48 Hours on Cape Cod
You’ve got 48 hours on Cape Cod with your kids—now what do you do? Follow this itinerary or use it as a jumping-off point for your own unique family vacation. Either way, your two days on Cape Cod are sure to be filled with lasting memories.
8:30 am - Persy’s Place (Mashpee, Falmouth, Hyannis)
With three locations on the Cape alone— a Persy’s Place (and an extra serving of their out-of-this-world corned beef) is a perfect pick. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes and mouthwatering country fried steak are just a fraction of this popular local chain’s extensive menu.
10:00 am - Heritage Museums & Gardens (67 Grove St., Sandwich)
Situated on more than 100 acres, this engaging museum offers a number of programs that get kids moving as they learn. Younger children are encouraged to splash around as they build forts, create art out of nature and explore a two-story tree house at Hidden Hollow, a certified Nature Explore classroom. Older researchers can test their logical skills as they zipline through the trees on one of The Adventure Park’s five aerial trails. Meanwhile, the adults will love discovering Heritage's exquisitely manicured grounds and interactive exhibits (the new Indy 500 car exhibit runs through October).
1:00 pm - Mayflower Beach (Dunes Road, Dennis)
Grab a picnic lunch (Paradise Pizza in Dennis is a local favorite for sandwich take-out) on your way to Mayflower Beach, because once you arrive you won’t want to leave its soft white sand and “New England warm” water. Low-tide reveals miles of scroll-etched shoreline, a dream-come-true for budding Instagram photographers. Mother Nature’s grandeur aside, a snack bar and beach facilities also make this beach a great spot for families.
3:00 pm - Bike Trails at Nickerson State Park (3488 Main St., Brewster)
In addition to its own ten-plus miles of paved paths, this wooded campground and natural site also links to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. From cranberry bogs to marinas, the scenery on the 22-mile Rail Trail byway oozes New England charm.
5:00 pm - Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar (3580 Route 6, Eastham)
Just because your little ones are anti-oyster doesn’t mean you have to go without! While the kiddos are content slurping mac and cheese, sidle up to the raw bar and watch as your salty, ocean-fresh Wellfleet oyster is shucked right before your very eyes. If there’s time left before leaving for your next stop, test the family’s mini-golf skills at Arnold’s on-site course.
7:00 pm - Wellfleet Drive-in Theatre (51 State Hwy, Route 6, Wellfleet)
Nothing says summer vacation quite like a drive-in movie. What’s more, after an activity-filled day, there’s a chance your kids might just pass out before the start of the second feature. Guess what? You’ve just crushed parenting.
9:00 am - Hole In One Bakery (4295 Route 6, Eastham)
Fuel up like a champ with a wide selection of hand-cut donuts, tasty croissants, and homemade muffins. Luckily, you’re on vacation so indulge in a cakey sour cream doughnut now, and save a pecan pie bar for later. Fun Fact: If you’re looking for a sit-down spot, there’s a Hole in One Restaurant in nearby Orleans.
10:00 am - The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (869 Main St., Route 6A, Brewster)
After breakfast, join a naturalist-guided stroll on a wooden-plank pathway through the salt marsh ending at Cape Cod Bay. Return to the main building to watch an osprey nest on live webcam, and to explore the museum’s butterfly apiary and touch-tank aquarium.
12:30 pm - Captain Frosty’s (219 Main St., Dennis)
Devouring day-boat scallops, ultra-fresh fried cod and hand-cut onion rings under a shady oak tree is a fine way to lunch. However, some members of your party may have more exacting palates. For these individuals, Captain Frosty’s offers a kiddie burger accompanied by fries, as well as chicken tenders and fries. Did we mention their delicious soft serve ice cream for dessert?
1:50 pm - Pirate Adventures Cape Cod (180 Ocean Street, Hyannis)
Don your finest eyepatch and fire the water-canons! This 75 minute interactive cruise will test the mettle of all 3- to 10-year-old pirates (and their parents) foolhardy enough to climb aboard. Fun Fact: In addition to swashbuckling, pirates are also well-known for their timeliness. It’s best to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled departure to check in and pick out the “most perfectest” temporary tattoo.
2:00 pm - Cape Cod Inflatable Park (518 Main St., West Yarmouth)
If your crew’s not quite seaworthy, check out Cape Cod’s only inflatable amusement park. From becoming a human slingshot to moseying along a lazy river, the park’s three zones—Inflatable, Challenge and H2O—cater to a variety interests and age levels. Added Bonus: Parents who want to cheer their kids on from underneath an umbrella, rather than attempt the trapeze, don’t have to pay to stay in the dry inflatables zones.
6:30 pm - Baxter's Boathouse Restaurant (177 Pleasant St., Hyannis)
It’s your last meal on the Cape. We know what you’re craving: baby spinach, dried cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese, and shrimp skewers....on the water, naturally. Pick up your plates, sit outside and watch as the ferries skim into Hyannis Harbor.
8:30 pm - Four Seas Ice Cream (360 South Main St., Centerville)
Local folklore tells of Jackie Kennedy’s deep affinity for Four Seas’ fresh peach ice cream. Celebrities like Taylor Swift and Bob Hope have also been known to drop by for a scoop. Although, even stars like Aerosmith can’t ellipse the Seas’ brown sugar-based penuche (pen-ooo-chee) pecan. Sweet treats and beach views—not a bad way to wrap up your 48 hours in Cape Cod.