Boating, Fishing, and Travel Information for Wellfleet Harbor, MA
Wellfleet is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, and is located halfway between the “tip” and “elbow” of Cape Cod. The town’s year round population of 3,500 residents swells to around 17,000 in the busy summer months. A total of 70% of the town’s land area is under protection, and nearly half of it is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Wellfleet is approximately 14 miles south of Provincetown, 48 miles from the Sagamore Bridge, and 100 miles (by road) southeast of Boston. Wellfleet is famous for its oysters, which are celebrated in the annual October Wellfleet OysterFest.
The lands of Wellfleet wrap around Wellfleet Harbor, extending from the main portion of the Cape around the harbor to Great Island and Jeremy Point. Mayo Beach is at the head of the Harbor. The Billingsgate shoals are split between Wellfleet and neighboring Eastham. Several other inlets extend inland from the harbor, at the mouth of the Herring River (also called “The Gut”), Duck Creek, Blackfish Creek and Fresh Brook (commonly known as “The Run”) which leads to several brooks. In addition to the Seashore, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, run by Massachusetts Audubon, surrounds much of The Run, including part of Small Island (between The Run and Blackfish Creek).
Things To Do for Wellfleet Harbor, MA
- The Wellfleet OysterFest is held annually the weekend after Columbus Day. This 2-day celebration of the famous Wellfleet Oyster brings more than 20,000 people — locals and visitors alike — to Wellfleet’s town center for oyster-related fun and festivities. There is a shucking competition, a 5K race, art, music, local beer and wine, and of course — food! Visiting during the summer? Shellfish Farm Tours are hosted by the same folks as the festival, and are a great way to learn all about the local shellfishing industry.
- Wellfleet’s Marconi Beach is one of the five Cape Cod National Seashore beaches on the ocean side of the Cape, making it a popular surfing spot. There is a broad, sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay from the overlook atop the steep sand cliff above the beach. The beach is named for Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. In 1903, the first transatlantic wireless communication originating in the United States was successfully transmitted from nearby Marconi Station; a message from U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII. The National Park Service has built a display on-site that describes the history of wireless telegraphy, though parts have been removed due to beach erosion. During the summer season, restrooms and outdoor showers are available to beachgoers, along with on-site parking and access from the nearby bike trail via a two-lane road. Admission is charged for vehicles and pedestrians at the rate for all Cape Cod National Seashore beaches.
- The Wellfleet Drive-In Theater is the only drive-in theater on Cape Cod and is located along U.S. Route 6 in Wellfleet. This fun, nostalgic experience includes a 100-by-44-foot screen, with sound provided by both a FM stereo signal, and the original individual monaural speakers that can be attached to a car’s window. The theater airs a 1950’s “Visit The Snack Bar” cartoon during the intermission, and offers first-run double features in season, with other attractions such as indoor cinemas, a flea market a miniature golf course, a snack bar, and dairy bar.
Helpful Resources for Wellfleet Harbor, MA
- Cape Cod National Seashore Information – including Beach Driving Permits & Regulations
- Mass.gov Saltwater Fishing Public Access – includes interactive public boat launch map
- Kayaking Cape Cod – Mass Audubon
- Jack’s Cape Cod – Wellfleet Boat Rentals
- Visit Cape Cod Tourism Website
- Marinas near Wellfleet, MA
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