While the main draw of Cape Cod is the sun, sand and sea, intense sunsets are a bonus. The best views are at the tip of the Cape at Race Point Beach, as well as sheltered spots along Cape Cod Bay that provide sweeping western views.
Here are eight sure bets for catching a truly spectacular Cape Cod sunset.
Cape Cod Canal
Walk or bike the 14-mile round-trip path that runs parallel to the canal from the Bourne to the Sagamore bridge, and stay for a sensational sunset. Start the path in Bourne and head east. Stop at one of the recreation areas along the way for a snack, cool drink or to take in the sweeping views. If you time your journey right, you'll get a fantastic view of the sun setting behind the bridges to the west.
Skaket Beach, Orleans
Located on the bayside shores of Orleans, Skaket Beach is popular with families thanks to the low surf and warm temperatures. On sunny summer evenings, grab your camera and wade out in ankle-deep waters during low tide. The sand bars seem to go on indefinitely towards the horizon, making for warm and relaxing sunset views.
Old Silver Beach, North Falmouth
On summer days, Old Silver Beach in Falmouth is packed with sun revelers and swimmers taking advantage of some of the clearest waters on Cape Cod. But after the crowd clears out for dinner, the show really starts. On a clear day, you can see straight across Buzzards Bay to Mattapoisett and West Island, creating a bold backdrop for fiery sunsets. The soft sand also makes it a favorite spot for evening strolls accompanied by cool breezes.
Chapin Beach, Dennis
On the shores of Cape Cod Bay, Chapin Beach offers a peaceful retreat away from more massive Cape crowds. You'll need to plan your trip, as a winding road takes pedestrians (or those with a 4x4 vehicle and permit) through sand dunes and tall grass to the secluded beach. Sandbars stretch out deep into the bay during low tide, making it an ideal place to take in a breathtaking sunset during evening strolls. The shallow tidal pools are ideal for photographers trying to capture multi-colored sunset views reflected in the still waters.
Rock Harbor, Orleans
At the crook of the Cape's elbow, Rock Harbor has a dual personality. On one side is an active harbor, and the other a beach with soft sand and large crowds in the summer months. Sunsets here are epic given the position of the beach and lights from the nearby towns, creating raspberry hues and views of land and sea in the background. Although it may feel serene at dusk, the beach is close to town, with several spots for dinner and drinks after the sun goes down for the evening.
The Knob, Falmouth
It may have an odd name, but the Knob in Falmouth is the perfect place to take a quiet sunset stroll. The mile-long pedestrian causeway is a sliver of terrain that stretches out between Quissett Harbor and Buzzards Bay and leads to a little knob of land at the end of the path. The land is surrounded by brush, isolating it from the frenetic sounds of the Falmouth crowds. Given it's part of a nature preserve, expect to share views of New Bedford across the bay with birds from the nearby sanctuary.
Paine’s Creek, Brewster
Sandbars that stretch as far as the eye can see and still waters give the landscape of Paine's Creek in Brewster an otherworldly feel. Sunsets are spectacular for casual observers and photographers who often set up tripods in the soft sand to capture nature's nightly show.
Race Point, Provincetown
A journey out to Race Point beach at the tip of the Cape feels like you've reached the end of the world. Surrounded by water, Cape Cod Bay to the west and the Atlantic to the east, a sunset on the beach is like a peaceful meditation, with the sounds of cascading waves in the background. Photo buffs often line up to catch postcard-worthy views of the sun slipping down behind Race Point Lighthouse. For a truly unique Cape experience, take an Art's Dune Tours' sunset tour out there...bring a blanket and bottle of wine, and call it a day.