All posts by capebeachdog

nauset light beach in eastham, ma

Nauset Light Beach in Eastham is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Nauset Light Beach is a very popular beach in the summertime. expect the parking lot to fill very quickly on weekends, plan on being there by 9am to ensure a parking spot. An adjacent town-owned parking lot is available to Eastham residents only.

There used to be steep stairs that bring beach goers down to a spacious beach which is less crowded than most other national seashore beaches because of the limited parking. But these stairs keep washing away in winter storms, so access points to the beach have been affected.

Dogs are allowed all summer long to both the right and left sides of the stairs beyond the lifeguard-protected beach areas, unless access is restricted by nesting shorebirds.

Continue reading nauset light beach in eastham, ma

Ticks on Cape Cod

Ticks are mean customers. Stay safe! Learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your dog from ticks on cape cod.

We’ve assembled the tick safety info below from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.


Table of Contents


Deer ticks are the only ticks that carry Lyme disease, but there are other diseases spread by other tick species so it's important to be aware and follow safety precautions.
Deer ticks are the only ticks that carry Lyme disease, but there are other diseases spread by other tick species so it’s important to be aware and follow safety precautions. Source: Mass.gov

Deer Ticks on Cape Cod

Lyme disease is carried by a tick commonly known as the deer tick (or black-legged tick). Deer ticks pass the bacteria to a human or animal as it feeds upon their blood.

Other types of ticks exist in Massachusetts and can pass other diseases, but it’s the deer tick and Lyme disease that you need to worry most about – especially if you have children or pets.

Deer tick season on Cape Cod

Deer ticks are active on Cape Cod year round β€” especially during years with mild winters.

How bad are ticks on cape cod? Take your dog on a walk in the woods and you’ll find out pretty quickly that many areas are completely covered with them. It’s not uncommon to pull a dozen or more ticks off of your dog after a walk, and many people will avoid narrow trails altogether.

Understanding how ticks feed and spread disease can help you protect your family and pets.

Ticks are found on Cape Cod year-round, including winter. This image shows where they like to hide out when there’s snow on the ground. Source: cdc.gov

Three-stage life cycle of deer ticks

Deer ticks have a three-stage life cycle. The adult tick is active in the late fall and early spring while the larvae and nymphs are active during the late spring, early summer, and fall.

  • Deer tick larvae: extremely small, similar in size to a period.
  • Deer tick nymphs: the size of a poppy seed and are difficult to see.
  • Adult deer tick: the size of a sesame seed and appears dark reddish brown.
The two year life cycle of a deer tick.
The two year life cycle of a deer tick. source: CDC.gov

How do deer ticks spread Lyme disease?

All stages of deer ticks can be carried by dogs and cats. But the usual hosts are woodland mammals such as the while-tailed deer and white-footed mouse.

Adult ticks feed and mate on large mammals in the fall and early spring. Female ticks drop off and lay eggs on the ground in the spring.

Adult deer ticks (both male and female) are about the size of a sesame seed on a hamburger bun
Adult deer ticks (both male and female) are about the size of a sesame seed on a hamburger bun. Source: cdc.gov

Small larvae hatch and feed upon white-footed mice, other small mammals, and birds. If the host mammal is infected with Lyme disease bacteria, then deer tick larvae will become infected. After they feed the larvae are inactive until early spring, when they molt into the nymph stage.

Nymphs that have picked up the bacteria in the larval stage are capable of transmitting the bacteria to humans or other hosts, including pets. This stage is most active in June, and causes more cases of Lyme disease than the adult tick.

Deer tick nymphs, shown here in the center of this image, are about the size of poppy seed.
Deer tick nymphs, shown here in the center of this image, are about the size of poppy seed. source: cdc.gov

In the late spring and summer nymphs seek a host for a blood meal. The host may be a small mammal or bird, but if you’re unlucky it may also be a dog, cat, or a human.

