Cape Cod Beach Review 2014

Palmer Mini Moon

Cape Cod Beach Review: The Best Beaches on Falmouth’s Coast

Falmouth is surrounded with beaches on three sides and with the waters of Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound. With  its many outlets and bays, we boast of over sixty-eight miles of coast line and beaches. We have more beaches than any other town on Cape Cod. Falmouth residents also like to brag about having the warmest water and the most public beaches on Cape Cod. Temperatures average 70 degrees in the summer and beach goers  can enjoy the beaches through late autumn. Many of us believe that October is by far the most lovely month of the year.

Cape Cod Beach Review: mini-moon
Try a mini-moon on a Cape Cod beach.
Falmouth Beach Map
Map of Falmouth beaches.

Many of the beaches are handicapped-accessible and offer beach wheelchairs (reservation required). The Palmer House Inn has daily parking passes for sale at the check-in desk.  For additional information call (508) 548-8623 in-season or go to

Falmouth has always been an ideal location for maritime trade including fishing, whaling and shipbuilding. Many sea captains called Falmouth home and at one time nearly half of the 300 households in Falmouth were homes of sea captains and those who made their living on the water. The man who built the Palmer House in 1901, Joseph C. Fish, owned whaling ships.

When you arrive at our B&B you will see our welcoming baskets of brightly colored beach towels on the porch we invite you to take with them to the beach.

The Falmouth Beach Committee manages ten beaches. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

All of the beaches below have Falmouth lifeguards, changing facilities, and restrooms with the exception of The Knob Beach.  Parking stickers and beach passes can be purchased at the Ellen T. Mitchell Bath House at Surf Drive Beach.


Bristol Beach, Falmouth, Cape Cod.
Bristol Beach.

Located in Falmouth Heights, Bristol Beach has plenty of parking. A small creek ebbs and flows between Little Pond and Vineyard Sound. An Ice cream truck visits the beach and there are portable restrooms. It is handicapped accessible and beach stickers are required.


This Falmouth beach is a favorite with many families, Chapaquit has white sand and lovely open ocean views. Windsurfers are welcome on the north end of the beach. Beach stickers are required. This  location is visited by an ice cream truck and it has portable restrooms. It is handicapped accessible.


Located in Goodwill Park off Gifford Street, this is a fresh water pond beach, and is staffed by Falmouth lifeguards. Grew’s Pond has a sandy beach, grills and picnic benches are available, as well as a covered pavilion shelter.  An ice cream truck visits this beach and there are portable rest rooms. No sticker is needed. This beach is not handicapped accessible.


Heights Beach, Falmouth, Cape Cod
Heights Beach.

The beach at Falmouth Heights on Vineyard Sound is long and has plenty of beautiful sand. The water is warm and views of Martha’s Vineyard are outstanding. Because of a high seawall, handicapped accessibility from the wall to the beach is limited. There are portable restrooms. A beach sticker is required, however, parking is limited. It is best to arrive early. There are two restaurants that are close to the beach. The Casino Wharf FX, has spectacular views of Vineyard Sound and Martha’s Vineyard from the second story deck. The British Beer Company, is across Grand Avenue from the beach and has walk-up window service.


Located along the shores of Buzzards Bay, this beach is frequented primarily by neighborhood families. Maganesett is a great Falmouth beach for viewing a sunset. This beach has portable rest rooms and is visited by an ice cream truck. A beach sticker is required and parking is limited. Magansett is handicapped accessible.


This beach is located on Vineyard Sound and is divided into an east and west side by a tidal stream that connects Bournes Pond to Vineyard Sound. An ice cream truck visits this beach and there are portable rest rooms. Stickers are available or a one-day fee of $10. is charged. That fee can be paid to the gate attendant. This beach is handicapped accessible.


Old Silver Beach, Falmouth, Cape Cod
Old Silver Beach

This is by far Falmouth’s most popular beach and arguably the most popular beach on Cape Cod. The parking lot is divided into two sections: one for residents and the other for the public, which is accessed  by paying a daily entry fee of $20. Concessions, showers and changing rooms are available. People come from great distances to enjoy Old Silver’s pure white sand. Parking is ample, but come early; the lots fill up fast. Old Silver is handicapped accessible. On a clear day Falmouth’s Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse can be seen from the shore.


Located in Woods Hole, this MBL-owned beach is staffed by Falmouth lifeguards and parking attendants. It is a wonderful beach, sheltered from the afternoon southwest winds and is very popular so it is best to arrive early. An ice Cream truck visits this beach and there are portable rest rooms. A Falmouth Beach sticker or MBL sticker is required to use the limited parking area. Stony Beach is handicapped accessible.


