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Beach Bonfires and Clambakes

by Lori

Newcomb Hollow Beach - Wellfleet MA

Newcomb Hollow Beach - Wellfleet MA

Question: My husband and I will be staying in South Wellfleet from 10/9/15 - 10/16/15.

I would love a bonfire on the beach or go to a clambake or something like that. Will we be able to do that in October?

Dee's Reply: Hi Lori - Sure! You should be able to do both. But it'll be a DIY kinda thing. I don't know of any organized beach campfire or clambake events going on the week you'll be here.

Do-It-Yourself Beach Campfires

The town of Wellfleet allows small, private beach bonfires on three of the town's Atlantic Ocean-side beaches:
  • Newcomb Hollow

  • White Crest

  • Maguire Landing at LeCount Hollow

You can read more about these beaches here.

I just took a quick look at Wellfleet's beach bonfire info, and I noticed that a fire permit is required in-season (from the 3rd Saturday in June to Labor Day). Off-season, no permit is necessary.

So all you'll need to do is call Wellfleet Fire Department's business line (508-349-3754) a few hours in advance to let them know when and where you plan to build your campfire.

Town of Wellfleet MA Beach Campfire Information

Superette in Eastham normally has small bundles of fire wood for sale. Stop and Shop Supermarket in Orleans generally sells it, too.

And if memory serves, there are a few roadside stands in Wellfleet and Eastham where you can pick up an armload of beach fire wood for a couple bucks. I can't recall exactly where they are, but you'll probably spot them as you're bopping around the area.

Take-Out Clambakes

One of my favorite ways to do a clambake is to let someone else cook it. ;-)

If you'd like to combine your beach campfire with an easy clambake dinner, take-out is definitely the way to go!

One place I can think of that does clambakes to go (and will still be open in early October) is Mac's Seafood Market in North Eastham. That's right next door to South Wellfleet.

If you give them a call the day before, they'll have your goodies all cooked up and ready to take with you to the beach.

Mac's Seafood Market - Eastham

One More Bonfire & Clambake Tip ...

When you arrive in Wellfleet, be sure to check out all the beaches mentioned above to see which one (if any) is right for your bonfire and/or clambake.

Wellfleet's ocean-side beaches are spectacularly beautiful. Part of what makes them so amazing is the high sand dunes that line the oceanfront.

Of course, those dunes also make for a steep climb down to the beach ... and back up again. "Breathtaking", to be sure!

If you're game for the exercise, go for it! If not, you might want to have your seaside fire and food-fest at a beach with a little easier access.

Coast Guard Beach in Eastham would be my pick. There's a nifty boardwalk at Coast Guard that winds its way down to the beach. That helps a lot when you're hauling a bunch of stuff!

Note: Coast Guard is a Cape Cod National Seashore beach, managed by the U.S. National Parks Service. To have your beach bonfire there, you'll need a special permit. The good news is, the permits are free.

I've included all the permit details in the National Seashore section of my Beach Bonfires page.

I hope this information helps. Have a wonderful time on your visit to the Cape ... and if you have more questions, please feel free to ask!

Best Regards,


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