East Harwich Beaches, Ponds and Summer Parking Passes
Question: Which ponds or beach is closest to EAST Harwich and also is there a need to get a parking pass for vehicles for summer rental?
Dee's Reply: East Harwich is the "inland" portion of the town of Harwich. So if your summer rental is in East Harwich, you'll have a short drive to reach the nearest saltwater beach.
That said, East Harwich is in a convenient enough location for you to visit a variety of beaches during your stay.
Within easy driving distance from East Harwich are the Nantucket Sound beaches in Harwich, the Cape Cod Bay beaches in Brewster, and Chatham beaches on Nantucket Sound and on the Atlantic Ocean.
If you prefer freshwater beaches, I'd suggest Long Pond in North Harwich. It has all the amenities - parking, restroom facilities, lifeguards, mobile concessions.
The other place you'll definitely want to visit if you enjoy freshwater ponds is Nickerson State Park in Brewster.
Brewster borders Harwich to the northeast, and it's well worth the short (about 15 minutes, give or take, traffic depending) drive from East Harwich to Brewster to visit this wooded oasis. It's one of my top 5 favorite places on the Cape!
Nickerson has eight crystal-clear ponds and miles of hiking and biking trails. The neat thing about Nickerson State Park is that, even on the busiest summer days, it's easy to find a spot all to yourself - if that's what you want.
Regarding beach parking passes, most towns - including Harwich - have beach parking sticker requirements during the summer. The sticker requirements apply whether you're a resident, a summer renter, or a short-stay visitor.
There are a few free parking beaches on Cape Cod. And at most other beaches you can avoid paying the parking fees in a couple ways. (See my response to Jerry's question, here.)
But, if you're planning to park a car at the beach during normal beach hours (roughly 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), you'll have to have a parking sticker/pass.
FYI: There's no entrance or parking fee charged at Nickerson State Park.
You'll find all the information about parking passes, costs, etc. in my Town-by-Town Beach Guides, by clicking here.
I hope this info helps. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!