Heaven on Earth: The Best Cape Cod Beaches

Cape Cod and the beach are practically synonymous – one just wouldn’t be complete without the other. As your trusted source for everything happening on the Cape, it only makes sense to provide you with our own list of top beaches across Cape Cod.

Craigville Beach, Centerville

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Craigville Beach is one of the most well-known and tourist-heavy beaches on the Cape. On a sunny afternoon during the summer, you're almost guaranteed to find this beach packed with people PHOTO Courtesy of CapeCodPhotos.com

Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable

One of the most revered beaches on Cape Cod, Sandy Neck is a six-mile long barrier beach. This beach is known for its off-roading trails. If you’re going for a swim, be prepared for water that is usually colder than on the south side of the Cape and, these days, a pebbly surface, buta beautiful view nonetheless. Endangered piping plovers call the shoreline of Sandy Neck home so there are restrictions on off-roading early in the season until the eggs hatch. Though the access road to the beach starts in the Town of Sandwich, the beach is located in the Town of Barnstable. Residents of both towns get special rates on seasonal ORV beach stickers. Beach stickers from the towns of Barnstable and Sandwich can be used for this beach. Anyone else pays a day rate of $15 during the week and $20 on weekends.

Duck Harbor, Wellfleet

A beach not far from Wellfleet Harbor, Duck Harbor offers a great view of nearby Provincetown as you sit on the sand and soak up the sun. This beach also boasts both warmer and calmer waters compared to some other beaches in Wellfleet, thanks to its location on Cape Cod Bay.

First Encounter Beach, Eastham

Like most of the beaches along Cape Cod Bay, First Encounter Beach is home to warm waters, low sand dunes, wide flats at low tide, and an expansive view of the Bay. If you’re curious about the name, it actually indicates a significant piece of history. This beach is said to mark the location where the Native Americans and Pilgrims first met when the settlers landed on the Cape, encouraging the name “First Encounter.”

Bass Hole (Gray’s) Beach, Dennis-Yarmouth

Arguably, this is one of the most unique beaches on the Cape. While it’s not hard to find a suitable spot to view the sunset, Bass Hole may trump other Cape Cod beaches. The Bass Hole Boardwalk is one of this beach’s standout elements, as it crosses over a beautiful marsh and into the sea, making it an ideal scenic location to see the ocean, active wildlife in the marsh, and lots of greenery. If you’re heading to the beach for the day with the whole family, Bass Hole also has a picnic area that includes a pavilion. At low tide, the beach makes way for a roughly mile-long flat, which is perfect for enjoying a walk on the beach and for children, as the low tide creates small pools that are fun for them to explore.

Old Silver Beach, Falmouth

As one of the most frequented beaches on the Cape, Old Silver Beach in Falmouth has solid reasons behind its popularity. It offers beach-goers a stunning view of Buzzards Bay, which in turn provides warm water for swimming, which can reach 70 degrees in the middle of summer. A small rock jetty lies between the section of the beach reserved for residents with beach stickers and the other side open to the general public for a daily sticker fee of $20.

Kingsbury Beach, Eastham

Located in a residential area, Kingsbury Beach is one of the more quiet beaches on the Cape, nestled in between two private beaches. Due to its lack of a lifeguard on duty, portable restroom, and no parking lot, Kingsbury makes for a pleasant selection if you’re looking for a simple stroll on the beach. Its calm waters and location at the edge of Cape Cod Bay provide visitors with both a beautiful view and easygoing beach experience.

Corporation Beach, Dennis

Corporation Beach is also one of the most popular beaches on Cape Cod, as its location on Cape Cod Bay presents numerous opportunities that make the beaching experience that much richer. The curve of the beach along the Bay allows tidal pools and flats to form at low tide, something to keep the kids busy, while high tide provides prime swimming opportunites. This beach also has a swing set that children can occupy themselves with if they desire a change of pace from swimming or exploring the shallow tidal pools. Plus, you won’t feel like you’re anywhere else but on the Cape as you watch sailboats pass by along the Bay from nearby Sesuit Harbor.

Mayflower Beach, Dennis

Mayflower is not only one of the most well-known beaches in the town of Dennis, but also one of the most beloved across the Cape. This beach is the definition of “family-friendly” with its small waves, yet large area to spread out along the beach, an attendant on duty, and pools at low tide. Mayflower Beach has a boardwalk that stretches from the parking lot over the dunes to the beach. Tidal flats at low tide span for hundreds of feet, making for great walking space.

Cold Storage Beach, Dennis

Like Mayflower and Corporation beaches, Cold Storage Beach is on Cape Cod Bay and boasts long tidal flats at low tide. Similar to Corporation Beach, Cold Storage also offers visitors the chance to see boats pass through Sesuit Harbor, while Sesuit jetty is a prime spot for striper and blue fishing. For those who can’t stand walking on rocky or shell-covered beaches will be happy to know that they’ll feel soft, soothing sand beneath their feet while on this Dennis beach.

Skaket Beach, Orleans

Skaket Beach has the calm waters, tidal pools and long tidal flats at low tide similar with other beaches on Cape Cod Bay. Boats that launch out of Rock Harbor in Orleans can be seen by beachgoers as they sunbathe on Skaket. It also has a food shack that offers your typical beach food such as burgers, fries, and ice cream.

Craigville Beach, Centerville

Craigville Beach is one of the most well-known and tourist-heavy beaches on the Cape. On a sunny afternoon during the summer, you’re almost guaranteed to find this beach packed with people. It stretches along Nantucket Sound to its next door neighbor, Covell’s Beach. Plus, you’ll find a couple food shacks right across the street that offer seafood classics like fried clams and fish & chips, but also sandwiches, ice cream, and other summertime classics. The beach is equipped with a lifeguard on duty and an area for showers and public restrooms.

Breakwater Beach, Brewster

Breakwater is one of Brewster’s most popular beaches. In the middle of summer, its mild, 65-70 degree water makes for an optimal ocean to swim in on a summertime afternoon or evening. Pleasant dunes line the gentle sands along the beach, and at low tide, the beach extends a mile across Cape Cod Bay. There is a great jungle gym for children who like to venture out and find beach gems such as shells and marine life. You may also see small sailboats on the beach, as low tide leaves them stranded in the sand. Kids will also take delight in the ice cream truck, which makes regular appearances at the beach.

Rock Harbor, Orleans

When it comes to viewing the sunset, Rock Harbor in Orleans is pretty hard to beat. You can see the gorgeous scene over the boats docked in the harbor or as a fishing fleet sails by. The entrance to the Harbor is also lined with pine trees, installed to mark the channel for boats, making for an even more memorable image.

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If beaches aren’t for you, make sure you check out our Cape Cod Events Page to find something to do in each town! If you’re looking for more photos, visit our photos page by clicking below.

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