Cape Cod National Seashore | RACE POINT BEACH

Race Point Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

Race Point Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore


See the Beaches at Cape Cod web page for an interactive location map.


Race Point Beach sits at the mouth of Cape Cod Bay at the northernmost point of Cape Cod National Seashore. I’m not sure if it is technically on the bay or the Atlantic Ocean, but it is not hit by the full force of ocean waves, which makes it a selling point for those with small children. Furthermore, unlike many of the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, it is not flanked by tall dunes and cliffs, which makes it accessible to those in wheelchairs. The National Park Service does not, however, offer the use of beach wheelchairs like it does at Coast Guard Beach and Herring Cove Beach.

Calm waters at Race Point Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

Calm waters at Race Point Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

Like all beaches in the park, there is an access fee during the summer season: daily from late June through Labor day, and on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through the end of September. Prices vary depending on how you arrive. At the time of this writing, fees range from $25/day for vehicle parking to $15 for those arriving on foot or bike (16 and older). You can get an annual Cape Cod National Seashore pass for $60, or an annual National Park Pass for $80. Both are valid for access to National Park Service-managed beaches at Cape Cod, while the National Park Pass will also get you into any other National Park that charges an entrance fee. Keep in mind that neither of these passes is good for entry into town-managed beaches, even those within the National Seashore boundary. For the latest prices, visit the National Park Service’s official Fees and Passes web page.

Lifeguards are on duty from late June through Labor Day weekend on a designated stretch of beach, and certain restrictions apply in this area. For example, no pets, flotation devices, glass containers, or surfing is allowed.

Lifeguards on duty at Cape Cod National Seashore's Race Point Beach

Lifeguards on duty at Cape Cod National Seashore’s Race Point Beach

The only other amenities are a bathhouse, restroom, and outdoor rinse-off showers. You must bring everything you’ll need for a day at the beach—food, drinks, chairs, umbrellas, etc.

Restroom facility at Race Point Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

Restroom facility at Race Point Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

Race Point Beach has its own parking lot that can hold approximately 300 vehicles. If you must park at the far end, you have quite a hike ahead of you, but you can drop off gear and passengers near the beach access point. If you don’t have much to carry and want to save money, you can park for free at the Province Lands Visitor Center and bike or walk a half mile to the beach. The Ranger at the parking lot pay station told me that they often don’t bother collecting money unless you are in a vehicle. However, be prepared to pay the standard pedestrian or biker fee of $15 per person over the age of 16. The vehicle charge is $25, which includes as many people as you can fit inside.

If you read my comments on the main Beaches web page here on National Park Planner, you know that I am no fan of the beaches at Cape Cod when it comes to the practicality of swimming. Yes, they may be beautiful, but the water is damn cold and the small rock and pebble situation creates sheer misery for those with baby-soft feet like me. The sand where everyone sets up camp is not bad, but when you get down to the water the place is littered with small rocks. I suggest wearing mesh water shoes if you plan to visit. If you are stationed down by Eastham, there’s certainly no reason to come to Race Point Beach just to swim.

Rocky shoreline at Cape Cod National Seashore's Race Point Beach

Rocky shoreline at Cape Cod National Seashore’s Race Point Beach

Father and daughter build a rock castle at Cape Cod National Seashore's Race Point Beach

Father and daughter build a rock castle at Cape Cod National Seashore’s Race Point Beach

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Last updated on March 3, 2024
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