An endless coastline, towering sand dunes, eclectic nature, and pristine beauty. Everyone loves the beauty and calming atmosphere of a gorgeous beach. While most people head south for their beach vacation, few realize that one of the best beaches in the country lies right here on Cape Cod.
That is right! Coast Guard Beach in Eastham has landed on Dr. Beach’s top 10 beaches in 2023. In this post, we explore everything that Coast Guard Beach has to offer.
Miles of Natural Beauty
Coast Guard Beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, which means it is part of the 40 miles of protected beach along the Cape Cod shoreline. This protection makes Coast Guard Beach a thing of beauty to all who step on its soft, white sand.
Its deep blue waters, picturesque salt marshes, and stunning sand dunes make it the perfect place for an early morning or late evening walk to take in the natural beauty of Cape Cod.
One of the best parts of being at the beach is enjoying sunny weather and spending time outdoors. While Coast Guard Beach is perfect for just lounging around on the sand, it also offers a ton of activities for those who just cannot sit still at the beach. Some of the popular outdoor activities at Coast Guard beach include:
- Swimming – One of the best spots to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean on a warm summer day.
- Windsurfing – Coast Guard beach gets a steady stream of wind, making it a great place to take out your windsurfing board.
- Hiking – Right off the beach lies the Nauset Marsh trail, which takes you along the shoreline and through beautiful marshlands.
In addition to the activities above, on a nice summer day, you can easily find a beach volleyball game to jump in on or any other type of beach sport you may want to try.
See a Variety of Wildlife
A wide variety of sea-loving creatures call Coast Guard Beach their home. While the beach crowds usually scare away the animals during the summer months, the beach can be a wonderful place to take in some of Cape Cod’s wildlife in the spring, fall, and winter.
Some of the wildlife at Coast Guard Beach includes:
- Seals – The Nauset spit is a beautiful place to see shorebirds year-round. However, in the winter months, you can often find seals here as well.
- Plovers – In the spring and early summer months, plovers will nest on the shore. Make sure not to disturb the nests, as plovers are an endangered species.
- Whales – While this certainly isn’t the best spot for whale watching on Cape Cod, you can occasionally see them from the coast.
Notable Points on Coast Guard Beach
There are several notable places to visit along Coast Guard beach. Some of the more popular points include:
- Coast Guard Station – the outer beach, or the backside of Cape Cod, is notorious for being the site of over 3,000 shipwrecks. Therefore, one of the first government-sponsored lifesaving “stations” was constructed on Coast Guard beach. While the original no longer stands, the predecessor that was in service until 1958 can still be found on the beach today.
- Nauset Spit – The spit offers a unique opportunity to walk onto the beach barrier system that protects the Nauset Marsh. It is a great place to find wildlife.
- Henry Beston House – Unfortunately, the house was wiped away by a storm in 1978. However, the beach was the site where the author Henry Beston lived to collect material for his book “The Outermost House.”
Salt Pond Visitor Center
If you are looking to get indoors for an hour or to learn more about Coast Guard Beach, you can head over to the nearby Salt Pond Visitor Center. At the center, you will find information about the Cape Cod National Seashore, a museum, a theater playing educational films, and restrooms.
The Salt Pond visitor center is easily reachable via the Nauset Marsh Trail from Coast Guard Beach. However, you are also able to drive there.
Practical Tips for Visiting Coast Guard Beach
If you want to visit one of the best beaches in America, you will want to make some preparations ahead of time. Some practical tips for visiting Coast Guard Beach include:
- Shuttle Parking – If you are visiting from late June through Labor Day the Coast Guard parking lot is restricted to Eastham residents, so you will want to park at Litte Creek Shuttle Staging Area, located 1.5 miles east of Salt Pond Visitor Center, just follow the signs for the beach shuttle. There is a $25 parking fee per vehicle but the shuttle is free and runs about every 10 minutes.
- Bike or Walking – If you choose to visit the beach on foot or on a bike, there is a $15 per person fee. If it is more than just one person in your group, then it is cheaper to arrive via car.
- Bring shade – There no shade on the beach, so if you burn easily or want to get out of the sun, make sure to bring a beach umbrella.
- Bring Your Own Snacks – Since the beach is on a nature reserve, there are not any food stands or restaurants nearby. Bring whatever you want to eat or drink for the day with you.
- Be mindful of the Environment and Wildlife – This is a nature reserve, and therefore, the safety of the environment and animals should be top of mind. Do not disturb the wildlife, stay off the dunes, and take any trash with you.
Other Beaches Nearby
The Coast Guard Beach is just one of many beaches in Eastham. The Cape Cod National Seashore spans over 40 miles along the coast. Make sure to check out some of the other beaches on the Cape Cod National Seashore as well.