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The Beauty and Diversity of Cape & Islands Beaches


The Cape and Islands are world renowned for their beaches. With over 600 miles of gorgeous sandy coastline, you are always within an easy walk, bike, or drive of a beautiful beach. What's more, the beaches are both abundant and diverse in nature: from the calm, sandy flats of Cape Cod Bay to the more exciting surf along the Atlantic-facing beaches of the eastern Cape and southern shores of the Islands to the serene beauty of freshwater ponds and lakes.'s Power Search provides vacationers with a quick and easy way to find vacation rentals near both salt and freshwater beaches.

Freshwater Ponds and Lakes

There are over 350 freshwater ponds on the Cape, over 60 on the Vineyard and 36 on Nantucket. Most of these are filled “kettle holes” created by the melting of huge blocks of ice left behind by the receding glacier. They are usually filled by ground water (in addition to run-off from the land and precipitation), which is naturally acidic and thus clear and beautiful. Oddly enough, these coastal plain ponds are found in only a few places in North America. They tend to be about 50-60 feet deep and have lovely, sandy bottoms.

The dense and lush vegetation surrounding freshwater ponds tends to offer greater privacy than the oceanfront properties that are exposed to the elements and mankind alike. Ponds offer boating, kayaking and canoeing possibilities, and many have docks and floats, providing wonderful, family-friendly fun. Some of the smaller ponds (often called “hidden”) are much less known and thus quieter and more accessible than the more crowded ocean beaches.

Freshwater Cape Cod rentals, Martha's Vineyard rentals, and Nantucket rentals offer the best of both worlds: affordable waterfront vacations that are also usually within a fairly easy walk, bike, or drive to the sea.

View our complete listing of all Cape and Islands salt and freshwater beaches.

About Becky Fischer

About Becky Fischer: I have worked for since 2003. Currently my position entails providing photography, video, and consultation services to vacation rental homeowners, and I have photographed over 700 homes on the Cape and Islands. My husband and three children moved to Brewster in 2006. I grew up outside of Boston, spent summer vacations on Nantucket, and was married in Orleans. My favorite activities on the Cape are walking on the CCRT, deep breaths at the beach, visiting great coffee shops, and working with my community to support the schools and local events.