Fodor's Expert Review Cape Cod National Seashore

Eastham Information Center
Free Fodor's Choice

The region's most expansive national treasure, Cape Cod National Seashore was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, for whom Cape Cod was home and haven. The 27,000-acre park, extending from Chatham to Provincetown, protects 30 miles of superb beaches; great rolling dunes; swamps, marshes, and wetlands; and pitch-pine and scrub-oak forest. Self-guided nature trails, as well as biking and horse trails, lace through these landscapes. Hiking trails lead to a red-maple swamp, Nauset Marsh, and to Salt Pond; the Buttonbush Trail is a nature path for people with vision impairments. A hike or bike ride to Coast Guard Beach leads to a turnout looking out over marsh and sea. A section of the cliff here was washed away in 1990, revealing the remains of a prehistoric dwelling. The National Seashore has two visitor centers, one in Eastham and one in Provincetown.

Salt Pond Visitor Center, at the southern end of the Cape, offers guided walks, boat tours, demonstrations, and lectures... READ MORE

The region's most expansive national treasure, Cape Cod National Seashore was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, for whom Cape Cod was home and haven. The 27,000-acre park, extending from Chatham to Provincetown, protects 30 miles of superb beaches; great rolling dunes; swamps, marshes, and wetlands; and pitch-pine and scrub-oak forest. Self-guided nature trails, as well as biking and horse trails, lace through these landscapes. Hiking trails lead to a red-maple swamp, Nauset Marsh, and to Salt Pond; the Buttonbush Trail is a nature path for people with vision impairments. A hike or bike ride to Coast Guard Beach leads to a turnout looking out over marsh and sea. A section of the cliff here was washed away in 1990, revealing the remains of a prehistoric dwelling. The National Seashore has two visitor centers, one in Eastham and one in Provincetown.

Salt Pond Visitor Center, at the southern end of the Cape, offers guided walks, boat tours, demonstrations, and lectures mid-April–Thanksgiving, as well as evening beach walks, campfire talks, and other programs (many are free) in summer. The center includes a museum with displays on whaling and the old saltworks, as well as early Cape Cod artifacts including scrimshaw, the journal that Mrs. Penniman kept while on a whaling voyage with her husband, and some of the Pennimans' possessions, such as their tea service and the captain's top hat. An air-conditioned auditorium shows films on geology, sea rescues, whaling, Henry David Thoreau, and Guglielmo Marconi.

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Quick Facts

50 Doane Rd.
Eastham, Massachusetts  USA

508-255–3421-for Salt Pond Visitor Center

www.nps.gov/caco

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free, Visitor Center daily 9–4:30 (hrs extended slightly in summer)

What’s Nearby