The Tour by Joe McClure
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Chatham Light
Chatham is a charming, upscale town on the elbow of Cape Cod. You can enjoy a round of golf at two exceptional courses or swim at some wonderful beaches.    There are several good eateries and many interesting shops.  After walking off dinner and buying some mementos of your trip, you can continue over to Chatham Light and look out over the beach.
Occupy Chatham South Beach
With very little to break up the winds, storms do a lot of damage to the Cape.  Sometimes, this debris washes up on the beaches.  On Chatham Light Beach, a few adventurous souls took the initiative to build this little structure called, Occupy Chatham South Beach.  Why it was built is less important now than the fact that it is there.  Take a walk down the beach and investigate.
Captain Edward Penniman House
All of the immediate Atlantic coastline of Cape Cod was incorporated into a National Seashore in the 1960s.  In some areas, this extends inland well beyond the beach.  In an area known as Fort Hill stands a gem of 19th-century architecture that Edward Penniman built for his family.  It has been undergoing renovation and has been closed due to the pandemic, but you can still walk the grounds and marvel at the ornate decoration of this beautiful home.
Coast Guard Beach Rescue Station
On the Outer Cape, much of the light noise is diminished.  While hardly dark sky territory, it is still quite possible to get great views of the Milky Way.  Just a few miles north of our previous stop, the Salt Pond Visitor's Center officially welcomes travelers to the Cape Cod National Seashore.  As we drive into the park, we come to the former Coast Guard rescue station on the dune bluffs overlooking the ocean.  From the parking lot, you can look out over the wide expanse of Nauset Marsh and the barrier dunes that comprise Coast Guard Beach.  Up to three feet of land is lost to the ocean in this area.  In the next several decades, these buildings will no longer remain.
Nauset Light
In 1996, this lighthouse was moved away from the dune cliff.  If you look closely, you might recognize the tower as being the same as the one at Chatham Light.  That's because when Nauset Light was installed, they took the second tower away from Chatham Light and brought it to this location.  While Chatham has two white lights, Nauset has a white light and a red light.  Just over a mile north of Coast Guard Beach, you can clearly see this beacon from there.
The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters lighthouses guarded the coastline before they were replaced by the metal tower of Nauset Light.  The left and right ones were sold off as was the center one many years later.  The National Park Service purchased the structures and reunited them at this location in 1989.   
Wellfleet Drive-In
While you can certainly go to a movie at a drive-in.  At the Wellfleet Drive-In, you can go to a flea market also.  This is a definite must-do if you're into classic vinyl, vintage tools, t-shirts, antiques, and more.  The concession stand is open for that traditional drive-in fare.  
Marconi Beach
Guillermo Marconi was known for the creation of his wireless telegraph. Marconi Beach can be known for its ability to let you go wireless with miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. One of several beautiful beaches in the Cape Cod National Seashore, Marconi Beach has ample parking for beach goers.  No sharks were sighted at the beach this day.
Marconi Wireless Station
Though much of the location has been swallowed by the sea, this is the area where Marconi sent his first wireless transmission to Cornwall, England.  Though little more than a scenic outlook, it's still a beautiful place to come and see the vast expanse of the Cape headlands.
Queen Anne's Lace Fence
The tidal difference at Wellfleet Harbor is between 10 and 13 feet.  This area is known for its oysters, and everywhere you go around this inlet oysters and shells lay all around the sand flats.
Noms at Mac's
Cape Cod's original name is Cape James, named for the King of England.  Over time, it became so associated with the once plentiful fish that the vernacular name of Cape Cod became the de facto moniker for the location.  Like Mac's on the Pier at Wellfleet Harbor, eateries all over Cape Cod offer the freshest seafood.  You might also get some ice cream to wash it down.
Ballston Beach
It's a small hike up Bearberry Hill to overlook Ballston Beach, but it's worth it to see environmental processes at work.  A particularly low dune on the Atlantic face of the Cape was insufficient to hold back an angry sea.  Several times since this marsh has been overwashed by the sea.  The marsh is the beginning of a small stream called the Pamet River which traverses the width of the Outer Cape and pours out to the bay.  In some number of years, the ocean will dig away this sand and create a channel that bisects the landmass.  Two houses in this image have been moved in the past two years.  See if you can find them.