After feeding, nymphs molt into the adult stage. Adult ticks start the cycle again by feeding on a large mammal such as a deer, pet, or human.

Note that both infected nymph and adult ticks can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria. These ticks may also transmit Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.


Commonly found ticks on Cape Cod include the deer (aka blacklegged) tick, the brown (aka dog) tick, and the lone star tick.
Commonly found ticks on Cape Cod include the deer (aka blacklegged) tick, the brown (aka dog) tick, and the lone star tick. Source: mass.gov

Types of ticks on Cape Cod

Wondering what kinds of ticks are found on Cape Cod? There are three ticks found most commonly on Cape Cod and the Islands: the deer tick, the American dog tick, and the Lone Star tick. American dog ticks and Lone Star ticks are larger than deer ticks β€” so they’re easier to see and remove.

The life stages of a deer tick include larvae, nymphs, and adults. Both nymphs and adults can spread Lyme disease.
The life stages of a deer tick include larvae, nymphs, and adults. Both nymphs and adults can spread Lyme disease. source: CDC.gov

Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis)

Note the relatively smaller size and teardrop shape. The dorsal shield is blackish; the abdomen is reddish-brown. The male tick is uniformly dark brown.

Here’s how deer ticks look when they’re engorged after feeding:

This chart shows the size of an engorged deer tick after four days. Source: CDC.gov

American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

The dorsal shield of the commons dog tick is whitish; the abdomen is chestnut brown.

Female dog ticks become engorged or greatly swollen during a blood meal. The color of the abdomen changes to a uniform gray.

The American dog tick is very common on Cape Cod. This image shows the adult female dog tick. source: CDC.gov

The male tick is mottled gray.

The adult male dog tick shown here has a mottled gray appearance compared to the female dog tick, which has a whitish-colored dorsal shield
The adult male dog tick shown here has a mottled gray appearance compared to the female dog tick, which has a whitish-colored dorsal shield. Source: cdc.gov

Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum)

The Lone Start tick is a relatively recent arrival on Cape Cod. The female Lone Star tick is easily identified by her pronounced white dot or star in the center of her back.

This tick is not a passive opportunist like the more common dog and deer ticks. While those tick species wait until a host makes contact with them, the Lone Star tick will actively pursue a host.

Lone Star ticks are easy to identify due to the small dot on the middle of their backs. They don't carry Lyme disease, but they're very aggressive and can carry other pathogens dangerous to humans and dogs.
Lone Star ticks are easy to identify due to the small dot on the middle of female’s backs. They don’t carry Lyme disease, but they’re very aggressive and can carry other pathogens dangerous to humans and dogs. source: cdc.gov

How to identify a tick

Using the image below you should be able to identify deer ticks (aka black-footed ticks), dog ticks, or lone star ticks.

This image shows the sizes of the the deer tick, the dog tick, and the lone star tick. Source: CDC.gov

Not finding a match? Check out the Center for Disease Control’s tick ID page that describes all the different types of ticks in the U.S.


How to Protect Yourself from Ticks

Where ticks are found on Cape Cod

Deer ticks are most often found in woodland habitats such as hiking trails, conservation lands, and other forested recreational areas. In other words, the places everyone goes with their families and dogs when they’re outside on Cape Cod.

They move onto brush, vegetation or tall grasses (including beach grass!) as they seek a host. Ticks don’t jump or fly. They crawl onto and cling to humans and animals that pass by.

Adult deer ticks attached to a hiking boot.  Did you spot them both?
Adult deer ticks attached to a hiking boot. Did you spot them both? source cdc.gov

Tick safety tips

If you’re going to be walking in these types of areas, take the following precautions.

