Nine Chatham Beaches to Explore
Beautiful Oyster Pond, which is actually a saltwater pond, offers the perfect respite from the busy downtown area. The water is warm and calm, and children spend hours playing around the swim raft. Beachgoers will often see swim lessons taking place in the pond. Unique to this pond is the park area that features picnic tables, charcoal grills and benches. All these amenities make this the ideal spot for families of all ages.
Parking: No fees. Lifeguards: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. June 21-Sept 1. Restrooms.
Cockle Cove Beach
Cockle Cove Beach benefits from the warm waters of Nantucket Sound. Calm waters offer ideal swimming conditions that include shallow areas for the little ones. The beach offers nice walking areas with a lovely bridge. This beach is also a perfect spot for windsurfers and kayakers who are seeking easy launching areas. Parking fees: $15 daily/$60 weekly/$125 seasonal. Lifeguards: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. June 21 – Sept. 1. Portable restrooms.
This beach is the ideal escape for those seeking a quieter atmosphere. Beautiful sunsets and moonlit strolls are a favorite of many regular visitors. This beach is utilized predominantly by local cottage owners and renters. Calm warm waters, the signature of beaches lining Nantucket Sound, make this a family friendly beach and ideal for swimmers. While the parking is limited and there are no amenities, Forest Beach benefits from regular visits by the ice cream truck. Limited free parking. No amenities.
Part of Nauset Beach
North Beach offers a true ocean beach experience. Open to the Atlantic, the waters are cooler and the surf can be powerful. Those who wish to visit this amazing beach can get there by four-wheel drive vehicles with oversand permits or water taxis that leave regularly from Chatham fish pier. Access to the beach via the sand can be limited during Piping Plover nesting season. There are no amenities at this beach, so picnics, beverages and self-contained bathroom facilities (especially for those who wish to stay overnight) are a must. A day out on this beach is a real treat for those who love the peacefulness and power of the ocean. No amenities.
This teeny, tiny beach at the end of Cotchpinicut Road is a piece of paradise for those who live within walking distance and the lucky few who can take advantage of the four available parking spaces. Beachgoers can enjoy the quiet, peaceful and warm waters of Pleasant Bay. This landing is also a favorite for launching small boats. No amenities.
On Pleasant Bay in North Chatham
This beach sits on Pleasant Bay, the largest contiguous bay to the Cape Cod National Seashore. Warm shallow waters sheltered from the winds off the ocean make this a nice beach for children. Beachgoers can enjoy beautiful views of the bay and those who are into water activities can windsurf, fish, canoe or kayak. Hiking and picnicking around Pleasant Bay offers another way of taking advantage of this beautiful natural resource. No amenities; some town landings for small craft available.
Tidal pools, a large sandy beach, lifeguards and warm calm waters make this beach popular with families and children of all ages. Ridgevale Beach also has that all-important snack bar in season that allows families to take a break from bringing a family picnic. Beautiful scenery will occupy the adults while the children explore the wildlife and changing beachscape as the tides ebb and flow. Parking fees: $15 daily/$60 weekly/$125 seasonal. Lifeguards: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. June 21 – Sept. 1. Restrooms. Seasonal snackbar.
Swimming, games, nature hikes, boating, kayaking, or just plain relaxing are all activities that a beachgoer can enjoy at Hardings Beach. It goes without saying that sandcastle building has become a very popular pastime at this beach as young and old engage in creating simple to complex sand structures. This is the largest beach in Chatham and offers two parking lots to accommodate the crowds. Lifeguards at three stations monitor the safety of swimmers to ensure a fun and safe experience. Parking fees: $15 daily/$60 weekly/$125 seasonal. Lifeguards: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. June 21- Sept. 1. Bathhouse with shower. Food truck.
Chatham Lighthouse Beach
Near Downtown Chatham
Often referred to as the best beach on Cape Cod, Chatham Lighthouse Beach is a must visit. Just a half mile from downtown, the beach is easily accessible and features a wide, beautiful expanse of beach that offers great walks toward Monomoy Island. While cooler waters and tricky currents are typical of this beach, the opportunity to sit in the sun and watch the seals and fishing boats move across the water easily makes up for swimming. No amenities; parking available with parking meters. Beach patrols monitor the beach, but there are no lifeguards. Swimming is at-your-own-risk.