A Cape Cod National Seashore Beach, Race Point Beach is one of Provincetown’s most popular beaches. With the Old Harbor Museum, the Lifesaving station, and a dog friendly beach, Race Point Beach can meet lots of your summer fun needs.
It is a short walk from the parking lot to the beach, and there are a few paths you can take. One of these paths has a hard mat that is laid across the sand to make the walk from the parking to the beach easier. The other path does not have a mat and can be difficult to walk through. This more difficult path leads to the Old Harbor Life Saving Station. Established in 1897, the lifesaving station was built in Chatham, Massachusetts, as a place for the Life Saving Service to watch the shores for destroyed ships. They would race out to the sea and perform rescues to save shipwrecked passengers. Later in 1977, due to erosion, the Life Saving Station was moved by barge over to Race Point Beach in Provincetown, where it currently resides. They are open for tours during the summer only from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Race point beach is mostly dog friendly. Because there is a protected reservation of land on the beach for bird habitats, dogs are only allowed on one half of the beach. This separation is marked with flags and poles across the entire line of separation.
Soft sand fills these beaches, and clear water brings tourists from all over to Race Point Beach. Should you feel ambitious, you can walk along the beach to reach Race Point Lighthouse. Although it may sound easy, Race Point Beach has very soft sand, making it a difficult walk. It is estimated to take about 45 minutes to an hour one way to walk from the Race Point Beach entrance to Race Point Lighthouse. There are also no tours at Race Point Lighthouse, so you will not be able to climb to the top of the tower.
Bathrooms and changing stations are available outside the beach in the parking lot. Also, just a short walk or quick drive from the parking lot, there is the Old Harbor Museum. The museum shows the history of Race Point Beach, the lighthouse and other nearby attractions. There is a lookout deck that wraps around the museum and allows some great views out to sea. Restrooms are also available at the museum.
Some downsides to Race Point Beach are important to mention. Although lifeguards are on duty and the beach has no rip currents, there are still strong tides that can be dangerous for inexperienced swimmers. Black flies are common here, and since they do bite, it can be an annoyance. Along with black flies, there are sharks to be mindful of. The cape is a common place to have shark alerts, so always listen for the lifeguards for any warnings. There is no phone service on the beach or in the parking lot. The closest you can get to any phone signal is by the Old Harbor Museum. As is the case with many other beaches in Provincetown, there is a fee to park. It costs $20 for normal hours until 5 p.m.