Cape Cod is the "Caribbean of the North" because the soft white sand and crystal clear water of Cape Cod Bay legitimately rivals any Caribbean beach. Below are our favorites.
Insider's Tip: All Cape Cod beaches are beautiful, but the water on the bayside (the north side) is crystal clear and at low tide you can walk out on the tidal flats for nearly a mile. Sunsets on the bayside beaches are spectacular – this is one of the only places on the East coast that you can watch the sun set over the ocean!
Bayside Public Beaches – Cape Cod Bay
Mayflower Beach - Dennis
Lifeguards, concessions and restrooms. Parking lot is usually full by 8 am on sunny days so arrive early. Sunsets here are breathtaking; bring your beach chair and cocktails for mother nature’s show!
Insider's Tip: At low tide, beautiful lavender moon snails abound! Look for the 'snail trails' in the sand and at the end you are almost guaranteed to find one. Some years there are many sand dollars at low tide too. When these special creatures are alive, their shells are covered in what looks like brown fuzz. Be sure to leave them in the water unless their shells are white!
Chapin Beach - Dennis
Lifeguards, port-a-potties, no concessions. Great sunsets.
Insider's Tip: Always fun to watch the kite boarders and wind surfers at Chapin Beach on windy days.
Bass Hole/Gray’s Beach - Yarmouthport
Lifeguards, restrooms. Small, protected beach with beautiful boardwalk over the marsh. Playground. Great kayaking and scenic walking trails.
Insider's Tip: Bass Hole/Gray’s Beach usually does not have a parking attendant so parking is free.
Oceanside Public Beaches – Nantucket Sound
Bass River (locals call it “Smuggler’s”) Beach, Parker’s River Beach, Sea View Beach - South Yarmouth
These popular beaches are adjacent to each other along South Shore Dr. Bass River and Parker’s River have concessions and restrooms.
Insider's Tip: Largest parking lot is at Bass River which also has a fishing deck. The food shack at Bass River Beach is one of the best on the Cape.
West Dennis Beach, West Dennis
Lifeguards, concessions and restrooms. Very long beach with lots of parking.
Insider's Tip: Bring your kite to fly in the kite flying area.
There are over 300 freshwater kettle ponds on Cape Cod that were created during the last ice age as the glaciers retreated.
Flax Pond Recreation Area – South Yarmouth
Lifeguards, restrooms. Very close to the house. Small sandy beach area, great for children. Open on weekends only. Basketball court, tennis courts, small playground.
Dennis Pond – Yarmouthport
Lifeguards sometimes but not always, port-a-potty. Sandy, shallow beach, great for children. Scenic and easy kayaking or canoeing.