The Bay beaches are town beaches. So you need to buy a town beach pass if you are visiting Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, etc. You must have a Beach Sticker to park, but not until June 15th. You can buy a day pass at places like First Encounter Beach or Skaket Beach.

The nice thing about Eastham is that it the narrowest part of the Cape, so even if you are very close to the Bay, you are never that far from the Ocean. The Ocean Beaches are Coast Guard and Nauset Light House. Both are part of the “National Seashore” –so your “town of Eastham Beach Sticker” will not work there - only works at the Bay Beaches in Eastham and the fresh-water ponds. If you are going to the ocean more than once, buy a “National Seashore Pass”. It is maybe $85 and you can use it all over the Cape. This will save you $22-28 every time you go to Nauset Light, Coast Guard, Race Point in P-town or Marconi. It says you need to show your ID to match the pass.

At Coast Guard Beach (Eastham), you need to park off site in a lot provided and take a shuttle bus – they run all the time. There was a parking lot at Coast guard, newly built in 1977, and in the blizzard in Feb of 1978, the entire new parking lot was washed into the ocean.

If you want to get into Nauset Light House Beach (Eastham, part of the national seashore), you should be there before 10:00am in the Summer, just to make sure; otherwise you need to wait in line for a spot to open up. ALERT – if you are 62 or older (or a vet, I believe), buy an America the Beautiful Life-Time Senior Pass. This gets you into every National Park and federal recreation area in the US. So buy the pass and you get into Coast Guard, Nauset Light House, Marconi, Race Point, etc. for free, forever! There is no food or drink services available at the National Seashore beaches.

Nauset Beach in Orleans, on the Ocean, (different that Nauset Light House Beach in Eastham) is an Orleans town owned beach. So you must buy a day pass there. They have food trucks that replaced the famous PhilBricks / Liams seafood snack bar. It was damaged in a storm a few years ago and had to be demolished. Liam’s wife runs a place in Brewster, called Katie's. Same onion ring recipe that was served at Liam’s. Best Onion rings on the Cape

If you want to go to a Wellfleet beach, check out Marconi Beach, first one in Wellfleet on Marconi Beach Road (right hand turn off of Route 6). This is also a National Seashore Beach, so if you have your pass, it is free. If you are going there, you should also check out Marconi Station. Ruins of the famous wireless station (first wireless messages across the Atlantic in 1903). For a beautiful view and fun to jump off the dunes, check out White Crest Beach in Wellfleet, off of Ocean View Drive. Go after 5pm and they no longer charge for parking. The next one farther out on that same road (Ocean View Drive) is Cahoon’s Hollow. Right in the parking of Cahoon’s Hallow, is the Beachcomber Bar and Restaurant. Great early evening Family place, that transforms into a great local bar scene when the live band cranks up around 9:30-10:00pm. One of the coolest beach bars in the USA.

Fresh Water

Herring Pond and Great Pond in Eastham. Both great from dunking after a day at the Ocean and on the way home from the Ocean side. Easy to google location. The town stops checking for Stickers after 4:30pm. Stickers required from June 15th until Labor day. There are also plenty of places close by to hike.


Best Pizza, IMO, is The Red Barn Pizza in Eastham on route 6. You can order online, and you can have an ice-cold draft beer while you wait. Other places like Rock Harbor Grill and Bella Vita make Pizza, but Pizza is all Red Barn Pizza does. It is always hot and the wait is never that long. You know how you go some places and the pie has been sitting on top of the oven for who knows how long? Not at Red Pizza Barn.

Another dinner place in Eastham to try is Casa Del Cabo, has been open only a couple of years. I have never had a bad meal there.

Personal Opinion – we avoid Arnold’s on route 6 at all costs. Yes, it has a great reputation, cold draft beer, good raw bar and great fried fish…..but the owner was at the January 6th Capital attack and participated and then bragged about it on Social Media. When a local woman reposted his own posts, expressing her disgust, he hunted her down and called her on the phone and threatened her. Disgusting. Somehow the guy has not paid the price for his actions. We don’t eat there – ever.

