Imagine enjoying a warm summer evening on the beach with friends or family gathered around a cozy campfire or enjoying a delicious Cape Cod clambake.
Small fires are allowed on some municipal and National Seashore beaches, so long as you get the proper permits, and the weather and wind conditions cooperate. The permits for each beach are limited in number, so it’s worth lining up early to be sure you can get the proper permissions- the early bird gets the fire permit!
You won’t regret it when you are enjoying a crackling campfire or a festive clambake party under the stars with the sounds of the surf crashing nearby.
1. Menemsha Beach, Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard
Enjoy spectacular sunsets, calm surf, and great views of Vineyard Sound from Menemsha Beach on Martha’s Vineyard. To enjoy a clambake party on the beach you’ll need to get a permit from the town of Chilmark.
2. Eastville Beach, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard
Enjoy small waves, good fishing, and great sunsets at this small sandy beach on Martha’s Vineyard. Clambakes are allowed with an advance permit from the County Manager. The parking lot is almost as small as the waves, so plan accordingly!
3. Joseph A. Silvia State Beach, Oak Bluffs Martha’s Vineyard
Enjoy the gentle waves, dunes, and seashells on this barrier beach separating Nantucket Sound from Sengekontacket Pond. You may recognize the sights from Jaws, which were filmed along this stretch of sand. The parking lot fills up quickly in the summer months. Parties and recreational shellfishing require a permit from Dukes County.
4. Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable
Spend an evening watching the waves roll in over the 6 miles of pebbled shores on Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable. Fires are allowed from April-October after 7 pm with a permit. A limited number of permits are given out each day, so line up early at the Parks Gatehouse. The lighthouse views and off-roading trails make this a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
5. Newcomb Hollow Beach, Wellfleet
While the steep dunes leading to the beach could prove challenging for hauling all the supplies for a clambake on the beach, campfires are permitted on this Atlantic side beach in Wellfleet after 6:30. Permits are available at the Town of Wellfleet Beach Sticker Office, though they go quickly. Spend a great evening in the soft sand watching the waves, sharks and whales that have been seen from this beach.
6. Head of the Meadow, Truro
This Cape Cod National Seashore beach in Truro is wide and sandy, with cold water, dunes, and great views. It’s a perfect spot to stargaze around a campfire. Permits available up to three days in advance from the Truro Fire Department, weather and wind allowing.
7. Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown
Herring Cove Beach is a perfect spot to enjoy a beach fire. The beach is within biking distance of P’Town and has mellow waves and spectacular summer sunsets. Permits are available at the Province Lands Visitors Center.
8. Corn Hill Beach, Truro
This calm bayside beach features gentle waves, good clamming, and great sunset views. Sharks are not as much of a concern on the Cape Cod Bay side of the Outer Cape. The beach features great sunset views and you can spot Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument. Fire permits are issued daily by the Truro Fire Department.
9. White Crest Beach, Wellfleet
Enjoy watching surfers ride the waves at White Crest Beach in Wellfleet. The steep dunes make hauling supplies a workout, but the long wide beach with large crashing waves makes it worth the journey. A popular spot for beach volleyball! The Beach Department offers fire permits on a first-come, first-serve basis during the summer season.
10. Nauset Light Beach, Eastham
This ocean-side National Seashore Beach features sand, small rocks, and seals bobbing in the surf. Often a popular destination, it is generally less crowded than nearby Coast Guard Beach. The lighthouse and other historical relics (like the French Cable Hut and the foundation of the Three Sisters Lighthouse) speak to the long history of shipwrecks and communication efforts of this section of the Cape. Fire permits can be obtained at the Salt Pond Visitor Center. When packing for the beach you’ll want to keep the steep staircase that leads visitors down the dunes to the beach in mind!
If you want to enjoy the classic flavors of a Cape Cod Clambake but can’t get a fire permit or aren’t up for preparing it yourself, consider bringing a to-go clambake from a local seafood restaurant to the beach, or work with a catering company to organize a beach or backyard clambake.
Check out these 10 Great Clambake Catering Companies on Cape Cod and the Islands:
1. Chatham Bars Inn Summer Clambake Dinner
Address: 297 Shore Road, Chatham, MA 02633
Description: fresh local seafood and vegetables from the Inn’s farm, steamed in the traditional way over hot rocks at The Beach House Grill at the Chatham Bars Inn. The dinner is on the pricey side, but worth it for the delicious pit-style clambake, the view, and the experience. The inn’s permanent clambake pit was dug with an excavator and contains two tons of fieldstone!
