The “Jewel” of Barnstable
Donna Bragg, Sandy Neck Beach Park Operations Manager, shares her firsthand insights and passion for Barnstable’s most prized possession. A delicate eco-system shared by wildlife, people and off-road vehicles, Sandy Neck has proved to be a unique destination for seasonal visitors and a favorite among locals.
People from all over the world come to enjoy the beaches of Cape Cod in the summer months. I am privileged to work and enjoy one of the finest. Sandy Neck Beach Park began as a little nub jutting out into the Cape Cod Bay in 1300 BC. Sandy Neck has grown to a 47,000-acre park and acts as a barrier beach protecting Barnstable Harbor.
Sandy Neck Beach Park consists of a rocky front beach, beautiful sweeping dunes and is home to the Barnstable Great Marsh. The famous Sandy Neck Lighthouse sits on the eastern tip of Sandy Neck at Beach Point. This lighthouse is not accessible to the public. Although the lighthouse is private, folks can get a fantastic view of it as well as the iconic cottage colony from Barnstable Harbor, or better yet, an excellent view if you decide to go out on a whale watch via Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises from the harbor. The cottage colony, only accessible by boat or dune trail for its residents, has been around for years and is on the Historical Register. Cannons were mounted at the colony during the Revolutionary War to protect the valuable inner harbor, however no shots were ever fired. Today, the cannons adorn the front of the Barnstable Courthouse in Barnstable Village.The rich history of Sandy Neck begins with the People of the First Light—the Wampanoag—who inhabited the land, fished its pure waters, and dug shellfish from its shores. The land was...
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