Coast Guard Beach is a strip of sand that travelers won’t want to overlook when planning their summer vacations on the East Coast. Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, or "Dr. Beach," as he is also known, ranked it sixth on his 2012 best beaches in the U.S. list. That is reason enough to keep this beach in mind when heading to the Atlantic shores. If you need one more reason to visit Coast Guard Beach, you might appreciate the fact that it is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. This means that it is protected from over-development and thus maintains a rather pristine nature.
Coast Guard Beach certainly ranks among the best Cape Cod beaches. Its allure lies largely in the fact that it remains in a mostly natural state. Visitors who wish to bask in the beauty of it all often treat themselves to long walks on the sand. Coast Guard Beach is also ideal for swimming, at least during the peak season – mid-June to Labor Day. As for its name, overlooking the beach and its dunes is an old Coast Guard station that was in operation from 1937 to 1958. In 1961, the former station became the first headquarters of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Today, it houses the Cape Cod National Seashore’s National Environmental Educational Development (NEED) program, which caters to school groups.
Coast Guard Beach is found in the Eastham area of Cape Cod, about halfway between Chatham and Provincetown. There is a parking area at the beach. However, it is only available for park staff and disabled visitors during the peak summer season. It remains open to the general public the remainder of the year. During the peak season, everyone else who is planning on driving over to Coast Guard Beach can park at the Little Creek parking area and hop on a shuttle bus that will take them the rest of the way. In addition to a small parking area, the Coast Guard Beach facilities include seasonal restrooms and a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
Top image: William DeSousa Mauk