Town of Orleans
Orleans is a boaters and kayakers haven with its many coves, rivers, creeks and ponds. Famous Nauset Beach, one of the most well-known and visited beaches on Cape Cod, offers access for four wheel vehicles to the outer beach, which extends down to Chatham. Rock Harbor on Cape Cod Bay is a major attraction for visitors to take a charter fishing trip or watch the fabulous sunset.
Orleans, formerly part of Eastham, was named after Louis-Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Orleans and King of France from 1830-1848 and incorporated in 1797. The opening of the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1962 sparked Orleans’ transformation into a tourist area. The famous Nauset Beach, with its big waves and steep bluffs, is one of the most visited beaches on Cape Cod and also provides four-wheel access to the outer Cape beaches. Boaters have access to Orleans from Little Pleasant Bay, Nauset Inlet and a large quantity of coves and ponds. Orleans has the advantage of also abutting Cape Cod Bay, with Rock Harbor being a major attraction for visitors interested in taking a fishing trip on a charter boat or just watching the fantastic sunset from the beach or parking lot.
Points of Interest
1 Nauset Beach – From crashing chilly waves to its soft white sand, Nauset is one the best beaches on the East Coast. A day at Nauset can make a Cape Codder out of anyone. Panoramic ocean views, warm sand and the shrill cry of seagulls all keep visitors returning to this shoreline year after year. Traveling east, take a right on Main Street off Route 28 and follow the signs.
2 Skaket Beach/Rock Harbor – Calm waters and warm winds accent Skaket Beach as the gentle side of Orleans facing Cape Cod Bay. The beach is long and allows for extended walks on the flats at low tide. Adjacent to this is Rock Harbor, which moors numerous yachts and smaller craft along its granite dock. Located at the end of Rock Harbor Road.
3 Academy Playhouse – Originally built as a town hall in 1873, this building is now the Academy of Performing Arts Theater. Musicals and comedies are performed throughout the year. Located on Main Street in East Orleans.
4 Eldridge Park – This park is a postcard of how baseball used to be – green grass, red clay diamond and dedicated fans. Sports Illustrated called Eldridge Park one of the best amateur baseball parks in the world. Many current Major League players once played here, including Red Sox MVP Mo Vaughn. Located on Route 28.
5 French Cable Museum – From just before the turn of the century until 1940 this building served as a cable outpost transmitting international news to France. Now a museum, it exhibits the same antique equipment. Located on Cove Road off Route 28.
6 Old Cemetery – This cemetery, located on the corner of Main Street and Route 6A, contains plots dating back to the first 17th Century Orleans settlers.
7 Town Cove – A (literally) hidden town treasure, this tranquil cove moors over 100 vessels at different times of the year. A beautiful scenic area, it is surrounded by affluent homes, yacht clubs and hotels. Located along Route 28 headed towards Chatham.
8 Orleans Elementary School Playground – This playground, constructed of sturdy pressure-treated wood, offers a fantastic time for kids of all ages. It sports swing sets, slides, and more. Located behind the Elementary School on Eldridge Parkway near on Route 6A.
Beaches- Nonresident stickers are issued at Nauset Beach, Ph#(508) 240-3780 or pay to park.
- Nauset Beach- One of the most popular beaches on Cape Cod. Big waves and chilly ocean water.
- Pleasant Bay Beach
- Rock Harbor Beach- A great beach to watch the sunset at.
- Skaket Beach- A great place to walk the flats at low tide. Popular bayside beach.
- Bakers Pond Beach- Freshwater beach
- Pilgrim Lake Beach- Freshwater beach with great amenities.