Marblehead's premier beach, Devereux Beach's 5.48 acres of waterfront offers a refreshing swim in the Atlantic Ocean, pavilions, benches, picnic tables, restroom facilities, a restaurant and parking. It was once the site of the home of John Devereux (1615-1695), for whom the beach is named. While visiting the home in 1846, famed poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his well-known poem "The Fire of Driftwood" about spending an evening in this old farmhouse. The home is no longer standing. Devereux Beach is located off Ocean Avenue at the beginning of the Causeway to Marblehead Neck.
Fort Beach & Lovis Cove
Fort Beach, located at the entrance to Fort Sewall, offers a broad view of the end of Marblehead Neck and Chandler Hovey Park. The local fishermen still moor their dinghies (small boats) from "out-haul lines" fastened to the rocks. Opposite the beach fishermen have constructed picturesque wooden shacks for storing their gear and have decorated them with nets, buoys and other marine paraphernalia. Lovis Cove is located several yards from Fort Beach, opposite Selman Street. Also known as "Screeching Woman's Beach," local folklore has it that a 17th century pirate crew landed on the beach and murdered a woman passenger from a captured ship. She was buried in a nearby swamp, and "for 150 years, on the anniversary of her outrageous death, at the dead of night, her cries for help could be distantly heard." Of the womans death, Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote:
"Of the screeching Woman of Marblehead
(The fearful story that turns men pale)
Don't bid me tell it...
My speech would fail."
Gas House Beach
This small community beach is located on Little Harbor in one of the oldest sections of the Marblehead waterfront. It was here, in 1629, that the first settlers established the "plantacion" called "Marble Harbor." Gashouse Beach got its name from the gas generating plant that burned coal there in the late 1800's to create gas for the town's street and house lamps. Gashouse Beach is located on Gashouse Lane, off Orne Street.
Grace Oliver Beach
Grace Oliver Beach, less than one acre in size, is a community beach located off Beacon Street. It is named after the woman who during the 19th century lived in a house on nearby Doliber Point. The water is shallow and the beach well-protected, making it an ideal place for children.
Riverhead Beach is on Marblehead Harbor, across the Causeway from Devereux Beach. Its 1.65 acres offers a beach area and a boat ramp.
Stramski's Beach, on Salem Harbor, is located at Gerry Playground at the end of Stramski Way off West Shore Drive.