Wellfleet

WellfleetCLAIM TO FAME: Infamous dune beaches and diverse ocean-side habitats

HISTORICAL BRAGGING RIGHTS: Site of the first American transatlantic radio transmitter station, near one of only two known pirate wreck sites

BEACHES: Cahoon Hollow, Duck Harbor, Great Pond, Gull Pond, Indian Neck, Lecounts, Long Pond, Marconi, Mayo Beach, Powers Landing, White Crest

DON’T MISS: Wellfleet Drive-In, The Beachcomber, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Great Island Beach, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Marconi Station

Halfway between the “tip” and the “elbow” of the Cape is the Town of Wellfleet. With the Cape Cod Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Wellfleet is bordered by Truro to the north and Eastham to the south. Wellfleet, first settled in the 1650s as a part of Eastham, did not achieve town status until 1763 after 30 years of petitioning, however its vibrant history dates back well before then.

Wellfleet was first encountered by Europeans in the early 17th century, when the famous French explorer Samuel de Champlain named it “Port Aux Huitres” or “The Oyster Port” for the plentiful oyster population he found. These oyster beds drove the early economy of Wellfleet and continue to this day with the annual Wellfleet Oysterfest in October.

Wellfleet is also the location of America’s first transatlantic radio transmitter station. Built by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901-1902 on a coastal bluff in South Wellfleet, the station sent the first radio telegraph transmission from America to England on January 18 1903, a ceremonial exchange between Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII.

Much of the land the Marconi station rests on became part of the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961 by issue of then-President John F. Kennedy. His vision was to protect the Cape’s beautiful seascape and landscape, and for good reason as Wellfleet boasts iconic ocean side beaches, towering dunes and the rare Atlantic Cedar Swamp, among other valuable habitats.

Like other beaches on the Atlantic, the surf can be peaceful one day and intense on another; but what marks the Wellfleet beaches are the massive bluffs that stand above the expansive sand below. At Marconi Beach in particular the bluffs are so high that much of the beach is in the shadows by late afternoon. The other two popular Wellfleet beaches are White Crest and Cahoon Hollow beaches just off Ocean View Drive. Cahoon Hollow Beach’s snack bar, The Beachcomber, sits right at the top of the bluffs and doubles as a restaurant and nightclub for the full day beach experience.

Beaches are not the only attraction Wellfleet has to offer. Visitors can check out the magnificent Wellfleet Harbor displaying a constantly changing panorama of sail boats, yachts, and other nautical vessels. There are also several bike paths that allow cyclists to take in the beautiful ocean side beaches from the top of the immense bluffs that line them.

Another popular attraction is the Wellfleet Drive-In Theater. Built in 1957 just off of Route 6, the Wellfleet Drive-In is the last remaining drive-in on Cape Cod, and well deserving of its National Landmark status.

Wellfleet is part of the Nauset Regional School District, which also includes Brewster, Eastham, and Orleans. Wellfleet operates its own elementary schools, with a regional middle and high school accepting students from all four towns. The Wellfleet Elementary school is located just off Route 6, while the Nauset Regional Middle School is in Orleans, and the High School in Eastham.

Town of Wellfleet Information

Fire Department
10 Lawrence Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667
(508) 349-3754
www.wellfleetfire.com

Police Department
36 Gross Hill Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667
(508) 349-3702
www.wellfleetpd.org

Town of Wellfleet
300 Main Street
Wellfleet, MA 02667
(508) 349-0300
www.wellfleetma.org

Chamber of Commerce
Route 6
(PO Box 571)
Wellfleet, MA 02667
(508) 349-2510


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