Race Point Beach, Provincetown

Tips for Birding

Expect to pay an entrance fee if accessing this beach from May until September. A spotting scope is especially helpful for this site in order to maximize what you will be able to see when seawatching, although one could still have a reasonably good time scanning the shoreline with just binoculars. Depending on the wind direction, you might find lee in the dunes, or next to the Ranger Station.

Birds of Interest

Since Race Point is almost entirely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean at the tip of a 60+ mile peninsula, it is one of the best spots to find pelagic birds from land in Massachusetts. Given it's geographic position, the possibilities of what birds you can expect to find are endless. It takes time to fully appreciate this hotspot, many factors such as wind direction and speed, weather conditions, tidal stages, and more will dictate what birds are present. Some of the most commonly sought after birds at this hotspot include: Dovekies, Common Murre & Thick-billed Murre, Parasitic Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger (on rare occasions), Pacific Loons, Black-legged Kittiwake, 4 species of Shearwaters (Cory's, Manx, Sooty, and Great), Wilson's Storm Petrels, Bonaparte's Gull, Iceland Gull, and many more. Be sure to check recent sightings and bar charts on eBird to know when to expect each species.

About this Location

Race Point Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Cape Cod National Seashore. It offers views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as opportunities for swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching. Race Point Beach is accessible by car, bike, or shuttle bus from the nearby visitor center. The beach has seasonal restrooms and showers. 

Protected shorebirds typically nest and stage on this beach from late spring to fall. Note and follow any posted pedestrian or pet closures.

Use caution on bike trails, watch out for ticks and poison ivy, use caution when walking and do not damage beach grass.

About Cape Cod National Seashore

See all hotspots at Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod is a large peninsula extending 60 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Massachusetts. Located on the outer portion of the Cape, Cape Cod National Seashore’s 44,600 acres encompass a rich mosaic of marine, estuarine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. These systems and their associated habitats reflect the Cape’s glacial origin, dynamic natural processes, and at least 9,000 years of human activity. Geomorphic shoreline change, groundwater fluctuations, tidal dynamics including rising sea level, and atmospheric deposition are among the many physical processes that continue to shape the Seashore’s ecosystems. Marine and estuarine systems include beaches, sand spits, tidal flats, salt marshes, and soft-bottom benthos. Freshwater ecosystems include kettle ponds, vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, and swamps. Terrestrial systems include pitch pine and scrub oak forests, heathlands, dunes, and sandplain grasslands. Many of these habitats are globally uncommon and the species that occupy them are correspondingly rare.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

Content from Official Website and Cape Cod National Seashore website

Last updated December 21, 2023