The Beach Times

The Top Family-Friendly Beaches on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 27, 2018


Breakwater Beach, Brewster Cape Cod

Vacationing on Cape Cod is all about enjoying some time in the sun, so when staying at a Lower Cape vacation rental with your kids, you’ll want to research safe and comfortable beaches for children. The majority of the Cape is family-friendly, but certain beaches attract a more teen-centric crowd and festive atmosphere, which you might want to avoid with younger children.

On the Lower Cape, in the towns of Chatham, Harwich, and Brewster, you’ll find many renowned beaches to take the kids where you won’t have to worry about parties or loud music becoming an issue.

Perhaps the best thing about Cape Cod is that there is something for everyone. Check out some of the following beaches if you’re spending some time here with the kids to ensure that you make the most of your vacation on the Cape this summer.

 

Hardings Beach in Chatham

The West Chatham area is home to Hardings Beach, a large oceanfront area that faces Nantucket Sound. The beach is popular with families because the water is warm and calm, making it comfortable for younger travelers. Lifeguards are on duty during the day and there is usually a food truck on-site in the summer. The beach also has a change room with showers.

When traveling with a boat or kayak, you are free to launch it anywhere outside of the swimming areas, making this the perfect place to start a day on the water. There is also a beach volleyball court, a bocce area, and whiffle ball, in addition to hiking trails nearby. Basically, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they’ll find something fun to do at Hardings Beach.

The beach has two on-site parking lots, and it will cost you $20 per day to park as a nonresident, or you can invest in a week’s pass for $75 or a season's pass for $175. There is a beach booth present where you can purchase parking.

 

Ridgevale Beach in Chatham

Just west of Hardings Beach is Ridgevale, and much like its nearby cousin, this beach features warm, calm water and has lifeguards on duty. Kids spend much of their time playing in the tidal pools here since the water in them gets quite warm, especially in periods of hot weather.

There is a large parking lot at Ridgevale Beach, in addition to a snack bar. The over-water pedestrian bridge between the beach and parking lot is a major attraction here, as it provides wonderful views of the water on a clear day. You can rent a sailboat at Ridgevale, should you feel like taking the kids out on the water for a few hours.

Parking costs the same as Hardings Beach and keep in mind that your weekly or seasonal parking pass bought at Ridgevale Beach or Hardings Beach is valid at any beach in Chatham.

 

Red River Beach in Harwich

Just off Uncle Venies Road in Harwich is Red River Beach, the town's largest oceanfront area and an outstanding place for families to spend a day. You’re probably sensing a pattern here, but the beach is also along Nantucket Sound, which means warm, calm water that is great for kids. The beach has lifeguards on duty and bathrooms, providing parents with added peace of mind. Once there, you’ll find that the beach has small waves and infinite shells to collect, so your kids will have plenty to do throughout their time here.

Parents will be happy with the short distance between the parking lot and the sand. When traveling with a ton of gear for your children, it's never fun to return to the car multiple times, especially if the parking area is far away. That's not a problem at Red River Beach because you can find a spot in the sand steps from where you end up parking.

One thing to remember is that Harwich has a much different parking situation than Chatham, as daily parking is only available for nonresidents at four beaches in the entire town. Otherwise, nonresidents must purchase a one-week, two-week, or full season pass. Luckily, Red River Beach is one of the four beaches offering daily parking, which you can buy once you get there.

 

Pleasant Road Beach in West Harwich

If your kids don't need a bunch of space, or if you're looking for somewhere a little less crowded on Nantucket Sound, Pleasant Road Beach is the way to go. This beach, which sits in West Harwich, has everything you'll need, including a bathroom with an outdoor shower and a decent-sized parking lot. The size and amenities at this location make it ideal for families with very young children.

Pleasant Road Beach is always spotless, a straightforward task because of its small size, and it slopes toward the water gradually, so you won't have to worry about steep drop-offs. There's also a lifeguard on duty during the day, and the parking lot is very close to the water.

Remember how we mentioned that only four beaches in Harwich offer daily parking passes for nonresidents? Well, Pleasant Road Beach is one of them, meaning you won't have to buy an entire week's pass when only visiting once.

 

Breakwater Beach in Brewster

We’ve focused entirely on beaches along Nantucket Sound with this list, so for something different, let’s look at Breakwater Beach in Brewster.

This public stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay also features calm, warm water, along with tidal flats and pools, making it ideal for small children. When the tide is out, you can seemingly walk forever, and the kids will enjoy finding the shells left behind by various marine life. There isn't a lifeguard at the beach, however, and parents will want to keep a close eye on their little ones when near the water during high tide.

Breakwater Beach is quite large, so if it appears overcrowded at first, keep walking, and you'll find somewhere a little quieter. The parking lot is just off the sand and parents will find it easy to get to the water with little ones in tow.

Speaking of parking, you can purchase a day pass for $20 or invest in a weekly pass for $60 as a nonresident in Brewster. There’s also a nonresident season’s pass for $120, if you’ll be taking an extended vacation or visiting multiple times this summer. Since there is no attendant on duty at Breakwater Beach, you’ll have to buy a parking sticker before arriving.

