Long Point is the the very tip of Cape Cod. A short ferry ride will whisk you away from Provincetown to this secluded area where you can enjoy a pristine beach, make friends with seals and see one of the Cape’s most famous lighthouses.
How to visit Long Point in Cape Cod
A visit to Long Point couldn’t be easier. The ferry leaves from MacMillian Pier in Provincetown. About half way down the wharf, you will see a sign for the ferry on your right.
You can’t make reservations prior to your trip. You just hop on the ferry and pay on the boat. The cost is $15 one way and $20 round trip. Please note that it is cash only, so be prepared. It is also customary to tip the captain.
The ferry runs every half hour during the summer season. We were there on a sunny Saturday in July and we were the only ones on the boat, but the captain said it does sell out on occasion. If that happened, you would just wait for the next available ferry.
It only takes 10 minutes to cross the harbor to Long Point and the boat ride is all a part of the fun. Upon arrival, the boat is basically run aground and they flip a staircase over so you can walk off the boat right onto the beach.
History of Long Point
In the early 1800’s, Long Point was a thriving fishing village, but when the community was disbanded, the 38 families left and took their houses with them. They actually put their houses on rafts and floated them across the harbor to Provincetown. Some of these historic homes can still be seen in the West End signified by a blue and white plaque.
During the Civil War, there were two artillery batteries and a barrack that housed 98 soldiers. They never saw any action and the nicknames became “Fort Useless” and “Fort Rediculous.” That might be my sons’ favorite bit of Civil War history they have ever heard and they still joke about it to this day.
What is there to do on Long Point
We strolled down the beach only seeing an occasional passerby. The kids had so much fun collecting stones. The stones on this beach are a variety of colors and perfectly smooth. We always collect a rock on our travels, but on this beach, their heavy pockets made their shorts sag to the ground.
We had this feeling we were being watched and suddenly we realized we weren’t alone. A couple of seals were spying on us from the ocean. They were so curious that as we walked, they swam along side of us. It was such a highlight for us to watch them frolic and play.
We walked along the beach until we reached a path that led up to the lighthouse. The Long Point Lighthouse guides mariners into the busy fishing port of Provincetown Harbor. Beware of poison ivy along the path.
You can’t enter the lighthouse, but a trail will lead you back over to the other side of Long Point where you will catch the ferry home. When you want to head back, just head to the place where you were dropped off. There is no sign or dock so just make a mental note when you arrive.
What to pack for a trip to Long Point
What you will pack really depends on how long you plan to stay there. There are no facilities of any kind on Long Point. We asked someone if there was a bathroom and they kindly pointed to the ocean.
My kids wore their bathing suits on the ferry and I packed a towel and a change of clothes for them. I always bring a wet bag to put their suits in so that the rest of my backpack doesn’t get soaked. We had hats, sunscreen and a beach blanket for everyone to lay on. We also brought water bottles and some snacks for the kids.
We ate lunch in P-Town before our trip, so we didn’t need any food. If you planned to bring a picnic lunch, I would recommend a soft sided cooler or one that is backpack style. Everything you bring, you will be carrying off with you. There are no trash receptacles and nobody likes a litter bug.
Hiking to Long Point
It is possible to hike to Long Point, but hiking in sand can be challenging. It is about a 6 mile hike and you will have to pay a fee to enter the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Visiting Long Point was my favorite Cape Cod adventure this year. I highly recommend it! There is so much to do in Provincetown. Click here to read my full guide to this area.