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  The Ocean Lawn at Coolidge Reservation
The Ocean Lawn at Coolidge Reservation

What to Bring

Folding chair   Thermos bottle
Hat   Sunglasses
Sunscreen   Insect repellent
Binoculars   Windbreaker
Sweatshirt   Water
Snacks   A good book


From Boston, take Route 128 north
Take exit 15 and follow School St toward Manchester-by-the-Sea for 0.5 mi.
Turn left onto Lincoln St.
Turn left on Summer Street/Route 127 North
Entrance is 2 mi. down on the right (sign is small – drive slowly to turn)
  Good to know in advance
No restrooms

Open Friday–Monday, 8 am to sunset

Bring your trash back with you

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 1/5
  Time from Boston: 1 hour
  Duration: Half or full day


  Main activity:


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A large green lawn that slopes gently down to the shoreline, with a magnificent view of the Atlantic – Watch seals, play frisbee, sleep in the sun. . . . The choice is yours!

The Ocean Lawn is a scenic open space on a small peninsula overlooking Kettle Cove and the Atlantic. It is the remnant of a park surrounding a former mansion built in 1902 by Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, the son of a wealthy Boston businessman and politician. It has the feeling of a well-maintained garden space and the rigor of some of the rockiest parts of the New England coast. It is arguably one of the most scenic and peaceful places around Boston to enjoy a warm afternoon in the sun and gaze at the ocean.

From the parking lot, you will first follow a trail crossing Bungalow Hill, which, with the Ocean Lawn, makes up the Coolidge Reservation. The right branch of the trail is a bit longer as it actually climbs over the hill. The left branch goes around it and is a straighter way to reach the Lawn. Don’t be discouraged by the few rocks and boulders along the path, as it quickly transforms into a nice trail along Clarke Pond. At the other end of the pond, continue straight through the gate up to the private drive that crosses the small peninsula. Cross the drive and follow the path that leads you directly to the Lawn.

Though the Lawn is best enjoyed over the summer, you can also get there in the winter or in the spring, during which you are likely to observe seals. Look for them on and around the rocks below the Lawn and at the entrance of Kettle Cove.

Coolidge Reservation is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

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