5 Best Places On The Cape To Surf

As the Beach Boys so memorably put it, “Catch A Wave And You’ll Be Sittin’ On Top Of The World.” As it turned out, Dennis Wilson was the only member of the Beach Boys who actually surfed, but if Dennis lived on Cape Cod, he’d probably know all the best spots to catch a wave.

Locals know that on the Cape, the breaks change from year to year – even week to week – depending on wind direction, changes in sandbars and storms.

The Atlantic side of the Outer Cape from Chatham to Truro is where the waves are and the best time to surf is from three hours before to three hours after low tide. Waves tend to be biggest after storms and an offshore wind will clean up choppy storm surf.

So watch the wind and tides, then head out to these beaches to find your own Surfin’ Safari.

KA_Outer Beach_seals_0425160631.) The Outer Beach, Orleans/Chatham: If you have four-wheel-drive and an Outer Beach sticker, you can drive along the five miles of sand until you find a break you like – and escape the crowds at other popular surf spots. Beware of sharks and piping plovers.


2.) Coast Guard Beach, Eastham: Take the shuttle from the Little Creek parking area (yes, surfboards are allowed onboard!) and once you reach the beach, head south towards Nauset Inlet away from the crowds and the guarded portion of the beach. There are good breaks all the way down to the inlet and channels to paddle out through. As an added bonus, there are rest rooms and outdoor showers at the entrance to the beach. Again, watch out for Great Whites.

GF_CCOldTimers_0429163.) Whitecrest Beach, Wellfleet: The surfers call this place Four Mile. Maybe because it feels like four miles down – and worse, four miles back up — the dune, which has no stairs, at the end of a long day of surfing. But this is real Cape Cod surfing at its best and, among surf diehards, the most renowned spot for catching waves on the Cape. There are always great bars where the waves break for both long-boarding and short boards. There’s parking across the street and, you guessed it, sharks.

4.) Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro: Surfers love this spot for the long finger-like sandbars where the waves break, and because it tends to be less crowded than other spots because, well, it’s Truro. Great Whites here, too – as well as the remains of the sailing ship Frances, wrecked in 1872, that can sometimes be seen from shore during super low tides.


5.) Marconi Beach, Wellfleet: One of the most popular spots in the National Seashore, Marconi boasts a fast beach break and all the amenities you would expect from one of the Seashore’s main attractions. Added bonus: one of the biggest beach parking lots on the Outer Cape.


  1. Many thanks for this info as my son is keen surfer and coming over soon from Austraila to visit us – I’m sure he will find your guide insightful!

Speak Your Mind


737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy