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Best Beach Near Dennis MA for Toddler

by Jessica
(Westfield, MA)

Question: Hello, i love your website, it is so clear and helpful!

My first question, is what beach is the best for a toddler, near the Dennis area. I am hoping to go during low tide and let him play in the tide pools, etc.

My second related question is, when do i go, to optimize low tide? Say my tide chart says low tide is at 10am. Would i want to get there a few hours before that, while the tide is still going out? Thanks in advance!

Dee's Reply: Hi Jessica - What great questions!

First, let me thank you kindly for your lovely compliment about my Cape Days guide. I'm so glad to know that you're enjoying it!

Next, my apologies for taking longer than normal to reply to you. I've been swamped with questions and I'm doing my best to catch up. Sorry!

Now, on to your questions ...

Toddlers and Tide Pools

For tidepools, the best beaches in Dennis are the ones on the Cape Cod Bay side of town.

Mayflower Beach is the most popular Bay-side beach in Dennis. Warm-ish water, soft sand, gentle waves, and those necessary little amenities like lifeguards, food, and bathroom facilities make it one of the family-friendliest beaches in town, too!

As you'd expect, all those handy-dandy features also make Mayflower a very busy beach in the summer months. And that means: parking can be a challenge unless you get there bright and early in the morning or go later in the day.

On a hot, sunny day, Mayflower's parking lot might be filled by 9 a.m. and not empty out until 5 p.m. or so.

Hopefully, low tide will be in the early morning or in the evening for you. Going then will give you your best shot at finding a parking spot at Mayflower Beach.

Now, before someone writes to ask me why I didn't mention Chapin and Corporation beaches ... here goes: Chapin and Corporation are excellent for tide-pooling, too. There, I said it. ;-)

You won't be disappointed, no matter which one you choose!

Making the Most of Low Tide

What stage of the tide to hit the beach?

Leaving that nasty parking issue aside, I'd go an hour or two before dead low tide.

By the time you get there, the tide will be out far enough for pooling to be well underway. You'll have plenty of time for you and your little buddy to get up close and personal with the sea animals before the tide comes back in and covers the sandbars.

Sea Critter Collector

When I saw your question, I was reminded of the coolest gizmo that I came across recently while perusing Amazon.com.

Have you seen this Catch & Release Beach Aquarium?

I know it doesn't look like anything special from the photo. But it's actually a pretty nifty little gizmo! It's way better than using a pail or a bucket because this clear plastic aquarium lets kids catch and view sea life from every angle - and it keeps the critters alive and un-harmed for safe release.

I kinda wish we still had young 'uns in the family, so I'd have an excuse to buy one. (I suppose I could buy it for myself and just ignore the stares and snickers from other beachgoers. Hmmm. Now there's an idea!)

Anyway, just thought I'd mention the beach aquarium in case you might be interested.

Note: By way of full disclosure, if you do decide to buy the aquarium via my link to Amazon.com, I'll receive a small commission - at no extra cost to you.

Tide Tips

Finally, a couple important things to know about the tides on Cape Cod Bay:

Which Tide Chart to Use

For the Cape Cod Bay beaches in Dennis, check and print the tide chart for Sesuit Harbor. That'll give you a rough idea of tide times at Mayflower, Chapin, and Corporation beaches on the days you'll be here.

What to Watch Out For

I'm pretty sure that with a toddler in tow, you won't be venturing too far out on the sandflats.

Even so, I'll give you my standard (urgent!) warning: Keep an eye on the tide!!

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the scenery, the vastness of the sandflats, the neat little sea life you're finding at low tide. Time flies when you're having fun!

None the less, when you're out on the flats on Cape Cod Bay, you always, always, always have to stay mindful of the changing water level.

Get back to shore before the tide turns to incoming. If you wait too long, you'll risk being swamped by the fast-rising tide.

That's it from me for now. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll do my best to be more prompt with a reply next time!

Have a wonderful time with your toddler exploring the beaches and tide pools on Cape Cod Bay!!

Best Regards,


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