 

Bringing Your Kids to the Lower Cape

As you can see, you won’t have to venture far from your Lower Cape vacation rental when looking for a family-friendly beach. This list is merely scratching the surface of things you can do with the kids since there are other similar beaches on other parts of the Cape.

Cape Cod prides itself on being a place where travelers of any age can have a good time, and the selection of beaches up and down its shores are no exception. Take the time to research a few beaches prior to your arrival, as we all know how important certain amenities are when traveling with kids, and you can be certain that your vacation on the Cape is something you’ll always remember.



Breakwater Beach Brewster Brewster Brewster Beaches Chatham Chatham Beaches Hardings Beach Chatham Harwich Harwich Beaches Pleasant Road Beach Harwich Red River Beach Harwich Ridgevale Beach Chatham

Where the Locals Eat in Chatham
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, April 23, 2018


Whenever you spend time on Cape Cod, taking advantage of the plethora of high-end dining options is a must, as the Cape’s “foodie” scene has come a long way in recent years.

Traditionally, Cape Cod has been known for its waterfront clam shacks and seafood joints, and while these classics are still alive and well, there is a more sophisticated side to dining in Chatham, and beyond, that unquestionably must be experienced.

If you want to avoid the typical tourist-centric restaurants on Cape Cod and experience life as a local, check out these restaurants in Chatham at some point during your vacation. You won’t regret your decision to eat like a Cape Cod resident at a local hot spot.

Breakfast and Lunch

Set right along Chatham’s Main Street, Captain’s Table tends to blend in with its surroundings. This is because pretty much everything along Main Street looks like a cottage and this outstanding restaurant is no different.

In fact, Captain’s Table shares a cottage-style venue with a couple of other businesses and isn’t very large at all, but the quality of the food more than makes up for its small size. It also has a sizable patio that many locals believe provides the best outdoor dining experience on the Cape.

The restaurant is family-run and has been around for over 50 years, so it’s easy to see why it has become a staple for those who live here.

Breakfast is incredibly popular at Captain’s Table, as the menu consists of multiple egg and omelet dishes, combined with bacon, sausage, and other breakfast favorites. You can also order pancakes and French toast, or choose a breakfast burrito.

On Sundays, make sure you get there early to enjoy the restaurant’s brunch menu, which includes various Bloody Mary creations, each constructed with the house-made mix.

The fun at Captain’s Table doesn’t stop after breakfast and brunch, as the restaurant is also a go-to lunch spot for many locals. Seafood, soups, sandwiches, paninis, salads, and burgers are available at lunchtime, and there is a kid's menu should you want to bring the little ones. Cape Cod Beer is on tap, as well, because, hey, you’re on vacation.

Dinner in Chatham

Once you’ve had your breakfast and lunch, it’s time to start thinking about what to do for dinner. Again, you’ll have plenty of options, but if you want to know what a local would do, the answer probably involves a trip to Chatham Raw Bar or Pate’s Restaurant.

While Raw Bar technically sits along Main Street, it’s set back away from the road, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might miss it. Perhaps this is why the restaurant is a local favorite, although it could also be the collection of hand-selected, locally-produced oysters and shellfish on its menu. You'll also find tuna, lobster, scallops, prawns, mussels, and chowder at the establishment, so be sure to check it out if you're looking for a seafood dinner.

Pate's Restaurant has been around since 1957 and is somewhat of a landmark in the area. This is the place to go if you're in search of a meal that is cooked to perfection using only the finest ingredients available. The prime rib at Pate's is famous, and they make a pretty good steak, too. The baked potatoes, lobster, and grilled seafood are also recommended, and you can expect to find an impressive wine list.

Try Some Pizza

While New York and Chicago get all of the attention for their pizza, it might surprise to you learn that there are some who think the pizza on Cape Cod is actually better. The scene might not be as large or competitive as in those major centers, but the quality is unmistakably top notch.

A few doors down from Pate's is one of the best in Chatham: New England Pizza. This is more than a pizza restaurant, as soups, salads, subs, pasta, and burgers are on the menu, but its Greek-style pizza is the reason why locals return time after time. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has take-out and kid's menus, as well.

Almost directly across Main Street from Captain’s Table is Carmine’s, a pizza restaurant and cafe that always draws a local crowd. This pizzeria offers pizza by the slice and a selection of specialty pies that aren't to be missed. If you're tired of the same old varieties found at every pizza chain in the country, give Carmine's a try for some uniquely different combinations. Calzones, subs, smoothies, and salads are always on the menu, too.

Donuts, Pastries, and Desserts

Fancy a snack, dessert, light breakfast, or lunch? Chatham Village Cafe & Bakery has you covered with its freshly-baked breads, bagels, pastries, pies, and cakes. They bake every day at this small bakery, so you can be confident that you’re receiving some of the freshest baked goods on Cape Cod.

