Let’s face it—not every day can be a beach day. But when you’re on the Cape, there’s no end to the different ways you can embrace the great outdoors and all of Cape Cod’s rich traditions. Whether it’s on land or by sea, choose your own family adventure, step out of your comfort zone, and stop frequently for ice cream!
Return to one of life’s simplest pastimes and explore the Cape’s iconic landscapes, seaside towns, and wild beauty from one of the many local bike paths and trails. Want a casual, coastal family ride? Cruise the Shining Sea Bikeway, with glorious views from North Falmouth to Woods Hole on a wide, flat path perfect for every age. Mid-Cape? Hop on the 22-mile paved Cape Cod Rail Trail and watch the scenery roll by along the former railroad line that crosses through six towns, marshes, fields, bogs, forest, and even a state park! Wear a suit and bring some pocket change for the frequent off-trail opportunities to stop and swim or grab a cold treat. No bike? Local rentals abound (Dennis Cycle Center, Holiday Cycles and RideAway Adventures, to name a few!)
On Barnstable Harbor Ecotours, you can take a peaceful harbor escape and explore coastal marshes and local wildlife of Barnstable Harbor for a lesson in local ecology...and tranquility. Have kids? Join the two-hour family Sandbar Explorations tour designed to unearth the creatures of the wondrous beach ecosystem and inspire budding marine biologists!
An array of paddling destinations on the Cape provides visitors and locals alike the opportunity for total 360-degree immersion in nature and coastal wildlife habitats. Why not make the most of it with a tour from a pro? Choose from the Lazy River, Cape Cod Explorer, or Full Moon private paddles at RideAway Kayak Adventures, or join a small group at Cape Cod Kayak on Toby Island, Back River, or Quisset Harbor. Book ahead for a seat at the truly amazing sunset tour in September! Both outfits rent and deliver to their favorite direct water-access locations.
Think deep sea fishing isn’t a family sport? Give your kids their ‘sea legs’ on Cape Cod Family Fishing Charters' vessel and try your luck fishing the flats of Barnstable Harbor with US Coast Guard Captain Bob at the helm. Want to start out slowly? Book a spin or fly trip by the hour and board the 24-foot Elizabeth B. Entertainment, family memories, and a catch of the day guaranteed.
Cape Cod Inflatable Park: Supersize your family fun at the Cape's largest wet and dry inflatable park, towering with rides and excitement in West Yarmouth. Float down the lazy river, fly through the air on a trapeze, and let the kids soak up the fun of the aqua play area, which includes tipping buckets and four small water slides. On-site cabana rentals with food and beverage service make it easy to take a break from the sun and recharge with family and friends. Visiting from out of town? Reserve a room at the adjacent Cape Cod Family Resort and receive complimentary park passes.
Want to stage a night to remember for your family? The Cape makes it easy with outdoor summer screenings of classic movie favorites and the latest in live entertainment. All you need is a car and a ticket to catch a live concert or comedy show at the new Yarmouth Drive-In or enjoy an old school evening at the 1950’s classic Wellfleet Drive-In, complete with snack and dairy bar.
Isn’t every day National Ice Cream Day on Cape Cod? With award-winning local shops churning out cold treats and imaginative flavors to write home about all summer long, it may as well be! Celebrate 86 years of homemade goodness at Four Seas Ice Cream, housed in a lovely white cottage for a true old-fashioned soda or sundae. Taste and feel the difference at the family owned and operated classic Cape Cod Creamery with containers weighing in denser than other brands. The secret? Less air equals more flavor! Swing by Sundae School Ice Cream Parlor to find out why they were named one of the “Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.” by Food and Wine magazine, and dive in to summer favorite flavors like Shark Bite.
Gear up for a swashbuckling good time at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in South Yarmouth, a family favorite and true Cape Cod landmark. Choose from two elaborately-themed, beautifully landscaped 18-hole courses brimming with pirate lore, caves, and cascading waterfalls—the perfect backdrop for some superb family competition. It’s hard not to daydream on these imaginative greens dubbed “the next best thing to Disney”, but your mates will take over if you do!
Have you ever heard the chorus of hundreds of seals singing in unison? Seal watching on the Cape is reason all on its own to visit the local sandbars and jetties teeming with resident gray and harbor seals basking in the sun in full view. Want a closer look at these ocean puppies? Climb on board with a Naturalist at Monomoy Island Excursions and say hello to the seals of Monomoy up close from a watch vessel...and dare we say it, sometimes even the shadow of a great white shark passing by! Want to cruise with a USCG captain? Look for the bright yellow BEACHCOMBER boats and book a seal tour along the Chatham Harbor waterways with Beachcomber Boat Tours.
Did you know Cape Cod was a top ten whale watch destination in the world? Book your family on a high seas whale watch adventure with one of these top-rated local excursion outfits designed for a dynamic day on New England waters. Head out to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary with Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises, Captain John Boats from Provincetown and Plymouth, or Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown.
Some of the most renowned golf course architects have had a hand in sculpting Cape Cod’s most scenic golf vistas, including courses that overlook the sparkling ocean, bustling harbors, picturesque lighthouses, crimson cranberry bogs and salt marshes courses that overlook the sparkling ocean, bustling harbors, picturesque lighthouses, crimson cranberry bogs and salt marshes. Well-manicured fairways and greens beckon golfers to the area, Whether you’re just beginning or a scratch player seeking a challenge,. Find a list of courses here - and search for tee times right online!