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Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

Providence, RI
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Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

Trying to decide between these three towns. We have family in Truro and friends in Chatham and Harwich. We stayed in South Orleans last year, and decided that was too far from Nauset Beach. How do the ocean side beaches in Wellfleet and Chatham compare to Nauset Beach? We will a family with a 9 y.o. son, and he prefers ocean to bay.

We would be there Mid August, when it is most crowded, and I remember the traffic being backed up in all the towns, but especially Chatham...no way to get into the casual restaurants.

Kent, Connecticut
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for Provincetown, Wellfleet
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1. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

The advantage to Nauset Beach is that you do not have to negotiate any dunes to get to it as you do with the ocean beaches of Wellfleet. It is right on the same level as the parking lot.

Boston, MA
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for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
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2. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

I'd go with Wellfleet for ocean beaches - Marconi is beautiful and if your son likes to boogie board, it's fantastic.

Canada
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3. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

bawc's problem seems to have been with the location of their rental rather than Nauset Beach itself. Rentals in Wellfleet could well be a similar distance from Marconi Beach. Do they spend more time with their relatives in Truro or the friends in Chatham and Harwich? This will be a factor if they don't want a lot of driving. Lots of rentals in East Orleans if they liked Nauset.

Cape Cod...
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4. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

Chatham has one ocean beach, North Beach, which has little to no parking. Parts of that beach are closed to swimming due to rip tides that are dangerous. Staying in Chatham and driving to any of the ocean beaches from Orleans to Truro will put you on the road more than you seem to want.

If you liked Nauset Beach for the beach/ocean part of the beach, then any National Seashore beach (Coast Guard, Nauset LIght, Marconi, Head of the Meadow) from Eastham to Truro will please you. But, only Nauset Beach has Liams, for food at the beach. If you stay in Eastham you will have easy access to 2 ocean beaches in town and you will be 10 minutes from Nauset Beach, 10 minutes from Marconi Beach, 20 minutes from Truro and 20 minutes from Chatham/Harwich.

Edited: 05 February 2013, 16:49
Providence, RI
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5. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

The information about Chatham beach is helpful. And I suppose Chatham's appeal is the town, and the Inn, rather than the beaches?

Last year we bought the week beach pass to Nauset, so we never went to the other beaches. But it can be very crowded.

How hard is it to navigate over the dunes in Wellfleet, with a beach cart that holds chairs, umbrellas, etc..?

I didn't think Eastham had much to offer in terms of location, seemed like a couple of fish stores on the side of rt. 6 or am I mistaken?

Boston, MA
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6. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

The National Seashore beaches are reached via stairs, if you've got a cart two people grab an end & carry it down (not the most convenient) Nauset is a lot easier to negotiate. BTW most of the ocean beaches on Cape Cod are crowded in August - although once you are on the beach if you are willing to walk a bit you'll find it to be less crowded.

Eastham has beautiful beaches, not much of a town center per se.

Edited: 05 February 2013, 18:10
Kent, Connecticut
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7. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

All of the National Seashore beaches have long stairs as mentioned. That is why Nauset is better if you have a cart or just a whole lot of stuff. Eastham has no town ocean beach and the town beaches in Wellfleet can be even more tricky to access than the National Seashore. I never saw anyone with a cart at Marconi in all the times I went there or at Nauset Light in Eastham.

Would you consider Provincetown? Herring Cove and Race Point do not have high dunes to negotiate.

I have never been there but I believe that Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro has easy access.

conn
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8. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

Head of the meadows did have easy access, waves were not as good as Marconi though.

Cape Cod...
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9. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

While it is correct that Eastham does not have a commercial town center, the key to its success as a base for visitors is its rural nature and the relatively quick and easy access to beaches and other more commercial towns. Eastham is geographically, a small town, only 3 miles wide from ocean to bay and 7 miles long from Wellfleet to Orleans with Rt 6 giving easy access to most other points on the Cape. The National Seashore owns almost half of the land in Eastham and both ocean beaches. Coast Guard Beach, by the way, is a handicap accessible beach with a convenient shuttle bus to carry people (and all their beach stuff) from the parking lot to the beach. The beach has a convenient ramp (no stairs) from the top of the dunes to the beach.

If you intend to visit both Harwich and Truro, a base in Eastham makes senses since it is mid-way between the two towns.

Chicago, IL
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10. Re: Chatham East Orleans or Welffleet beaches

We go to Nauset in East Orleans only because ii is closer to where we are in Dennisport. We also like the variety of Liam's beach shack 'dining' and the fact that we've never had a problem getting into the parking lot no matter when we arrive.

However, just as good, probably better, is Cahoon Hollow in Wellfleet as long as you can climb the dramatic high dune to get back up from the beach. There is very limited town parking there but a big lot at www.thebeachcomber.com which is more or less free in that they give you a food voucher for the same amount as the parking fee and they have a nice variety of items for lunch. Of course there is virtually no accommodations on the ocean side in Wellfleet which there are a few options in East Orleans for walking distance accommodations.

Let us know what you find/choose if you don't mind.