Eastham is the “Gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore”. Ocean beaches are located just one to two miles from each of our five homes. Explore the beautiful Coast Guard Beach or Nauset Light Beach, surf the waves, collect shells, and bring a box lunch to picnic. Lifeguards are on duty during the season.
With eight bayside Eastham beaches you have plenty of choices. The low tide pools are perfect for young children, great for taking long walks, exploring the marshes, or relaxing with a good book. Beach sticker information may be found at:
http://www.eastham-ma.gov/Public_Documents/index Freshwater ponds include Great Pond, Herring Pond, and Wiley Park. Day or weekly beach passes are available for $65/week, $15/day at Cook's Brook, Campground, First Encounter and Wiley Park.
Many other activities to choose from
The Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor’s Center is in the heart of Eastham and is a great resource. They offer Park Ranger guided interpretive walks, guided canoe trips, and other family activities. Stop by and pick up their weekly activities calendar.
Dogs are permitted on Bayside beaches after Labor Day and until June 15. On the National Seashore beaches, dogs must be leashed and under control at all times. They are not permitted in public buildings, picnic areas, on lifeguarded beaches, self guiding trails, or in locations posted as shorebird nesting areas. They are allowed on the Cape Cod rail trail.
Dogs are also permitted walk on the beach across from Rock Harbor, by the rotary, before 9am and after 4pm. We take our German Shepard there every time we leave the Cape as it is on our way home.
Bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail. This paved 24 mile bike trail runs the length of Eastham and is easily accessible from our five Eastham homes. Go north and stop at PB Boulangerie in Wellfleet for coffee and pastries, or south in Orleans and visit The Chocolate Sparrow! And better yet, Arnold’s ice cream is just off the trail in Eastham. You can park at the Cape Cod National Seashore Salt Pond Visitors Center and bike the Nauset Bike Trail 2 ¼ miles to Coast Guard Beach. You can bike from Seashore to Bayshore in 20 minutes.
Hiking trails are wonderful in every season. From spring wildflowers, picturesque marshes, forests, meadows and fall foliage, the beauty is everywhere. Many are located in Eastham and nearby towns. The Massachusetts Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellfleet is prime area for migrating birds. Be sure to bring your binoculars. Other hiking trails include Fort Hill Trail, Doane Trail, Red Maple Swamp Trail, Cedar Banks Trail, and Buttonbush Trail, all in Eastham.
Boating: Bring or rent a kayak or a canoe and explore the marshes and inlets. Several boat ramps are available in Eastham. Or rent a paddle board and test your balance on the bay. The Audubon Society occasionally has guided trips exploring the marshes, seeing seals and seeing where the water rushes into the marshes from the ocean. Surfing lessons are also available.
Museums and Historic Sites
Many Eastham town activities center around the historic Windmill, built around 1680. (Did you know that Eastham was one of the first towns settled by the Pilgrims?) There is an old Schoolhouse Museum and the Penniman House was the home of a prosperous sea captain earning a living in the whaling industry. The “Three Sisters of Nauset Lighthouse” represent the importance lighthouses were to the many ships in dangerous waters off shore. The Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee and Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster are great for those occasional days when the weather does not cooperate with beach going activities.
Arts on the Cape
Art shows are frequent in Eastham, often located across from the windmill or across from the salt Pond visitor Center. Many wonderful artists have either settled on the Cape or spend summers here. Concerts are frequent, with one usually presented on Monday evenings in season by the windmill. Live theater abounds in the summer in area towns and includes The Academy Playhouse in Orleans, Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theater, the Monomoy Theater in Chatham, and the Cape Playhouse in Dennis. Children’s programs are also available. Stop by the Eastham Visitor’s Center on Route 6 for information you will find helpful during your stay.
Activities for children and families
Miniature Golf in Eastham includes Arnold’s Mini Golf, Gift Barn Mini golf & Arcade, and Poit’s Mini Golf. There is a Cape Cod Baseball League and the home team for the Outer Cape is the Orleans Firebirds. Games are scheduled as early as June. Our homes provide a variety of basement games including ping pong, air hockey, foos ball, and two homes have pool tables and horseshoes. We also offer boogie boards for body surfing. Visit the historic Wellfleet Drive-In, one of the last remaining drive-ins in our country! Hike to Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro where there are often hundreds of seals on a sand bar near the beach, or see Highland Light, Cape Cod’s oldest lighthouse.
Seaside town festivals and seasonal events
Eastham’s Windmill Weekend, Wellfleet’s Oysterfest, Harwich Cranberry Festival and Provincetown’s Restaurant Week are just a few of the highlights. There are events scheduled throughout the year.
Activities in nearby towns
Whale Watching is a very popular excursion and we have spotted many whales while on Provincetown whale watching trips. The Pirate Museum there gives a taste of times gone by. Stop in Truro on your way up and visit the winery.
There are dune buggy trips through the large sand dunes on the outer Cape. If you have never seen a cranberry bog, a visit to one is available to hear how cranberries are harvested. There are Harbor tours and boat tours in Orleans. A boat trip to see Monomoy Island off Chatham, an 8 mile spit of sand managed by the National Wildlife Refuge is a sure way to see seals and many birds.
Children are sure to love Pirate Adventures in Hyannis. While you are there, stop by Cape Cod Potato Chips; the lighthouse featured on the bag is in Eastham, and was recently restored with a partnership with the company. The Maritime Museum in Hyannis demonstrates our long sailing history in the area.
Golf: There is an abundance of public golf courses on the Cape. Check the internet!
Tide charts may be found here: