Best Massachusetts beaches: 10 top spots to visit on Cape Cod . . . this summer.

Published: Jun. 04, 2022 By Will Katcher | [email protected]

Coast Guard Beach — Eastham

Known as an exceptional spot for swimming and ocean activities, Coast Guard Beach has also ranked among the best beaches in the country. Stephen “Dr. Beach” Leatherman, the Florida International University who each year publishes a list of the top 10 beaches in the country, noted Coast Guard on his 2022 list.

Overlooked by a former Coast Guard station, the beach’s sands extend south toward the marshes of Nauset Bay and the Nauset Spit. It can be a great spot to see wildlife, including seals who may swim by the beach or rest on the sand, or plovers and terns who nest in the area in the early summer. Visitors should appreciate the wildlife from a distance and be careful not to disturb the endangered birds nesting areas, the Park Service said.

The beach also holds a storied history. The Mayflower made an initial landfall here in 1620 before anchoring in Provincetown Harbor, according to the Park Service. Three hundred years later, author and naturalist Henry Beston lived in a nearby cabin while gathering material for his 1928 book “The Outermost House.”

Between mid-June and Labor Day, the small beachside parking lot is reserved for Eastham residents and cars with handicap passes. The main parking area is about a mile away, where a shuttle ferries visitors to the beach. The beach is managed by the Park Service and requires an entry fee.