Your perfect beach
Early mornings and sundown will find dogs of all breeds romping at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester. There's shallow water and calm surf, ideal for a wet game of fetch. Town rules prohibit dogs between May 1 and Sept. 15, but many owners quietly observe their own rules -- most of all the scoop mandate, which they follow yearround. Word to the wise: The early dog gets the parking space.
In the less crowded areas of Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, dogs are allowed on leashes from 8 a.m. until sunset. Stop by Town Hall -- it's on the way to the beach -- with your dog license and get a permit. You'll snag the best nonresident parking by approaching the beach through Marshfield and parking in the lot near the snack shack.