For New Englanders, it comes as no surprise that Race Point Beach in Provincetown was named one of the five best beaches in New England by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 2021. The long swath of sandy paradise on the tip of Cape Cod - named for the powerful racing cross current - is a haven for everyone, from sun worshipers to nature buffs.
But for those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure of making Race Point's acquaintance, here's why we love it.
Miles of Sand
From the parking lot entrance down to the tip of the Cape, beachgoers have access to several miles of seacoast and luxurious, soft sand. The area right around the proper limits of the beach are equipped with changing facilities and bathrooms, while the coastline further west, which boasts more wildlife than people, is an ideal location for quiet walks and nature hikes, even in the off-season.
Race Point Light
Massachusetts is known for its prominent lighthouses, and Race Point does not disappoint. You'll need to hike through beach grass and dunes (or take an unforgettable dune tour) to make the nearly 2-mile trek from the beach to the historic lighthouse. If you're lucky enough to get reservations, you can even book an overnight stay from May to November. But the lighthouse wasn't always just a beautiful landmark; it was originally built in 1816 as a way to help lower the rate of shipwrecks in the area -- known by sailors and locals as the "ocean graveyard." Today it welcomes hundreds of visitors every year from all over the country.
With sweeping vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, there's no bad view. Even in the winter, you're sure to spot a fiery show as the sun dips below the water's edge. For photo buffs, it's worth making the trek out to Race Point Light to catch the sunset behind the historic lighthouse.
In the spring, as whales migrate north to the colder North Atlantic waters, there's a good chance you can catch a view of the mammals breaching in the distance. Bring your binoculars to spot Atlantic right and humpback whales as they pass through Cape Cod for their summer destinations.