Water Taxi to North Beach and Monomoy
Question: Our family of 5 will be in Chatham in August, and we'd like to go to places like Monomoy Island or North Beach. Is the water taxi the best and cheapest way to get there. If so, what company would you suggest?
Hi Stephane - It sounds like you're ready to get away from it all on your visit to Cape Cod!
Part of what makes places like North Beach and the Monomoy islands so special is that they're not accessible by car, so only a small fraction of visitors ever think to venture there. No crowds, no commercialism ... just Mother Nature at her best.
Getting to North Beach or Monomoy does require a little extra effort. But the minute you see the beach or the island, you'll know it was worth going "the extra mile"!
How to Get to North Beach
The quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to get out to North Beach is the water shuttle.
Beachcomber Boat Company's water shuttles make the run from the Chatham Fish Pier to North Beach and back all day long (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) For the 2014 season, the round-trip fare for adults is $20, for kids 12 and younger it's $10.
There aren't any services or amenities on North Beach, so you'll need to take everything you'll want for the day - a cooler with food and water, beach towels and chairs, and especially sunblock!
It's about a 15-minute ride between the pier and the beach. The boat ride is on sheltered waters rather than open ocean, so don't worry about cranky seas. That's rarely a problem.
How to Get to Monomoy
As I imagine you already know, North and South Monomoy islands are part of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.
I'm not aware of any water shuttle services that'll take you out to Monomoy, drop you off, then come back and pick you up. (I think there's something in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulations that prohibits it.)
To see Monomoy, your best option is to take an organized tour.
Seal Watch Tours to Monomoy
Seal watch tours are incredibly popular, and they're great for adults and kids alike.
Although you won't have a chance to go ashore, the seal watch boats will get you close enough to the island that you can see the seals, seabirds and other wildlife that inhabit Monomoy.
Beachcomber Boat Tours and Monomoy Island ferry offer seal watch tours out of Chatham. Monomoy Island Excursions offers seal watch cruises from Harwich. Fares range from around $29 and up, per adult, depending on which company you go with.
Walking Tours of South Monomoy Island
For a one-of-a-kind experience, Monomoy Island Ferry offers day-trip charters to South Monomoy.
On these private excursions, guests are treated to a guided walking tour of the island led by an experienced naturalist who'll show you the island from an insider's point of view.
If you're interested in taking the South Monomoy walking tour ($420 for 1-6 people), it's a good idea to make your reservations as far in advance as possible. Water Taxi and Tour Companies
Beachcomber Boat Tours - website
/ (508) 945-5265
Monomoy Island Ferry - website
/ (508) 237-0420
Have a great time exploring Cape Cod!!