Living on Cape Cod in the summer means one thing more than anything else: The Beach!
There’s certainly no shortages of them, from Bourne all the way up to Provincetown. The great thing about the Cape is that we have a bit of everything, from glass flat, warm water of Nantucket Sound to the big surf and freezing cold water of Nauset Beach. Despite the occasionally frustrating summer time traffic, you’re rarely more than 20 minutes away from the sandy shores, no matter where you are. In a way, it makes compromising easy; you can be on a golf course but be a short hop, skip and a jump from a pristine sandy beach in five minutes. If you’re looking to move here, wouldn’t you want to know the best beaches in your town? We’ve put together our admittedly quite biased list below. Let us know if we left off your favorite!
The Best Beaches in: Bourne
Monument Beach: Probably the best known beach in Bourne, Monument Beach is easily accessible from Route 28 and has been a favorite for families for generations. It doesn’t have the world’s best sand, but the water is clear, warm, and the beach itself has great sweeping views of the west end of the Cape Cod Canal and the Monument Beach Marina. Because of the prevailing winds at the end of the Canal, Monument Beach is popular with windsurfers. With a fairly large lot, you won’t have to worry too much about parking.
Gray Gables Beach: Nestled, almost hidden even, in the village of Gray Gables is the creatively named…Gray Gables Beach. The water at this beach is unusually calm, and at low tides the water goes way, way out and small shallow pools appear, making this beach a very family-friendly environment. As with many other Canal area beaches, boat-watching is an easy and favorite past-time. If you’re visiting in the high season, bring a book or a good pair of sunglasses as the swimming area itself is not that big, and the beach can get a little bit crowded during the early July weeks.
The Best Beaches In: Sandwich
Sandy Neck Beach: One of Cape Cod’s signature beaches, Sandy Neck seems to stretch on forever and ever. In fact, it spans two towns (Sandwich and Barnstable) and, at low tide, extends deep into Cape Cod Bay. Popular with sun seekers, outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, off-roaders and everything in between, Sandy Neck is usually at the top of the list for anybody visiting Cape Cod. Since it’s located in a State Park, Sandy Neck is surrounded by acres and acres of woodlands and tidal marshes, making this much more than just a beach. Be careful about where you put down your towel, as cars and equestrians are allowed on certain areas of the beach. If you do want to bring a car, make sure to get an ORV permit and check the tide chart! The water can be a bit cold for some, but the beach is worth the trip anyways!
East Sandwich Beach: Sandwich and Mashpee are in a similar position: most of the beaches in town are private property, owned either directly by homeowners or by neighborhood associations. This is part of what makes East Sandwich beach so special – though small, it’s right smack in the middle of prime million-dollar beachfront property. Located on a bend in North Shore Boulevard, East Sandwich Beach is a small, bay-side beach that offers its rewards to the lucky souls that manage to snag one of the few parking spots along the road. If you’re planning on staying more than a couple hours, be sure to bring any food, drinks or other necessities you might need as there aren’t any snack bars, restrooms or stores until you head back over to 6A and into Sandwich or Barnstable proper! Those that come prepared enjoy the spoils of an uncrowded, hidden (behind a row of dunes) and basically private beach right on Cape Cod Bay!
Town Neck Beach: Located at the end of the Sandwich Boardwalk, one of the Cape’s most famous and popular attractions, Town Neck beach is a wild and wave filled reward for those that can resist the temptation of boardwalk jumping and exploring the tidal marshes behind the dunes, which all is, of course, part of the fun! Stop at the apex of the boardwalk and turn around; you’ll be treated to sweeping views of salt marshes, cranberry bogs and the Upper Cape. Beachgoers are treated to a panoramic view of the South Shore and the seemingly endless expanse of the bay. Stop by at high tide and sneak in a leap from the boardwalk into the tidal stream below!