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Orleans residents have always relied heavily on the sea for their livelihoods. During the 19th century windmill-powered saltworks processed sea water into salt, deep-sea and shell fishing were major industries, and fields fertilized with nutrient-laden seaweed produced hearty crops.

The water is a recreational resource drawing tourists to beaches and fishing areas on both Cape Cod Bay and the ocean. Nauset Beach, on the ocean at Beach Road, has a 1,000-vehicle parking lot, showers, picnic tables and a snack bar. Skaket Beach, on the bay off Skaket Beach Road, has a 150-car parking lot, showers, picnic tables and a snack bar. A scenic portion of US 6 runs northward to Provincetown.

Visitor Centers

Orleans Chamber of Commerce 44 Main St. Orleans, MA . Phone:(508)255-1386An information booth is at 8 Eldredge Pkwy.

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