You really don't have to go very far outside of Boston to get some stunning, relatively unspoiled ocean views. Take the stretch of beaches from Swampscott through Lynn to Nahant, for example. As the photos below show, the views from these coastal areas are quite nice, with truly outstanding vistas from some spots. And while more of a walk than a true hike, you can go several miles along the walkways from Swampscott to Nahant, making for a good day trip.
A good place to start a walk along the beaches in this area is in Swampscott Center, a picturesque spot located along King's Beach (see photo). From the center of town, a walkway heads generally southwest, crossing the Lynn border within minutes. Paralleling Lynn Shore Drive, the walkway gradually goes uphill, allowing for excellent views back into Swampscott.
Not too far after crossing into Lynn, a paved loop veers left and heads out to a rocky point that has sweeping ocean vistas, including scenes of Nahant and an island just off its shore (see photo). From there, the paved path loops back to the main walkway, giving more nice ocean views along the way, and continues back along Lynn Beach.
The walkway continues on a southwest course, sometimes right up against Lynn Shore Drive, and other times being a bit further away from it, slowly dropping closer to the ocean. Before it drops toward Nahant Beach, however, another sweeping view unfolds, this one of a long, flat stretch of Lynn Beach where it meets Nahant Beach (see photo). Eventually, the walkway starts curving south as it begins its route along Nahant Beach.
The Nahant Beach stretch of this walk can be busy during the warmer days of the summer, but on a day when the beach isn't crowded, it feels a bit more isolated then the stretch along Lynn Beach, Views eastward of Nahant Bay can be found along the entire path (see photo), with an interesting view of the Boston skyline across the causeway to the southwest. It is a long walk to the end of the beach, with terrific views of Lynn and Boston at the end. From this point, you can continue walking through Nahant or backtracking to Swampscott.