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Looking for the best Provincetown beaches to enjoy the perfect summer day down the Cape? Located at the very tip of the arm of Massachusetts, Ptown is a super popular spot for summer getaways.
Known as an LGBTQ+ haven and artists’ paradise, there are so many more things to do in Provincetown than just going to the beach. But you can’t be down the Cape and not get your toes in the sand!
There aren’t tons of beaches in Ptown, but there are a few you should know about, and then a few you should drive to elsewhere on the Outer Cape during your visit.
Find out where to stay in Provincetown and what you should look for when booking your accommodations based on your interests.
Iconic Provincetown Beaches
Race Point Beach
Located at the end of Race Point Road off Route 6, Race Point Beach has everything you need for a fun summer beach trip.
Perhaps the most historic beach in Provincetown, Race Point is the northernmost point of Cape Cod, and the beach extends south towards the Atlantic for more than 40 miles.
The most prominent feature of the beach — besides the breathtaking dunes — is the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, one of the first safe places for shipwreck survivors to go for shelter and food.
Because of Cape Cod’s shallow waters and ever-changing sandbars, more than 3,000 shipwrecks were recorded over the last 300 years, making life-saving stations a necessity.
Today, this structure is a monument and museum dedicated to all those who risked, and lost, their lives at sea.
Visit the museum, hike the dunes, and play in the large waves splashing up on the shore.
This beach has bathrooms, showers, and changing rooms in season, and there are large mats on the main walkways most of the way down to the water for accessibility.
Don’t forget to check out Race Point Lighthouse while you’re there.
Herring Cove Beach
Herring Cove is the best beach in Provincetown to watch the sunset.
There is so much to do on this beach, from whale watching to tide pool exploration to rare shorebird sightings.
This is also one of the only beaches on the Cape Cod Bay side of Provincetown, so you can enjoy calmer waves and warmer water here.
Herring Cove features a snack bar, live music at night in the summer months, and accessible beach wheelchairs available from the beach lifeguards.
The gentler waves and all the helpful amenities make this the perfect beach for families.
Just be aware of ticks and poison ivy, especially at the peak of the summer season.
Once you’ve splashed in the waves and danced to the live music at Herring Cove, make sure you check in to the AWOL Hotel (59 Province Lands Rd), also known as the Inn at the Moors.
Less than a mile away from the access point to Herring Cove Beach, this rustic beach house-like hotel affords amazing views of the marshes, an outdoor fireplace, patio seating, and a gorgeous outdoor pool.
It’s the perfect jumping-off point for beach days in Ptown!
Beaches Close to Downtown Provincetown
Provincetown Cove Dog Beach
Provincetown Cove Dog Beach (55 Commercial St) is a free and calm-water beach that, you guessed it, allows dogs!
It’s the only beach in P-town that allows dogs to run completely off-leash, so let your furry friends loose.
Get to the beach at the access point behind Land’s End Hardware on Commercial St and bring doggie bags, a leash, and treats.
It is important your pup can come back when called and behave well around other animals, so make sure you’re prepared.
There are leash requirements in the off-season and at other times, so check ahead of time before you go.
There is lots of paid parking around the access point, but there are no public restrooms.
After playing in the sand, enjoy fresh seafood or an incredible brunch at Victor’s (175 Bradford St Ext), just a short walk from the Dog Beach access point.
There are also multiple fantastic accommodations that are pet-friendly in the area.
Two miles along the coast from Dog Beach, take a look at the Breakwater Hotel (716 Commercial St).
The lightly-decorated rooms with bay views and an exceptional continental breakfast will be perfect for your stay in Provincetown.
The highlight of this hotel is the waterfront sun terrace, with tons of deck chairs and an amazing view of the bay.
Another pet-friendly option closer to Dog Beach is the Brasswood Inn (174 Commercial Street), a beautiful 11-room Victorian mansion.
Rooms include a private bathroom and shower, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a fridge.
Guests can also enjoy a continental breakfast (vegetarian options are included).
Check out more options in our guide to the best pet-friendly hotels in Ptown.
Provincetown Harbor Beach
Provincetown Harbor Beach, a small beach located next to MacMillan Pier, is perfect for watching the sunrise.
There is tons of parking available in the nearby lot and bathrooms are available as well.
Right off the main downtown area, you’ll love the ease of just walking right onto the beach after shopping downtown.
The accessibility of this beach from the main street makes this the best beach in downtown Provincetown.
Don’t forget to visit the farmer’s market across the street, featuring fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers!
