The Beach Times

Spending the Day at Mashpee's South Cape Beach State Park
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Wednesday, January 27, 2021

photo of south cape beach

With so many beaches on Cape Cod, selecting one to visit can be a challenge.

Sure, heading to the Cape Cod National Seashore is a must-do, but what about days on the calmer waters of Cape Cod Bay or Nantucket Sound?

One location worth checking out in Mashpee is South Cape Beach State Park, a scenic venue with access to both Waquoit Bay and Vineyard Sound sitting just west of New Seabury.

This park is secluded but has all of the activities you'd want to try on your vacation, making it an excellent place to spend an entire day in the sun.

Getting There

It doesn't take much to reach South Cape Beach State Park, despite its seemingly remote location. 

The easiest way to get there is via Great Neck Road South, which intersects with Route 28 near Mashpee Commons. Great Neck Road South eventually turns into Great Oak Road, and you can follow it to the park's entrance. The drive from the highway only takes about ten minutes.

There's a dirt parking lot near the beach, and the daily fees are $15 for Massachusetts residents and $40 for non-residents between Memorial Day and November. The vehicle's license plates determine residency.

After getting to the parking lot, you'll have to walk to the beach. Fortunately, there's a boardwalk that connects to the waterfront area, making it an easy jaunt. It isn't a long stroll, and the payoff is spectacular.

What's at the Beach?

Once you get to the water, you'll have access to over a mile of white sand. Here, you can swim in the ocean, enjoy the picnic area or use the on-site grills. There's a lookout over the beach, too, which is an excellent place to take in a sunset.

You might see a few people fishing from the shore, although they'll typically move down the beach and away from the swimmers.

The water is relatively calm at this location, as well, and there are public washrooms near the parking lot.

This beach is a pleasant place for families because it has so much space, and even those who don't like lounging in the sand will find some activities to keep them occupied.

Nearby Hiking Trails

While you'll likely spend much of your day at South Cape Beach State Park by the water, there are also some hiking trails to explore.

The easiest to access is the Great Flat Pond Loop, which you can reach from the main parking lot. There are other parking areas along the road into the park, too, so you'll have a few different places to begin. The trail heads through woodlands and wetlands and meanders over to Sage Lot Pond and its surrounding salt marsh.

The other primary path through this area is Dead Neck Trail, which runs from the parking lot along the dunes to Waquoit Bay's mouth. The best thing about Dead Neck Trail is that you can walk down to a private section of the beach at any point, providing reason enough to give it a try.

These hiking trails aren't rugged or technical, but they provide scenic places to explore away from the bustle of some of the Cape's other beaches.

The Boat Launch

Finally, there's a boat launch at the far west end of the park where you can put a canoe or kayak into Waquoit Bay. In fact, this is one of the only places you can reach Waquoit Bay via car.

Once at the boat launch, you can carry your small boat to the water and explore the bay. There's also a small beach with calm, shallow water that might be worth a look if you're traveling with kids.

This boat launch isn't anything fancy, but Waquoit Bay is one of the Cape's most scenic and secluded locations, so if you have the opportunity to do some paddling there, make sure you do it.

A Full Day on the Ocean

When you book a vacation rental on Cape Cod, beaches are undoubtedly in your future. The only question is which ones you'll choose to visit because you will have nearly unlimited options.

If you're staying in the Mashpee area, South Cape Beach is well worth your time because it feels like an off-the-beaten-path location while sitting mere minutes from downtown.

As a result, you can spend an entire day in the sun at this beach before returning to your vacation rental for dinner in no time at all.

For the perfect mix of serenity and accessibility, it's tough to beach South Cape Beach in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

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