Cape Cod Beaches
Cape Cod may be a relatively small area, but the Cape, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket together have over 700 miles of coastline. That translates to hundreds of miles of beaches. Swimming beaches, sunbathing beaches, surfing beaches, fishing beaches, kayaking beaches, harbor watching beaches, bird watching beaches, freshwater beaches, beachcombing beaches, secluded beaches, town beaches, lighthouse beaches, sunset beaches, sunrise beaches – if you can imagine it, Cape Cod has a beach for that.
Regardless of whether or not you like to get your feet wet, the beaches are swarming with activities you can get into, especially in the summer months. Visitors and locals alike flock to the beaches for exercise, camaraderie, and entertainment. Visit Chatham Lighthouse Beach in the morning for yoga or head to Old Silver Beach in Falmouth in the afternoon to soak up some sun. Take a stroll along Lobsterville Beach at Chilmark to hunt for seashells and other treasures left by the receding tide. Do a little bird watching from the boardwalk at Gray’s Beach in Yarmouth Port or join a game of beach volleyball at Seagull Beach in Yarmouth. Throw your own beach party around a campfire (permit required) or join one in progress at Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable. Get involved or sit back and people-watch. Young or old, families or college students, everyone is welcome to enjoy the Cape Cod beaches, even from dry land.
If the water is calling you, the beaches are the perfect staging point for your favorite activities. Popular swim beaches along the bays, harbors and ponds offer warm, calm water perfect for splashing around. Favorites like Chapoquoit Beach in West Falmouth or Corporation Beach have restrooms, showers, concessions and other amenities to help you make a full day of fun in the sun (and water). Surfing, boogie boarding, and windsurfing are all the rage particularly on south and east facing beaches with big waves like Nauset Beach in Orleans, White Crest Beach in Wellfleet, or Surfside Beach on Nantucket. The calmer, east facing, harbor, and bay beaches are ideal for wading, kayaking, paddle boarding, and checking out fascinating marine life in shallow tide pools when the sea level drops. A few gems are First Encounter Beach in Eastham and Breakwater Beach in Brewster. Fishing, of course, is awesome on beaches all around the Cape and Islands whether you like casting into the surf, seeking out lunkers between the sandbars or bait fishing while watching harbor traffic.
Aside from all the beach-going activities, it’s the views that really make the beaches of Cape Cod famous. With long stretches of powdery sand, dramatic cliffs lining the shore, tall dunes obscuring any trace of civilization, lighthouses perched above the shoreline, and vast expanses of ocean waves or still water, the views from Cape Cod’s beaches are spectacular. South and west facing beaches are favorites for sunsets, like Herring Cove Beach near Provincetown and Skaket Beach in Orleans. East facing beaches offer incredible sunrise spectacles but the sight of the full moon rising over the open water can be even more inspiring. Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, Brant Point on Nantucket, and Joseph Silvia State Beach at Edgartown are some of the best. And finally, many of the iconic Cape Cod lighthouses are surrounded by beautiful beaches. Gay Head Light sits atop the red cliffs next to Moshup beach at Aquinnah, Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown wraps around the cast-iron tower of Edgartown Harbor Light, and the beaches of the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge frame the striking Great Point Light. If all the beachgoer activities that abound don’t thrill you, the beach views certainly will.
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