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Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Seashore?

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Though Cape Cod National Seashore is considered to be an "urbanized park," there are vestiges of wild dunescapes such as this one near Race Point. NPT file photo by Kurt Repanshek.

Which is your favorite national seashore, and why? Seems like a pretty straightforward question, no?

How tough can it be to answer?

After all, there are just a handful of national seashores: Cape Cod, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, Point Reyes, Assateague Island, Canaveral, Cumberland Island, Fire Island, Gulf Islands, and Padre Island. And they all have a mix of sun, sand, surf and sea.

But don't they all have their own personalities, too? Assateague has its ponies, Cape Hatteras its off-road contingents, Cape Cod its somewhat urbanized setting.

Share your thoughts, which seashore is your favorite?

Comments

tomp:
ypw--

I suspect that you've never been to the west side of Everglades NP. Many of the little islands such as Tiger Key, Picnic Key, and Rabbit Key have wonderful sandy beaches, with the advantage of privacy, as its an hour or 2 of easy paddling and NPS limits the number of permits for camping along the wilderness waterway. I've been the only party at Rabbit Key on a late October weekend, although I believe that there are 2 campsites there.

But your broader point is certainly correct: Everglades isn't the kind of seashore with big beaches and thousands of folks at the beach on a nice weekend. And I'd rather be on the beach at Olympic than at Everglades.

I suppose I missed those parts when I visited. I remember years ago my parents got me a National Geographic hardcover book on National Park Service sites. I remember seeing some photo of an Everglades NP beach area, although it wasn't terribly sandy and was covered with seashells from expired mollusks - especially scallops. I visited the Flamingo area and inquired about whether there were any beaches, and I was told nothing where one would lay down a picnic blanket or walk in bare feet. What I remember was that the land/water areas were primarily covered with mangroves. I saw birds on a sandbar on the Gulf Coast boat tour, but I'm thinking that would have been a lousy place to have a picnic or even try to walk. Not to mention that would mean harassing the birds.

I loved Olympic NP. There seemed to be driftwood (big 'ol logs especially) everywhere with miles and miles of beaches.

I've certainly had interesting days at Point Reyes too. I thought we would have a leisurely hour or so at Limantour Beach. However - it was really, really windy with sand blowing everywhere. We took a cue from a mom telling her son to walk backwards on the way to the parking lot, since the sand would have blown right into their faces if they walked forwards.


ypw--

I suspect that you've never been to the west side of Everglades NP. Many of the little islands such as Tiger Key, Picnic Key, and Rabbit Key have wonderful sandy beaches, with the advantage of privacy, as its an hour or 2 of easy paddling and NPS limits the number of permits for camping along the wilderness waterway. I've been the only party at Rabbit Key on a late October weekend, although I believe that there are 2 campsites there.

But your broader point is certainly correct: Everglades isn't the kind of seashore with big beaches and thousands of folks at the beach on a nice weekend. And I'd rather be on the beach at Olympic than at Everglades.


I would note that the coastal section of Olympic National Park has all the qualities that one would want in a "National Seashore".

As does Acadia.

I'm not sure it does. I thought that one of the hallmarks of a "National Seashore" is sandy beaches. What I've read of Acadia NP and seen in pictures claims that there aren't too many sandy beaches there, and the shore tends to be rocky. By the same token, Everglades NP meets both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, but there aren't really too many sandy beaches.


Mine is the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Miles of open beaches and the peacefulness unmatched anywhere else. The number of different types of water fowl and animals make this a truly unique experience.

-- Dan Spaventa


There are two places for me. On the East coast it's Cape Hatteras just an beautiful great place to be. If I'm on the West coast Point Reyes for the mountains and sites. You can hike for days and not see everything it has to offer.


You can legally drink a brewski or two on the beach at Cape Hatteras, but visitors need to be aware of the various regs pertaining to alcoholic beverages at this seashore. Having open containers of beer or wine in your vehicle, even on the beach, is strictly forbidden. North Carolina laws also forbid the consumption of distilled liquors (whiskey, vodka, fortified wine, etc.) anywhere in public. The legal blood alcohol limit is .08, and the legal drinking age is 21.


Cape hatteras. It's one of the few places left where i can drive my Ford F-250 down the beach and crack open a few brewskis while I'm surfcasting.


Hey, no prejudice Kirby. I'm just working my way through the countless NPS designations! The possibilities for reader surveys are endless when you break down the system that way;-)


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