Cape Cod’s raw natural beauty, historic towns and fascinating people all make for excellent photo opportunities whether you’re a professional photographer or just want to capture the memories of a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, a special celebration or just a beautiful day in general. The beaches, sunsets, lighthouses, birds, waves, and sailboats are just a few of the subjects Cape Cod has for you to capture.
Best Photo Spots on the Cape
Beaches are at the top of the list of photogenic settings on Cape Cod. On the Cape Cod Bay side, expansive stretches of white sand reach out to meet the ocean waves and uninterrupted skyline. At low tide, the sand bars seem to go on forever. The shallow tide pools are full of fascinating marine life and breathtaking reflections of the sunset. On the other side of the Cape, the south and west facing beaches are known for dramatic sunsets that light up the water in spectacular shades of red, pink, and purple. Rocky shorelines, gentle surf, and the silhouette of the islands in the distance add to the beauty. To the east, sunrises are the main attraction, though the open ocean and breaking waves are an impressive image any time of day.
Many beaches host views of iconic Cape Cod lighthouses. You’ll capture the essence of the Cape when you use one as an accent to a sunset, as the settings for a romantic portrait, or as the focal point itself. Nauset Light, Race Point, and Aquinnah (Gay Head) are all stunning against the colors of the sunset. Chatham Light is picture-perfect at sunrise and sunset, framed by the clouds and colors, or with the full moon breaking over the horizon out past Cape Poge.
Turn your lens to the harbors and waterways for even more excellent photo opportunities. Sailboats, yachts, and ships can make for striking images against the sunset and open water. Lights from nearby towns create colorful accents over harbor views. Nearby bridges and boardwalks provide additional points of interest while tugboats, barges, and sailboats on the Cape Cod Canal make a fabulous backdrop for activities like fishing, swimming, and camping.
Beyond the waterfront, Cape Cod offers an incredible variety of habitats and landscapes teeming with wildlife. Get up close to starfish, seashells, and tide pool denizens for intriguing images. Check out the seals at play next to a lighthouse. And hundreds of different species of birds await at locations like Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary, from the rarest shorebirds to common songbirds, migratory flocks, and majestic birds of prey. Many areas on the Cape are dedicated to the preservation of wildlife habitats, including beaches and marsh dotted sandplains, shady forests with tall oak canopies, and groomed gardens filled with flowers and berries. The wildlife is a sight to see, but the habitats themselves also serve up awe-inspiring views, spectacular sunsets, and beautiful landscapes.
The towns and people of Cape Cod are also prime photography subjects. You’ll encounter fascinating characters along the shores, from the weathered fisherman to the over-the-top surfer to the plein air painter. And you may run into someone famous in town, but the towns themselves offer plenty of material to work with. The view of the sunrise from the grassy lawn of Ocean Park is stunning and the historic neighborhood, bandstand, pond, and flower gardens make for some very intriguing imagery. Or look to village greens of Hyannis and Falmouth for images of stately historic homes, and to the towns’ classic main streets for interesting architectural finds.
Whether it is the sunsets, beaches, people, wildlife, or buildings that get your attention, just be sure to take lots of pictures. You don’t have to be a pro to capture impressive images on Cape Cod because there are simply so many stunning images to capture.