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Beaches--The Seashore's claim to fame is its spectacular beaches--in reality, one long beach--with dunes 50 to 150 feet high. This is the Atlantic Ocean, so the surf is rough (and cold), but a number of the beaches have lifeguards. A $20 pass will get you into all of them for the season, or you can pay a daily rate of $7. Most of the Seashore beaches have large parking lots, but you'll need to get there early (before 10am) on busy summer weekends to claim a spot. If the beach you want to go to is full, try the one next door--most of the beaches are 5 to 10 miles apart. Don't forget your beach umbrella; the sun exposure here can get intense. Seashore beaches include:

Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light Beach, off Ocean View Drive, Eastham. Connected to outlying parking lots by a free shuttle, these pristine National Seashore beaches have lifeguards and rest rooms.

Marconi Beach, off Marconi Beach Road in South Wellfleet. The bluffs are so high at this National Seashore property that the beach lies in shadows by late afternoon. There are rest rooms.

Head of the Meadow Beach, off Head of the Meadow Road, Truro. Among the more remote National Seashore beaches, this spot (equipped with rest rooms) is known for its excellent surf. Because beachgoers don't have to traverse steep dunes to get to the beach, Head of the Meadow is easier to access than the other beaches for the elderly or handicapped.

Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach, off Route 6, Provincetown. Race Point has rough surf; it's a good place to watch spectacular sunsets, and you might even spot a whale on its way to Stellwagen Bank, a breeding ground. Herring Cove, with much calmer waters, is popular with same-sex couples.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.