The breakfast and lunch menus feature a selection of sandwiches, and you can pick-up a pie or some pastries to enjoy at your Cape Cod vacation rental after dinner. Grab a loaf of fresh bread and some donuts while you're at it to set yourself up for days to come.

Something For Everyone

When spending time in Chatham, it’s nice to know how easy it is to find a good meal. As you walk down the town’s Main Street, dining opportunities will pop out at you, but by going where the locals return time after time, you can assure yourself of receiving a good meal at a fair price in a venue that shows you the real Cape Cod.

There is so much selection when walking through Chatham that you’re sure to find something appealing, no matter what you are in the mood to try.



Chatham Chatham Dining Hidden Restaurants Local Eats Where To Eat In Chatham

Finding Cape Cod's Secret Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 24, 2018


If you’re heading to Cape Cod this summer, you’ll surely check out some beaches at some point. After all, we’ve got some of the best beaches in the entire country, and you’d be selling your vacation short if you don’t stop by a few of them.

The thing is, you’re not the only one with this idea. Crowds can be an issue at the area’s most popular beaches, making these areas less appealing for those who want to relax. When travelling with kids, you might also want a quieter beach, just to make things easier to handle.

Well-known beaches like Nauset, Coast Guard, and West Dennis, while scenic, are very popular during the summer. There’s also parking, which is another issue altogether.

Luckily, there are a few hidden gems throughout the Cape that you can check out if you are interested in the sand, surf, sun and a more peaceful setting. It doesn’t matter what part of Cape Cod your vacation rental is on, there’s a secret beach nearby.

Thumpertown Beach in Eastham photo credit- Cape Cod Online- Vacation Cape Cod

We'll start this list off with an easy one, as Thumpertown Beach isn't exactly hidden, nor is it difficult to find. The beach is, however, far less crowded than many Cape Cod beaches and provides a quiet place to enjoy the sun. The beach is popular with locals who don't want to navigate the crowds of Sunken Meadow Beach and First Encounter Beach, which flank Thumpertown Beach. Best of all, this beach has a small parking lot and stairs running down to the sea, making it accessible for everyone.

You can get to Thumpertown Beach quickly from Route 6 in Eastham. Look for McKoy Road and then take it to Thumpertown Road, where you'll come across the parking lot. The beach is excellent for family vacations because the parking lot is close to the water.

Bound Brook Island Beach in Wellfleet

Making the trek to Bound Brook Island Beach is all about the views. On a clear day, you can stand on one of the 50-foot-high sand dunes overlooking the water and see Provincetown to the north and Plymouth to the west, all the way across Cape Cod Bay.

To get to the beach, you'll have to take Bound Brook Island Road, which is mostly dirt, all the way to a dirt parking lot. The road isn’t well-marked, but you will see a sign directing you to Atwood Higgins House. It might look like you’re heading down a private driveway, but you’re not. Keep going, and you’ll eventually find parking. Once you reach the parking area, it's a bit of a hike down to the water, and you'll have to navigate the dunes along the way. Hey, no one said finding your own personal paradise was going to be easy.

Cow Yard Landing in Chatham

A beach that's not really hidden, but isn't busy either, is found in North Chatham. Cow Yard Landing beach is more for boating than anything else, as you'll see a number of watercrafts in the ocean, making it a great place to stop if you're looking to do some kayaking.

Luckily, the beach is easy to find, as Cow Yard Landing sits in a residential area just off Old Harbor Road and close to Route 28. There's plenty of parking along Cow Yard Lane, as well, so you won’t have to worry about searching for a spot.

Crowes Pasture Beach in Dennis

Discover one of the more secluded beaches on Cape Cod in the Crowes Pasture Conservation area in Dennis. It will necessitate some effort to reach the beach, as you'll walk a mile-long trail through some marshland to get to the sand from the parking area. The good news is this beach is basically untouched by civilization, other than some oyster farms, providing a rustic experience.

To reach the beach, exit Old King's Highway at South Street and follow the signs directing you to the Crowes Pasture Conservation Area. Follow the signs to the parking area and go from there.

Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History in Brewster

Perhaps the simplest seashore on this list to find, due to its location directly behind the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, this beach is well worth the stroll. The seaside area is massive, with tons of white sand and space to stretch out away from the crowds.

While you can't park right at the museum, unless you're a paying customer, spots are available at Drummer Boy Park. From the park, it's a five-minute walk along Main Street, or Route 6, to the museum and then a short stroll along a marked trail to the water.

Forget About the Crowds

If the crowds are the one thing keeping you away from the beaches of Cape Cod, all it takes is a little effort to find a flawlessly secluded location to enjoy. Peace and quiet are abundant all over The Cape, even in the summer; all you have to do is know where to look.

When you plan your Cape Cod Vacation, whether you're looking for activities for your children or you want to sit on the beach with absolutely nothing to do, there's fun for everyone on Cape Cod's scenic beaches.

*Photo Credit CapeCodOnline.com



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