Eastham features towering dunes, pine forests, strong surf, meandering trails, and salt ponds that spill out into the sea. It packs quite a punch for a town that’s only 25 square miles. This Endless Dunes Fun & Sun Guide will help you to discover this epicenter of Cape Cod history and coastal beauty to the fullest.
We also offer a printed version with a map onsite at the motel!
Follow its suggestions during your stay, and you’ll experience the best on offer in town and in the lower cape communities that span the Cape Cod National Seashore.
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Explore Natural Eastham
Explore Natural Eastham
Cape Cod National Seashore
More than 40 miles of untouched oceanfront. Find pristine sandy beaches, ponds, marshes, lighthouses, coastal pine barrens, and wild cranberry bogs. Insider Tip: Head to the Nauset Salt Marsh for a birder’s paradise. View sandpipers, terns, black skimmers, and more.
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the shadow of Cape Cod’s largest glacial boulder. Located between Coast Guard Beach and Salt Pond Visitor Center, the 18-foot-high rock was named for original Eastham, MA settler, Deacon John Doane. Insider Tip: Deacon Doane’s name is mentioned by Henry David Thoreau in his 1865 book Cape Cod.
When you crave the shade or simply want a warmer water experience, check out the kettle ponds of Eastham and Wellfleet. They offer sweet spots for a quiet canoe or salt-free swim. Insider Tip: Ask our team for help determining the right one for you.
Similar to the Kettle Ponds, Pilgrim Lake in Orleans is a great option when you seek warmer waters. Fee-free parking, rest rooms, picnic tables, a nice sandy beach, and small crowds make this a great place to bring the kids. Insider Tip: Check into the swim lessons offered here though Orleans Parks & Recreation.
Fort Hill Area
This must-see area includes the Captain Penniman House and the Fort Hill Trail, which leads to one of the best views in Cape Cod — overlooking Nauset Marsh and on to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Insider Tip: Catch the morning or evening cloud reflections in the marshes for a great Instagram shot.
Salt Pond Visitor’s Center
The main visitor facility at Cape Cod National Seashore is home to a bookstore, museum, and a theater that plays the award winning film “Standing Bold”— a gorgeous look at Cape Cod’s history and nature. Insider Tip: Attend one of the fascinating short talks given by a ranger. Topics range from sharks and seals to marine plant life.
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
This special place to stroll through Cape Cod’s rugged landscape is just a short drive north. Wide-ranging trails lead you through pine woodlands, a biodiverse salt marsh, and a sandy barrier beach. Insider Tip: Ask our front desk for binoculars to help you spy marshland wildlife.
Discover the Past (& Present)
Discover the Past (& Present)
1868 Schoolhouse Museum
Furnished to replicate how it looked in 1869, the museum’s detail is amazing. The original schoolmaster’s desk is on display, as well as objects from the various facets of the town's history including shipwreck and Native American artifacts. Insider Tip: “Children” of all ages are welcomed (even encouraged!) to sit at desks and imagine what it was like to be a student of the period.
Captain Penniman House
Whaling captain Edward Penniman’s house, built in 1868, is considered an architectural masterpiece of its time. Handcrafted by local artisans, the Mansard-style mansion features numerous innovative ideas for that period, such as running water and stained glass windows. Insider Tip: Perriman’s daughter took many pictures of impromptu family gatherings. Look for one of her mother in pants (unheard of!) among the collection.
Built in 1680 in Plymouth, Eastham Windmill was moved to Eastham town green and restored in the 1960s. Open to the public in summer, it provides an extraordinary glimpse into the past and the internal workings of an operating windmill. Insider Tip: A 3-day "Windmill Weekend" over Labor Day features music, food and crafts booths, a cookout, a pancake breakfast, a road race, and a parade.
French Cable Station Museum
This historic home of the transatlantic cable station is a wonderfully odd little museum featuring original undersea telegraphic cables, instruments, maps, and assorted memorabilia. Insider Tip: In 1927, the message that Charles Lindbergh had landed in Paris came through this station from Paris!
Swift-Daley House Museum
A tour of the house provides great insight into an 18th century seafarer’s home. Built by a ship’s carpenter, the house features a bowed roof, wide board floors, and a deep fireplace in the keeping room. Insider Tip: Get a peak at hundreds of tools from the era, many of them unusual and unique to Cape Cod, at the Ranlett Tool Museum located behind the house.
Three Sisters Lighthouses
Built in 1837, these three small lighthouses eroded and fell into the sea in 1890. Rescued and restored, today the Three Sisters (so named because they resemble black-hatted women dressed in white) sit 1,800 feet west of Nauset Light — together on a plot of land dedicated to their slawart selves. Insider Tip: Stay back just as you enter the walking path and you can capture all three sisters in one photo.
Pioneers of maritime grape growing, this popular spot up Route 6 in Truro produces 10 wines with intense flavor and lush varietal character. Sample the offerings in the farmhouse tasting room. Insider Tip: Take the guided tour to learn about Edward Hopper’s visit.
