Alternatives to the Cape for Boston Beach Photo Sessions!

July 24, 2020 Estimated reading time: 4 min

If you live in Boston and you think about the summer breeze, ocean, and sand your mind most likely will transport you to Cape Cod! I don't blame you, my mind goes there too, the Cape is gorgeous!!! It's one of my favorite places, actually my happiest summer place. Once a year we spend a week at the Cape and we LOVE IT. It's magical!! ... but it is the most magical place when you're STAYING THERE. Today I'll walk you through some hidden beach gems close to Boston, sunset locations that are outstanding and epic.


What's wrong with the Cape?

Nothing! I LOVE the Cape, the sunset at my favorite beach will take your breath away. It's a lovely spot with epic sunsets to enjoy. The problem is not the Cape (my happy place in all MA), it's getting there just for photos. Going to the Cape for a day-trip feels long but you've got the whole day,  driving to the Cape just for a sunset photo session can feel like a super stretch, especially with small kids. It's doable but I've got some news to share!

For reference, my favorite sunset beach at the Cape is 80 miles from Boston. Today I'll get you excited about 2 alternatives much closer to Boston. Yay for shorter drives and magical sunsets! ~ You can book a session for a summer weeknight and make it happen ~ wohooooo

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35 miles from Boston, MA

The sun sets behind the houses on the left of the beach. With low tide, the sand turns to gold and has a texture that feels out of a dream. The sand doesn't look real, it's THAT gorgeous!! 

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The beach is covered by ponds that take your breath away and add so much texture to the photos captured!

Beach Family Photos - Glouceste

You've also got seagulls flying all over the place and kids get fascinated by the birds. It's an adventure just to watch them close. There is tons of space to explore. You've got houses that diffuse the sun beautifully and there is also a dream lighthouse to enjoy!

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With this sunset to the side, the photographer will create tons of magic. You get direct light and backlight to play around with, you'll be amazed by how light changes the mood of your beach photos. 

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Did I tell you about the rocks? Wingaersheek is known for its rocks. It's the perfect location for kids to explore. We can climb to the top of huge rocks for portraits or we can use them as a backdrop. The possibilities are endless!

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Beach Family Photos - Gloucester

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This beach is the perfect combination of ROCKS + MARSH + SUNSETS. A dream come true! 


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Gloucester Pros and Cons


  • It's very accessible for wheelchairs, with no stairs/steps. You can pull the car really close to the beach's entryway. The beach has the perfect size for families with special needs, you'll have a lovely time at the beach but for a photo session, the big rocks might be tricky for special needs kids. In this case, I would recommend a beach with no rocks :) 
  • Public restrooms (yay!)


  • During peak season the parking is for Gloucester residents ONLY. They keep this info current on their social media accounts.

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37 miles from Boston, MA

The sun actually sets at the back of the beach. So people enjoying a beach day will probably be on the ocean side, which means that there are literally few crowds where the sun sets. If that's not a photographer's dream, I don't know what it is!

If you like the touch of green mixed with the sun, sand, and water... Duxbury is your location! The marsh is so dreamy!!!

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I've experienced the most dramatic sunsets in this beach. The sky explodes with color and the clouds bring on a breathtaking show.

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The sun sets behind the water, it's SO beautiful. Without clouds she scenery is gorgeous as you imagine yet I LOVE sunsets with clouds, dramatic skies are my jam.

Did I tell you about the wind? OMG. The summer breeze at its best. The wind in this beach gives that extra movement that us photographers crave for. It's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, jaw dropping!!! 

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The photo sessions at Duxbury Bech are 'walking sessions' which means that we start in point A (non-Duxbury resident parking lot) and walk all the way to the bridge. This allows for tons of family time enjoying, dancing, and snuggling.

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Duxbury Pros and Cons


  • Wheelchairs are accessible, and you can park very close to the water.
  • There is always parking space at sunset, and they have dedicated parking for non-Duxbury residents (woohoo!)
  • Public restrooms


  • Not a con but just to set the expectation :) we walk a LOT on this beach, be ready to explore! Plan for a walking session.


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45 miles from Boston, MA

The sun sets at the back of the beach. It gives gorgeous golden tones to the sand and the boldest blue tones to the water. The beach is so long and beautiful, it's never crowded. 

This beach is perfect for families with little kids, the beach is flat and the water is very low. It's the perfect setting for toddlers! 

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Beach Photo Sessions - Newbury Plum Island - Andre Toro Photography - mom and daughter

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Newbury Pros and Cons


  • Wheelchairs are accessible, and you can park very close to the water.


  • No public restrooms
  • Limited parking. I only shoot there on weeknights, so I've never had a problem


The beach is an epic location for family photos! Nothing compares to the ocean breeze and the warm sand. Kids get so happy and parents do too! 

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A Beach photo session is a once-in-a-lifetime family experience. There is special magic around it, you can read all about it in this blog.

If you're getting cold feet due to logistics, traffic, or planning then Newbury, Duxbury & Gloucester are incredible locations for your family's beach photo session!! You'll get the most fascinating sunsets, the most rewarding experience, and the most precious memories. Go for it! Your mom's soul will crave these types of memories decades from now, it's the best gift for you and the kids!



About Andre Toro Photography

Andre Toro is an award-winning family and personal branding photographer based in Boston, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. To inquire about booking a photo session, please contact her at

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