One of the most popular places on the Cape, Nauset Beach is a true treasure for both locals and seasonal visitors. The public beach is known for its surfing and swimming, complete with fantastic spots for sunbathing, too. While the ocean water is sometimes cool, it certainly doesn’t deter the crowds, in search of fantastic waves and miles of sand. It’s also an excellent location for families to spend a fun, leisurely afternoon.
While Nauset Beach shares a similar name with Nauset Light Beach, the two are entirely different. Nauset Beach includes 10-miles of white sand and surf, stretching from Orleans to Chatham. It is a popular location for swimming and boogie boarding, while surfing is permitted between the hours of 9am-6pm along the non-protected beach areas. Off-roaders may also head out on to the beach trails as long as they have a permit.
The beach does have lifeguards, plus a picnic area, showers and restrooms during the summer season. You will also find bike racks and places to rent beach equipment. If you don’t pack your own picnic lunch, you can always head to the snack bar, open each year starting on Memorial Day and closing Labor Day. As well, the location mixes in live music throughout the summer months. Typically you’ll hear free outdoor concerts on Monday and Tuesday evenings during the month of July, as well as Monday nights in August at the Nauset Beach Gazebo.
Because the beach is so popular with locals and visitors, area leaders have taken an interest in doing what they can to protect the beach for generations to come. Erosion is sadly taking a toll on the site and preservationists are trying to come up with a comprehensive plan to prevent the recurring problem in the future.
In the meantime, though, the crowds continue to pour in, especially during summer season. When you go to Nauset Beach keep in mind that the location is so popular that it’s sometimes hard to find a parking spot. While the parking lot is large, with enough space for 900 cars, it does sometimes fill up. Make sure to arrive either early in morning or late in the afternoon to claim a spot in the parking lot and on the sand. The beach is busiest in July and on the weekends, with thinner crowds coming out on the weekdays. Daily, weekly and seasonal parking permits are all available.