Covering over miles of shoreline around Cape Cod, this national park offers endless things to see and do regardless of the season.
President John F. Kennedy created Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961. Encompassing 40 miles (65 kilometers) of shoreline, this area on the Massachusetts coastline is a popular summer destination for families. Whether you explore it by boat, bike or foot, you’re sure to fall in love with this natural paradise.
If you want to go swimming on Cape Cod National Seashore, you have six beaches to choose from. Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is a very popular beach for swimmers. Head to Nauset Light Beach, also in Eastham, and take a hike to the iconic Nauset Lighthouse.
From Head of the Meadow Beach, in Truro, you can look out across the “ocean graveyard.” Hidden sandbars of the coast have caused over 1,000 wrecks between Truro and Wellfleet alone.
For a more secluded beach experience, go to the cliffs at Marconi Beach. Nearby Marconi Station was the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission.
Provincetown is home to a number of beaches. Herring Cove Beach is the most popular. Keep an eye out for whales swimming offshore in winter and early spring. Brave the chilly waters of Race Point Beach but be careful of rip tides here.
Learn more about the area at Salt Pond Visitor Center. Explore the museum's exhibits, which feature everything from area history to local art. Watch a short educational film in the theater. Stop by the gift shop, where you can buy a Cape Cod sweatshirt or an informational book. The visitor center is open daily, with increased hours during the summer.
Although it is smaller, Province Lands Visitor Center is also worth a visit. Peruse its exhibits, which take you back in time to the Pilgrim's landing in Provincetown. On a clear day, head out to the observation deck and enjoy the panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean, Province Lands, Race Point Beach and Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. Province Lands Visitor Center is open from the beginning of May through the end of October.
You can visit Cape Cod National Seashore any time of year. Its parking lots are open daily from morning to midnight. However, if you want to get in the water note that the park's six beaches only have lifeguards on duty from late June through Labor Day.