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Beach Camping on Cape Cod
What You Need to Know

Imagine waking to the sounds of the surf, seagulls diving, and seals frolicking in your "front yard".

Beach camping, here we come!

Campers sitting in beach chairs next to their self-contained camping vehicle parked on the seashore, boat in the distance cruising on blue ocean waters

No, not the kind of sleep-outs where you pitch your tent or roll out your sleeping bag at the water's edge. (Open-air and tent camping aren't allowed on Cape Cod beaches.)

Instead, I'm talking about driving your self-contained vehicle out onto the beach, parking it, and claiming a little slice of paradise as your "home away from home" for a day, a week, or longer.

Self-contained camper vehicles on the beachHow about that for "beachfront accommodations"?! :-)

*Important: Beach camping requires a special permit. At times, permits may be limited or unavailable at some locations due to piping plovers nesting in the area. Please contact the beach camping venue directly for details before making any plans.

Camping on Cape Cod Beaches

There are only a few places on the Cape where beach camping is allowed. Here they are, beginning with the one nearest to the Cape Cod Canal ...

Sandy Neck Beach Park

Sandy Neck Road
West Barnstable, MA

View from atop a dune, looking out over the shoreline and Cape Cod Bay. Wooden picket fence at the base of the dune, vehicles in the distance driving on the beachSandy Neck Beach on Cape Cod Bay

How about that for an amazing stretch of seashore?!

Sandy Neck is nearly 7 miles long. So it really does go on as far as the eye can see - backed by over 4,000 acres of dunes, marshlands and maritime forests.

Sandy Neck is a great place to spend time swimming, beachcombing, surf fishing, and hiking along miles of nature trails.

In the evening, it's a fantastic spot for seaside campfires ... and overnight SCV camping!

View from the water toward Sandy Neck beach camping areaEarly Evening on the Beach

If you plan to camp at Sandy Neck in your SCV, you'll need to buy an off-road vehicle ("ORV") permit and pay the nightly camping fee.

*Note: SCV camping on Sandy Neck is limited to 4 consecutive nights at a time. After that, you'll have to leave for 24 hours before returning.

For more information on camping at Sandy Neck, see the park's website, or call the Gatehouse at (508) 362-8300 or the Marine and Environmental Affairs Office at (508) 790-6272.

*FYI: Want to make your stay at Sandy Neck extra-extra special? Take a guided horseback ride on the beach!

Race Point Beach

Race Point Road
Provincetown, MA

At the opposite end of the Cape, camping on remote Race Point is the ultimate "get away from it all" adventure!

Sea grasses line the dunes along a remote beach, two self-contained vehicles on the shore near the vibrant blue oceanSelf-Contained Vehicle Camping on Race Point

When you're out on Race Point, nothing comes between you and Mother Nature.

You'll be right there, smack in the midst of miles and miles of rolling dunes and spectacular shoreline.

And there's a good chance you'll see the occasional family of seals sunning on the sand or whales cruising by just offshore.

Sound amazing? It is!

In my humble opinion, Race Point is one of the most beautiful spots on Cape Cod!

Beach path through the see grasses leading to the oceanRace Point ~ Provincetown, MA

To go SCV camping at Race Point, you'll need a special permit.

Here's where it gets really good ...

Permit Fees:

  • SCV 7-Day - $75
  • SCV Annual - $225

Yes, you read that correctly! Only $75 per week for your SCV permit to camp on one of the prettiest beaches on Cape Cod!

Here's where you can find out all about SCV camping on the National Seashore and download an advance permit application. The National Seashore's phone number for more info is (508) 487-2100.

Have fun beach camping on Cape Cod!

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Related Pages:

All-in-One Guide to Cape Cod Beaches

Directory of Campgrounds on Cape Cod

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