winds whip up spray at head of the meadow beach on dog-friendly cape cod national seashore

dog-friendly guide to the cape cod national seashore beaches

The Cape Cod National Seashore beaches are among the most dog-friendly beaches on Cape Cod. Sprawling sand dunes frame endless stretches of white sand under the crashing power of the Atlantic ocean.

Cape Cod National Seashore beaches are perfect for long dog walks, sunbathing, surfing, fishing for striped bass, and endless rounds of fetching a tennis ball from the surf.

cape cod national seashore beaches

Seven public beaches are included in the cape cod national seashore, located on the “great backside beach” of the cape cod coastline.

The cape cod national seashore has been a part of our U.S. national park system since 1961. John F. Kennedy’s vision has preserved much of the beauty of the outer cape from the over-commercialization seen elsewhere, and has rewarded cape beach dogs with miles of the most beautiful dog-friendly beaches in the world.

race point beach, cape cod national seashore
race point beach, part of the cape cod national seashore which was created by John F. Kennedy in 1961.

The Cape Cod National seashore PUBLIC beaches begin at their most southern point with coast guard beach in Eastham, ma.

The national seashore beaches extend up the coastline to nauset light beach in eastham, marconi beach in wellfleet, COAST GUARD ROAD BEACH IN NORTH TRURO (ORV TRAILS ONLY), head of the meadow beach in north truro, race point beach in provincetown, stretching around the tip of cape cod at long point lighthouse and ending at herring cove beach inside Provincetown harbor.

beach fence lines the path at head of the meadow beach in truro
a weathered beach fence lines the path at head of the meadow beach in truro. watch for poison ivy!

cape cod national seashore visitor centers

The Cape Cod National Seashore park is split into 2 sections: the south region and the north region. There is a visitor center in each region: Salt Marsh visitor center in Eastham next to coast guard beach, and Provincelands visitor center in Provincetown at race point beach.

Cape Cod National seashore visitor centers are the perfect place to initiate newcomers to the recreational possibilities that the National Seashore has to offer. Pick up a copy of the national seashore information publication to learn about guided beach and trail tours, great dog walks, kayak tours, oceanfront yoga, and other activities available to visitors.

cape cod national seashore dog regulations

The cape cod national seashore beaches all share the same dog regulations: Dogs are allowed beyond the lifeguard protected sections of the beach. Dogs are required to remain leashed. Tickets are given to violators, so be aware.

view national park service’s guide to pets at the cape cod national seashore

monty at the national seashore's coast guard road beach
monty grabbing a rest under an umbrella at the national seashore’s coast guard road beach in truro.

piping plovers and nesting shorebirds on the cape cod national seashore

Dogs are prohibited in areas closed to nesting shorebirds such as terns and piping plover. these areas will be clearly posted.

Occasionally entire stretches of national seashore beaches on Cape Cod are closed to dogs due to piping plover nests (or entire parking lots, which happened in 2011 at Head of the Meadow Beach).

If you’re traveling a great distance to visit a specific national seashore beach, you may wish to telephone ahead during the summer months to make sure that your preferred beach is open.

learn more at the national park service’s piping plover webpage

cape cod national seashore parking fee info

The national park service has made access to the seashore affordable to all visitors. A day’s pass is $15, but $45 will purchase a season-long pass for a car. If you are over 65 you are eligible for a lifetime national parks pass for $10 which grants access to you and all passengers in your car. There are also free weekends at the beginning and end of each season.

national seashore parking fees help pay for bathroom faciliites like this one at herring cove beach in provincetown

The money from sticker fees is directed back to the beach and provides the bathrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, lifeguards and rangers that keep the park safe, clean and enjoyable for the thousands of visitors who enjoy the unspoiled cape cod shore each year.

would you like to share pictures of your dog playing on cape cod national seashore beaches? please email us

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