Daily, weekly, or seasonal Beach Permits can be purchased for Chatham beaches at the Town of Chatham website.
Cockle Cove Beach (Chatham)
This beach is a great beach for families, a long narrow beach with lots of room. The warm Nantucket Sound water is great for swimming and windsurfing. Plenty of parking and a bike rack.
Ridgeville Beach (Chatham)
Also a great family beach, Ridgevale beach offers lots of parking, a large beach, and lots of shells. There is a small creek that empties into the ocean which children enjoy. Plenty of beach space for playing games. Also a favorite for shell collectors.
Harding Beach (Chatham)
This beach is great for large groups and families. There is plenty of room for the game of your choice – beach bocce, volleyball, Frisbee, Wiffleball, or just build a sandcastle with the kids. Anywhere outside the marked swimming areas is the place to launch your sailboat or kayak. (Monomoy Island makes a great destination from this beach.) Large parking area. Attendant on duty. All amenities and nice bathrooms/shower. The waves are smaller and the water is warmer that most other beaches. There’s also a trail behind the beach, after the second parking lot, which leads to the Stage Harbor Lighthouse.
Oyster Pond (Chatham)
Oyster Pond is a saltwater tidal pond positioned just a short distance from the Main Street shopping area in Chatham. The water is warm and serene, providing the perfect setting for swimmers of all ages, and swimming lessons and rafts are available. It’s a great place to take a refreshing dip on a hot day and located conveniently enough to do in between other activities. There is an adjacent beach where you can lounge when you aren’t in the Oyster Pond of Chatham and a lawn area with picnic tables and grills. There are public bathroom facilities and a number of dining options that you can easily walk to. The Oyster Pond opens into Oyster Pond River, an estuary that connects the pond with Stage Harbor. It offers good boating opportunities and beautiful sunset views.
Chatham Lighthouse Beach (Chatham)
While swimming at the beach is not recommended due to its strong currents (and great white sharks!), Chatham Lighthouse Beach offers nature walks and chances to spot fishing boats and migrating seals. What's more, it's only a mile from downtown Chatham and is home to a working lighthouse, which you can climb on select summer days.
North Beach Island (Chatham)
Remote pristine beauty, accessible only by boat or water taxi. The barrier beach is a section of Cape Cod National Seashore where there’s little more than white sand and green beach grass. Pick your side—the tranquil bay or the open sea—then make a day of it.
Skaket Beach (Orleans)
Situated in the town of Orleans on Cape Cod Bay, Skaket features warm, calm waters and a flat shore, making it ideal for families. During high tide, kids can swim as parents and lifeguards look on, while low tide exposes tide pools and more sand for walking. Just be sure to arrive early: The beach's parking lot is often full by 11 a.m.
Nauset Beach (Orleans)
The 10-mile-long Nauset Beach attracts active travelers in droves. In addition to featuring protected areas for swimming and boogie boarding, this Orleans beach offers off-roading trails and designated sections for surfing. Plus, Nauset's gazebo hosts free outdoor concerts on Monday (and occasionally Thursday) evenings in July and August.
Red River Beach (Harwich)
This is one of the best Harwich beaches to visit if you're looking for room to spread your beach blanket out, away from other people. Red River is a big, wide, long beach with very powdery sand. It's a nice beach for families, with plenty of room for the kids to play and gentle waters to splash around in. Amenities: Lifeguard, mobile food vendor, restroom facilities. Handicap access oversand wheelchair and Mobi-Chair available. Location: At the end of Uncle Venie's Lane in East Harwich, MA (Other streets will get you to Red River Beach. I recommend using Uncle Venie's. It's the easiest way to get here.) Parking: Daily fee or sticker required.
Pleasant Road Beach (Harwich)
This is one of the larger ocean beaches in Harwich, overlooking picturesque Nantucket Sound, just east of the Herring River. Parking is available with a town sticker or daily fee. True to its name, Pleasant Road Beach offers warm water temperatures, soft sand and relatively calm waters, which make this beach a favorite option for families as well as adults looking to enjoy a swim or leisurely stroll along the shoreline. Even in season, Pleasant Road Beach rarely fills to capacity, despite amenities including lifeguards, restroom facilities, and handicap oversand wheelchairs available upon request.
Bank Street Beach (Harwich)
Bank Street Beach is one of several pristine beaches in Harwich, that line the town's shoreline on the warm waters of the Nantucket Sound. Popular with families, Bank Street Beach features a two mile stretch of white sand running from Allen Harbor to the Wychmere Harbor jetty. Ideal for swimming and shell collecting, Bank Street Beach offers lifeguards in season, handicap access oversand wheelchairs, and full restroom facilities. Surfcasting off the jetty for stripers and bluefish is another favorite diversion.
Coast Guard Beach (Eastham)
Eastham's Coast Guard Beach in Outer Cape Cod regularly earns accolades for its stunning views and dunes. Beachgoers will find large waves for surfing and boogie boarding, plus volleyball courts and the beach's namesake, a former coast guard station. To get to the beach, non-residents must bike or park in the Little Creek lot and use the free shuttle.
Cahoon Hollow Beach (Wellfleet)
This Wellfleet beach is popular with the younger crowd for its lively social scene on and off the sands. Beach bums flock here to surf, sunbathe and sip drinks at The Beachcomber bar. Families with little ones and older adults should be mindful that Cahoon Hollow Beach's entrances include steep dunes, which require holding on to ropes to traverse.
Ballston Beach (Truro)
If you want to avoid the masses of beachgoers at other Cape Cod beaches, consider visiting Ballston Beach. Located in the town of Truro, this beach offers less-crowded sands for lounging, consistent waves for water sports and picturesque golden hills for photo ops. In fact, Ballston's tranquil setting inspired work from American painter Edward Hopper.
Provincetown's 30-plus miles of beaches and plethora of amenities make it one of the Cape's most popular beach towns. When you're not taking a dip in Race Point or Herring Cove's waters, get a dose of culture at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum or shop for art, antiques and more at Commercial Street's boutiques.
Race Point Beach (Provincetown)
The rough waters at Provincetown's Race Point are ideal for surfing, but the beach also has some shallow areas available for swimming. If you'd rather stay on shore, you can sunbathe or bike the adjacent Province Lands Bike Trail. Race Point Beach is also home to the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, which dates back to the late 1800s and accepts visitors seasonally.
Mayflower Beach (Dennis)
Warmer bayside waters transform drastically with the tides throughout the day—from small, quiet waves to miles of tidal pools. During low tide, the beach drains out more than a quarter of a mile, giving way to expansive views and sand flats, attracting families, photographers, and those just in awe of the ocean. Go early to beat inevitable skimboard-, volleyball-, and sand toy-toting crowds.
Craigville Beach (Centerville)Offering showers, umbrella rentals and handicap accessibility, Craigville Beach attracts swimmers and sunbathers to its wide swath of shore. Parking is easier to find here than at other sandy spots in the region, but keep in mind that like many other Cape Cod beaches, Craigville requires buying a beach sticker (or permit) to park on-site.