Eastham is the gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore and site of the first meeting between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. It has a rich history and is the burial site of several Mayflower passengers.
Eastham Chamber of Commerce, 4730 State Highway, Eastham
- Coast Guard, Doane Road: Ocean
- Nauset Light, Cable Road: Ocean
- Boat Meadow, Bayview Drive: Bay
- Campground, Shurtleff Road: Bay
- Cooks Brook, Steele Road: Bay
- First Encounter, Samoset Road: Bay
- Herring Brook Landing, Cole Road: Bay
- Sunken Meadow, South Sunken Meadow Road: Bay
- Thumpertown, Thumpertown Road: Bay
- Great Pond, Great Pond Road: Freshwater Pond
- Herring Pond, Herring Brook Road: Freshwater Pond
- Wiley Park, Herring Brook Road: Freshwater Pond
Beach stickers or daily rates are required in season at town-owned beaches on Cape Cod Bay and freshwater ponds. Daily fees may be paid only at Cook’s Brook, Campground, First Encounter or Wiley Park beaches.
Stickers can be purchased, in season (typically late June through Labor Day) at Natural Resources Department, Sticker Office, 555 Old Orchard Road, Eastham, 508-240-5976.
The National Parks system oversees the Cape Cod National Seashore and both ocean beaches above. CCNS was created in 1961, when President John F. Kennedy signed a bill to preserve 44,000 acres of pristine seashore. Here you’ll find beaches, dunes, salt marsh, freshwater ponds, and upland forests.
For more information, contact the Salt Pond Visitor Center, 50 Nauset Road at Route 6, Eastham.
Many of the museums and sites in Eastham are on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
- Olde Town Centre Historic District (NRHP) – start at the Schoolhouse Museum to learn about life here in the late 1800s and continue a walk along Salt Pond and Locust Roads to pass a variety of historic homes of Victorian, Greek Revival, and Federalist styles, several dating back to the 1700s.
- Old Schoolhouse Museum (NRHP), Doane Road – post Civil War one-room schoolhouse built in 1869. Displays include objects from daily life to a lifesaving service for shipwrecks.
- Swift-Daley House Museum (NRHP), Route 6 (next to Post Office) – a fully furnished 1741 home typical of early houses built by ship’s carpenters.
- Chester Rantlett Tool Museum (NRHP), Route 6 (next to Swift-Daley Museum) – displays hundreds of tools, many unusual and unique to New England.
Information about the above sites can be found at www.easthamhistoricalsociety.org.
- Eastham Windmill (NRHP), Windmill Green, corner of Samoset Road and Route 6 – built in 1680, moved to its current location in 1808, and used for over 200 years until 1896. Open to the public July – August.
- Indian Rock, Skiff Hill at Fort Hill – used by Native Americans for centuries to sharpen weapons and make tools.
- Nauset Light (NRHP), Cable Road – this cast iron and brick lined tower was built in 1877. The lightkeeper’s house is adjacent. Open to public May to October.
- Three Sisters Lighthouses (NRHP), Cable Road – this was the original Nauset Beach Light Station established in 1838. The lighthouses were restored and preserved by the Cape Cod National Seashore. Walk about on your own or contact Salt Pond Visitors Center for tour times. 508-255-3421,
- Old Coast Guard Station, Coast Guard Beach – built in 1937 facing the Atlantic Ocean, and served for many years overlooking the outer beach of Cape Cod known as the “graveyard of ships.”
- Penniman House (NRHP), Governor Prence Road at Fort Hill – constructed in 1868 in Second Empire style as a sea captain’s house. Open seasonally. Contact Salt Pond Visitors Center for more information. 508-255-3421, www.nps.gov/nr/travel/maritime/pen.htm
Historic Cemeteries – there are four cemeteries in Eastham with graves dating to the 1600s. For more information: www.easthamchamber.com/visit-stay/cemeteries
- Cove Burial Ground, Route 6 near Town Cove – dates from mid-1600s to 1770. Has some of the oldest slate gravestones and inscribed fieldstone gravestones on Cape Cod. Final resting place of three Mayflower passengers.
- Bridge Road Cemetery, Bridge Road – some elaborate inscriptions and epitaphs from 1754 to 1886.
- Congregational & Soldiers Cemetery, Route 6 – dates to 1813.
- Evergreen Cemetery, Route 6 – dates to 1806.
- Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 22-mile route from Dennis to Wellfleet, accessible from several points in Eastham.
- Nauset Trail, a 1.6-mile paved trail from Salt Pond Visitors Center to Coast Guard Beach
- Fort Hill Trail, Governor Prence Road – 1.5 miles of connected pathways that lead across historic agricultural fields with prominent views of Nauset Marsh and Nauset Spit.
- Nauset Marsh Trail, adjacent to Salt Pond Visitors Center – 1 mile path winding along the edge of Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh
- Buttonbush Trail, adjacent to Salt Pond Visitors Center – ½ mile loop trail includes child-friendly activities
- Doane Trail, one mile east of Salt Pond Visitors Center on Nauset Road – ½ mile loop trail with interpretive text winds through an emerging pine and oak forest, and offering vistas of Nauset Marsh.
Other Points of Interest
Eastham Public Library, 190 Samoset Road, 508-240-5950, www.easthamlibrary.org