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Revere Beach is the oldest designated 'public beach' in the country, and it is easy to access by MBTA. Which may be more curse than blessing for many due to the resulting popularity. I've enjoyed it a fair bit as a sweeping vista to run/dogwalk alongside during non-peak times.
Nahant beach isn't much farther from the city proper, but it feels much more secluded. (Not too easy to get to without a car, though.)
Wollaston Beach in Quincy is a nice expanse of sand still within sight of the skyline.
Some of the ferry-serviced harbor islands have small beaches, but I frankly can never keep straight which is which. <:-)
Lastly, stretching "near", Cape Cod has quite a few really nice beaches. Sandy Neck is a favorite that's, at couple hours from Boston by car, not too too far along the length of the Cape.