Cape Cod provides a scenic getaway for all looking to have fun under the sun, soaking inside deep blue waters and taking advantage of the beautiful tourist spots on the beaches.
Swimming on Cape Cod beaches is allowed but at specific times. Most beaches in Yarmouth, Falmouth, Orleans Chatham and Provincetown open around 8am and close about 10 pm. Brewster and Wellfleet Beaches require a beach permit during specific days (Ranging from June 15-Labor Day).
In this article, we unveil our top swimming beach picks and answer common questions people have about swimming in these waters.
Where can you swim in Cape Cod?
There are no swimming restrictions in Cape Cod, and beaches have timings ranging from 7 am to midnight. Chatham beaches close at 10 pm due to fishing hours at night. When swimming in the Outer Cape and Cape Cod Bay north of Wellfleet, be wary of sharks as they’re most frequently found.
Read on for a List of our Favorite Beaches:
- Breakwater Beach – The waters here have a pleasant temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also not a very crowded beach.
- Paine’s Creek – You can expect to find calm waters and tidal pools at Paine’s Creek. Waters can be around a mile away from the shore during low tide, leaving room enough for kids to play or for you to take a long stroll.
- Corporation Beach – The beach has a crescent-like shape, which forms a tidal pool that’s fun to wade inside. The water is warm and perfect for swimming!
- Nauset Beach – The waves here are perfect for surfing. The beach offers a 10-mile expanse of sand and guarded areas where you can swim safely. Lifeguards are present at all times.
- Coast Guard Beach – Whether you lie on its spotless sands to tan or you take a swim, this beach is perfect in every way. It also doesn’t have as many rocks underwater as other beaches.
- Gull Pond – Bordered by breathtaking pine trees, this freshwater pond in Wellfleet provides calm waters to swim in. It also has a platform where swimmers can jump off of. You can kayak or enjoy a long, calming dip into its pleasant waters.
- Sheep Pond – Sheep Pond in Brewster offers multiple places where one can relax. It’s the perfect place to swim or fish.
- Flax Pond – The best thing about this pond in Dennis is that it’s free and dog-friendly! It has refreshing, crisp waters and a roped-off area for swimming. It also has a rope swing and nearby trails, so that’s cool.
- Sandy Pond – Not only can you swim here, but there are recreational activities like tennis and basketball courts and a playground for kids!
Is it warm enough to swim in Cape Cod?
Cape Cod waters offer a wide variety of temperatures for swimmers. The Bay beaches are typically warmer than the ocean. Temperatures of the water in the Bay beaches fall between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit during the warm summer months.
From December-March, temperatures of 39-46 degrees make the water un-swimmable. The best months for swimming in Bay beach waters are July-September, when temperatures range from 64-68 degrees.
Nantucket, Vineyard Sound, and Buzzards bay’s warmest months also fall within May-August. These beaches face the harshest temperatures in winter months at 41 degrees, which slowly start to rise to 44 degrees over the spring until summers roll around, bringing in the heat at an average of 64 degrees.
Where is the Warmest Water in Cape Cod?
Bay area beaches and beaches located on Nantucket, Vineyard Sound, and Buzzards Bay have the warmest waters. These beaches also tend to have gentler tides and tidal pools perfect for families and children to swim in.
Bay area beaches can be found on the Northern shoreline in Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouthport, Dennis, or the western shores of Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown.
These beaches not only have the warmest temperatures that fall between the upper 60s and low 70s during summers but also tidal pools where your kids can play around. And when the tide withdraws, it leaves lots of space for long walks on the beach!
According to statistics, August is the warmest month for Cape Cod beaches when water temperatures rise to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beaches located on Nantucket Sound, Vineyard Sound, and Buzzards Bay are also warmer than the ocean. At Nantucket, waters are warmest in summer at 68 degrees, sometimes reaching 73 degrees in May.
Water temperatures in Vineyard Sound go up to 66 degrees in the Summer, and Buzzards Bay has the warmest months from June to August, where temperatures range from 76-81 degrees.
Are Cape Cod Beaches Free?
Bayview, Colonial Acres, and Mayo beaches on Cape Cod do not ask for any admission fee. You can expect to pay when visiting Nauset, Coast Guard, and Marconi Beach a daily vehicle entrance fee of $25.
Here you have some additional information about our top Cape Cod free beaches:
- Bayview Beach – From Bayview beach, you can watch ships reaching and leaving Hyannis Harbor. This spot offers serene waters and a magnificent view of the shoreline. Nearby restaurants offer a good site for some of the best meals on the East Coast.
- Colonial Acres Beach – Located in West Yarmouth, the beach offers a clear view of Lewis Bay and is large enough for long, pleasant walks. You can also fish in Mill Creek. The beach offers parking for a total of 15 cars.
- Englewood Beach – This beach promises a spectacular view of the sunset and areas like Sweetheart Cove and the Pine Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Kids can also play around on its vast expanses. It provides 20 parking spots.
- Gray’s Beach – Situated on Yarmouthport, Gray’s beach has gentle waters perfect for your kids. It has gorgeous views and provides a playground and picnic items like grills and picnic tables! It gives 50 parking spaces and several spaces for boat trailers.
- Oyster Pond Beach – This beach on Chatham is the perfect spot for families with little children. It has warm waters, low tide, and facilities like a swimming platform and a bathhouse. There are 50 parking spaces.
- Grews Pond – It offers shade and a mile-long shoreline. Nearby there are several hiking trails and a volleyball and horseshoe setup, and lots of parking.
Whether you are a family of four looking for a relaxing day out at the beach–tossing your frisbee and sloshing around in the water–or a surfer looking to catch some intense waves, Cape Cod is the perfect destination for you.
We hope you consider spending your next vacation at one of the beaches here. Throw one of our favorite beach choices on your itinerary and trust us, you’ll be coming back for more! Happy and Safe Travels!
You can find these beaches on Falmouth’s western and southern shores, Hyannis, Mashpee, Yarmouth, and Chatham.
The tides here are very gentle–almost non-existent.
The North Falmouth area also has warm waters, with temperatures around 70 degrees during summertime.