5 Best Beaches on Upper Cape Cod

The towns of the Upper Cape offer a variety of fun activities including sunbathing, swimming, watersports, walking, rollerblading and here, biking on the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

The Gulf Stream influences the 50-plus beaches’ water temperature, which is primarily in the 70s during the summer months. Every Falmouth beach is staffed with lifeguards, and swim lessons are offered. Beach stickers can be bought at the Chamber office on Main Street, Falmouth.

When asked by Fox News how big Falmouth was, Jay Zavala replied, “It’s small enough to fit in your eye, but big enough to fill your heart.”

  1. Old Silver Beach, Falmouth: “Living in Falmouth has given me an opportunity to enjoy our beaches. Of course, Old Silver Beach is historically the most popular in town and across the Cape,” says Jay Zavala, President and CEO at the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. Old Silver Beach has all the amenities – handicap access, food, changing facilities, and plenty of parking. Daily parking fee is $20; come early to park—spaces fill up in the summer.
  2. For more solitude, family-oriented Surf Drive Beach slows the pace down a little bit. “I see a lot more kids out there, with room to play beach games and fly kites. The pace and tone is considerably different.” says Zavala. Surf Drive Beach is frequented by friendly residents, and is a short walk from Main street. Amenities include public showers, a concession stand, and bathhouse.
  3. Located in Falmouth Heights, Bristol Beach’s vistas are beautiful. has plenty of parking and beautiful views. A tiny creek flowing between Little Pond and Vineyard Sound, is a favorite spot for children youngsters looking for critters in the tides. A beach sticker is required for parking, and there is plenty of parking.

    The Cape Cod Canal’s banks make millions happy with their recreational activities: boating, sailing, biking, rollerblading, walking, and fishing. The Canal runs throughout three towns; Bourne, Sandwich, and Wareham, hosting three million visitors a year. It is the widest sea-level canal without locks in the world, with over 20,000 ships passing through it every year.

    In 2014, the canal celebrates its 100th anniversary of service with a large festival including food, music, boat races, a road race, sailing of tall ships and many other exciting activities for the whole family.
  4. Scusset Beach in Sagamore is part of the state-run reservation, at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal. Recently renovated and family-oriented, Scusset is “One of the nicest beaches in the area,” according to Mary Oliva, President and CEO of Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce. A family-oriented beach, people come from all over the Cape. Millions of visitors from across the country and beyond frequent this beach every summer.

    Amenities include concession stand, showers, picnic area.
  5. Sandy Neck Beach in East Sandwich is legendary for its vast, open vistas. Great for walking for miles and ocean-viewing, the large sand dunes and abundance of birds attract bird-watchers and beach combers looking for stone and glass collectibles. The water is cold year-round; bring swim shoes as there are plenty of rocks.

    Amenities include new bathhouse and restroom facilities, snack bar, and water fountain.

The salt water temperature varies significantly from beach to beach. Please visit individual town websites for beach sticker information:

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Cheryl Kain has been a contract writer for Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health since 2006. She interviewed yoga legend Rod Stryker, and was featured on Good Morning America for how yoga changed her health and her life. She has written for The Cape Cod Times, The Cape Codder, Harwich Oracle, Cape Cod Travel Guide, and been entertainment editor for webzines EdgePtown, EdgeBoston, EdgeLosAngeles and EdgeNewYork. She recently finished her second book, a memoir. Visit www.cherylkainwrites.com.