A cute dog lays in the sand at race point beach in provincetown.

race point beach in provincetown, ma

Race point beach in provincetown is located at the top of the cape when looking at a map of cape cod. Race point beach is simply amazing, with diverse sections where waves are gentle and sunsets are breathtaking.

This epic stretch of shoreline boasts miles of ORV oversand driving trails, spectacular views of whales and other wildlife, historic lighthouses, and amazing beach walks.

The Old Harbor Lifesaving Station silhoutted against the sun setting at Race Point Beach.

Sunsets at Race Point Beach

Race Point is a great place to watch the sunset in Provincetown. The view varies a bit depending on the section of beach and the curve of the coastline you’re on.

From the South ORV trails the sun sets to the left side of the horizon, bathing the beach in red light. By that point of the night the crowd will have thinned considerably to instill a sense of tranquility.

Sun sets over a solitary car on the ORV trails at Race Point Beach.
A peaceful sunset enjoyed by a solitary visitor on the ORV trails at Race Point Beach.

You won’t be able to view the sunset from your car as well as you can at nearby Herring Cove Beach‘s parking lot. If you’re looking to avoid walking then Herring Cove may be a better option. Since the National Seashore stops charging beach admission after 4:30 pm in the summertime you can visit either of these beaches for the sunsets at no cost.

A whale passing by race point beach’s ORV trails.

whale watching at race point beach

In the springtime on Race Point Beach majestic endangered right whales can be seen breaching from shore.

these right whales have been spotted at race point beach in record numbers in recent years. Humpbacks and minke whales are often seen throughout the summer.  

A whale sprays in the distance just off of Race Point Beach while a grey seal swims in the foreground.

The water depth just off of the beach drops to about 150 feet, making it a very active feeding ground for whales and almost everything else.

Look for water spouts about halfway to the horizon.  Often pods will cruise back and forth all day. bring binoculars and your camera for a memorable whale watching experience without the hassles or crowds on a whale watching boat tour.

Seals swim a few feet offshore at race point beach. This is why you need to be very careful for great white sharks!
Seals swim a few feet offshore at race point beach. This is why you need to be very careful for great white sharks!

seals at race point beach

you can watch seals play in great number throughout the summer. If you watch the seals closely at race point you might see one pop up with a fish in it’s mouth, and soon small groups of hopeful birds circling around a few leftovers from the seal’s meal.

A seal appears just offshore at Race Point.

Since they swim so close to the shore, they often attract some unwanted visitors.

Keep your dog safe from Great White Sharks!
The best way to spot a great white isn’t to look for its fin. Look for dark shadows in the water slowly cruising by.

great white sharks at race point beach on cape cod

Great white sharks attracted to seals are spotted regularly cruising by Race Point Beach, so be careful and stay safe when in the water with children or dogs.

the great whites are looking for a calorie-rich fatty seal and not a bony human or dog, but still use caution when swimming near seals on cape cod at race point beach.

View safety tips for great white sharks on cape cod.

fishing for striped bass at race point beach
Surfcasting for striped bass at race point beach isn’t as productive as it used to be. Thanks, seals.

fishing for striped bass at race point beach in provincetown

The sharp increase in seals on National Seashore beaches hasn’t helped beach visitors improve their odds of catching prized striped bass and other cape cod game fish.  each seal can eat 30+ pounds of fish per day. however race point beach remains a popular spot for surf-casting striper fishermen.

The location of race point allows access to an incredible diversity of game fish, check with local bait shops for tips on the best bait for striped bass and other cape cod fish.

The ORV trails at Race Point Beach provide access to miles of the most beautiful seashore on Cape Cod.
The ORV trails at Race Point Beach provide access to miles of the most beautiful seashore on Cape Cod.

oversand off-road vehicle (orv) trails at race point beach

The 4wd Off-Road Vehicle trails at race point beach are the largest of the national seashore beaches.

The same orv beach pass gives you access to Race Point Beach in provincetown, Head of the Meadow Beach and Coast Guard Road Beach in north truro. race point has multiple air compressors available to air up your tires when you’re done bouncing around the dunes.

a distant sand dune backrops against race point beach

camping on race point beach

Race Point Beach even allows camping for self-contained 4wd rv campers for a memorable stay on a cape cod beach. orv Camping at race point is an experience like no other. orv camper stickers are available through the cape cod national seashore.

plan ahead to get the necessary orv equipment and watch the oversand driving safety video. the orv beach trail for campers is much less demanding here then at other orv camping beaches on cape cod like nauset beach in orleans.

parking, bathroom and changing facilities at race point beach

race point beach’s changing room and bathroom facilities are located at the beginning of the parking lot just past the park ranger check-in station. They are consistently clean and very well maintained by the national seashore beach staff.

The race point parking lot is very long and consists of many rows of parking set between layers of sand dunes. watch out for poison ivy and stay off the beach grass.

sections of race point beach are often closed to protect piping plovers

piping plovers at race point beach

race point beach will close sections of beach regularly to protect nesting piping plovers and other cape cod shorebirds. be aware of signs and keep your dog out of the protected area.

nesting piping plovers can be a nuisance for beach-goers on cape cod, but be sure to keep away from the protected areas and especially the fenced in exclosures that protect known piping plover nests. Scared plovers abandon their young and this will extend the length of the beach closure, so stay away.

provincelands visitor center at race point beach in provincetown

While at race point beach you can visit the provincelands national seashore visitor’s center. provincelands visitor center is the national seashore visitor’s center for the north region of the seashore, and is located in the parking lot of race point beach.

provincelands visitor center is a great way for newcomers to familiarize themselves with the many recreation possibilities of the cape cod national seashore. hit the bike trail, picnic, or just soak up the sun until it melts into the water at the end of the day.

nugget jumps after a bad cuz dog toy.

race point beach 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 (6 foot leash or less).  Tickets are given to violators, so be aware.
  • Dogs not allowed in areas closed to nesting shorebirds.
  • Clean up poop.
Monty the Boston Terrier runs on a sand bar at a beach in Provincetown on cape cod.

race point beach parking fee info

The u.s. national park service has made access to the race point beach and the cape cod seashore beaches affordable to all visitors. a one-day parking pass is available but it’s cheaper to purchase a season-long pass for your vehicle if you intend to come back more than twice. ORV vehicle passes are also available from the cape cod national seashore for Race point’s orv trails.

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 where everyone can visit at no cost..

The money from sticker fees at race point beach is directed back to the national seashore beaches and provides for race point’s bathrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, lifeguards and park rangers that keep the park safe, clean and enjoyable for the thousands of visitors who enjoy these unspoiled cape cod beaches each year.

would you like to share pictures of your dog playing at race point beach or other pet-friendly cape cod national seashore beaches? please email us