But this shore will never be more attractive than it is now. Such beaches as are fashionable are here made and unmade in a day, I may almost say, by the sea shifting its sands. What are springs and waterfalls? Here is the spring of springs, the waterfall of waterfalls. A storm in the fall or winter is the time to visit it; a lighthouse or a fisherman's hut the true hotel. A man may stand there and put all America behind him.
—Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod
Created in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Cape Cod National Seashore consists of 43,500 acres of beaches, ponds, and woods, stretching from Chatham to Provincetown, Massachusetts. The beaches are windswept and the water is cold, but the views are spectacular. Nauset Lighthouse provides a perfect New England photo op and Coast Guard Beach was rated one of America’s top ten beaches in 2007.
But the Cape is more than just beaches. From well-kept bike trails to hikes through salt marshes, this park offers plenty for the outdoor enthusiast. And for history buffs, there are sites associated with the Pilgrims, Marconi's first transatlantic wireless station, and the Old Harbor Life Saving Station, which witnessed some of the over 1,000 shipwrecks that occurred off the coast from the 18th to 19th centuries.
The quaint gray cottages that nestle among the dunes speak of many happy memories—flying kites on the beach, gathering beach plums to make jelly, exploring a shipwreck washed up on the shore, searching for "sea glass" and shells. Let Cape Cod National Seashore create some wonderful memories for you.