With sunrise times on the Cape nearing 7 am, and winter’s crisp, cold air casting vibrant colors across the sky at dawn and dusk, there’s simply no excuse to miss this perfect start to your day!

Taking a few moments in the morning to connect with nature will quiet your mind and inspire a harmony that might just last the whole day through.  So, bundle up, grab your favorite to-go cup, step out onto your porch if it’s facing east, or head to one of these local, winning spots to behold the unique beauty of a winter sunrise.

Rise. Gaze. Repeat.

For unobstructed views of sea and sky and a sunrise that seems to emerge from the depths of the ocean, head to Nauset Light Beach in Eastham for a surreal start to your day. Grab a beach chair, blanket, and someone you love to share this breathtaking first light with and create a lasting moment—all for free!

Like dunes? The massive sand dunes at Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet make a majestic location for watching the sunrise that will keep you inspired all winter long. Travel light for this view and be prepared for a steep walk from the parking lot to the beach. But wait— you won’t be in those treacherous flip-flops, so you’re covered!

Steep your morning in tranquility at Wellfleet’s iconic Uncle Tim’s Bridge overlooking Duck Creek for one of the Cape’s most picturesque spots to watch the light change along with the tide. This historic bridge invites a leisurely stroll anytime of year and guarantees that sunrise photo you’ve been chasing, along with a lasting discovery.

Don’t be surprised to find the parking lot full regardless of wind chill or time of day when you arrive to view the day’s first light at Fort Hill in Eastham. Taking in a sunrise from this breathtaking part of the Cape Cod National Seashore is truly sublime, with a glowing vista of Nauset Marsh slowly catching color from the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Serenity reigns at this favorite spot for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.

For another east-facing view that will have you out of bed before you can say snooze button, head to Chatham Lighthouse Beach. The dramatic overlook from the small lighthouse carpark guarantees a front row seat to the sunrise spectacular and makes this a choice destination for those arctic mornings you may not want to leave your car.

Nestled in Barnstable’s Osterville Village is pristine Dowses Beach, a large peninsula beach that is a great place to stroll in winter for both the views and collecting seashells. It’s also the perfect spot to capture an Instagram-worthy winter sunrise, so have your iPhone or camera at the ready.

No beach sticker? No problem. The nationally ranked Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is another brilliant advantage of visiting some of Cape Cod’s most beautiful beaches off season. An epic location with big, crashing waves and sandy dunes make walking this expansive stretch of seashore at sunrise nothing short of a meditation. Henry David Thoreau thought so too, dubbing it “the great beach” during his time there spent writing at his beach cottage.