Cape Cod National Seashore

Vacation Travel Guide
Cape Cod National Seashore showing general coastal views and tranquil scenes

Covering over miles of shoreline around Cape Cod, this national park offers endless things to see and do regardless of the season.

President John F. Kennedy created Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961. Encompassing 40 miles (65 kilometers) of shoreline, this area on the Massachusetts coastline is a popular summer destination for families. Whether you explore it by boat, bike or foot, you’re sure to fall in love with this natural paradise.

If you want to go swimming on Cape Cod National Seashore, you have six beaches to choose from. Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is a very popular beach for swimmers. Head to Nauset Light Beach, also in Eastham, and take a hike to the iconic Nauset Lighthouse.

From Head of the Meadow Beach, in Truro, you can look out across the “ocean graveyard.” Hidden sandbars of the coast have caused over 1,000 wrecks between Truro and Wellfleet alone.

For a more secluded beach experience, go to the cliffs at Marconi Beach. Nearby Marconi Station was the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission.

Provincetown is home to a number of beaches. Herring Cove Beach is the most popular. Keep an eye out for whales swimming offshore in winter and early spring. Brave the chilly waters of Race Point Beach but be careful of rip tides here.

Learn more about the area at Salt Pond Visitor Center. Explore the museum's exhibits, which feature everything from area history to local art. Watch a short educational film in the theater. Stop by the gift shop, where you can buy a Cape Cod sweatshirt or an informational book. The visitor center is open daily, with increased hours during the summer.

Although it is smaller, Province Lands Visitor Center is also worth a visit. Peruse its exhibits, which take you back in time to the Pilgrim's landing in Provincetown. On a clear day, head out to the observation deck and enjoy the panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean, Province Lands, Race Point Beach and Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. Province Lands Visitor Center is open from the beginning of May through the end of October.

You can visit Cape Cod National Seashore any time of year. Its parking lots are open daily from morning to midnight. However, if you want to get in the water note that the park's six beaches only have lifeguards on duty from late June through Labor Day.

Top things to do in Cape Cod National Seashore

Top Hotels Close to Cape Cod National Seashore

Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod
Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod
3 out of 5
3800 State Hwy, Eastham, MA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $125 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Situated in Eastham, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Arnold's Mini Golf and within 3 mi (5 km) of Nauset Beach and Cape Cod National Seashore. Schoolhouse ...
4/5 Very Good! (573 reviews)
"The staff were very friendly. Disappointed the bar area was only open for breakfast."

Reviewed on Oct 19, 2021

Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod
Eastham, Cape Cod - In Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk to Coast Guard Beach
Eastham, Cape Cod - In Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk to Coast Guard Beach
Eastham, MA
This family-friendly Eastham vacation home is located by the sea, within 1 mi (2 km) of Nauset Beach and Cape Cod National Seashore. Schoolhouse Museum and Salt ...
5/5 Exceptional! (5 reviews)
Great location for beach and biking
"Nice location, very private and quiet. 10 min bike ride to Coast Guard beach, and 5-10 min bike ride to Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors center and bike path. We loved the beautiful yard and hammock. The home was very comfortable and perfect for relaxing family vacation."

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2019

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Eastham, Cape Cod - In Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk to Coast Guard Beach
Spacious five bedroom 3 bath ranch home that sleeps 8 guests. Large family room, open dining room to living room and well equipped kitchen.
Spacious five bedroom 3 bath ranch home that sleeps 8 guests. Large family room, open dining room to living room and well equipped kitchen.
Eastham, MA
Situated by the sea, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Three Sisters Lighthouses and Cape Cod National Seashore. Nauset Beach is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) ...
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Spacious five bedroom 3 bath ranch home that sleeps 8 guests. Large family room, open dining room to living room and well equipped kitchen.
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Cape Cod National Seashore

Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod
Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod
3 out of 5
3800 State Hwy, Eastham, MA
The price is $125 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Four Points by Sheraton Eastham Cape Cod
Eastham, Cape Cod - In Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk to Coast Guard Beach
Eastham, Cape Cod - In Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk to Coast Guard Beach
Eastham, MA
Eastham, Cape Cod - In Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk to Coast Guard Beach
Spacious five bedroom 3 bath ranch home that sleeps 8 guests. Large family room, open dining room to living room and well equipped kitchen.
Spacious five bedroom 3 bath ranch home that sleeps 8 guests. Large family room, open dining room to living room and well equipped kitchen.
Eastham, MA
Spacious five bedroom 3 bath ranch home that sleeps 8 guests. Large family room, open dining room to living room and well equipped kitchen.
Quiet Eastham Two Bedroom, 1 bath cottage - walk to beach.
Quiet Eastham Two Bedroom, 1 bath cottage - walk to beach.
Eastham, MA
Quiet Eastham Two Bedroom, 1 bath cottage - walk to beach.
#440: Minutes to Coast Guard & Nauset Light Beaches! Dog friendly!
#440: Minutes to Coast Guard & Nauset Light Beaches! Dog friendly!
Eastham, MA
#440: Minutes to Coast Guard & Nauset Light Beaches! Dog friendly!
Family-friendly getaway near beaches w/ a full kitchen & large back yard
Family-friendly getaway near beaches w/ a full kitchen & large back yard
Eastham, MA
Family-friendly getaway near beaches w/ a full kitchen & large back yard
#452: Spacious Home Near Oceanside Beaches, Dog Friendly, Private Yard, Outdoor Shower, Game Room!
#452: Spacious Home Near Oceanside Beaches, Dog Friendly, Private Yard, Outdoor Shower, Game Room!
Eastham, MA
#452: Spacious Home Near Oceanside Beaches, Dog Friendly, Private Yard, Outdoor Shower, Game Room!
Close to Nauset Light Beach! Friday-Friday Rental
Close to Nauset Light Beach! Friday-Friday Rental
Eastham, MA
Close to Nauset Light Beach! Friday-Friday Rental
#445: Great Eastham Location! Hot Tub, Central A/C, Dog Friendly!
#445: Great Eastham Location! Hot Tub, Central A/C, Dog Friendly!
Eastham, MA
#445: Great Eastham Location! Hot Tub, Central A/C, Dog Friendly!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.