Cape Cod National Seashore – A Massachusetts Treasure

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(Caption: Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Photo by Margo Tabb)

Magical, dramatic, inspiring and perfect are just some of the words Trip Advisor visitors use to describe the Cape Cod National Seashore. But words cannot do justice to this unique and diverse natural resource – the Cape Cod National Seashore is a place you must experience for yourself.

In 2013, more than 4.5 million visitors journeyed here to enjoy the beaches, marshes, ponds stretching across 43,607 acres on the Outer Cape, a testament to the natural beauty that beckons visitors from around the world.

Run by the National Park Service, the sprawling park includes “40 miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds and uplands (that) support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today’s visitors.” Among the treasures of the park:

- Six beaches, which offer a variety of recreational opportunities, including: Coast Guard and Nauset Light in Eastham, Marconi in Wellfleet, Head of the Meadow in Truro, and Race Point and Herring Cove in Provincetown.

- Three bicycle trails, including Nauset Trail in Eastham, Head of the Meadow Trail in Truro and the Province Lands Trail in Provincetown.

- Eleven self-guiding trails for walking with the seashore in Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown

The credit for protecting and preserving these natural landscapes of the Outer Cape go back to the 1950s, when National Parks officials teamed with public officials and local residents to introduce legislation “for the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore.” President John F. Kennedy, a proud resident of Cape Cod himself, officially signed the Cape Cod National Seashore Bill on August 7, 1961. He said at the time, “From personal knowledge I realize very well how useful this is going to be for the people of the Cape and Massachusetts and New England and the entire United States.”

Today the Cape Cod National Seashore is a viable tourism treasure that helps bolster the local economy and provide jobs. In 2013, visitors spent $185.7 million in communities near the park, and that spending supported 2,226 jobs in the local area, according to the National Parks Service. Across the Commonwealth, NPS maintains 18 parks, consisting of 46,000 acres. Over 10.4 million people visit these parks each year, producing $432 million in economic benefits.

National parks are just one of many reasons tourists visit Massachusetts each year, along with history, culture, performing arts, sports and shopping. Find more details on all the Massachusetts has to offer by visiting