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Provincetown :: Sunday, April 23rd 2017

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Video: It's Beach Time!

And Provincetown's Beaches Beckon

June 21st, 2012

There is just nothing like it.

Herring Cove, which is afforded a western view of the states’ east coast by the twisting of the Cape, is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to watch the sun set over the ocean.

That first day when you are able to go to the beach, dig your toes into the sand and lay back to let the sun cover you in the soft shell of its warmth. When you get there, with the lull of the ocean’s waves playing upon your ears and the breeze that it carries cooling your sun-soaked limbs, you know that you can live another year, even if just for that.

And let the clarions ring, for it is now that time in Provincetown. The beaches are ready and they are beckoning. And they are perfect. And there are many of them. Located as it is at the end of the Cape Cod land spiral, Provincetown is literally surrounded by beaches on three sides.

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In town proper, there is a beach that borders Cape Cod Bay, all three miles of which are open to the public for strolls, sunbathing, or even a dip in the harbor. Always just a few footsteps away from Commercial Street, which is Provincetown’s main drag, the town’s beach is perfect for a quick fix of serenity and offers lovely views of the boats in the harbor.

For the real beach connoisseurs, however, a trek out to one of the nearby beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore – Herring Cove or Race Point – is a must. Herring Cove, which is afforded a western view of the states’ east coast by the twisting of the Cape, is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to watch the sun set over the ocean. It also offers daytime visitors breathtaking views of the Atlantic, whose waters hit this beach with subdued force thanks to the bay, thus making it an ideal place for an ocean swim. And, since it is managed by the park service, it doesn’t come with any of the commercial trappings found with beaches in other places, but is instead surrounded by the mesmerizing natural setting of the dunes of the Province Lands.

Race Point, also surrounded by dunes, squarely fronts the Atlantic and offers a more dramatic view of that great ocean’s throes and lulls. It also slopes downward, which makes visitors feel like they’re sitting on the edge of a bowl that holds one of the world’s great water bodies, and it has a wider beachfront, perfect for sandcastle building and other beach play.

Along the final swerve of the Cape, there is also Long Point beach, which can be reached by foot or boat. The walk to Long Point beach traverses a breakwater across Provincetown’s harbor, which is an experience of its own, with salt marshes to one side and close mid-harbor views of the tide’s swells. Flyer’s Boat Rentals also offers water shuttles daily for those who want to forgo the hike. Once there, beachgoers find a quiet beach with long views in either direction of the Cape’s last curve, dotted by lighthouses on either end.

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