There’s nothing like gliding through crystal-clear waters on a sunny summer afternoon. These swimming spots across Massachusetts have the cleanest, most beautiful water around. Some places are so pristine that you’ll be able to look down and see your toes wriggling with delight.
1. Hathaway's Pond, Barnstable
Clear waters, attentive lifeguards and an immaculate sand beach make this pond a dream come true. The pond is warm during the summer and is a great place to bring young kids.
2. Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester
This gorgeous beach has plenty of shallow areas that absolutely glimmer in the sunshine. Perch on a rock with a good book, or splash around in the water. There are no public restrooms, though there are port-a-potties available.
3. Puffer's Pond, Amherst
This pond is a hidden gem. Featuring sparkling waters and a beautiful waterfall created by a dam, it's a great place to cool off and snap a few scenic summer photos at the same time. There are also plenty of walking paths, which are perfect for finding a bit of tranquility.
4. Billingsgate Shoal, Eastham
This glimmering shoal was once called Billingsgate Island. The land may have eroded away, but this swimming spot is still the perfect place to get away from it all.
5. Lake Mansfield, Great Barrington
This pristine public beach doesn’t require a resident sticker, which is a big deal during the summer months. There’s plenty of parking and a nice swathe of grassy lawn where you can relax after a swim. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer.
6. Breezy Picnic Grounds Waterslides, Douglas
This spot combines the best of an all-natural summer swim spot and man-made thrills. Whiz down the lakeside waterslides, or just wade into the clear waters of the Whitins Reservoir. There's also an immaculately maintained picnic area.
7. Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester
This lovely beach features a few different areas. There’s a shallow pool where kids can splash and enjoy the sunshine, in addition to the main beach. At low tide, you can even walk to nearby Salt Island. Just make sure to get back before the waters rise again! Parking is $15 on weekends and holidays, and $10 during the week.
8. Lake Dennison, Winchendon
This pond includes a campground, just in case you enjoy the spot so much that you can't bear to leave. The shore is usually not very crowded (the image above is from a boating event on the lake) and the waters are quite warm and clean.
9. Upper Goose Pond, Lee
This lovely swimming hole is secluded, so the waters stay very clean. You can a canoe from the small dock, or just enjoy the sparkling water from a blanket on the shore.
10. Morses Pond, Wellesley
This is a nice place to bring the whole family for a bit of splashing around. The long floating dock with a ladder makes it easy to enter and exit the water, though you'll definitely be in no hurry to get out. The water is quite clean and smaller kids will have fun playing in the sparkling shallow areas.
11. Chapel Brook Falls, Ashfield
This is a great spot to go during those particularly brutal summer heat waves. The waters are very cool and incredibly clear. There are a few different levels where you can sit and admire the rushing spray of the falls. Parking is right nearby, though you'll have to hike a short distance to reach the cascade.
12. Long Pond, Middlesex Falls
Long Pond is ringed by tall trees and set into the woods, so you get a real sense of seclusion and privacy. The water is incredibly clear, though it does have a rocky bottom rather the sandy one. Bring your kayak for a peaceful paddle around this beautiful spot.
13. Chatham Lighthouse Beach, Chatham
You can really appreciate how clear the water is at this beach when the tide recedes. There's plenty of beach space for all, and it's only steps away from the beautiful and historic Chatham Lighthouse.
14. Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
This beach seems to stretch on forever. Though the waves can get a little wild on windy days, the pristine blue water is always a beautiful sight. Coast Guard Beach is a great place to spot a few seals, as well.
We’d love to hear your suggestions for other pristine swimming spots across the state!