On a sunny summer day, visit Nauset Light Beach to find a thoroughly social place, as Provincetown vacationers and daytrippers from Boston descend on the 1-mile-long (1.6-kilometer) beach.
Located on the Outer Cape, with surfing and dunes, Nauset Light Beach provides more than enough activities for a whole day’s fun. Even in winter, the Atlantic provides the setting for wetsuit-clad surfers to challenge the waves. Get the real experience on a hot day in July or August, when a dip in the water is the perfect relief from the warm summer sun.
Descend the wooden stairway from the parking lot to see the wide sweep of sand extending from the dunes down to the water. Set up your gear between the shade tents, umbrellas and coolers of other visitors, everyone united in the joyful freedom of a beach holiday. Bring a pair of binoculars to peer out to sea, where whales and seals occasionally frolic out of reach of people in the waves.
Run down to the water. Its waves make the spot ideal for surfing of all kinds. Bring a board or just body surf through the bracing water. Dry off with a walk to the Nauset Lighthouse, which stands just above the beach. Continue walking through the pitch pine forest to the Three Sisters Lighthouses. Before heading home, pause in the lookout area of the Nauset Light Beach parking lot to take a last gaze at the sea.
Nauset Light Beach is just north of Eastham, a 5-minute drive or 25-minute trolley bus ride from town. Travel here from Provincetown in 30 minutes by car or 45 minutes by bus. Drive from Boston in less than 2 hours during light traffic conditions. On-site parking is available, but extremely limited, especially on summer days. If you arrive after midmorning in the summer, park nearby and take the trolley bus that runs regularly between the Cape’s beaches. Parking fees are collected during the summer from morning to midafternoon.
Lifeguards are present from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Check online for tour times at the Nauset Lighthouse.