Family Beaches and Driving Distances
View from Bass Hole (Gray's Beach) Boardwalk
Question: I'm so overwhelmed as to where to go. We just booked a cottage in Yarmouth. We really wanted on the beach but it was too much $$$, so we are a mile from Greys Beach. I really want a nice white soft sand beach for the girls.
I'm also a photographer, so I have no clue as to which beaches also have pretty scenery around it.
How far and where are the best beaches for families, and where there aren't too many rocks?
Dee's Reply: Hi Melitsa - As a photographer, you're going to loooooove Gray's (a/k/a "Bass Hole") Beach!! I've included a few of my photos at the top of this page, just to give you a little taste of the scenery there. Miles of marshlands and seascape, wildlife galore, sunsets that'll take your breath away ... it's a shutterbug's paradise!
When it comes to nice, family friendly, soft-sand, rock-free beaches in the town of Yarmouth, that's a great description of Seagull Beach in West Yarmouth, and Mayflower Beach - one of the most popular family beaches in the town of Dennis.
If your rental cottage is near Gray's Beach, then you'll have about a 6-7 mile drive to get to Seagull Beach and 5-6 miles to Mayflower.
If your girls are very young (5 or under, let's say) then I'm sure they'll get a kick out of Gray's. The beach area itself isn't all that expansive, but there are some really cool little nooks and crannies to explore along the shoreline on the hunt for hermit crabs and other sea critters. There's also a nice picnic area, covered pavilion, bathroom facilities, and playground there - along with a place to launch a kayak or a small boat.
If your girls are older, then I'd definitely recommend Seagull Beach or Mayflower Beach over Gray's. Both Seagull and Mayflower are big beaches with plenty of room to roam, get away from any crowds, and play beach games. Seagull and Mayflower also have all the amenities you would want for a day's outing - a snack bar, bathroom and shower facilities, and lifeguards.
The major difference between Seagull and Mayflower are the bodies of water they're on. Mayflower is on Cape Cod Bay - the same body of water as Gray's.
On the Bay, one of the prime attractions for beachgoers is the tide. When the tide is out at Mayflower Beach, the beach area expands exponentially. At low tide, there's hard-packed sand and sun-warmed tide pools for nearly a mile out to sea.
Seagull is on Nantucket Sound, on Cape Cod's southern coastline. On the Sound, the tides are much less dramatic. So you don't get a big expansion of beach area at low tide on Nantucket Sound.
What you do get, though, is warmer water. Normally, Nantucket Sound water temperatures are about 5 degrees warmer than the waters of Cape Cod Bay. (For cold weenies like me, a few degrees makes a huge difference!)
So ... I hope I've answered all your questions. If there's anything else you'd like to ask me, please feel free!
P.S. I don't mean to discount Mayflower and Seagull beaches for photo-taking. Mayflower's dunes, and the marsh behind Seagull, also have quite a photogenic allure!