Horseneck Beach Camping by Andrew Ayer

Overnight Adventures: Sweet Dreams at Horseneck

In last year’s print issue, we set out to find a half dozen cool overnight adventures on the South Coast. We’re rolling them out online for those of you who don’t have the 2016 magazine. Today’s feature: beaching it — overnight at Horseneck Beach. If you’d like to see it as it appeared in the magazine, click here. Otherwise, just read on….

There is nothing more luxurious than falling asleep to the sound of waves breaking onto the shore, then tripping over rocks as they recede. Waking up to it is pretty lovely too.

You could pay plenty of money for this. Or you could reserve a campsite at Horseneck Beach State Reservation on the shores of Buzzards Bay. The 100-site campground provides you with spectacular beachfront property at $22/night. Not surprisingly, Forest and Parks Supervisor John Darcy says that many campers are repeat visitors, year after year.

Horseneck Beach Camping by Andrew AyerJohn and Gracia Tripp are among the Horseneck faithful. The Westport residents live just twelve miles away but a few times each summer, they pack up their RV and spend several nights at Horseneck Beach. Darcy understands the draw. He came to work at the campground twelve years ago as a summer job in high school and he never left. “I’ve been here since I was 17,” he says, “I understand the need to come back every summer.”

“I’ve been here since I was 17,” Darcy says, “I understand the need to come back every summer.”

Horseneck Beach Camping by Andrew AyerYour insider tip: You need to know there is fierce competition for the sixteen sites directly on the waterfront. John Tripp says that getting a spot in the front row during the busiest months is “like hens’ teeth,” or pretty rare (I needed a translation). According to Tripp, you have to be ready to book the beachfront spots online as soon as they become available 6 months before the reservation date at exactly 9 a.m. No worries, though. There is more flexibility with the other sites, all of which are within a short walk of the beach.

All photos by Andrew Ayer. For more information, go to the MassParks website or call 508-636-8817 (seasonal). Online camping reservations are through ReserveAmerica. Horseneck Beach State Reservation, 5 John Reed Road, Westport.

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