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Cape Cod National Seashore
Parking Fees, Passes & Free Entry

Updated: August 4, 2021

For first-time visitors, Cape Cod National Seashore  parking and entry fee rules can be a bit confusing.

  • Where and when does the National Seashore charge a fee for parking?

  • Do you have to pay if you walk or bike to the beach?

  • Which passes are valid at National Seashore beaches and which aren't?

I'll cover all that and more on this page!

Where CCNS Parking Fees are Charged

Cape Cod National Seashore ("CCNS") parking and entry fees are charged, seasonally, at these six beaches:

  • Nauset Light Beach in Eastham
  • Coast Guard Beach in Eastham
  • Marconi Beach in Wellfleet
  • Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro
  • Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown
  • Race Point Beach in Provincetown

When Fees are Charged

Fees are charged from late spring to early fall. The rest of the year, parking and entrance are free.

Here's when you should expect to pay, or show a valid pass and ID, for parking/entry:

  • Weekends and holidays from mid-May to the end of September; and

  • Every day including weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend to early September.
People on the beach, tall duneCoast Guard Beach in September

Payment is collected and passes/ID are checked by the attendant in the beach entrance booth.

2021 Daily Fees

  • Private Vehicles - $25 per vehicle, includes beach entry for the driver and passengers

    * "Private vehicle" means a non-commercial passenger car, pickup truck, RV or van.

  • Motorcycles - $20.00 per motorcycle

  • Bicycles - $15.00 per person

  • Pedestrians - $15.00 per person

Active duty military and their dependents are admitted FREE with proper ID.

Children aged 15 and younger are also admitted FREE.

Lady riding her bike at Race PointBicycling At Race Point

Cape Cod National Seashore Passes

There are a number of passes that'll give you free parking and entry at Cape Cod National Seashore beaches.

Cape Cod National Seashore Annual Pass

Do you plan to spend 3 days or more at a Cape Cod National Seashore beach?

Buy an annual pass. It'll save you money!

  • Cost: $60 

  • Valid: All 6 Cape Cod National Seashore beaches

  • Covers: The pass holder and passengers riding together in a single private vehicle, or the pass holder plus three adults when entering on foot or by bicycle.

  • Where to Buy It: At National Seashore beach entry booths during normal operating days/hours.

    ** Note: These passes are not sold at Salt Pond or Province Lands Visitors Centers.  

    Also, they're not valid at the town-managed beaches or state parks on the Cape!
View from parking lot to people on the beachNauset Light Beach on an Early Summer Day

US National Parks & Federal Lands Passes

This is the pass to buy if you'll be visiting Cape Cod National Seashore and other national parks around the country.

These passes are valid at more than 2,000 national parks and federal lands all across the USA and cover up to four adults riding together in the passholder's car. (Kids under 16 are always free.) 

  • Annual Interagency Pass - $80
  • Annual Senior Pass (age 62+) - $20
  • Lifetime Senior Pass (age 62+) - $80
  • Lifetime Access Pass (for disabled individuals) - FREE
  • Annual US Military Pass - FREE

** Note: US National Parks passes are not accepted at the town-managed beaches or MA state parks on Cape Cod!

Click here for more about the US National Parks passes.

Special Passes for 4th & 5th Graders

In addition to the passes I've already mentioned, the National Parks Service also offers special (free) passes for kids.

If you have a 4th or 5th grader in your family, you'll want to check these out!

Reminder: Having a pass doesn't guarantee you a parking space! It's all "first come, first served".

"Fee Free" Days in 2021

Each year, the National Parks Service designates several  "Fee Free Days" when entrance fees are waived at national parks all across the country.

In 2021, parking and entry fees will be waived at our National Seashore beaches on:

  • Wednesday, August 4th
  • Wednesday, August 25th
  • Saturday, September 25th

Keep in Mind ...

Cape Cod National Seashore beach parking lots are open from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Coast Guard Beach. In season, the lot adjacent to the old Coast Guard station is reserved for town of Eastham residents and those with a disabled permit/placard.

Everyone else must park at the nearby Little Creek Shuttle lot and take a shuttle to the beach.

Shuttles run about every 10 minutes, so there's rarely a long wait.

** Note: Drop off/pick up of passengers and belongings at Coast Guard beach is not allowed.

Nauset Light Beach. There's a relatively small parking lot at Nauset Light, and part of it is reserved for town of Eastham residents.

If you're not here by 9:30-10 a.m. on a summer day, don't count on finding a parking spot. So come early!

** Note: Drop-off/pick up of passengers along the roads leading to Nauset Light Beach is not allowed.

Nauset Light Beach Parking Update
Summer 2021

Short story: While the new bathhouses are being built, parking at Nauset Light Beach is extremely limited.

My advice: Choose a different beach! 

The latest guess-timate is that construction will be completed sometime this fall. We'll see ...

Herring Cove Beach. There's a good amount of parking here - a about 600 spaces total in two lots. But ...

Herring Cove Beach is a very popular place to spend a sunny summer day. So it's best to arrive before 10 a.m. to have a good chance of finding an open parking space.

Marconi Beach. The Marconi lot rarely fills up. When it does fill, there's usually a reasonable rate of turnover throughout the day. 

Don't want to wait for a spot? Head up the road to Head of the Meadow.

Head of the Meadow. In all the years I've been going to Head of the Meadow, I can't recall ever having trouble finding a parking spot.

That's probably because getting from the parking lot to the beach takes a bit of climbing on a steep dune. Some people aren't up for that. Fewer visitors = open parking spots! :-)

Head of the Meadow
Scenery, Peace and Quiet Worth Climbing For!

Race Point. Although there's ample parking at Race Point, the lot does occasionally fill up on blistering-hot July and August days. 

Most of the time, though, spaces are available or will open up after just a short wait.

Related Pages:

Beaches With Free Parking

Beachfront Hotels

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