  • Wear light-colored clothing so it’s easier to see them on you
  • Wear long pants and tuck the pant legs into your socks – not just a good tick safety tip, but a pretty killer fashion tip as well
  • Stay in the middle of trails and avoid brushing against vegetation. This includes wooded trails, but also beach grass.
  • Check for ticks frequently on yourself, children, and dogs
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N-N-diethyl-metatoluamide) on adults, including exposed skin and clothing. Use with caution on children.
  • If you use a contact insecticide such as permethrin, apply it only to outer clothing. Read and follow label directions carefully. It can also be applied to the outside of your tent if you’re camping on cape cod
  • Ask your veterinarian about Lyme vaccines. Use veterinarian-approved tick control products on pets that go outdoors
  • Keep brush and tall vegetation away from the house and try to eliminate tick-friendly environments in your yard
Applying permethrin to the outside of your tent is very important when camping on Cape Cod. source: CDC.gov

Where to check yourself and children for ticks

A careful tick check is the most effective way to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from Lyme disease.

After outdoor activities, brush off clothing thoroughly. Do a visual inspection. Pay attention to folded areas such as cuffs, belts and shirt collars. Ticks love to burrow in.

An engorged deer tick has just finished feeding and is filled with blood. source: cdc.gov

Do a complete body check on a daily basis. Check children and pets more frequently, and especially each time they’re done playing outside.

Inspect the hairline and scalp as well as difficult-to-see areas such as the back. Checking yourself and kids when you shower each day is a great idea, it’s much easier to spot them when clothes are removed. Don’t forget to check the clothes too, sometimes ticks are still crawling around there before they get to attach to your tasty flesh.

Where to check for ticks
Where to check for ticks. Source: CDC

Where to check dogs for ticks

Ticks may hitchhike indoors on pets or clothing and then fall off. Dogs should be checked for ticks on a regular basis, particularly around the eyes, ears and underbelly.

Tick removal for pets follows the same technique that is used on humans. Ask your vet to recommend a tick preventative product to kill any ticks who do bit your pet.

It’s important to check your dog or cat thoroughly for ticks after spending time outdoors on Cape Cod. This chart shows where the little buggers like to attach themselves to pets. Source: cdc.gov

Tick Spraying on Cape Cod

One of the best ways to protect your family and pets against ticks on Cape Cod is to spray your yard with pesticides.

But tick spraying alone won’t solve the problem. It’s best to try and eliminate areas where ticks may live prior to applying pesticide. This includes:

  • Remove leaf litter
  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns
  • Place a three foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration into recreational areas
  • Mow your lawn frequently
  • Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (to discourage rodents).
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees
  • Build fences to discourage unwelcome animals from entering your yard, and to keep your pets from entering tick habitats

What to do if a tick bites you

To remove a tick, grasp tick at the point of attachment with tweezers and pull upward with a slow and steady pressure. Image source: CDC website

How to remove ticks the right way

A tick’s mouthparts are barbed like a fish hook. Once inserted, a cement-like substance is released, making tick removal difficult. Proper and prompt removal of ticks includes the following steps:

This image shows the proper way to grab and remove ticks with tweezers
This image shows the proper way to grab and remove ticks with tweezers. Source: NY Dept. of Health
  • Grasp the tick at the point of attachment using fine tipped tweezers. Do not squeeze the body.
  • Pull straight out with slow and steady pressure. Avoid twisting the tick.
  • Apply an antiseptic to the bite area.
  • When removing ticks from pets try to avoid pulling out too much fur.
  • Do not apply petroleum jelly, nail polish remover, or a hot match to the tick. This will not make the tick back out.
To remove a tick, use tweezers to grasp it at the point of attachment and pull upwards.
To remove a tick, use tweezers to grasp it at the point of attachment and pull upwards. Source: cdc.gov

Want to learn more about how to remove ticks? Check out the CDC’s webpage on tick removal.

Also if you’ve been bitten check out their “Tick-bite: what to do” PDF.

