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Eric Williams
Cape Cod Times

WELLFLEET — As a charter member of the noted pinchpenny group CHEEP (Cape Haters of Excessive Expenditures Perennially), I am always on the lookout for a good time that doesn't involve my wallet. And June offers perhaps the best Cape Cod deal of all: free beach days at some of the best beaches in the world!

I realized this as I was assembling the paperwork to get our beach stickers here in Wellfleet. My beautiful and persistent family had been on my case about this pressing matter, as there is no worse surprise than showing up at a beach in late June and being denied entrance. Sticker acquisition incompetence has gotten me into hot water before, and there's no way I'm going down that road again.

A eureka stew began bubbling in my slow cooker brain. Here are the ingredients: You don't need a sticker or a daily pass at beaches in Wellfleet, Truro and Eastham until June 17.

A short Truro hike that has it all:Dunes, harbor, art and awesome sunsets

It's a bit more complicated at Cape Cod National Seashore beaches, but the news is still good. Keep in mind that daily fee collection at the six Seashore beaches will start on June 15. Also, weekend fee collection is already in effect at Coast Guard, and Nauset Light beaches in Eastham, and Race Point and Herring Cove beaches in Provincetown. 

Boiled down, it means that weekdays are still free at all six Seashore beaches until June 15. And early June weekends are still free at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet and Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro.

This, my friends, is a glorious opportunity to expand your beach horizons without the unpleasant friction of money leaving your bank account. But as they say in any good infomercial, "this is a limited time offer, so act now!"

By now, I had worked myself up into a sandy frenzy. So I whistled for the Ravishing RAV4 and we departed on a whirlwind tour of five of my favorite Outer Cape beaches. If you get a chance over the next fortnight, you might want to check these out — it won't cost you a thing!

First Encounter Beach, Eastham

A gem on the bayside in Eastham, First Encounter Beach is a surprisingly big place with several different parking areas. I like to drive down to the end and then walk along the beach, hopefully at low tide. That's when you can head out into the great beyond of the sand flats, yapping at crabs and dipping your toes in the tide pools. This is great fun for those times when it seems too chilly to swim, but you need some beach time. Sunsets are awesome here. Located at the end of Samoset Road in Eastham.

Lecount Hollow Beach, Wellfleet

Here's your chance to visit the hippest ocean beach in Wellfleet, though I'm sure some would argue for Cahoon Hollow, home of the Beachcomber. But all the cool people I know (all three of them) swear by Lecount Hollow Beach. It's a residents-only beach in season, so this is your chance to see what the fuss is all about. And you've got to love the convenient location, close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the awesome PB Boulangerie Bistro for those who need a croissant at the beach. Located at the end of Lecount Hollow Road in Wellfleet.

Newcomb Hollow Beach, Wellfleet

Newcomb Hollow Beach has always been my favorite Wellfleet ocean beach. The path down to the beach is the easiest of all the Wellfleet ocean beaches and the clay cliffs down to the right are an endless source of intrigue. There's also a cool little trail that starts at the back north end of the parking lot that will take you on a nice little adventure, spilling you out onto the beach somewhere north of the parking lot. Located at the end of Gross Hill Road in Wellfleet.

Fisher Beach, Truro

We head back to the bayside for Fisher Beach, a sweet strand located just south of Pamet Harbor. Parking is very limited here, so early June is a good time for a visit. Unlike many Cape Cod Bay beaches, Fisher Beach isn't tremendously affected by low tide, meaning swimming is always in play. You can walk down to a cool breakwater at the entrance to Pamet Harbor where you can loop into the Dalsheimer Trail that runs behind the beach. Located at the end of Fisher Road in Truro.

Long Nook Beach, Truro

To me, Long Nook Beach feels like the most remote beach on all of Cape Cod. The sand cliffs are incredibly high here and it's a long, steep walk down to the ocean. If you ever wanted to feel like Tom Hanks in "Cast Away," this is the place to go. A short walk down the beach will place you alone in a vast landscape that will likely inspire you to write a sonnet or at least a catchy folk song. In terms of views and vibes, this might be the coolest beach on the Cape. Located at the end of Long Nook Road in Truro.

Eric Williams, when not solving Curious Cape Cod mysteries, writes about a variety of ways to enjoy the Cape, the weather, wildlife and other subjects. Contact him at ewilliams@capecodonline.com. Follow him on Twitter: @capecast.

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Monday, April 29, 2024 12:21 AM

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