Check Out This List of The Cape’s Most Underrated Beaches


It’s the ‘Dog Days’ of summer.  By now most are worn out from being slowly roasted by the blazing sun, or worn out from the immense crows Cape Cod draws each and every season.  The roads are packed, the stores are packed, the restaurants are packed, and of course the beaches are packed.  The most popular beaches, Sandy Neck, Nauset, Coast Guard, Craigville, and the like draw the brunt of the crowds and with good reason. These are no doubt the cream of the crop when it comes to the pristine oases that visitors and locals alike crave.  However with 559.6 miles of shoreline there are bound to be beautiful areas that are less populated than others.  These may not be the deserted dunes desired by some as the summer winds down, but here are a few of the lesser known and underrated beaches of Cape Cod.

Longnook Beach, Truro

Located on the ocean side of Truro close to the border with Provincetown sits this wondrous beach.  There is a small parking lot near the beach which begins high atop a sandy cliff.  When that fills up numerous cars will park along the side of the road stretching back sometimes ¼ to ½ mile.  The view is amazing and the cell phone service is limited to nonexistent, a perfect escape.  A Truro beach sticker is necessary before 4pm, there is no daily parking option, and there are no lifeguards.


Megansett Beach, North Falmouth

Tucked away on the Buzzards Bay shoreline of western Cape Cod is a small underrated gem that is known for spectacular sunsets.  The beach is part of Megansett Harbor and there is a long breakwater perfect for taking in the scenery is a little more solitude.  The Megansett Yacht Club resides next door which allows for great views of vessels entering and exiting the harbor frequently.  The sun sets right into the water bordered by North Falmouth to the south and Scraggy Neck to the north.  A town sticker is required before 5pm, there is no daily parking option, and there are lifeguards in season.

Ridgevale Beach, Chatham

There are many highly populated beaches in the town of Chatham such as Lighthouse Beach and Hardings Beach.  It is easy to see how this lesser known haven for sand lovers can be passed over.  Located mere moments after crossing into Chatham from Harwich this sound side beach has a pair of fabulous bridges crossing over Cockle Cove Creek.  The sandy inlet where Bucks Creek meets the ocean makes for shallow safe water for children to play in.  There are tremendous views of Monomoy Island and Stage Harbor Lighthouse from this jewel as well.  It is $15 for daily non-resident parking and there are lifeguards on duty in season.

Thumpertown Beach, Eastham

This amazing bay side beach is located in the lesser known zone in Eastham between First Encounter Beach and Sunken Meadow Beach.  There are several small parking areas at the end of bay side facing roads which lead down to panoramic views of Cape Cod Bay.  The key which makes this beach stand out is the tidal flats.  The northern edge of the Brewster/Orleans flats this beach lends itself to some unique views especially at low tide.  It is at this time when boats left anchored just off shore will come to rest soundly upon the acres of sand revealed when the tide is low.  Beachgoers can amble freely amongst the vessels as it feels like an eerie boat graveyard.  It is $15 for daily non-resident parking weekdays, $18 on weekends and there are no lifeguards at this beach.


These are only a few of the lesser known Cape Cod beaches which may, or may not, be less congested than the most popular beaches.  Take a chance and dig a little deeper below the surface and find a little slice of paradise just off the beaten path.  Enjoy the rest of summer!

Chris Setterlund, who lives in Yarmouth, is a lifelong Cape Codder and the author of In My Footsteps, a guide to historical sites on Cape Cod.


  1. Always loved Seagull Beach in West Yarmouth. Great beach for kids!

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