The Cape is gorgeous during the summer, but even in July and August the ocean here is pretty chilly. Instead of an ocean beach, why not try an inland pond or lake for swimming? The water is crystal clear, the beaches are often uncrowded and the water is a bit warmer. Grab your towel, sunscreen and a picnic and head out to these nine swimming spots with clear, pristine water on Cape Cod.
1. Great Pond, Wellfleet
The warm, crystal-clear waters of Great Pond will keep you there until dusk. The beach is shaded, but small. You'll need a Wellfleet parking sticker to park for the day. It's secluded and quiet here.
2. Nickerson Ponds, Brewster
Nickerson State Park is like being transported into another world - one with tall pines and eight kettle ponds here that are perfect for splashing. The ponds were formed by ancient glaciers - their water levels vary year to year. You'll pay a small fee to enter this state park.
3. Flax Pond, Dennis
Bring your pup along to play in Flax Pond. The pond is clear and clean, and it even has a rope swing! It's a short five minute walk from the parking area, down a wooded path. The parking here is free.
4. Hathaway's Pond, Barnstable
Hathaway's pond has a big, sandy beach and even a lifeguard to keep you safe! Bring a picnic - you'll find grills and picnic tables here, too. Find this beautiful spot off Phinney's Lane.
5. Gull Pond, Wellfleet
Gull Pond is a great little spot for swimming, canoeing or kayaking. Look for two smaller, more shallow ponds behind Gull! This little pond tends to be a bit more crowded than others, and the beach is very small, so arrive early for the best spot. You'll need a Wellfleet beach pass to park.
6. Sandy Pond, Yarmouth
Not only will you find some clean, clear water for swimming, but you'll also enjoy other amenities here. Play on the playground, tennis courts and basketball court. You'll also enjoy the picnic areas and restrooms. Parking here is free!
7. Scargo Lake, Dennis
Set up a chair and a beach blanket on Princess Beach, then enjoy the warm, clear waters of Scargo Lake. This area also offers a few hiking trails and a small playground. A parking attendant will take your fee for day use parking.
8. Snake Pond, Sandwich
Swim, canoe, kayak or just lie on the beach here. Gorgeous! Take Route 130 to Snake Pond Road to find this little, hidden gem. You'll need a parking permit, but this stunning swimming spot is well worth it!
9. Long Pond, Yarmouth
This pretty swimming hole has a decent-sized beach, and it's surrounded by wooded areas to explore! When you get tired of swimming, play basketball on the court, or play on the playground equipment. It's free to park here, and during summer months portable restrooms are available.