The 11 Best Cape Cod Beaches

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An iconic summertime destination that juts out of the Massachusetts coast into the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod is a place where beachside. With beach towns and an extensive coastline to suit all kinds of people, activities and budgets, there's a reason Cape Cod (or the Cape as it's known locally) is as popular as it is for summer getaways.

The Cape itself was made famous for its role in US history with the landing of the Mayflower in 1620. Most passengers disembarked and headed up the coast to build what we now know as the capital of Massachusetts, Boston. However, these days the reason Cape Cod is famous is for its world class beaches and seafood.

From the golden sands and meandering boardwalk of Mayflower Beach to the historic lighthouses and calm sands of Race Point Beach, where, at the right time of the year, you can spot whales traversing the Atlantic waters, to the BBQ and family friendly Veterans Beach, there really is something for everyone.

And after a day at the beach, head to Provincetown (P-Town), the main town on the Cape and enjoy the plethora of great bars, restaurants, cafes and shops on the lively Commercial Street. P-Town is also famously LGBT+ friendly with a huge Pride parade every year.

So, where's the best Cape Cod beach for you and your tastes? Let's have a look.

  • 1. Coast Guard Beach

    Coast Guard Beach
    Margo Tabb
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    When you arrive at Coast Guard Beach, you will be met with an stunning view over marshlands, sand dunes to the wide sandy beach and ocean beyond. The boardwalk runs right up to the beach, and provides disabled access.

    People love the soft sand, and they come from far and wide to enjoy this pristine stretch of coast. It does get crowded in the summer, but if you walk in… read more »

  • 2. Skaket Beach

    Skaket Beach
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Swimming

    Skaket Beach lies on the west coast of Cape Cod facing into the sheltered waters of Cape Cod Bay. This makes it a very different proposition to the Atlantic facing beaches on the east coast.

    Just a stone's throw cross-country from Nauset Beach on the opposite coast, Skaket Beach is different in nearly every way imaginable. Instead of being pounded by some of the biggest waves on the Cape, Skaket is… read more »

  • 3. Marconi Beach

    Marconi Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Named for the Italian wireless inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, Marconi Beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. It was from this location that Marconi sent a message from President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom from this location. This was the first transatlantic radio transmission from the United States back in 1903.

    Marconi Beach provides views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Cod Bay, and the… read more »

  • 4. Mayflower Beach

    Mayflower Beach
    Kenneth C. Zirkel
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Located in the mid-Cape, Mayflower beach is off of Dunes Road in Dennis. The views from the tidal flats during low tide allow for some great photos, and the sunsets can be pretty amazing. The beach is large with lifeguards and plenty of room for games. You will find public restrooms, a boardwalk, a picnic area, and parking as well.

    You can stay in a variety of accommodations from little… read more »

  • 5. Race Point Beach

    Race Point Beach
    Daniel Schwen
    Great for:
    • Kitesurfing

    Race Point Beach is in Provincetown, right at the very top of Cape Cod. The scenery here is both unique and beautiful, with sandy beaches, whales in the ocean, and historical lighthouses among the extensive dunes. You will love walking on the beach or relaxing in the sand.

    Spring is the time to come for whale watching, you can spot various species breaching out in the ocean. From critically endangered… read more »

  • 6. Nauset Beach

    Nauset Beach
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Fishing
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Running along the Atlantic east coast of Cape Cod, between Coast Guard Beach and Chatham Harbor for around 10 miles, Nauset Beach is the longest on the cape. This beautifully pristine stretch of fine, near-white sand is backed by low grassy dunes for much of its length giving it a wild feel.

    Much of the year this part of the coast is pretty quiet. You can often go for long… read more »

  • 7. Sandy Neck Beach

    Sandy Neck Beach
    © M Z

    Set in the relative shelter of Cape Cod Bay, Sandy Neck Beach is a large, long beach with pebbly sand. In fact it is six miles long, and you can get an off-road permit for the 4x4 vehicle trails. Thse trails lead to the tip of the sandy spit and around the southside of the extensive sand dunes.

    If you go for a walk on the beach, you will see… read more »

  • 8. Veterans Park Beach

    Veterans Park Beach
    William DeSousa-Mauk

    One of Cape Cod's prettiest beaches near Hyannis, Veterans Park Beach has excellent facilities and delightful views across Lewis Bay.

    Ideal for families, there's a playground, BBQ grills, disabled facilities, benches, bike racks, showers, lifeguards, restrooms…in fact everything you need for a full day's activities. There is also plenty of parking in the area for a fee.

    The beach is moderately busy but rarely overcrowded. There's a volleyball court and the all-important… read more »

  • 9. Plymouth Beach

    Plymouth Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Located in iconic Cape Cod Bay, Plymouth Beach stretches for 3 sandy miles along a narrow barrier island with water on either side. The barrier island protects Plymouth Harbor from the open ocean waves.

    It gets its name from the nearby town of Plymouth and Plymouth Rock. It was an early settler area for the Mayflower pilgrims who named it after their departure point in the UK - Plymouth.

    Although parts of… read more »

  • 10. Longnook Beach

    Longnook Beach
    Ollie Jones
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    One of Cape Cod's top nudist beaches, Longnook Beach is located in the Massachusetts town of Truro. Although situated in one of the most popular oceanside resorts on the American east coast, it remains relatively quiet because it can only be accessed via a steep path down a high sand dune.

    Formed of a narrow band of light-coloured sand, the waves are usually mild, making it a good spot for… read more »

  • 11. South Cape Beach

    South Cape Beach
    Great for:
    • Fishing
    • Swimming

    Stretching for about a mile, the near-white sands of South Cape Beach are a wonderfully wild yet accessible part of the Cape Cod coast. Beyond the dunes the beach backs onto an area of wetlands and the estuary of Waquoit Bay. Out front are the sheltered waters of Vineyard Sound, a far cry from the Atlantic waves to be found along the Cape Cod National Seashore.

    Along with swimming and sunbathing… read more »