Overlooking Race Point Beach, this Cape Cod National Seashore visitor center has displays on dune ecology and a rooftop observation deck with an eye-popping 360-degree view of the outermost reaches of Cape Cod. The park stays open to midnight, so even after the visitor center closes you can still climb to the deck for sunset views and unobstructed stargazing.

Inside are exhibits and short films covering the park's flora, fauna and history. Ask about the daily schedule of guided tours, ranging from dune walks and forays across the tidal flats to open houses at historic buildings. Most tours last one to two hours; many are free, and others have a nominal fee. Reservations are often required.

Don't forget the National Seashore visitor fees (pedestrians/cyclists/car $3/3/20), which are collected only in summer, ie from late June through early September (when lifeguards are on duty), and on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day (late May) to the end of September. Outside these times, beach parking is free.