Chatham Area Beaches

What’s a trip to the Cape without trips to the beach? Lucky guests of Chatham Wayside are just a short walk from the largest and most scenic, Lighthouse Beach, and you can also take a shuttle from Main Street. Nearby, we also have Harding’s, Ridgevale, Oyster Pond, and other spots for taking in the fresh air and ocean breeze.

Nearby Beaches


    When people are looking for beaches near Chatham, this is the one that many people think of. Located on Shore Road by the Chatham Light, Lighthouse Beach is huge with an amazing view. It’s suggested to bring binoculars to see even more of the scenery. It’s also an ideal place to see the sunrise.

    The lighthouse is actively used by the U.S. Coast Guard to help guide ships through the waters of Chatham. While it’s not always open to the public, when it is, the admission is free. Be sure to plan to be at the beach when the lighthouse is open for visiting.

    This is a great beach for all ages. However, be aware that parking is limited, and only available for half an hour at a time. There is a shuttle bus available at Eldredge Service Station on Main Street, however. This beach is also within walking distance (0.6 miles) from the Chatham Inn.


    Off Hardings Beach Road, Harding’s Beach (also known as Harding Beach) is located on the warm calm waters of Nantucket Sound. It’s considered by many to be the most family-oriented beach in Chatham.

    Harding’s Beach also offers great views of Oyster River and Stage Harbor. It’s recommended as a great place for bird watching. If you’re looking to sail or kayak to Monomoy Island, this is a great beach to launch from. Nearby, there are kayak rentals available. There’s plenty of parking and lifeguards on staff. Showers and food vendors are also available at this beach.


    Oyster Pond is a beach off of Stage Harbor Road and Kingsbury Way in Chatham, MA. It is a salt water tidal pond with warm, calm waters. Great for young families and swimmers of all ages, it is the closest swimming beach to the Chatham Wayside Inn, close to Main Street.

    With bathrooms and parking, Oyster Pond also has picnic tables and can make a wonderfully convenient spot for lunching and lounging.


    Located off Ridgevale Drive, Ridgevale is a sizable beach facing Nantucket sound, with a nice view. Great for families, it has a lifeguard on duty, snack shack, restrooms and parking. The ocean side is good for strong swimmers but there is also a creek that’s perfect for little swimmers to wade in and go searching for crabs and seashells.


    Cockle Cove Beach is on Taylor’s Pond Road off Cockle Cove Road in South Chatham, MA. It’s right off of Route 28. This beach is long and narrow with plenty of room, small waves and shallow areas. Cockle Cove is a great place for windsurfing and boating. For cyclists, there’s even a bike rack. It’s also perfect for walking.


    Forest Beach is off of Forest Beach Road in Chatham. There is free parking for a limited amount of cars. This is a family-oriented beach with calm, warm waters for swimming. It also happens to be a favorite of local cottage owners.

    While Forest Beach is free-entry, there are no bathrooms or lifeguards on staff. The beach includes plenty of shells for beachcombing and some rock jetties. Generally, it’s a beach without many people, so it’s usually fairly quiet and peaceful. It’s also a Conservation Area, so it’s a nice place to enjoy nature.