Surf Drive Beach, Falmouth, Cape Cod
Surf Drive Beach.

This Falmouth beach is just a short walk from the Palmer House Inn. It features public showers, a concession stand and is host to the Ellen T. Mitchell Bathhouse, where residents and visitors may purchase Falmouth beach stickers. Surf Drive Beach faces Martha’s Vineyard and Vineyard Sound. A one-day parking fee of $10. can be purchased at the gate. Surf Drive Beach is handicapped accessible.


This beach is located on Buzzards Bay and has a tidal creek containing pure sand and many “critters”, that are interesting to watch. Wood Neck beach is visited by an ice cream truck, has portable toilets and is handicapped accessible. Beach stickers are required.


Knob Beach, Falmouth, Cape Cod
Knob Beach

This beach does not have lifeguards, restrooms or changing facilities. Also, it is not handicapped accessible. However, it is one of the most romantic, secluded locations on Cape Cod. It has been the site of many marriage proposals. If you wish to see a magnificent Cape Cod sunset, The Knob is the place to go. This “off the beaten path beach”, is located in Sippewissett, and can be difficult to find, so be sure to ask Pat or Bill for directions.

See more on our You Tube Channel. – Palmer House Inn’s Cape Cod: The Knob

Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

After a day of fun, sand and surf relax at the Palmer House Inn. While all of our rooms have their own relaxing and romantic charm we recommend the Theodore Roosevelt room for its charm, mahogany canopy bed and Jacuzzi-style tub; and the Henry James Penthouse for its elegance, plush pillows and Jacuzzi-style tub.


Previous beach reviews






‘Tis the Season for Cranberries

Cranberries. Photo Copyright (c) LVO'Connell 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Now that the long hot summer is over, the Cape is coming into what many consider its best time of year.

This year’s Cranberry Harvest Festival will be held in October at the Coonamessett River Bogs. Come to the Palmer House to enjoy our cranberry nut muffins and cranberry sorbet. Not to mention our oatmeal cranberry raisin cookies for an afternoon snack.

Early fall or the shoulder season, is known for sunny days and comfortably crisp nights. It’s also cranberry harvesting time.
Cranberries attain their peak flavor and color and are ripe for picking from mid-September through the first week of November. Picturesque bogs brimming with the deep ruby-red berries dot the landscape against a backdrop of blue skies and fall foliage.

The cranberry is one of only three native fruits including the blueberry and Concord grape, commercially grown in North America. Massachusetts ranks as the second biggest cranberry producer behind Wisconsin. Despite unusual flooding in early spring and drought conditions throughout much of the summer, experts predict a bumper crop in the state this year. The US Department of Agriculture has reported that a crop of 1.95 million barrels to be harvested this fall, but weather conditions including the recent rain and heat wave can affect the output. Growers say that they don’t know what the crop is going to be until it is delivered.

Native American tribes of the area were the first to use the wild berry as a food, medicine and fabric dye. They called it sassamanash and ibimi ( meaning bitter berry). They introduced the Pilgrims to the multiple benefits of the fruit. The Pilgrims also found it to be a valuable bartering tool. The European settlers named the fruit the cranberry after the sandhill cranes commonly spotted around bogs at the time. American whalers and mariners brought cranberries on their voyages to ward off scurvy.

Commercial cranberry harvesting began in Harwich in 1847.

The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ association was formed in 1888 and prides itself as being one of the oldest farming organizations in the US. The cranberry provided a needed source of income to many families during the economically depressed decades after the Civil War.

There are about 1,000 acres of bogs sprinkled throughout the Cape.

Cranberries grow on long-running vines in sandy bogs originally made by glacial deposits. A bog is a fragile ecosystem affected by climate and environmental conditions. Typically growers do not have to replant since an unmanaged cranberry vine can survive indefinitely. Some vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old.

In the beginning growers handpicked cranberries, then used wooden scoops to lift the berries off their vines. By the late 1800s machines were invented to make the job less labor intensive.

Two methods are used for gathering cranberries: wet and dry harvesting. Today, ninety-five percent of cranberries are wet-harvested in Massachusetts.

Cape Cod Traveler

Cape Cod Shops on Falmouth's Main Street
Cape Cod Shops on Falmouth’s Main Street

Traveler tarry a while at the Palmer House Inn.

Discover Falmouth’s picturesque streets,
lovely old homes,
historic public buildings,
delightful dining places,
unique shops and
68 miles of winding coastline along Vineyard Sound and Buzzards Bay.