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Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

Ballwin, Missouri
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Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

We're planning a whirlwind trip to the NE (we're from the Midwest) and will be staying just north of Boston for 4 days. We're hoping that one of our day trips will be to Cape Cod. I'm looking through most of the posts, Chamber of Commerce sites, and other search engines and am finding, for the most part, that fees are consistently charged for parking at public beaches on the Cape. Will this be true of the last week of May, or does this typically start during high season? Are there any beaches where we can just pull up, take a picture (or 2 or 3 or 100), touch the Atlantic Ocean, maybe toss a Frisbee, and get moving to the next picturesque spot without investing the full day price? Any help you can give (as well as any "don't miss" spots) would be REALLY appreciated.

Boston, MA
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for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
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1. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

IMHO - the most beautiful beaches on the Cape are the National Seashore beaches, which are run by the National Park Service. According to their website:

"Beach entrance fees are collected from late June through early September when lifeguards are on duty, and on weekends/holidays from Memorial Day to the end of September"

For beautiful pictures: Nauset Light Beach in Eastham nps.gov/caco/…nauset-light-beach.htm

Also - you can take a walk on the Fort Hill trail in Eastham (free) and take spectacular pictures of Nauset Marsh & the Atlantic

http://www.easthamchamber.com/Activities.cfm

Connecticut Yankee
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2. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

The National Seashore Beaches are stunning. You can park for free and visit the beaches once the lifeguards leave, 4:00-4:30 or so.

The beauty of the Cape's salt ponds, Sound and Bay beaches shouldn't be missed either. The whole place is a photographer's dream, really.

Ballwin, Missouri
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3. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

Thank you so much for your replies. Since both messages came from "experts", I am sure we will take your advice on all counts. I'm guessing we won't have enough time to see all that there is to offer - but we'll make a dent for sure.

Is the trip out to the tip worth the extra time? Or, would you consider the mid section to be indicative of the "true" Cape experience?

Boston, MA
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for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
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4. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

Hi, Provincetown is a really special place, it is home to artists, fishermen, authors and is gay-friendly. The town itself is quite compact but is a great shopping destination bc of all of the galleries and specialty shops. Race Point beach is stunning as is the view from the Pilgrim Monument. If you are only going for the day, you may have to choose how far you want to go, but remember, the Cape itself is only about 60 miles from the bridge to P-town, so it is do-able - I guess it would depend on where you have to drive to at the end of the day.

Ballwin, Missouri
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5. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

I have heard WONDERFUL things about Provincetown hence the question. We will have to pick and choose because we are driving back to Northern Boston suburbs at the end of the day - so may not make the FULL round trip all the way out. (Thank you so much for the reply)

Cape Cod...
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6. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

If you want to see the fabulous views of the National Seashore that others have mentioned you will need to get at least as far as Eastham, where the first National Seashore beaches begin. You might consider spending a few minutes at the Salt Pond, National Seashore Visitor's Center on Rt 6 in Eastham where you can get a quick overview of the history, culture and geology that makes Cape Cod so special. Then take a short 3 mile hop to the west to experience a Cape Cod Bay beach...totally different feeling than an Atlantic Beach, but wonderful in its own way. If the tide is out it would make a perfect place to toss your frisbee.

Connecticut Yankee
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7. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

(try Not to miss Provincetown; it's a great place and not too far from the beaches in Eastham)

London, United...
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8. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

If you're not motivated to drive to Provincetown, Chatham is another great Cape Cod town with loads of charm. (about 1 1/2 hrs. from Boston without traffic)

Great Main St., with nice shops, good family dining at The Squire, The Chatham Bakery, fun 5 & dime stores like The Mayflower and Ben Franklin (open all year round).

You can park (for free) at the Lighthouse Beach (30 min, or look for longer parking on a side street). Fabulous beach, view, photo opp. Lighthouse tours on Wed. afternoons (May 7 & 21).

I have been to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Lighthouse Beach in Chatham still takes my breath away.

Also, drive from Lighthouse Beach and onto turn Bridge St, which connects with Stage Harbor Rd.(turn left) Lovely loop around the Stage Harbor where you can see another lighthouse in the distance. Cape Cod at its finest.

Check out the Chatham Fish Pier in the afternoon when the fishing boats are unloading. During the summer, you'll see seals surrounding the boats for "snacks'.

Ballwin, Missouri
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9. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

Thanks Antzy... this is absolutely fabulous and is exactly what we've been anticipating. We're really looking forward to our trip and sincerely appreciate the great suggestions.

conn
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10. Re: Cape Cod Beaches / Fees / Best to see

for a short daytrip to the Cape I like to do the Sanswitch board walk a nice walk through marsh to a some what wild beach peaceful and not as toursty. also be sure to stop at the salt pond visitor center great museum and serevel good films about the cape.