Map of Cape Cod National Seashore
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Cape Cod National Seashore
On outer Cape Cod
More than 43,000 acres of pristine beaches and grassy, wind-swept uplands fill this gorgeous seaside park, which stretches from Chatham to Provincetown on the states Outer Cape. The main 40-mi band of shoreline draws many visitors to its mesmerizing ocean views, but further explorations uncover little embers of local history in statuesque lighthouses, charming Cape Cod-style dwellings, and weathered life-saving stations. Its a wonderful walking area, with dozens of clear, deep, freshwater kettle ponds pocketing the land, and pleasant trails threaded throughout the fields and dunes. The site of the former Marconi Wireless Station, where in 1903 Guigelmo Marconi transmitted the first wireless message across the Atlantic, from President Theodore Roosevelt to King George of England, is also found here. The park was authorized in 1961 and established in 1966.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Bicycling, boating (rentals, see below), fishing (MA license required, see below), hiking, picnicking, swimming, touring historic sites. Facilities: Salt Pond visitor center and Province Lands visitor center, 6 swimming beaches, movies, 11 self-guided nature trails, 3 bike trails. Bookstores. Programs & Events: Ranger-led hikes, canoe tours, beach walks, historic-house tours. Ranger-led interpretive programs (late May-early Nov.), campfire programs (Memorial Day-Labor Day). Tips & Hints: Plan on at least a half-day visit. Busiest July and Aug., least crowded Jan. and Feb.
FOOD, LODGING & SUPPLIES
Camping: None at site. In Brewster: Nickerson State Park (3488 Main St., Rte 6A, tel. 508/896-3491; 877/422-6762 reservations; 418 sites, 5 yurts; $12-$ 15, $25-$30 yurts; flush toilets, showers; closed Columbus Day-mid-Apr.). Ш Hotels: None in park. In Provincetown: Best Western Tides Beachfront (837 Commercial St., tel. 508/487-1045 or 800/528-1234; 64 rooms; $159-$319; closed mid-Oct.-mid-May). In North Eastham: Captains Quarters Motel & Conference Center (U.S. 6, tel. 508/255-5686 or 800/327-7769; 75 rooms; $135; closed Dec-Mar.). X Restaurants: None in park. In Provincetown: Lobster Pot (321 Commercial St., tel. 508/487-0842; $7-$20; closed Jan.-Mar.). & Groceries: None in park. In Provincetown: Grand Union (28 Shank Painter Rd., tel. 508/487-4903).
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle, $3 per bicyclist or walk-in at lifeguard-protected swimming beaches (Memorial Day-late June, weekends; late June-Labor Day, daily; Labor Day-Columbus Day, weekends). Seasonal pass $30. Permits required for beach campfires and overnight parking while fishing. Seasonal permit ($65) required for dune-riding; weekly permit ($40) required for off-road vehicles. Seasonal RV permits ($110, mid-Apr.-mid-Nov.) required for overnight stays. Parking lots open daily 6-midnight. Salt Pond Visitor Center open June-mid-Oct., daily 9-5; mid-Oct.-June, daily 9-4:30. Province Lands Visitor Center open May-Oct., daily 9-5.
HOW TO GET THERE
Near Provincetown, via Rte. 3 south; from Boston via Sagamore Bridge in Bourne, then along U.S. 6 east to Eastham and Provincetown; from Providence, RI, via 1-95 north to 1-195 east, then along U.S.. 6 east as above. Closest airports: Hyannis (35 mi), Roston (120 mi).
Cape Cod National Seashore (99 Marconi Station Site Rd., Wellfleet, MA 02667, tel. 508/349-3785, fax 508/349-9052,). Salt Pond Visitor Center (U.S. 6, Eastham, MA 02642, tel. 508/255-3421). Province Lands Visitor Center (Race Point Rd., Provincetown, tel. 508/487-1256). Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce (Rox 790, Hyannis, MA 02601, tel. 508/362-3225 or 888/332-2732).
Cape Cod National Seashore. Basic information for visitors about the Cape Cod National Seashore On outer Cape Cod