As the warm temperatures of summer settle in, everyone's focus turns toward inventive ways to cool off. Trip to the air conditioned malls and restaurants will become more frequent as temperatures rise and widows across the region will become blocked with air conditioning units and window fans.

If you are fortunate enough to own a pool, you spend a great deal of time in your own backyard battling the heat within the refreshing confines of your pool. Those without a swimming pool op­tion often turn to the re­freshing waters of the beach.

Here in New England, we are blessed with miles and miles of coastline, but be­cause ocean beachfront is so prevalent, it is easy to overlook the summertime fun that many of our regions nearby lakes have to offer.

Silver Lake, located on Bur­nap Street in Wilming­ton, has long been an area fa­vorite for summer enjoyment. The beach area is open daily with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Ample parking is available, as well as public bathroom access and a small playground. Admission is free for Wilmington residents and $10 a person for non-residents.

Paddleboard, kayak and canoe rentals are available during beach operation hours. There is also a shady, green park area next to the beach parking lot with pier access for fishing.

Pomps Pond, located at 147 Abbot St. in Andover, is named after Popey Lovejoy, who lived in a cabin on the shores of this pond in the 1800’s. This pond is now a destination for recreational swimming and summer fun.

Pomps Pond offers a san­dy, lifeguarded beach, a picnic area, a playground, and volleyball area. The beach area is equipped with public bathrooms, showers, and chan­ging rooms. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available.

Pomps Pond is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. Admis­sion is $5 for residents, $10 for non-residents during the weekdays, and $10 for residents, $20 for non-residents on the weekends.

Micozzi Beach, located on Nuttings Lake at 586 Middle­sex Turnpike in Billerica is open daily with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This sandy beach features a bathhouse and playground, as well as basketball and volleyball courts. There is a nice pier set off to the side of the beach area that is perfect for fishing, reading or just relaxing by the lake. Paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks are also available to rent on an hourly basis.

There is plenty of parking and admission is $5 per day, or a season pass can be purchased at the beach or the Billerica Recreation Office.

Varney Playground located on Freeman Lake at Varney Ave. in North Chelmsford, offers a small roped off beach perfect for kids, as well as a playground and ballfields.

The beach is open daily, and lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. This beach is also equipped with public bathrooms, a picnic area, and ample free parking.

Long Lake Beach, located at 20 Town Road in Littleton has lifeguards on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This beach offers public bathrooms, changing areas and a Snack Bar, but a beach pass is required.

A daily pass for Long Lake Beach is $4 for residents and $5 for non-residents, and parking is $15 for residents and $20 for non-residents. Annual passes and parking stickers are available at the Littleton Parks and Recre­ation Office.

Edwards Beach, located on Nabnasset Lake at the end of Williams Avenue in West­ford, provides a sandy beach with plenty of shady spots for cool, summer relaxation. Ed­wards Beach also has a snack bar, restrooms, and a playground, and is open Mon­day to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for residents and $5 per person for non-residents. A non-resident season pass is also available for $75.

The next time you and the family need to beat the heat, skip the long drive and traffic of Hampton, or other New England oceanside beaches. Visit one of the many local lakefront beaches our area has to offer, for convenient summer fun under the sun!

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