Encompassing 3,000 acres of estuaries, woodlands, salt marshes, and barrier beaches, this research reserve is a good place for walking, kayaking, fishing, and birding. The visitor center's interactive exhibit, outside on the lawn, lets kids trace the path of a raindrop through its journey from cloud to land to river. In July and August there are nature programs for families, including an outdoor lecture series on Tuesday evenings.
South Cape Beach is part of the reserve; you can lie out on the sand or join one of the interpretive walks. Flat Pond Trail runs through several different habitats, including fresh- and saltwater marshes. You can reach Washburn Island on your own by boat, or by joining a Saturday-morning tours. It offers 330 acres of pine barrens and trails, swimming, and 10 wilderness campsites (an advance reservation and permit are required).