Cabo Frio is a popular beach destination which draws a lot of beachgoers and surfers from around the state, and from the neighboring landlocked state of Minas Gerais. It was founded in the 16th century, after the Portuguese chased the French away from the area, and remained small for most of its history. With the income from the tourism industry and the influx of retired folks from Rio de Janeiro, it has grown to a city of over 216,000 (2017), with a wide range of amenities for the traveller.
- Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Guia (Capela Nossa Senhora da Guia). Constructed by the Franciscans around 1740.
- Church of Saint Benedict (Igreja de São Benedito), Passagem. Built in 1701 to hold mass for the slaves.
- Sào Mateus Fort (Forte de São Mateus do Cabo Frio). Built by the Portuguese between 1616 and 1620.
- Fort Beach (Praia do Forte) - With 7.5 kilometers of sand and a 16th-century Portuguese fort at its north end, this is the main beach in town.
- Peró Beach (Praia do Peró) - Good for surfing.
- São Bento Beach (Praia São Bento)
- Siqueira Beach (Praia do Siqueira) - 4km-long beach with kiosks that sometimes have live music.
- Sudoeste Beach (Praia do Sudoeste)
- Dune Beach (Praia das Dunas) - The best surfing beach around, with strong waves. Take care if you swim, as there is an undercurrent.
- Foguete Beach (Praia do Foguete)
- Palmeiras Beach (Praia das Palmeiras)
- Unamar Beach (Praia de Unamar)
Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo are great locations for scuba diving. The southerly cold and northerly warm current meet and marine life is abundant. Visibility is between 8 and 20 meters. Best time of year is in April.
- [dead link] Over Sea Dive Center, Rua José Augusto Saraiva, nº 2 Ilha da Draga, ☏ . Dive center with good equipment and bilingual instructor (Santiago). Offers a one day tour for certified divers including two immersions and some snacks. R$150.