A small circular rash is a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease. But be aware that many people with this disease don't develop a rash, so look for other symptoms as well.
A small circular rash is a tell-tale sign of Lyme disease. But be aware that many people with this disease don’t develop a rash, so look for other symptoms as well. source: cdc.gov

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Most people who get Lyme disease don’t even know they’ve been bitten by a tick. Deer ticks are tiny and they’re easy to overlook.

The symptoms of lime disease at the early stage include:

  • Headache
  • Chills and/or fever
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Skin rash (circular) that increases in size
A circular rash such as this may indicate you have Lyme disease. Even if you don't know you were bitten by a tick or have other symptoms you should see a doctor immediately.
A circular rash such as this may indicate you have Lyme disease. Even if you don’t know you were bitten by a tick or have other symptoms you should see a doctor immediately. Source: cdc.gov

Getting a round or circular rash is a tell-tale sign. But many people who have Lyme disease don’t develop a rash. If you think you may be infected don’t wait. See a doctor right away. Antibiotics can be prescribed to help treat it.

A bulls-eye rash that was diagnosed to be Lyme disease
A bulls-eye rash that was diagnosed to be Lyme disease. source: cdc.gov

Delaying treatment for Lyme disease will intensify symptoms. Major medical problems such as potentially serious heart, nervous system, and arthritic conditions can develop.

If you live or vacation on Cape Cod then you are at risk for Lyme disease. See a medical professional right away if you suspect you have it.

Learn more about Lyme disease on the Mass.gov website.

This dark rash was the result of Lyme disease.
This dark rash was the result of Lyme disease. Source: cdc.gov

Treatment fo Lyme disease

If you suspect that you have Lyme disease or were recently bitten by a deer tick then consult your physician. If your dog was bitten then consult your vet.

The symptoms of Lyme disease are easy to confuse with other illnesses so they’re often overlooked. Antibiotics are generally prescribed for treatment.

The bacteria can move very quickly from beneath the skin to deeper tissues in the body quickly (before the blood tests can detect evidence of illness). Because of this some doctors choose to treat preventatively before symptoms arise.

The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria is a pathogenic organism is responsible for causing the illness Lyme disease.
The Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria is a pathogenic organism is responsible for causing the illness Lyme disease. Source: cdc.gov

Additional Resources on Ticks on Cape Cod

Our page contains tick safety information about ticks on Cape Cod that was compiled from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Town of Brewster.

Here are some links to their sites if you want to learn more about ticks:

Ticks are mean customers, be safe!

Use caution when going outdoors on Cape Cod all year long. These black-legged ticks (aka deers ticks) are mean customers! source: cdc.gov

dog-friendly guide to the cape cod national seashore beaches

The Cape Cod National Seashore are the most dog-friendly beaches on Cape Cod. The National Seashore’s dog rules allow pets throughout the summer, although access frequently gets restricted due to nesting shorebirds.

The National Seashore’s sprawling sand dunes frame endless stretches of white sand under the crashing power of the Atlantic ocean. The beaches are perfect for long dog walks, sunbathing, surfing, fishing for striped bass, and endless rounds of fetching a tennis ball from the surf.

In this articles we’ll discuss the cape cod national seashore dog rules and show you the best places to go to plan your vacation.

Continue reading dog-friendly guide to the cape cod national seashore beaches

What is the Nicest Beach on Cape Cod?

Going to Cape Cod on vacation and want to find the perfect beach? We’ll help you find the nicest beach on Cape Cod, including the best ones for families with kids, for dog owners, the most remote beaches, best beach sand, and some cool beaches with ORV trails.

In this article we’re going to focus on public beaches. Like every list on the subject we’re a bit biased, but these are the nicest beaches on Cape Cod that we’ve found.

The best beach for kids on Cape Cod is Skaket Beach. Located on the Cape Cod Bay, the warm, gentle waters and soft white sand is perfect for little feet to explore..
The best beach for kids on Cape Cod is Skaket Beach. Located on the Cape Cod Bay, the warm, gentle waters and soft white sand is perfect for little feet to explore..

