The Beach Times

A Guide to Spending Your Vacation in Eastham, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, June 1, 2020

Although Eastham isn't one of Cape Cod's best-known locations, it provides an enjoyable place to spend a vacation because there's a little bit of everyone in one small area.

Eastham is excellent because not only is it right on both Cape Cod Bay and the Cape Cod National Seashore, but it also features numerous ponds that provide exceptional places to visit away from the ocean.

Locals see Eastham as one of the Cape's best-kept secrets, but it won't stay that way for long because of the abundance of activities there.

Here's a look at some of the great ways you can spend your time in Eastham, MA, during your Cape Cod vacation.

Eastham's Ponds

Some visitors to the Cape overlook the area's ponds, but that is a mistake when it comes to Eastham. Most of the ponds in this town are just west of Route 6, making them easily accessible when traveling up the Cape. Herring Pond, Jemima Pond, Mill Pond, and Depot Pond are scenic areas that you can reach via the Cape Cod Rail Trail or one of the many roads exiting the highway.

The largest of the bunch is Great Pond, which has two beaches - Great Pond Beach and Wiley Park Beach - that offer outstanding opportunities to relax by the water without fighting the crowds or dealing with the sometimes unpredictable weather on the ocean.

At Wiley Park, you'll find an extensive network of trails running through the woods around the pond and a playground for the kids. Wiley Park also has a beautiful beach, swimming area, and parking lot, making it a great location to spend the day.

You'll also find lovely scenery at Great Pond Beach, in addition to a boat launch, if you've brought your watercraft with you on vacation.

If you have a vacation rental in Eastham, make Great Pond your destination for at least one day.

Oceanfront Beaches in Eastham

Of course, you didn't travel to Cape Cod to avoid the ocean and, luckily, Eastham has outstanding access to a few beautiful beaches.

On the Cape Cod Bay side of things, you'll find First Encounter Beach, Herring Brook Beach, Hatch Beach, Thumpertown Beach, Kingsbury Beach, Cooks Brook Beach, and Campground Beach, to name a few. Keep in mind that only First Encounter and Cooks Brook allow for day passes for non-residents.

On the Cape Cod National Seashore side of town, you'll come across Nauset Light Beach and Coast Guard Beach, two of the area's most popular destinations for locals. The views out to sea from these beaches are outstanding, and you can swim there when the water is calm enough.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail

We mentioned that you could access a few ponds in Eastham from the Cape Cod Rail Trail, but there's so much more you can do if you go for a ride.

This trail runs 25 miles between South Dennis and Wellfleet, passing destinations like downtown Orleans, Nickerson State Park, and downtown Brewster along the way. You can see a lot of Cape Cod in a single day if you ride the trail, and there are numerous places to rent a bike on the Cape, as well.

Restaurants on Route 6

With all that time spent roaming the beaches and exploring the trails, you'll need to eat somewhere, and Eastham is full of great restaurants, especially along Route 6.

Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar is an iconic restaurant that's famous for its lobster rolls and fried clams. Plus, the venue has a mini-golf course and serves beer, wine, cocktails, and gourmet ice cream.

As its name suggests, Red Barn Pizza is known for its pizza, but they also have soups, salads, burgers, and pasta on the menu. There's mini-golf, ice cream, beer, and wine here, so you can make a night of it when you stop by.

If you're searching for breakfast, Hole-in-One has an extensive menu and is also famous for its hand-cut donuts. You can get lunch at this restaurant, too, or pick up some bakery items to enjoy at your vacation rental.

For dessert, Nauset Ice Cream is one of the top destinations in Eastham, thanks to its selection of over 30 types of ice cream. There's also a variety of sorbets and yogurts available, in addition to frappes, milkshakes, smoothies, and floats.

There are many more restaurants on this strip of highway in Eastham, so be sure to check it out from your vacation rental.

Eastham's Historic Sites

Cape Cod as a whole is full of history, and Eastham is no different.

When it town, make sure you visit the 1868 Captain Penniman House, Indian Rock, the Windmill Green and Bandstand, featuring a windmill from 1680, and the Cape Cod National Seashore Museum.

First Encounter Beach is also historically significant because it's the location of the first interaction between Pilgrims and Native Americans when the former first arrived in the New World.

Find a Vacation Rental in Eastham, MA

Eastham, Massachusetts, only has a population of about 4,900 people, but that doesn't prevent it from being one of the top vacation destinations on the East Coast. This town has excellent beaches, high-end restaurants, and impressive history, ensuring visitors never run out of things to do while there.

It's also helpful to know that Eastham is a short drive from places like Provincetown, Orleans, Brewster, and Wellfleet, so you can explore other towns during your time on Cape Cod.


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