“Forty miles of sandy beach!”
The great Outer Beach described by Thoreau in the 1800s is protected within the national seashore. Forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod's past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today's visitors. Cape Cod is only some 18,000 years old in geologic time, but its history includes a vast collection of people, places and events, most from a time long faded into memory. From the beginning of its creation to the foundation of its National Seashore, Cape Cod is one of the forbearers of our national heritage. Cape Cod is a large peninsula extending 60 miles into the Atlantic ocean from the coast of Massachusetts. Located on the outer portion of the Cape, Cape Cod National Seashore's 44,600 acres encompass a rich mosaic of marine, estuarine, fresh water, and terrestrial ecosystems. These systems and their associated habitats reflect the Cape's glacial origin, dynamic natural processes, and at least 9,000 years of human activity. Geomorphic shoreline change, ground water fluctuations, tidal dynamics including rising sea level, and atmospheric deposition are among the many physical processes that continue to shape the Seashore's ecosystems. Marine and estuarine systems include beaches, sand spits, tidal flats, salt marshes, and soft-bottom benthos. Freshwater ecosystems include kettle ponds, vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, and swamps. Terrestrial systems include pitch pine and scrub oak forests, heathlands, dunes, and sandplain grasslands. Many of these habitats are globally uncommon and the species that occupy them are correspondingly rare. Cape Cod National Seashore is home to a vibrant and diverse scientific community that includes staff scientists, scientists from various state and federal agencies, university researchers, technicians, and volunteers. Representing many disciplines and skill-levels, this group strives to better understand the valuable natural resources found at the Seashore. Collaboration, public communication, and most of all sound stewardship are the key components of these efforts.
Been visiting the Cape my whole life. There really isn't any place else quite like it. It's very alternative but also has a deep-rooted cultural heritage that makes you think of historical New England. Visit Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, Provincetown, Sandwich, and Chatham. You won't be disappointed. A great place to bike is the Shining Sea Bikeway. The ocean water is freezing but you actually get used to it pretty quickly. Definitely try the clam chowder. Anywhere. All the clam chowder on the Cape is amazing. Seafood alone is reason enough to visit.
Cape Cod is the quintessential beach town of the North East, full of picturesque shops, hotels, restaurants, sand-swept beaches and just a laid back vibe. The beach is beautiful, a little on the cooler side if you prefer really warm climates and the sea is a bit chilly, but it's just so beautiful and relaxing. It's a great place to go on a family holiday - I went with my parents and 2 siblings and had a great time putzing around town and hanging out on the beach. It's definitely more of a keep-to-yourself type of place so if you're looking for a party it probably isn't the right place. Would be a great spot for a romantic holiday as well. If you get cold easily keep a sweater around as it can get chilly at night or on a windy day.
We went in June 2017 on a misty overcast morning. temps hovering in the upper 50's. It was nice because NO ONE was there! We had the beaches all to ourselves. Beautiful!
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Cape Cod National Seashore
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 12:00 am
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