Best Beach for Kids on Cape Cod

Our vote for the best beach for kids on Cape Cod is Skaket Beach in Orleans.

Skaket Beach has pure white sand, warm gentle waters, and lots of great areas of children to explore. Like most of the beaches located on the Cape Cod bay side the water is far warmer and gentler than the beaches of the outer Cape that face the open Atlantic.

The water recedes at low tide to reveal huge tidal flats. You can walk far into the water Skaket Beach and it will stay shallow. There’s lots of of interesting wildlife for kids to discover. Your children will love catching small fish and hermit crabs so bring a net and a bucket.

If you walk to the right as you face the ocean at Skaket Beach you'll come to a tidal river. Older kids will love floating on tubes or boogie boards.
If you walk to the right as you face the ocean at Skaket Beach you’ll come to a tidal river. There’s lots of wildlife to explore, and older kids will love floating on tubes or boogie board.

Nice sunsets here too. But bring bug spray, sand fleas and other biting critters await in the evenings.

The parking lot sells daily passes. It’s a short, flat walk to the beach area. Which is great if you’re lugging armfuls of toys.

Rock Harbor Beach is another mid-cape beach on Cape Cod Bay that's perfect for families with small kids.
Rock Harbor Beach is another mid-cape beach that’s perfect for families with small kids.

Other great beaches for families

Most towns on Cape Cod have bayside beaches with similar warm water and gentle wave conditions, so you needn’t drive far to find a great beach for kids.

Bayside beaches can be found stretching from Sandwich, Barnstable, Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Wellfleet, and Provincetown. Anything bayside is generally much gentler and warmer than what you’ll find on the Nantucket Sound or Outer Cape beaches. Bayside beaches are especially popular for families with young children, there’s much less to worry about.

A boy and his dog playing at the beach.

The fine, soft sand at Head of the Meadow beach is our vote for the best sand on Cape Cod.

Best Beach Sand on Cape Cod

Cape cod has some nice beaches, not all of them have great beach sand. If you’re looking for bleached white sand, not all cape beaches can deliver. Many have mixtures of dark sand mixed in, so the colors are usually more of a tan than a classic Caribbean white sand.

Head of the Meadow Beach has some of the softest sand on the Outer Cape Beaches. It’s less populated than other beaches in the area, and less people generally means cleaner sand. When the ORV trail at Head of the Meadow was open years back you could drive away from the busy public beach find yourself stretches of beach without footprints. The conditions were pristine.

Where can you find the best beach sand on Cape Cod? We like Herring Cove Beach in North Truro. For a finer, whiter sand beach check out Skaket Beach in Orleans.
The beach sand at many cape cod beaches is tan due to dark sand mixed in. This sand is from Race Point Beach in P-town.

But is the sand really clean? With thousands of seals offshore, each eating (and pooping) 50+ pounds of seafood per day, the water is just filled with bacteria. This scent trail is what draws in the Great Whites. So “clean” beach sand on Cape Cod is kind of a relative term, even in areas where people don’t go often.

A chunk of pavement mixed in with rocks at Herring Cove Beach makes for some unhappy bare feet.
A chunk of pavement mixed in with rocks at Herring Cove Beach makes for some unhappy bare feet.

Many Outer Cape beaches have lots of rocks at the tideline, which isn’t ideal for long barefoot beach walks. A few have chunks of pavement from parking lots that fall into the sea.

Many Nantucket Sound beaches are mechanically cleaned to remove seaweed that accumulates on shore.
Many Nantucket Sound beaches are mechanically cleaned to remove seaweed that accumulates on shore.

Nantucket Sound beaches such as those in Dennis, Yarmouth, and Harwich all tend to have broken lady slippers and other shells. Many Sound-facing beaches have Jetties which trap mountains of seaweed with the tides, which can make walking to the water a bit challenging

Walking in a tidal pool barefoot means you should watch out for crabs!

