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Updated: August 11, 2022
Where are the best beaches in Eastham?
According to the world-famous "Dr. Beach" (the guy who evaluates and rates the best of the best beaches), the top beach in town is this one ...
Coast Guard Beach regularly makes Dr. Beach's "Top 10 in the USA" list.
Along with beautiful Ocean-side beaches, Eastham also has some wonderful spots on the town's Cape Cod Bay shoreline, too!
Like this beach which holds a special place in our country's history ...
Many more Eastham beaches merit "honorable mention" status. Read on to find out about all of them!
Once again this year, Coast Guard Beach made Dr. Beach's Top 10 list ... along with others in some of the most famous and exotic locales in the USA. :-)
The good Doctor gets no argument from me - except I think it should have been much higher up on the list, as it has been in prior years!
From your first glimpse of Coast Guard Beach, you'll see why this is such a special place.
The old Coast Guard Station for which the beach was named sits high on the dune overlooking the Atlantic.
*Note: The station isn't open for tours. But it's a perfect spot for memorable photo ops!
From that vantage point, you'll also have awesome views of Nauset Marsh and peeks of ocean in the distance.
And then, there's the main attraction: the dazzling shoreline!
Soft sand, towering dunes, crashing waves. And sometimes, if you're looking out to sea at the right moment ...
As with all Atlantic Ocean beaches on the New England coastline, the water at Coast Guard is chilly, even in mid-summer. Actually, it's downright cold ... mid- to upper-60s.
But that doesn't deter hearty swimmers, surfers and boogie boarders from plunging into the rolling waves and sparkling water.
Prefer to stay warm and dry? This beach is also phenomenal for long walks!
Runner-up spot for the best Atlantic Ocean beach in Eastham goes to Nauset Light Beach.
Not to be confused with Nauset Beach in Orleans, this is Nauset Light Beach - named for the lighthouse that stands guard about 300 feet inland from the bluff.
Nauset Light Beach is about a mile north of Coast Guard Beach, and it shares many of the same attributes: beautiful sand, good surf, cold water, and lots of room.
This is one of the best beaches in Eastham for snapping some amazing photos. If you stand at the viewing area near the parking lot, you'll have a perfect vantage point for shots of the lighthouse and the ocean vista from atop the dune.
Access to the beach is via a short walk on a path from the parking lot down to the shoreline. No stairs are involved. But the walk might pose a challenge for those with mobility problems.
** SPECIAL NOTE - Nauset Lighthouse is open for free tours several days each week from May through late October.
My vote for the top spot on the town of Eastham's Cape Cod Bay coastline goes to First Encounter Beach.
This beach boasts an impressive history. It's where the Mayflower Pilgrims first encountered a band of Native Americans after landing on Cape Cod in
November of 1620.
First Encounter is a very family friendly place to spend the day.
Although older kids normally prefer the big surf at Coast Guard and Nauset
Light, First Encounter's warm, calm waters are much more safe for
the tiny tots in the family.
The crankiest the water ever becomes at First Encounter is when the wind is honkin' in an on-shore direction. Then the big kids will love it here, too, especially if they're into wind surfing or kite surfing!
The runner-up spot for the best Bay-side beach in Eastham goes to Sunken Meadow.
It's not the most scenic beach in town (IMHO), but it does have a decent amount of space. It also has the warm, calm waters that Cape Cod Bay is known for. That's undoubtedly why Sunken Meadow appeals to so many families with small children.
Cooks Brook is one of the smaller beaches in Eastham. But the lovely view of the Bay and the dunes make this beach well worth a visit.
I'd put Campground in the "Honorable Mention" category.
This is a small-ish beach that's popular with folks who own a home or rent a cottage in the neighborhood.
When the tide is high, there's not a lot of room to spread out at Campground. When the tide is out - as it is in the photo above - there's lots more sand.
If you're renting in the area (more about that in a minute), and you time your visit according to tides chart, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy Campground Beach!
Also in the "Honorable Mention" category, Dyer Prince is an off-the-beaten-path Eastham beach - literally. There's a trail at the end of the parking area that leads to a small, quiet stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay.
Dyer Prince is a nice place to spend a few peaceful hours with that special someone, or just hang out on your own reading a book and watching the wildlife.
All public beaches in the town of Eastham are open year round.
In season, expect to pay a daily fee or buy a beach parking pass/sticker. Off-season, entrance and parking are free.
Here's where to find all the details about:
In season, some Eastham beaches have a beach wheelchair, MobiMat and/or ramp to help visitors with mobility limitations access and enjoy the beach.
*Note - Beach wheelchair availability is on a first come, first served basis. On occasion, wheelchairs may not be available due to weather conditions or beach staffing limitations.
Beach Wheelchair and Mobi-Mat:
For more information about accessibility at the town-managed beaches in Eastham, contact the Recreation & Beach Department at (508) 240-5974.
Beach Wheelchair and Mobi-Mat:
For more information about accessibility at Coast Guard Beach, contact the National Parks Service at (508) 255-3421.
What's better than spending the day at a great beach? Being able to walk or ride your bike there any time the spirit moves!
To get you started on your vacation lodging research, I've picked out some excellent options near the best beaches in Eastham.
It's always a challenge to find a rental this close to Coast Guard, let alone overlooking the beach. If you're planning the perfect romantic getaway to Cape Cod, have a look at this cute cottage!
More rentals near Coast Guard Beach ...
This home is so close to the Ocean than you'll hear the surf and smell the salty air from your open windows. Plus, it's just a short bike ride from here to Coast Guard Beach, and only a few miles to the Bay side of town, if you'd like to "mix and match" your beach experiences. ;-)
More rentals near Nauset Light Beach ...
Take an easy stroll from this rental home to First Encounter. Or hang out on the private beach just steps away from your door. (Notice the water view from the bedroom window!) ...
More rentals near First Encounter Beach ...
Just a short (10 minutes or less) walk to Sunken Meadow, this home has Cape Cod Bay views and plenty of living space for 10 people.
More vacation rentals near Sunken Meadow Beach ...
This adorable rental cottage is just a minute or two walk from Cooks Brook. And it's recently been renovated in Cape Cod style.
More vacation rental properties near Cooks Brook beach ...
There are lots of very nice (and quite moderately priced) vacation rental cottages in the neighborhoods around Campground Beach. This one is a nature lover's paradise!
More vacation rentals near Campground Beach ...
Have fun at the beach in Eastham!
About the Town of Eastham MA