What makes a perfect beach? Clean, fine sand on a broad beach contained by a steep glacial scarp; minimal amounts of seaweed, stones and shells; waves high enough to challenge body boarders but not flatten recreational swimmers; enough space for everyone to spread out; and the sight of a postcard-worthy red and white lighthouse high up above the dunes. It simply doesn’t get more idyllic than that.
Nauset Light Beach is our favorite ocean-side destination. A beach rose-lined path leads past a small enclave of rest rooms, changing rooms, an outdoor shower and bulletin board with charming handwritten notes about the current ocean temperature and drawings of birds and sea creatures. the path leads to a wooden staircase where a few built-in benches at the top provide a perfect perch for picture-snapping and taking deep cleansing breaths. We often stop by early in the morning, coffee and Hole-in-One donut in hand (read the post, “If Donuts Are Your Obsession” if handmade donuts are one of the things you can’t resist) to see whether the surf’s up so we can plan our day accordingly. There are no food concessions at Nauset Light Beach but that’s fine by me. The simplicity of the place is a big part of its charm. The beach is not handicapped-accessible. Dogs are allowed on-leash in season. While bonfires are permitted, camping is not. Visitors are charged a $15 daily parking fee in season to enter the ample-size lot, or $45 for a seasonal pass, which allows unlimited entry to all six Cape Cod National Seashore beaches. The parking lot fills by 9 or 10 a.m. in season and begins to thin out around 4:30 p.m.
Want to check the surf before you head to the beach? Follow this link:Nauset Light Beach surf forecast and surf report.
(Photograph: Cape Cod Beach Chair Company)