Some of the bayside beaches have find sand. Tidal flats such as those at Rock Harbor in Orleans have soft sand that appears in cool patterns as the tide recedes. These beach areas are great for walking barefoot, but some paths require stepping through vegetation so watch out for crabs!

Worst Beach Sand on Cape Cod:

Some Cape Beaches have a silty dirt consistency. After a day in this sand your skin and towels will be covered in this fine dust. Sorry, Cahoon’s Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. Your beach is great and one of the most fun places to have a beer around a beach fire. But your sand is yuck-yuck.


South Beach provides seemingly endless stretches of unspoiled beaches.
South Beach provides seemingly endless stretches of unspoiled beaches.

Most Remote Beach

South Beach in Chatham, MA

South Beach in Chatham is a thin strip of barrier beach that extends south of Nauset Beach out towards Monomoy Island. You can only get there by boat and it’s a long stretch of beach, so you’ll have plenty of room to spread your towel.

South Beach in Chatham is a barrier island beach that is accessible only by boat.

The East-facing dunes of South beach beach stands directly in the way of the open Atlantic. Huge waves and powerful rip currents are here, which by themselves would make swimming here a big risk.

But the real risk to swimmers are the plentiful great white sharks. South Beach and the entire outer Cape is an active shark feeding ground and the abundance of tasty seal flesh makes swimming far offshore a foolish endeavor. But you’re especially remote at this beach, so medical care isn’t an option.

How to avoid a great white shark attack on beaches in Cape Cod.

The back side of the dunes at South Beach face Chatham Harbor. This is where you’ll anchor your boat, and from there it’s a quick walk across the island to the impressive outer beach.

If you’ve got a Chatham shellfish permit then bring your bucket and ring – quahogs are everywhere on the harbor side. Just walk around barefoot and you’ll feel them underwater in the soft sand, you won’t even need a rake.

This beach isn’t much of a secret, so on nice summer days you’ll likely have some company. Check out South Beach in the Spring or Fall if you’re looking for more of the beach hermit experience.


Beach naps are the best naps. To find a beach near you on Cape Cod that allows dogs check out our dog-friendly beaches guide.
Beach naps are the best naps. To find a beach near you on Cape Cod that allows dogs check out our dog-friendly beaches guide.

Best Beach for Dogs on Cape Cod

There’s a lot of dog friendly beaches in every town on Cape Cod that we love. But to pick the best one, we narrowed it down to beaches that allow pets in the summer, because that’s the most fun time to visit.

Only a few towns on Cape Cod allow dogs in the summer during the daytime. You’ll need to visit Provincetown, Wellfleet, or the Cape Cod National Seashore beaches for summer access. Of these beaches, we’re going with the Cape Cod National Seashore for visitors on vacation since they’re all very dog-friendly, sell daily passes, and most have large parking areas. But which one?

dog viewing a beach in barnstable, cape cod

Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro is one of the nicest beaches in Cape Cod, if not in the world, but it’s closed to dogs much of the summer every year due to nesting shorebirds. So that one is out.

Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is great too, but the parking lot requires a trolley ride and they don’t allow dogs. No bueno. Race Point Beach is amazing, and the ORV trails provide access to miles of beaches that are truly world-class. But the main beach and the overland driving trails all close at the start of the summer, and dogs aren’t allowed then either. Bummer.

Nauset Light Beach in Eastham usually stays open to dogs on at least one side of the lifeguard-protected beach area. As does Marconi Beach in Wellfleet. They’re all great beaches.

But our vote for the best beach for dogs on Cape Cod is… Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown.

A dog scans the horizon at Herring Cove Beach in P-town.

Herring Cove Beach has a lot going for it. A huge parking lot that never fills up, incredible drive-up sunset views, nice amenities including bathrooms and cold-water showers, and a snack bar that serves good food and beer.

