Eastham

What You Should Know

Eastham is the gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Outer Cape. There are several excellent bay and ocean beaches which have been popular for generations.

Eastham (pop. 4,956) was first settled by the Pilgrims in 1644. Originally named Nawsett, it was incorporated on June 7, 1651. First Encounter Beach is where Myles Standish and company met up with the Nauset Indians in 1620.

Eastham was essentially one giant asparagus patch until the 1920s, but now is known for its delicious turnips.


The Windmill on the Eastham Village Green on Route 6, site of many concerts, art shows and the town's annual Windmill Weekend. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.


Why You Should Go

If you enjoy the outdoors, you'll love Eastham. It has some of the most interesting nature trails and sights, including Fort Hill and the Red Maple Swamp Trail and Nauset Marsh Trail, all in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Biking enthusiasts and walkers will love the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Maintained by the state's Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, it’s a 22-mile former railroad that runs from Dennis to Wellfleet.

History buffs rejoice; Eastham's Historical Society operates several sites including the Schoolhouse Museum, the Windmill on the Village Green and the Swif-Daley House. The Cape Cod National Seashore operates the Captain Penniman House at Fort Hill, the Salt Pond Visitor Center and the Three Sisters Lighthouses. The Nauset Lighthouse Preservation Society offers tours of Nauset Lighthouse during the better part of the year and even offers a full moon tour every now and then.

Do you enjoy eclectic souvenirs, cool antiques, and other fascinating bric-a-brac? Then come to Buddha & Beads, where you can find a huge assortment of jewelry, yard ornamentation, crystals, and other goodies you won’t find anywhere else.

Like its fellow Outer Cape towns, Eastham holds an annual family-friendly celebration in the fall. Windmill Weekend is filled with fun events, entertainment, food and activities and culminates with a down-home parade on the final day of the parade.


Tour historic Nauset Lighthouse at Nauset Light Beach in North Eastham. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

    Romantic Spots

    Drop into the Chocolate Café for homemade fudge, an espresso, mocha, or breakfast pastries at this petite local shop.

    Family & Kids

    Arnold’s Mini-Golf is an 18-hole course challenging enough for a scratch golfer yet full of enough fun for the first timer. No matter your age, come try your skills, then reward yourselves at the restaurant and ice cream stand.

    Travel Tips

    Town Information: Town of Eastham, Eastham Chamber of Commerce, Eastham Public Library, Orleans-Eastham Elks Lodge

    Churches: Eastham United Methodist Church, Nauset Fellowship-Unitarian Universalist

    Staying in Eastham: Vacation House Rentals

    Beaches: Coast Guard Beach, Campground Beach, Cooks Brook, First Encounter, Nauset Light Beach