2. Clambakes, Etc.
Contact: 774-413-9191 firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 10 Jan Sebastian Dr, East Sandwich, MA 02537
Description: Enjoy a catered clambake from the folks at Clambakes, Etc. Choose between a pit style or a pot style bake, depending on your venue and event. Both have delicious lobsters, clams, mussels, chowder and more. The pot style can be set up anywhere, while the classic pit-style experience complete with hot rocks and fire is sure to be memorable! From setup to cleanup, they’ve got you covered.
3. Jakes Clambakes
Contact: 978-821-2878 email@example.com
Address: 540 Main St, West Yarmouth, MA 02673
Description: The O’Rourke family has been catering clambakes since 1980. For groups over 30, they’ll prepare a shore bake, providing all the supplies, from lobster bibs to forks, handle the cleanup, and help you rent tables and chairs if needed. And don’t forget the food- they come prepared with steamers, lobsters, chowder, watermelon and more. For groups of less than 30, Jakes will deliver a hot clambake in a tin for each guest. Enjoy corn, clams, and lobster at the beach of your choice, or your vacation home with friends.
4. Old Fashioned Clambakes
Contact: 508-775-1089 firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 504 S Main St, Centerville, MA 02632
Specializing in traditional pit-style clambakes since 1975, Old Fashioned Clambakes brings the classic Cape Cod flavors to you. They provide a list of suggested and recommended venues on the Cape for their pit-style bakes and will also do an above ground pan-style bake that can be put on anywhere. They pride themselves on fresh ingredients that are cooked on site and never precooked.
5. Backside Bakes
Contact: 508-360-8399 email@example.com
Address: 34 Winslow Landing Rd, Brewster, MA 02631
Description: On the Lower Cape, Backside Bakes specializes in clambakes but provides all around catering for events. They emphasize locally caught seafood and fresh ingredients. Their meals are customizable and can be designed to suit your event- from buffets to full-service meals they also offer a wide range of choices including vegetarian options. Clambake deliveries can be arranged with advance notice.
6. Sayle’s Seafood
Contact: 508-228-4599 SaylesSeafood@aol.com
Address: 99 Washington Extension, Nantucket, MA 02554
Description: Sayle’s Seafood on Nantucket offers take out or catered clambakes. While you’ll need a permit to have a clambake on one of Nantucket’s public beaches, the to-go meals can be brought to your favorite beach for sunset or enjoyed at home! In addition to their catering, Sayle’s runs a fresh fish market and also rents tables, tiki torches, and other supplies.
7. Premier Chef Services
Contact: 902-737-5752 firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 258 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd, Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA 02539
Description: Premier Chef Services on Martha’s Vineyard offers clambakes that focus on the freshest local seafood and produce sourced from on and around Martha’s Vineyard. They offer both the classic dug pit-style clambake and can do a pot-style version in the kitchen of your home or rental. From casual to formal, they will help you to create the perfect event, and will even help you coordinate with other rental companies and event planning needs!
8. Bill Smith’s Famous Clambakes
Address: P.O. Box 9000, Edgartown, MA 02539
Description: Bill Smith’s Famous Clambakes offers three great options for those looking for a catered clambake. Enjoy the casual catered clambake; the laid-back atmosphere is perfect for a reunion, rehearsal, or casual corporate event. , formal catered clambake, and to-go!
If you’re looking for a spiffier option, their formal catered clambake leaves the paper plates and napkins behind for linens, stemware, and silverware. They describe it as elegant without being stuffy, and it’s sure to be a highlight for your guests.
The third option is the to-go, cook it yourself clambake. With this option, you pick up two kettles filled with your supplies, a high-speed burner, and a tank of propane and are ready to cook your own clambake. The ready to cook clambake is a great option to bring to the beach or to your rental!
9. Cape Cod Chef on Call
Contact: 508-896-1400 Info@capecodchefoncall.com
Address: PO Box 1108, West Chatham, MA 02669
Description: In addition to their other great offerings, Cape Cod Chef on Call also does clambakes! They will come to your kitchen and prepare a great meal to your specifications. From chowder to steamers, coleslaw to corn there are plenty of choices. They even have entree options for folks who don’t eat lobster!
10. Mac’s Seafood
Address: 4680 State Highway Rte. 6, Eastham, MA 02642
Description: Call at least 48 hours in advance for a to-go clambake from Mac’s Seafood. They have locations in Chatham, P’Town, Wellfleet, and Eastham. Enjoy steamed lobster, littleneck clams, corn on the cob, with sides of chowder or coleslaw!