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July 25, 2005

-- Travel --

National Seashore offers the best of the beach

By Teague Neal

If you’re going to Cape Cod, make sure to pay a visit anywhere along the National Seashore.

The Cape Cod National Seashore – encapsulating a large portion of the arm-shaped peninsula off the east coast of Massachusetts – runs for thousands of acres.

A visit can include spending time on one of the beaches that dot this special area, having a hike or perhaps packing a picnic.

Nauset Light Beach, which includes the classic Nauset Lighthouse, is a fine example of what the park offers.

Reddish, soaring cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop to Nauset Light Beach, the widest beach my eyes and feet have come across.

Vacationers swim and sunbathe on a relatively crowd-free stretch of sand, making it a perfect place to pluck that perfect seashell as a souvenir of the Cape.

On two nearby trails you can take a leisurely walk or a brisk run on the quarter-mile Buttonbush Trail and the one and a half mile Nauset Marsh Trail.

Before heading down the trails or off to the beach, visit the National Park Service’s visitor’s center in Eastham. The center includes displays and dioramas that explain the history and highlights of the National Seashore.

Friendly park rangers are there to answer questions and will provide informative packages of maps and reading material.

A second visitor’s center is located in Provincetown, between the Beach Forest Trail and Race Point Beach, though this center is only open seasonally.

The sprawling National Seashore is the ticket for those who want more than simply relaxing on the beach.

Though visitors can still recline with a good book or just listen to the surf, the National Seashore offers a chance to learn much more about Cape Cod, its rich history and all the action it has to offer today.

For more information on the National Park Service, check out the website at


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