Home » 2000 Columbus Day in Provincetown

Nauset Beach, MA

Monday, October 16, 2000 - 6:00am by Lolo
24 miles and 0.75 hours from our last stop


After leaving Provincetown, we drove south down the arm of the Cape. I love this part of the cape--so uncommercialized and pristine. The entire stretch of shoreline from Provincetown to Chatham has been set aside as a National Seashore, saving it from the overdevelopment that has taken over much of the southern portion of the Cape.

We took a side road off Route 6 in Wellfleet to stop at the Marconi Station Area and beach. This was the spot from which the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi made the first transatlantic wireless communication originating in the United States (one had been done about a year before from Newfoundland). The message sent was a greeting from President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII of England. Herb's an electrical engineer and gets really excited about places like this--kind of like I get about American History stuff--and tried to explain to the boys what a significant accomplishment this was. They listened, but I think they would rather have just rolled down the dunes.

A few miles further south off of Route 6, we took the road to Nauset Light Beach and stopped to take our pictures by the very photographed classic red-and-white Nauset Lighthouse. The lighthouse was moved back to this spot in 1996 because of too much erosion near the cliff's edge, where it originally stood.

From the lighthouse we walked to the edge of the sand cliff and then down the long wooden stairway onto the beach. What a lovely sand beach and so uncrowded at this time of year.


Much of the 50 miles of shoreline between Provincetown and Chatham has been set aside as the Cape Cod National Seashore. These 27,000 undeveloped acres include endless stretches of pristine beaches, 60-foot sand dunes, shrub-covered cliffs, salt marshes, forest, and saltwater ponds. In the early 1800's, Henry David Thoreau wrote his book Cape Cod about his 30 mile walk along this pristine shoreline from Nauset Light Beach to the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown.

Two of the developed areas along the National Seashore are the Marconi Station Area and Nauset Light Beach.

The Marconi Station Area is located in Wellfleet, just a short distance off of Route 6. It was from this forty-foot sand cliff above the ocean that the famous Italian inventor Marconi successfully completed the first transatlantic wireless communication between the United States and England in 1903. The overlook at the Marconi Site offers a view of the Atlantic Ocean to the ease and Cape Cod Bay in the West.

A few miles further south on Route 6 is the road to Nauset Light Beach. On the road to the beach stands the classic red-and-white Nauset Light, one of Cape Cod's most photographed sights. The lighthouse was once located on the top of the sand cliff overlooking the beach, but because of erosion, in 1996 it was moved 300 feet inland to its present location.

From the parking lot, a long wooden stairway descends from the top of the cliff to the beach. The view along the beach is of crashing surf on one side and towering, shrub covered cliffs on the other. The surf makes it an ideal place for swimming, surfing, body surfing, and boogie boarding. There are restrooms, showers, and lifeguards.

Nauset Beach location map

Javascript is required to view this map.