You might say there would be no Thanksgiving if it weren’t for what happened on First Encounter Beach in 1620, nearly 400 years ago. Searching for a good location for a settlement, it was here that members of the Mayflower expedition landed and first encountered Native Americans. These members of the Nauset Tribe responded to the strangers by firing a round of arrows into the camp. It was all the settlers needed to pick up and move on to Plymouth, Massachusetts. It wasn’t until much later, in 1644, that that lands that now comprise Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, and a portion of Chatham were settled.
Today visitors can see the plaque on the beach, and learn all about the area’s history at the Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham. But even if there were no history here, the beach would be a must to see. Here on the bay side, the water is calm and the salt marsh setting is a stunner, made even more so at low tide. Plan to come for a walk at sunset, which are especially beautiful.
First Encounter Beach
End of Samoset Road, off U.S. 6, Eastham, MA
Parking: $15/weekdays, $18/weekends
Salt Pond Vistors Center
50 Nauset Road, Eastham, MA
Open daily, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
First Encounter Beach is less than 10 minutes from the Inn, so it’s easy to take a walk before breakfast—or for early risers to catch a sunrise. It’s one of the nice benefits of staying here with us!