Home to 'America's Hometown' of Plymouth and countless other historic sites and cities, many of which were established by the first pilgrim settlers back in the 1600s, New England is one of the most fascinating regions of the United States and a must-visit place for any American at least once in their lives. The area, comprised of several states including Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts, is filled with heritage sites and quaint little towns, with a unique charm that separates it from the rest of the country. There are also plenty of very beautiful little beaches to be found all around New England, especially in the Cape Cod area.
If you’re planning a beach trip to New England, it makes a lot of sense to visit a Cape Cod town like Chatham. The cape stretches out for many miles and is one of the most unique geological features in the region, attracting large numbers of visitors each year. Chatham is one of the prettiest towns on Cape Cod, located on the southeastern edge and also including Monomoy Island. Well-known for its soft sandy beaches and unique landmarks like Chatham Light lighthouse, which is still operational to this day, Chatham is a must-visit Cape Cod town for visitors of all ages.
Best Beaches in Chatham
There are lots of beaches to be found in the many towns and villages that make up Cape Cod, with Chatham being blessed with some of the cape's finest sandy spots. Both on the mainland and over on Monomoy Island, Chatham has a lot of lovely beaches for sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing, strolls at sunset, and more. Read through the guide below to learn all about the best beaches in Chatham.
- Chatham Lighthouse Beach
One of the main touristic beaches in Chatham and an unmissable spot for anyone in the town or local area, Chatham Lighthouse Beach is named after the iconic Chatham Lighthouse found right by it. The lighthouse is still operational and used by the Coast Guard for navigational and safety purposes. It's usually closed, but does open up to public visits in the summer months and entry is totally free, so it can be a nice little attraction to check out during a day at this Chatham beach. The sands of the beach are soft and welcoming, and it’s very conveniently located near the amenities and eateries of the town center.
- Harding Beach
Looking out onto the Nantucket Sound and offering some world class, unbeatable views in every direction, Harding Beach is one of the best beaches in the Chatham area. This beach offers silky smooth sands and big dunes that are just right for exploration. There's plenty of space here for all kinds of beach games and activities, and lifeguards are on duty at Harding Beach to keep everyone safe as well. In short, if you're looking for a family-friendly beach at Chatham, this is quite possibly the best one of all.
- Monomoy Island
There are several ways to get over to Monomoy Island, with regular ferry services and private boat tours among the options available to you. The island, which is also a wildlife refuge, is home to long sandy stretches, ideal for sunbathing and relaxing strolls. There are also various scenic trails to follow around the island, with lots of different animals to be spotted, including birds, seals, and crabs. If you find yourself in Chatham on a Cape Cod vacation, you definitely don’t want to miss out on a trip to Monomoy Island. Couples and families will especially appreciate the calm, relaxed atmosphere of this island and the stunning views all around.
- Oyster Pond Beach
Oyster Pond Beach is named due to the small saltwater pond beside it. On the shores of the pond, this beach offers some of the best swimming conditions in the Chatham area. Some of the waters out in the Atlantic Ocean near places like Monomoy Island have seen a lot of sharks in recent years, but you won't need to worry about anything like that at Oyster Pond Beach. The waters are calm, warm, and welcoming to all, and you can even rent rafts to set off across the water and sunbathe in the middle of the pond. A great spot for families, Oyster Pond Beach can get quite busy, so it makes sense to arrive early and get a good parking spot.
- Cockle Cove Beach
Step out onto the soft sands of Cockle Cove Beach and admire the beautiful views of the Nantucket Sound from this lovely coastal spot just a short drive away from the center of Chatham. This beach is very easy to access and has a lot to offer, being a lovely spot for people to simply walk along and admire the views or snap some vacation photos. There's a romantic atmosphere at this pretty beach that makes it a nice spot for couples to chill out, but it's strongly recommended to families as well due to the calm, gentle waters.