Seafood huts, quaint beach houses, and dune-lined beaches – Cape Cod is a major tourist hotspot for a reason.
Cape Cod occupies nearly 600 miles of the southeastern Massachusetts coast and is the perfect destination for soaking up the summer sun. And where better to soak up the sun after a harsh winter than on Cape Cod’s best beaches?
Whether you’re looking for world-class surfing conditions, family-friendly beaches with tide pools, or the perfect beach conditions for long walks, Cape Cod has a beach for you. Here are our tips we created in partnership with Hotels.com.
The best beaches in Cape Cod
Cape Cod beach resorts
There are some incredible Cape Cod hotels on the beach. You’ll find a mix of luxury hotels, family-friendly beach resorts, quaint cottages, relaxing guest houses, and large private rental homes here.
Most travelers visit Cape Cod from June through September to get the most out of Cape Cod’s beaches. However, being around this time means more crowds. So book one of the best Cape Cod hotels on the beach early to find the best Cape Cod hotels on the beach!
Best beaches in Cape Cod
With more than 130 beaches in Cape Cod, it’s no wonder there are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
Here are some of Cape Cod’s best beaches to discover.
Best family friendly beaches in Cape Cod
These Cape Cod beaches make for a family-friendly getaway – including chilled waves, lifeguards, bathrooms, and plenty of space.
Craigville Beach, Centerville
This is the most popular beach in the Barnstable area with all the typical beach facilities you would find on the main beach. It is a popular spot for kite surfers in the summer months and a popular meeting place for students and teenagers. The water is also a little warmer than other beaches in the area – a bonus for kids!
Amenities include a car park, lifeguards, toilets, showers, chair and parasol rental, and a nearby snack bar. It is also accessible for the disabled.
Mayflower Beach, Dennis
The tide pools at Mayflower Beach are always a hit with young explorers. At low tide, kids can walk for miles and explore the tidal pools in search of clams and marine life. It’s also big enough to store all of your beach gear.
Amenities include a parking lot, a lifeguard, toilets, a small promenade, a picnic area and a snack bar.
Cold Store, Dennis
Since Dennis is a well-known beach town, there are some family-friendly beaches. The calm waters make it a popular beach for swimming – which the kids love!
There are lifeguards and toilets, but no snack bar. Make sure you bring your food and drinks with you.
Best surfing beaches in Cape Cod
Surfing in Cape Cod is growing in popularity as more and more tourists flock to the beaches in search of big waves. Remember the water is cold so wetsuits are recommended!
While most beaches have surfing potential, here are the most popular.
Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore
This beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore and is one of the best in America. It is known among surfers for its constant shortboard / longboard summer swell.
Aside from great waves for surfing and boogie boarding, this beach has stunning scenery like marshland and dunes. Non-residents must park in the nearby Little Creek parking lot and hop on a shuttle that runs every few minutes.
Nauset Light Beach, Orleans
Nauset Light Beach is another extremely popular beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore that is protected by a tall dune cliff. The beach is one of the most popular on the Outer Cape.
It’s popular with families, but it’s also an excellent spot for swimming, boogie boarding, and surfing. The beach has a sandbar break with fairly steady surf. It can get quite crowded if the conditions are right.
Nauset Light Beach in Cape Cod
Marconi Beach, Wellfleet
Marconi Beach is popular for surfing as it runs steeply to the right at low tide as the swell rises. The beach is protected by dunes and is home to seals! Although the beach is very popular, its enormous size offers plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Note that you will have to carry your surfboard up a steep descending staircase to get from the parking lot to the beach.
Best beaches for sunset in Cape Cod
There are some prime locations in Cape Cod for the most beautiful sunsets from the beach. Here are some.
Skaket Beach, Orleans
The beach is a fantastic place for sunset lovers and photographers, with beautiful sunsets every evening. Skaket is a large stretch of coast that surrounds one of Cape Cod’s most beautiful beaches.
The nearby Rock Harbor makes this beach an ideal place to watch boats go up and down. That makes the sunset hour even more spectacular! The beach opens up even more at low tide and offers space for long walks on the beach.
Herring Cove Beach, provincial town
A sunset with a view of the lighthouse! Herring Cove Beach is part of the National Seashore and is located at the tip of the cape just a few miles from downtown Provincetown. The sunsets here are breathtaking and the views are wonderful at any time of the day.
For the sporty bunch, take your bike for a sunset ride on the nearby bike path.
Best beaches for walking in Cape Cod
Fancy a long walk on the beach? Here you can go to Cape Cod.
Hardings Beach, Chatham
Take a long walk along the tall dunes overlooking Nantucket Sound and the North Monomoy Islands. You can walk from Bucks Creek in the northwest to the historic Stage Harbor Lighthouse in the east.
Cape Cod Canal, Bourne
Okay, technically not a beach, but the Cape Cod Canal is the best place for walking in Bourne. There are a total of 13-1 / 2 miles of paved trails that are great for hiking, biking, and roller blading on either side of the canal.
There are several parking lots along the trails, including Bell Road on the Cape side and Buzzards Bay Park on the mainland.
Cape Cod Canal, Bourne Bridge
Best secluded beaches in Cape Cod
Do you want to hide from people? These hidden spots offer incredible views without the crowds.
Bound Brook Island Beach, Wellfleet
This beach is so remote that you have to drive a couple of dirt roads and then walk a few hundred meters over the towering dunes and beach grass to reach the sandy shore. Depending on when you visit, you could be the only ones on the beach and enjoy the breathtaking views of Cape Cod Bay all by yourself.
Crowes Willow Beach, Dennis
Crowes Pasture Beach in Dennis offers a more rustic old school Cape Cod beach experience. A narrow path through marshes and woodlands in the conservation area turns into a mile-long dirt track that eventually opens to a hidden beach. It’s one of the most remote locations in the entire Cape, with a mix of sand, swampy land, and seaweed.
Ready to go to the beach this summer?
This region undoubtedly has some of the best beaches in America. The best beaches in Cape Cod have something for everyone, and we encourage you to visit a few to find your favorite. Whether you love the surf, sandcastles with the kids, long walks, or just sit back and soak up the sun, a Cape Cod vacation might do the trick!
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