Other food spots I recommend:

  • Sam’s Deli in Eastham for lunch stuff (May-October)
  • Jo Mama’s in Orleans. Coffee, breakfast sandwiches, lunch stuff. Best bagels
  • Hole in One, Fairway Restaurant, there is one in Eastham and Orleans, Kids like their coffee.
  • 3 Fools in Orleans, next to Orleans Yoga (good studio). Lunch and dinner, like a deli / diner. Great Falafel wrap. Good prices. Cold beer.
  • Sunbird, also right next to Orleans Yoga. Fresh, more earthy crunchy natural. Great for Breakfast and Lunch. Great Breakfast Sandwich.
  • Hog Island Brewery, Orleans. Fun, brewery setting, bars games set up, sometimes has music outside or inside. Open floor plan, kids are welcome. Outermost IPA is my favorite.
  • Brick House on Route 6 in Eastham. Good solid Dinner, cold beer, owned by a Jamaican Couple. Best for a cold beer at the bar and some kind of Jamaican flare appetizer, like yellow corn nachos or Spicy Shrimp served with Plantains.
  • If you like to open your own oysters, get them at Holbrook’s. They own their own grant / farm, and they are cheaper than Max’s. $1.00 per oyster. 4380 Route 6, North Eastham.

Rock Harbor

Rock Harbor is a great place to see a sunset, with iconic trees planted in the water to guide boaters in and out, through the channel. Tied to the end of the dock is the famous boat from the movie The Finest Hours. It is restored and stored at Rock Harbor (Summer season only). You will not believe how little this boat is and how three crewmen went into the Ocean through the Chatham cut and saved over 30 men.

“On Feb. 18, 1952, a massive storm splits the SS Pendleton in two, trapping more than 30 sailors inside the tanker's sinking stern. Engineer Ray Sybert bravely takes charge to organize a strategy for his fellow survivors. As word of the disaster reaches the Coast Guard in Chatham, Mass., Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff orders a daring rescue mission. Despite the ferocious weather, coxswain Bernie Webber takes three men on a lifeboat to try and save the crew against seemingly impossible odds.”

Watch the Movie, visit the Boat at Rock Harbor.

Nights Out

Fancy cocktails or night out for Mom and Dad or older adult children?
You can get a little dressed up, crack out those white bucks and the cocktail dress.

  • Chatham Bars Inn, beautiful place on pleasant bay in Chatham, which is on the elbow of the Cape. 20 minutes from CACOMA. Top notch resort, superb service, great views. Fantastic for a cocktail and some apps.
  • Wequassett – great resort, high end service, great for special events… Glass of champagne for a wedding anniversary...
  • Ocean’s Edge in Brewster. This is historic building that was a Nickerson family home, until 1945. Great for a cocktail and apps. There is a dining experience for everyone... many options.
  • A few more things to consider on your vacation....

    The Cape Cod Baseball league is great. Closest games are in Orleans at Eldridge Park, next to the high school. Games usually start at 7pm, check out the newspaper or the guidebook to the schedule. You will see a future Pro stars. Season Runs from Mid-June until Mid-August.

    The National Seashore Visitors Center is a wealth of information about the Cape past and present. Interesting exhibits and short movies. Very informative. This is right off Route 6 a little north (technically route 6 east) of the town green past Windmill and Town Hall. You can view a few quick movies about how the Cape was formed and about the wild –life. You should visit. There is a very nice walk from the Visitor Center through the woods and the cove area out to Coast Guard Beach.

    If you are an art gallery type, there are numerous studios (painting, photography, etc.) in Wellfleet Center. A great place to wander around. You can spend an entire afternoon hanging out in Wellfleet Center. The metal fish that decorate our house are made at the Frying Pan Gallery, at the Harbor in Wellfleet. Swing by the Wicked Oyster for lunch or do the fried seafood thing at Mac’s seafood shack. The Peral for dinner,, right there on the pier is great.

    P-Town itself is worth a day of wandering. The whale watches out of Provincetown are great, the last few years they have been super! Whales crashing right by the side of the boat, you would swear they are deliberately showing off…even the boat ride is fun. You can also climb the Pilgrim Monument in P-Town, the view from the top is great…and of course the shops and restaurants are endless. And the art scene is great. Numerous local galleries with the resident artists in their own shops.

    The seal watch out of Chatham is also fun. Very entertaining to see so many seals in their natural habitat off the shore of Monomoy. Again, they know you are watching them and they are showing off.