Dominating the beach scene in Wellfleet is the magnificent Cape Cod National Seashore. The town has several beaches, both within and outside of the Seashore—ocean beaches, bay beaches, and freshwater pond beaches. There’s just one problem: Very few of them have parking for nonresidents. To visit them you’ll have to walk or bike in, or see if you qualify for a sticker ($55 for 3 consecutive days, $90 per week). Bring proof of residency to the seasonal Beach Sticker Booth, on the Town Pier, or call the Wellfleet Beach Sticker Office (tel. 508/349-9818). Parking is free at all beaches and ponds after 4pm.

  • Marconi Beach, off Marconi Beach Road, in South Wellfleet: A National Seashore property, this cliff-lined beach (with restrooms) charges an entry fee of $20 per day ($10 for motorcyclists; $3 for pedestrians/bicyclists), or $60 for the season. Note: The bluffs are so high that the beach lies in shadow by late afternoon.
  • Mayo Beach, Kendrick Avenue (near the Town Pier): Right by the harbor, facing south, this warm, shallow bay beach (with restrooms) is very central; it will please young waders and splashers. This is one of the few beaches on the Cape with free parking. Make sure you go at high tide; at low tide, oyster farmers take over. You could grab a bite (and a paperback) at the Bookstore Restaurant across the street, which serves three meals a day and sells used books.
  • White Crest & Cahoon Hollow beaches, off Ocean View Drive, in Wellfleet: The town runs White Crest—big with surfers—which is open to all ($20 per day to park). As with all the oceanside beaches on the Outer Cape, large sand dunes border the beach, which is a wide-open and beautiful expanse. It has a snack bar and restrooms. Massive erosion in recent years has damaged Cahoon Hollow Beach’s parking lot and now the parking is leased by the onsite restaurant/nightclub, The Beachcomber, which is located in the beach parking lot. Parking is free for those with a Wellfleet town sticker or a season pass to the Beachcomber. Others pay $20 to park, but that includes a $20 voucher for the restaurant. Grab lunch at the Beachcomber, spend time on the beach, and segue to an evening of live music and dancing.

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.