One of the four original settlements on Cape Cod, Eastham is best known as the gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore. There are two beautiful National Seashore beaches on the Atlantic Ocean: Coast Guard Beach and Nauset Light Beach.
On Coast Guard Beach, Henry Beston spent two years observing nature and recorded his findings in The Outermost House. On Nauset Light Beach the historic Nauset Light still flashes red and white beams.
Settled by the pilgrims in 1644, Eastham is best known as the site where the Mayflower’s Myles Standish and his scouting party first met the Nauset Indians in 1620 at First Encounter Beach. This first “encounter” met with resistance and persuaded the pilgrims to scout elsewhere. They returned 24 years later from Plymouth to purchase most of the land for an unknown quantity of hatchets.
The Cape Cod National Seashore with miles of gorgeous beaches, walking trails and bike paths put Eastham on the map – there is no formal Main Street or identifiable town center. The Salt Pond Visitor Center is an excellent natural history museum. At Fort Hill there are marvellous views and more trails as well as Captain Penniman’s House, home to a whaling captain in the 1800s.
Eastham’s history is also evident in visits to the Cape’s oldest remaining windmill (tours available in the summer), the Historical Society Museum and the Swift-Daley House.
Villages of Eastham
Eastham Village / North Eastham / South Eastham
TOP THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN EASTHAM
Cape Cod National Seashore
Salt Pond Visitor’s Center
Captian Penniman House
Coast Guard Beach
First Encounter Beach
Fort Hill Conservation Area