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Cape Cod National Seashore

Enjoy one of the most valued jewels in the crown of Cape Cod's landscape. The National Seashore, a 43,500-acre tract of land and coastline, extends throughout the Outer Cape and into much of the Lower Cape.

Currently run by the National Park Service, the Cape Cod National Seashore was created in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, whose love of the Cape is legendary. Referring to the Outer Beach in the mid-1800's, Henry David Thoreau wrote, "A man may stand there and put all America behind him." In addition to its stunning natural beauty, the National Seashore encompasses a wealth of ecological and historical value.

Lecount Hallow Beach Wellfleet
Lecount Hallow Beach, Wellfleet, Cape Cod
Jim Reese

The Cape Cod National Seashore includes nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern edge of the Cape and hosts a vast array of both terrestrial and saltwater and freshwater marine ecosystems. The marine systems include beaches, sand spits, tidal flats, and salt marshes. Freshwater ecosystems include kettle ponds, vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, and swamps. Many of these habitats are quite uncommon, and the species that they host are correspondingly rare. The greatest challenge of the National Park Service is to protect the ecologically fragile area while still allowing the public to access and enjoy it.

Nauset Beach, Orleans Cape Cod
Sunrise on Nauset Beach, Orleans Cape Cod
Jim Reese

It's believed that the Outer Cape has been inhabited by mankind for over 9000 years - fairly extensively as long ago as 5,000 years back. Although many artifacts are undoubtedly still hidden, there are thousands of archaeological sites throughout the Cape. Two more recent examples of historical significance include Marconi Station, site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission, and the Highlands Center for the Arts, formerly the North Truro Air Force Station. An 18-foot high glacial boulder, Doane Rock, is also located within the grounds of the park.

Cape Cod National Seashore is conveniently just a short drive from our charming Cape Cod vacation rentals .

Pochet Bridge to Nauset Beach, Orleans, Cape Cod
Pochet Bridge to Nauset Beach, Orleans, Cape Cod
Jim Reese
Lecount Hallow Beach, Wellfleet, Cape Cod (Jim Reese)
Nauset Beach, Orleans, Cape Cod (Jim Reese)
View of sunrise from the Pochet Rd bridge to Nauset Beach (Jim Reese)