Highland Light
Highland Light is the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod. It was moved away from the dune cliff back in 1996 as well.  Before the incorporation of the National Seashore, the land surrounding the lighthouse belonged to a single family.  Much of that was turned into a links course reminiscent of golf in the Scottish highlands.   When the lighthouse was placed in its current situation, it moved into the grounds of the course itself.
Provincetown Dune Shacks
The dune shacks started appearing in the early 20th century.  The original building was a life-saving station in the area that was erected due to a dangerous pair of sand bars that ran parallel to the shore. That station was sold after being decommissioned and eventually wound up in the care of the playwright Eugene O'Neill.  Other dune shacks started appearing in this desolate and disconnected area and became a retreat for artists.  Today, many of the dune shacks can be rented by applying for residency.  There are 18 owned by the National Seashore.  Since the land is public, you are welcome to make the trek along the trail to the dunes, but you are expected to keep a respectable distance from the shacks and respect the residents' privacy.
Race Point
As with the previous photograph, this view is from the Provincelands Visitor's Center.  Race Point is the beginning of the end.  From here, the coastline makes a strong curve westward as the currents of the Atlantic travel sand from south to north and deposit them on the far side of the tip of Cape Cod.  If you have an oversand pass from the National Seashore, you can drive your vehicle on the beach just to the north of this location.  There you will find Race Point Lighthouse sitting among the dunes.  If you don't have a pass, you can make the two mile trek along the beach.
Located at the very end of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a vibrant sea-faring community.  It is also a magnet for the arts hosting the Provincetown Film Festival and being home to many galleries.  On summer days, Commercial Street is filled with people.  Although it is not a pedestrian zone, smart travelers would be wise to avoid trying to drive down this street during the summer.  There are many wonderful restaurants in town, but The Lobster Pot is possibly the most famous, or at least most photographed with its red neon signage dominating the center of town and visible from blocks away.
I Love the Nightlife
There is a plentitude of entertainment options in all of the towns we've passed through so far, but noplace has as vibrant an atmosphere as Provincetown.  The Crown & Anchor nearly burned to the ground in 1998.  Fortunately, the façade survived the blaze.  The patio was added recently, and functions as a piano bar.  The music dominates the street and invites passers-by to come and drink in the melodic refrains.  Or perhaps you enjoy other ways to chill.
Days on the Water
You can chose a multitude of ways to enjoy the waters surrounding Cape Cod.  They will let you enjoy the scenery from a completely different perspective.  You can charter a fishing boat, rent a jet ski, try kayaking, or just go swimming.  
Summer sunrise happens pretty early when you're this far east and a bit north.  Fortunately, the late evening sunsets amazingly make up for the light show you may have missed in the morning.  Feel free to go out to eat or enjoy a cookout on the back deck.  The boardwalk at Gray's Beach will be waiting for you to come and close out the day!

Cape Cod is a special place formed under a confluence of unique circumstances. Dirt and stones scooped up as two prehistoric glaciers traveled south were washed from the melting ice and left behind a curved sand bar that stretches seventy miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Since the Cape is a geological structure, you are on Cape Cod when you visit. If you "make a fist" with your left arm, you'll have a pretty good approximation of how Cape Cod is shaped.

Today, is a vacation destination for people from all over the world who want to visit its beauty, enjoy over 500 miles of coastline, and savor its famous seafood. For me, this is home. It is a place where I chose to live, which makes me what is known as a "washashore". When friends and family come to visit this beautiful peninsula, it is my job to show them around my neck of the woods. This is only half of it! Now, let me show you some of the locations and things that I love about Cape Cod so you have some ideas about where to go during your Cape Cod vacation!

Chatham Light Occupy Chatham South Beach Captain Edward Penniman House Coast Guard Beach Rescue Station Nauset Light The Three Sisters Wellfleet Drive-In Marconi Beach Marconi Wireless Station Queen Anne's Lace Fence Noms at Mac's Ballston Beach Highland Light Provincetown Dune Shacks Race Point Provincetown I Love the Nightlife Days on the Water Sunrise/Sunset
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