Wellfleet Drive In
Just up Route 6 in neighboring Wellfleet, this 1957 drive-in is one of only 300 left in the US. Enjoy two movies for the price of one under the stars in your own vehicle. Insider Tip: Try the original speaker boxes (versus the radio) for a nostalgic treat.
Bike the Rail Trail (entrance at back of our property)
Paved and mostly flat, the 27.5-mile trail will zip you past briny seaports, sandy beaches, and diverse landscapes. The Endless Dunes grounds abut the trail, so you can hop on your bike and peddle away right from our property. Insider Tip: Plan a 30-mile (round trip) to the Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich. Gorgeous.
Fish the Surrounding Waters
The flats and rips around Rock Harbor, Wellfleet Harbor, Chatham Harbor, and the Monomoy Islands offer some of the best and most challenging salt-water fishing in the world. Local charter options include Wellfeet Charters, Billings Gate Charters, or Outer Cape Sailing. Insider Tip: Let the front desk know what fish you’re casting for and they can hook you up with the right charter.
Hike a Trail or Dune
In addition to miles of beaches that provide a wonderful walking environment, there are 11 walking trails in the Eastham and Wellfleet areas of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Ranging from 8.8-mile roundtrip Great Island Trail, to the 0.30-mile Buttonbush Trail loop, there’s a length for everyone. Insider Tip: The Red Maple Swamp Trail is a must in the fall as the forest comes alive with vibrant crimson.
Kayak Salt Pond & Beyond
Paddle through the marshes, tidal channels, and open waters surrounding Eastham and discover some of the best kayaking on the East Coast. The preserved areas allow for complete escape and intimate exposure to the incredible seabirds and marine creatures. Insider Tip: We highly recommend booking an adventure with Great Marsh Kayak Tours.
Whale Watch with the Dolphin Fleet
The Dolphin Fleet offers 3-4 hour trips guided by experienced naturalists. Cruise coastal waters in search of dolphins and humpbacks. Insider Tip: If you spot a humpback spyhopping be ready to look him in the eye! It’s the holy grail of whale watching behavior
Beach Hair, Don't Care
Beach Hair, Don't Care
Eastham Area Ocean Beaches
Coast Guard Beach
The closest beach to Endless Dunes and one of the most popular in the nation, Coast Guard Beach features stunning views of the ocean and salt marsh. Bathrooms and showers are onsite. It is impossible to park here in the summer, but luckily it is only a 15-minute bike ride from our front entrance. Insider Tip: Another option is to park at Little Creek and take the free shuttle from there.
Just south of Coast Guard Beach, this expansive stretch of sand extends down to the entrance of the bay. Insider Tip: Don’t mistake the northern part of Nauset Beach with the southern part, which is part of Orleans, the next town to the south, and a bit further away. Both beaches are great!
Nauset Light Beach
Just to confuse things even further, there also is Nauset Light Beach, which sits under the shadow of the Nauset Lighthouse and is further up the coast towards Wellfleet. Insider Tip: A lovely beach, it also is a short stroll from its soft sand to the Three Sisters lighthouses.
Popular for surfing and boogie boarding, Marconi Beach offers restrooms and outdoor showers, which prove a godsend for sea sports enthusiasts. Insider Tip: Seals often frequent Marconi, so be on the lookout!
Lecount Hollow Beach
A little further up the coast is Lecount Hollow which features big waves, lifeguards on duty, and very steep dunes. Insider Tip: Massive dunes make for beautiful views, but if you’re lugging umbrellas and beach gear, avoid the up and down in the sand and opt for a beach with gentler dunes.
Cahoon Hollow Beach
Although a bit far north from the hotel, Cahoon is home to the infamous Beachcomber Bar and Restaurant, which is hopping in the summer. Arrive early, especially on weekends, as the parking lots usually fill by late morning. Insider Tip: Cahoon Hollow is the beach scene on which to see and be seen.
Eastham Area Bay Beaches
First Encounter Beach
This is the historic beach where the Mayflower Pilgrims first encountered a band of Native Americans after landing on Cape Cod in November of 1620. Insider Tip: This shore fishing beach features warmer, calmer waters except when the wind picks up and it turns into a kitesurfer’s heaven.
Crooks Brook Beach
Cooks Brook is one of the smaller beaches in Eastham. But the lovely view of the bay and the dunes make this beach well worth a visit. Insider Tip: The parking lot here is good-sized and offers a better chance of snagging a spot.
Crosby Landing Beach
A bit further south on Route 6 in Brewster, this very lovely bay beach is spacious, dune-backed and offers shallow warmer water for swimming. Parking pass from the town of Brewster required. Insider Tip: Has nice sand bars when the tide goes out and offers great sunset views over the water.
Sunken Meadow Beach
If you are visiting with small children, this is the beach for you. Waters are always warmer and calm and there is never a crowd. Insider Tip: Parking is limited, but the beach is a mere 14 minute bike ride away from the hotel.
Great for sunsets and quiet time near calm waters, this is the closest bay beach to Town Crier, but offers no parking. Insider Tip: This beach is an easy 8-minute bike ride away and is even a nice stroll (3 miles roundtrip) for guests who love walking.