And if you want to spend the night, there are lots of hotels in Provincetown located in the downtown area.
Best Secluded Beaches in Provincetown MA
Long Point Beach
If you’re looking for a quiet and secluded beach away from the crowds, make your way to a true local favorite: Long Point Beach at the end of Route 6.
This is the only Provincetown beach that is at the very tip of Massachusetts.
Jutting out into the ocean, you can enjoy the sea views from nearly all angles.
You can get to the beach one of two ways:
- Start at MacMillan Pier (Ryder St Ext) and hike along the Provincetown Causeway
- Hop on the Long Point Beach Ferry from the same pier and ride 20 minutes to the beach
The long jetty made of large, flat rocks is perfect for kids to explore or for a family to set up a picnic in the sun.
You can also explore the exterior of the Long Point Lighthouse, a small yet stately lighthouse built in 1875!
There are no bathrooms or running water at all on Long Point Beach, so make sure are prepared for your stay and have a swift exit plan in an emergency.
Just around the corner from your starting point at MacMillan Pier, you’ll find the quaint and historic Pilgrim House hotel (336 Commercial St).
It is conveniently close to the most impressive landmarks in Ptown and just steps away from the ocean.
The seasonal bar, outdoor patios, and award-winning hospitality make the Pilgrim House a must-stay.
High Head Beach
Just south of Provincetown is a little town called North Truro; High Head Beach is right on the border between the two, a short 10-minute drive from downtown Ptown.
High Head is secluded and far away from the tourist crowds, making it a beloved locals’ beach.
The access point for High Head is a bit of a challenge, but it’s not too tough to navigate off of Route 6.
Turn off Route 6 at High Head Rd, and you’ll eventually come to one fork after another; turn left at both.
Once you park along the trail, hike the rest of the way to the beach, climbing over dunes and over some rocky terrain.
After you make the journey to the beach, you’ll get to enjoy miles and miles of soft sand, beautiful waves, and even rare shorebird sightings.
Beaches Near Provincetown
With the Cape Cod National Seashore on your doorstep, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore protected natural beauty and gorgeous stretches of sand elsewhere on the Outer Cape.
Driving from Provincetown to one of these nearby beaches can be a great day trip during your vacation.
Coast Guard Beach
One of the gems of the Cape Cod National Seashore is Coast Guard Beach, just south of Provincetown.
With incredible swimming, views of the expansive marsh, and seal and rare shorebird sightings, you can’t miss this iconic Cape Cod beach.
Park at Little Creek Beach during the summer months, just west of Coast Guard Beach, and take a free shuttle to the main access point.
In the off-season, there are no parking restrictions at the parking lot connected directly to the beach.
There are seasonal restrooms and changing rooms, and there are wheelchair-accessible ramps leading to the shore.
Occasionally, you might encounter shark warnings at Coast Guard Beach, so be sure to check ahead of time if you’re planning on spending the day swimming in the water!
If you’re hungry after a day in the waves, make sure you stop by Local Break (4550 State Hwy) for a burger and a beer.
This restaurant is open year-round and is an absolute favorite among the locals.
You’ll love the creative, seasonal, and fresh meals served up by the most talented chefs and the super local drafts.
First Encounter Beach
For another great family-friendly beach option, head just a bit south to Eastham to First Encounter Beach (Samoset Rd).
The kids will love exploring the tide pools at low tide and the ice cream truck that passes by throughout the day.
Parents can appreciate the gentler waves, and quiet and secluded beach atmosphere.
Play on the dunes, walk the dog, or just sit and watch the sunset at one of the best Cape Cod beaches.
For a more in-depth understanding of the history of the European settlers arriving to America at what is present-day Provincetown, book this Self-Drive Audio Tour.
Begin your tour at the Cape Cod Visitor Center in Barnstable.
The tour mentions the historic meeting of European settlers and the Nauset people at First Encounter Beach, so you can pause there to enjoy the scenery.
The tour continues back to Provincetown, where you can explore the monuments and architecture of the downtown area, the beautiful lighthouses, and the wildlife and cultural highlights of the town.
It is important to recognize the impact of the Europeans on the tribe; the settlers abducted Nauset members to sell into slavery in Spain and introduced deadly diseases into the population.
For more insights into the Wampanoag people and their interactions with the Pilgrims, be sure to check our recommended things to do in Ptown for educational opportunities.
We hope this guide to Provincetown’s best beaches helped you plan the perfect summer vacation! Let us know your favorite sandy spots in the comments below.