit You will also find 26+ years of Kezia’s Nature columns there. For more information about the Explore South Shore 2023 Challenge, visit