Want to really get to know Cape Cod through its food, culture and outdoor treasures? Explore the area with a local expert on a day tour, take a self-guided walk a nature paths or historical trails, spook yourself with local legends & lore, or enjoy a family-friendly excursion on land or sea.
Tours for foodies
While seafood might be the Cape's most famous culinary export, Cape Cod also produces several varieties of wine. Learn about maritime grape growing at Truro Vineyards, with free guided tours Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekend. Try a few samples as part of the tour and don’t miss the chance to look inside the new state-of-the-art barrel room.
Sample some of the area’s best brews at Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis. The brewery and tasting room are open year-round for tours. You’ll also be able to try the selection of porters, IPAs and ales, stouts, and seasonals—the cranberry, made with local produce, is a fall favorite. The brewery store features a large selection of products made on Cape Cod.
If you love local oysters, a low tide walking tour of Barnstable Sea Farms’ working oyster farm is right up your alley. Tours are led by Mass Audubon naturalists at low tide several times throughout the summer, right off the beach at Long Pasture. Venture out onto the mudflats to see how an oyster grant works and learn about aquaculture.
The signature crunch in every bite of Cape Cod Potato Chips is from kettle frying that’s done in small batches at the Hyannis facility. Stop by Monday through Friday for a self-guided tour along with a salty sample.
Best Tours for Families
Miles of coastline are just waiting to be explored on Cape Cod. Barnstable Harbor Eco-Tours offers two-hour excursions on its spacious 25-passenger pontoon boat, the Horseshoe Crab. An expert naturalist serves as your guide to keep kids entertained and informed, and everyone can enjoy scenic views of The Great Marsh, Sandy Neck barrier beach, Sandy Neck Cottage Colony, and the Sandy Neck Lighthouse.
Hop aboard Cape Cod Duckmobile for a land and sea adventure on the Cape’s only authentic military amphibious vehicles. The tour starts on the streets of downtown Hyannis and takes you past points of historical significance related to President Kennedy’s life and times on this sandy peninsula. You’ll also spot historic lighthouses and some of Cape Cod's best beaches.
Kids (and parents) that love getting their hands dirty can do so on the Cape Cod Learning Tour. Explore tidal pools, salt marshes, low tide coastlines and all the creatures that call those places home. Tours are priced for the whole family and depart from Provincetown and Woods Hole.
Put yourself in the shoes of President Kennedy and walk the 1.6-mile Kennedy Legacy Trail across downtown Hyannis and the shore for a glimpse into the president’s life on Cape Cod, from early childhood to the presidency. There are 10 sites in all, including St. Francis Xavier Church, which became the 'summer parish" for many in the Kennedy family. The trail concludes with the beautifully landscaped JFK Memorial overlooking Lewis Bay.
Imagine life in colonial-era Cape Cod with tales of witches from nearby Salem and a war about to break out. Life was often challenging and spirits are said to remain in many of the Cape’s oldest landmarks. Ghost Hunters and Haunted Walk Tours on Cape Cod takes you through Old King’s Highway in Barnstable for evening excursions in pubs, graveyards and other locations. You’ll get plenty of history lessons as your ghostly guide recounts tales of life and death from more than 300 years ago.
For those in search of New England’s famed whales, head out to the high seas for the chance to catch breathtaking views of the mighty creatures in the Atlantic. Whalewatch excursions operate daily cruises in season out of Hyannis, Provincetown and Plymouth, offering unique opportunities to see humpbacks, finbacks, minkes, right and pilot whales in their natural habitat; dolphins and porpoises are also common along the route. All ships offer outside viewing decks, seasonally climate-controlled cabins, and snack bars. Seal cruises are another fun on-the-water experience, putting you right up close with the adorable mammals.
Take a scenic ride with Art's Dune Tours to explore parts of the Cape often overlooked by visitors. On the journey through the grassy dunes and sandy hills of Provincetown, you'll pass the famous "dune shacks" where artists and writers including Eugene O'Neill and Jackson Pollock came for artistic isolation. Herring Cove Beach, located at the very tip of the Cape, offers prime viewing for stunning sunsets if you opt for a dusk tour.
For those seeking peaceful moments among wildlife, consider a kayak tour. Rideaway Adventures takes you through Scorton Creek or Mashpee river where you’ll glide through tranquil waters and get up close to native plants and animals. A sunset tour is available, too. Great Marsh Kayak Tours hails out of Barnstable, and takes kayakers through the Great Salt Marsh with views of wildlife, beaches, lighthouses and the iconic landscapes of the Cape.
And get a bird’s eye view of Cape Cod while climbing your way to fun at the Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens, Set on four acres of prime garden land, the Adventure Park offers five aerial trails with a series of ropes, climbing courses, runways and zip-lines, with varying levels of difficulty. The views of the surrounding grounds are as thrilling as the adventure.