Cape Cod is known for its beautiful beaches, so when planning your Cape Cod vacation you want to know where to go and what to expect once you get here. This is our Cape Cod beach guide so you can get your vacation started and your feet in the sand!
Stickers are required for beach parking from June 15th to September 1st during the hours of 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (stickers are not required after 4:00 pm to park at the beach). Beach stickers can be purchased at the Brewster Town Office building in the permit department, which is open daily from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. All beaches close at 10:00 pm, and grilling is not allowed unless permitted by the Brewster Fire Department. Parking at town beaches is first come first serve, so buying a permit does not guarantee you will get a spot at the beach.
Brewster bay side beaches do not have lifeguards, but some of the beaches do have portable restrooms to use while at the beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Long Pond Beach (a freshwater pond) has a lifeguard on duty from July 4th to Labor Day weekend seven days a week 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. There are also portable restrooms at Long Pond Beach to use during your beach stay. Sheep Pond, another freshwater pond, does not have lifeguards on duty but there are portable restrooms available.
Cape Cod National Seashore beach fees are collected from June until early September during which time lifeguards are on duty at the six beaches that are a part of the national seashore. The cost for a vehicle daily pass is $20, a motorcycle pass is $15 and a pedestrian or bicycle pass is $10. Active military and their dependents can go to the Cape Cod National Seashore at no cost (with proper identification), and children under the age of 16 are also free of charge. An annual Cape Cod National Seashore pass is $60 and can be obtained at the Marconi Headquarters Building.
The beaches, parking areas and trails at the Cape Cod National Seashore are open every day from 6:00 am to midnight. If you would like to have a campfire at one of the seashore’s beaches, 3 days in advance you must call the Salt Pond Visitor Center for beaches in Eastham and Wellfleet and the Province Lands Visitors Center for beaches in Truro and Provincetown. Permits for a fire on the off road sections of the seashore can be obtained at the Race Point Ranger Station in Provincetown.
Lifeguards are on duty from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at the following beaches seven days per week from June 21st to September 1st: Hardings Beach, Ridgevale Beach, Cockle Cove Beach, School house Pond (freshwater) and Oyster Pond (saltwater, no sticker required). Lighthouse Beach has parking for beach sticker holders on Bridge Street from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Daily, weekly or seasonal passes can be purchased by visitors at Harding’s Beach, Ridgevale Beach, and Cockle Cove Beach but they accept cash only, no credit cards or checks.
Town residents and property taxpayers that are not residents may purchase beach stickers at the permit department on George Ryder Road (lower level). Visitors to the town may purchase their daily beach stickers for Lighthouse Beach at the Harbormaster Office on Stage Harbor Road. Children ages 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult at any beach, whether it be a parent, guardian or adult who is in charge of the minor (such as camp counselor). All Chatham beaches are smoke free (and have been since 2014), so keep that in mind if you are a smoker.
Dennis beach stickers can be obtained at the town hall located at 685 Route 134 in South Dennis, which is open seven days a week. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, you must have a beach sticker displayed on the front passenger side bumper of your car to park at the beaches until 5:00 pm every day. Dogs are not permitted on the beaches from the Friday before Memorial Day until Labor Day.
A weekly non-resident beach sticker costs $90 (Saturday to Friday). A daily non-resident sticker is $25 during the week and non-holidays, $30 for weekends and holidays. These passes can be purchased at the beaches upon arrival. Alcohol and smoking is not allowed on any Dennis beaches at any time. Fenced in areas on the beach dunes are off limits, no one is permitted to go beyond the fencing. Any grilling must be approved by the Beach Department, otherwise open fires and grills are prohibited.
Harwich beach stickers can be purchased at the Harwich Town Hall from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday thru Friday or at the Chamber of Commerce which has weekday and weekend hours. There is a $3 convenience fee if you purchase your beach sticker at the Chamber of Commerce. Daily beach passes can be purchased directly at Red River Beach, Earl Road Beach, Pleasant Road Beach and Bank Street Beach for $20.
Harwich beach stickers must be displayed on the passenger side rear bumper of the car. Beaches with lifeguards have surf chairs available for handicap beach access. Fires are not permitted on any town of Harwich beaches unless approved by the Recreation and Youth Commission. Glass bottles are not allowed on the beach, and alcohol is not permitted on any town beach.
The Orleans sticker office changed locations, and is now located 40 Giddiah Hill Road. Checks, credit cards and debit cards are accepted, but the sticker office no longer accepts cash. Orleans residents do not have to pay for their beach stickers and may obtain them at the sticker office. For visitors, beach stickers are $20 per day, $75 for a weekly pass and $220 for a seasonal beach pass.
Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult or responsible party age 16 and older on all town beaches. Open fires and alcohol are prohibited on all beaches. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from April 1st to Labor Day. Skaket Beach, Crystal and Pilgrim Lake are closed from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am and Nauset Beach is closed from midnight to 7:00 am. Parties or get-togethers on the beach with ten or more people must be approved by the DPW or Natural Resources Director.
Cape Cod Beach Guide
Start your vacation on the right foot and use our Cape Cod Beach Guide to get the most out of your stay. Check out our blog, “Cape Cod Waterfront Restaurants” for dining with a view you can only find on beautiful Cape Cod.