The stretch of beach to the left of the Herring Cove parking lot stays open to dogs, and the dog-to-human ratio at this beach is very high. When Race Point’s ORV trails close sticker-holders get free access to Herring Cove, and a lot of people just go there. The result is there’s tons of cool dogs to meet.

One caveat: In the summer you should check the National Seashore dogs info page to check for any current dog restrictions before you go. They keep the page updated all season long so you can find a location where pets are still being allowed.

a puggle chases a bad cuz on the beach near truro, cape cod
a puggle chases a bad cuz on the beach near truro, cape cod

If you’re willing to walk a ways you’re guaranteed to find some open beach space. Just don’t walk too far unless you’re looking to find the clothing-optional beach. That one’s dog friendly too in case your dog prefers things au natural.

The sunsets at Herring Cove beach are legendary. If you drive to the right of the guard booth you can pull right up and park facing the beach for a great view without leaving your car. They stop charging for beach access around 4:30, so sunsets here are free.

sunset on a beach in provincetown on cape cod

After the sunset you can head into Commercial Street for dinner, it’s just a few minutes ride away by car or bike. Dogs are welcome everywhere in P-town, where you’ll find tons of pet-friendly food options and shopping.

Want to learn more?


Race Point's oversand driving trails are the best place to take a Jeep on Cape Cod
This kid has been talking about driving a Jeep on Race Point Beach since he was 3 years old.

Best Beach for Jeep Owners

A buddy with a Jeep asked me this question the other day: “What’s the nicest beach on Cape Cod to drive my Jeep?” This was pretty easy to answer, since most of the potential oversand driving trail options have such limited beach access in the summer due to piping plovers.

race point light in provincetown
Race Point Lighthouse is right on the beach trail that leads you out to the beach.

The winner is the ORV Trails of Race Point Beach. It’s a great place to drop some air from your tires and bounce around. Access is usually available through mid-June, then restricted until later in the summer. In recent years it’s much worse than it used to be, so the majority of beach is closed to people for most of the summer.

This view of Hatches Harbor at Race Point Beach is accessible only by driving on the oversand trails.
This view of Hatches Harbor at Race Point Beach is accessible only by driving on the oversand trails.

Other contenders for nicest beach on Cape Cod to drive a Jeep were the ORV Trails at Nauset Beach (access restricted starting in early June heavily due to nesting shorebirds) and the ORV Trail at Head of the Meadow Beach (access restricted indefinitely due to shorebirds and tough terrain). The National Seashore ORV sticker also gives you access to other oversand driving trails at High Head Road and at Coast Guard Road Beach in Truro.

So if you’re looking to get your Jeep on a beach on some trails on Cape Cod, head to P-town in early June or late August and let the party begin. The later in the season you go the more miles of shoreline trails will be open.

If you are visiting in the offseason or don’t mind shelling out a few hundred bucks for a sticker you can’t use, check out Nauset Beach too.

A swarm of birds flying over the ORV Trail at Race Point Beach could spell trouble for Jeep Owners without wide-brimmed hats.
A swarm of birds flying over the ORV Trail at Race Point Beach could spell trouble for Jeep Owners without wide-brimmed hats.

How to find a pet-friendly hotel on cape cod

Many cape cod hotels, cottages, and weekly rentals are pet-friendly. If you’re planning to bring your dog with you on vacation to the cape, you’ll have lots of options for lodging.

There are some special considerations when selecting a place to stay when you have a dog, beyond just price and location.

Continue reading How to find a pet-friendly hotel on cape cod

coast guard beach in eastham, ma

The first national seashore managed beach you’ll reach as you travel up route 6 from the bridges is coast guard beach in Eastham. coast guard beach’s picturesque dunes and sand quality consistently rank it on lists of the top 10 beaches in the United States.

It’s a bit of a hassle to park since you need to take a shuttle. But the beach is worth it. Long stretches of pristine beach framed by crashing surf and grassy sand dunes.

Continue reading coast guard beach in eastham, ma