Herring Cove Beach
National seashore treasure on the tip of the Cape
Herring Cove gives you everything you crave in a Cape Cod beach: picturesque dunes, miles of deep, hot sand, clean bathrooms and changing rooms, and a healthy mix of families and couples, both gay and straight. Parking can be a bear in July and August (especially during Bear Week), so the far better choice is to hit the nearby bike trail for a bit, then lock up your two-wheeler for a well-earned dip. If you crave even more pre-beach exercise, there are dune hikes aplenty (with far fewer clandestine sex acts than in decades past).
Where to eat/drink: Herring Cove got its own concession stand a few years’ back, and a superior one at that: Far Land on the Beach sells lobster rolls, crab cakes, fish tacos, and salads, plus beer and wine, and often stays open for dinner. That said, you don’t come to P-town and not investigate its exalted dining and nightlife. Start with a drink on the back deck of the iconic Red Inn before rambling into the center of town for your choice of restaurants and watering holes both upscale and honky tonk.