Cape Cod, MA

National Seashore Beaches

The signature ocean side beaches on Cape Cod are along Cape Code National Seashore, which stretches from Eastham to Provincetown. These are some of the most beautiful and rugged beaches on the eastern seaboard, with their gorgeous dunes, cliffs, and crashing surf. They have been protected from development since the early 1960s.

The beach is almost continuous from Nauset Beach in Orleans to Race Point Beach in Provincetown, and around the bend to Herring Cove Beach on the Bay side. As a result, it’s difficult to proscribe a particular “run” or distance. The principal beaches, in terms of parking, facilities, and so on are: Nauset Light Beach, Coast Guard Beach, and Marconi Beach in the Eastham/Wellfleet area, and Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown. In the summer months, the biggest parking lots are at Nauset Light, Marconi, and Race Point.

If you’re closer to Provincetown, running out Race Point Light in the right conditions is exhilarating. Herring Cove Beach, on the Bay side, is a little calmer. You can run ‘around the bend’, but it might be affected by the tides.

Running on the National Seashore beaches can be fantastic but it is also situational. Storms and erosion are constantly changing the landscape and the geography from one season to the next. This means that the beach might be sloped, and some spots have less “beach” — the geography is constantly changing. But it’s also possible to get wonderful stretches of firm, flat sand at mid to low tide. One other note: there are seasonal closures on some parts of the beach due to bird nesting. See here for more information, or call (508) 771–2144 to find out current conditions.

Cape Cod Tide Chart   Info on National Seashore

Essentials
  • Miles and Miles of beach
  • Generally flat
  • Anywhere along the beach. See description for locations & facilities
  • The biggest parking lots are at Nauset Light, Marconi, and Race Point.