We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful hidden gem”

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #4 of 48 things to do in Chatham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Birdwatchers flock to this Cape Cod wildlife habitat with a special emphasis on migratory birds.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a hidden gem in Chatham. Partly because it is hard to find and partly because it has a very small parking lot (only reachable after going past lots of "private residence" signs) it is generally virtually empty, even on the best summer days. But it is one of the best beaches around. If you go, you can either walk down the path on the left of the parking lot or take the steps behind the Wildlife Refuge building. If you walk to the right for about two hundred yards it takes you around the point and looks out at Monomoy and Nantucket Sound. Great swimming beach (but bring bug spray for the greenheads). The Wildlife Refuge building display is a bonus visit, especially for young kids. The beach at the bottom of the stairs is also the departure point for the seal watch tours which are great fun (reservations required).

1  Thank tmmahony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (215)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

186 - 190 of 215 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2012

Best at low tide for walking the beach all the way to Stage Harbor viewing.

Thank BostonScribbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

First off, it's not easy to find the Refuge which is down from the Lighthouse off Morris Island Road, Morris Island is the sight of some of the most expensive real estate on the Cape, so not easy to find intentionally. But once you pull into the very small parking area, you have the opportunity for a treat. This is the sign-in area for the Grey Seal tour, for which I suggest you make reservations. The Grey Seals are interesting local residents that you can only really see from the boat tour that takes you out to the Monomoy flats. The views from the boat are worth the trip alone and the seals are great to see. These are the same seals that are a prime food source for the Great White Sharks, And so, like last week, bring some excitement to the Cape as everyone wanted to go out and see the sharks. We declined this opportunity - seen Jaws too many times.
OK, so besides the seal watch trip, you can simply walk the trail from the Refuge and walk down the stairs to the beach, which only really exists at low tide. But I guarantee that it will be almost deserted and you can walk and walk along this beautiful rustic beach with gorgeous views all around you. This is not the beach you go to for swimming and hanging out. it's for hiking and enjoying the views. One of the best kept wild nature experiences on the Cape. I really wasn't sure I wanted to share this here, but everybody else has this place wrong.

5  Thank Carol B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2012

We went on a seal tour to Monomoy Island. It was very foggy when we went out, so our seal prospects were a bit limited. However, we saw a seal on the beach and plenty on the water. It was very informative and we got some good pictures.

2  Thank rhondylee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

Visited with two little kids (1 and 5) and my wife. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll on the beach while the kids splashed through the tidal pools and looked for horseshoe crab tests. In the fall there are often harbor seals close by but we didn't see any this day. There were a handful of surf fishermen and clammers. Parking is limited to about ten cars. There are public bathrooms and a visitors center but no trash (pack out what you pack in). The visitors center has a room where small kids can touch various items ranging from shells to skeletons. The park is 5-10 mins from Main St., past Chatham Light. Ice cream on Main St. was a nice close to the day.

Thank Biggeeks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge also viewed

 

Been to Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing