Summer Bucket List: Visit the Beach – National Seashore

Welcome to’s Summer Bucket List series, brought to you by the good folks at Cape Cod Calling. Each week, we will bring you a new idea for you to enjoy your summer here on Cape Cod.  

“A man may stand there and put all America behind him.” Henry David Thoreau was describing the magnificence and expanse of the great Outer Beach, which is part of the National Seashore, when he wrote these words in the 1800s.

The Cape Cod National Seashore consists of 40 miles of pristine sandy beaches, marshes, ponds, and uplands that  support diverse species in this amazing place, while lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life.

Located on the outer portion of the Cape, the Cape Cod National Seashore’s 44,600 acres encompass a rich mosaic of marine, estuarine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. These systems and their associated habitats reflect the Cape’s glacial origins, dynamic natural processes, and at least 9,000 years of human activity.

There are six swimming beaches within the Cape Cod National Seashore, each with its own interesting natural features, and some with cultural associations. They are Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Nauset Light Beach in Orleans, Marconi Beach in Wellfleet (currently closed while new stairs are installed), Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, and Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach, both in Provincetown.

Swimming, hiking, paddling, fishing, surfing, camping and biking all beckon to today’s visitors to the National Seashore. In addition to miles of beaches that provide a wonderful walking environment, there are 12 walking trails at the seashore that are open year-round.

Seasonal hunting is permitted for deer, upland game, and migratory waterfowl. With certain exceptions, hunting seasons and regulations are all in accordance with Massachusetts State hunting regulations. You are responsible for knowing both the state and federal regulations that govern hunting within the National Seashore. All hunting is prohibited from March 1 through August 31, except for the spring turkey hunt.

Salt Pond Visitor Center Salt Pond Visitor Center is Cape Cod National Seashore’s year-round visitor facility, with a theater, store, museum, and restrooms. The center is located at 50 Nauset Road in Eastham. Nearby are the popular 1.5-mile Nauset Marsh Trail, the Nauset Bicycle Trail, and the Buttonbush Trail, a quarter-mile, multi-sensory trail that features a guide rope and text panels printed in large lettering and Braille, as well as discovery activities for children.

The Province Lands Visitor Center at the tip of the Cape also has restrooms, a store, and outdoor exhibits and decks, providing a 360-degree view of the Province Lands dunes, the Outer Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The Province Lands Visitor Center is located at 171 Race Point Road, off Route 6 at the northern end of Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown.

Ranger-guided tours and programs are offered from spring through fall. Explore the many facets of the Cape Cod National Seashore through guided walks, talks, performance and music events, canoe trips, campfires, open houses at historic buildings, yoga, and more.

Stay at one of the great campgrounds in the area, or at a vacation house rental, hotel or hostel. For information about other accommodations, including privately-owned campgrounds within the park and in surrounding towns, visit the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. You may contact the chamber by phone at (888) 33CAPECOD or 508-362-3225. Information is also available at each town’s information booth.

For more information about the Cape Cod National Seashore and all it has to offer, visit or the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, at

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Check Out Other Summer Bucket List Ideas on the Cape!

If you are interested in seeing what else is out there to do on the Cape during the summer, check out our Summer Bucket List with some other ideas.

About Cape Cod Calling - Summer Bucket List Sponsor

Inspired by the beauty and magic of Cape Cod, its people and their many creative talents, Cape Cod Calling was founded by two washashores, Don and Denise Montgomery, who now call Cape Cod home. Cape Cod Calling is a subscription box and gift box curation service. Each box includes a variety of treasures made locally on Cape Cod by the talented Cape Codders and washashores who call Cape Cod home. For more information on Cape Cod Calling, click here.
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