While Cape Cod is most widely known as New England's summer playground, it also offers some of the most scenic views on the East coast. From spectacular sunsets and iconic boardwalks to picturesque lighthouses, here are some of the best places to capture picture-perfect selfies and Instagram-worthy snapshots on Cape Cod.
A trip to Cape Cod isn't complete without visiting at least one of the many lighthouses that dot the shore. While Race Point Light at the tip of Provincetown feels like you've reached the end of the world, the picturesque Nauset Light is the most widely photographed (bonus points if you pose in front of Nauset Light with your Cape Cod Potato Chips, which features the lighthouse right on the bag).
2. Cape Cod Canal
Take in picturesque views of the iconic Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge from the nearby bike path. It's a prime spot for photo-worthy sunsets, where you'll need to face west to capture fiery sunsets behind the iron-framed structure. While the bridge is usually left in the up position to allow ships to pass underneath, check schedules as it’s lowered several times a day for trains entering and leaving Cape Cod.
3. Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown
While not the tallest point on Cape Cod (that's Pine Hill in Bourne), the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown offers a high vantage point with a bird's eye view of land and sea. Climb to the top of the 252-foot-tower where you'll spot ships in the harbor and the bustling town below. Look out in the distance to see the shoreline bend and twist, and imagine what the Pilgrims saw in 1620 as they docked the Mayflower in Provincetown before heading to Plymouth.
4. The Knob, Falmouth
One of the best kept secret swaths of land on Cape Cod is also one of the most scenic. The Knob, named for the knob-shaped patch of seacoast at the end of a mile-long pedestrian causeway between Quissett Harbor and Buzzards Bay, offers panoramic water and coastal lookouts. On clear days you can watch the sun set behind New Bedford across the bay. Photo buffs take note--early morning offers even more beauty with breathtaking sunrise over Quissett Harbor and multiple species of birds which are most active in the morning.
5. Sandwich Boardwalk, Sandwich
For a classic Cape landscape, the Sandwich Boardwalk can't be beat. The wooden footpath spans more than 1,300 feet across sand marshes leading to Town Neck Beach, and creative photographers have a knack for making the bridge appear infinite, disappearing into the green and blue horizon. It's a popular location at sunset where you'll spot families, couples and photo buffs all lining up for Instagram-worthy snaps.
6. Uncle Tim's Bridge, Wellfleet
Wellfleet exudes atmospheric beauty, from salt marshes and tidal pools to colorful sunsets over the sea. A stroll across Uncle Tim's Bridge, originally built in 1783 and restored in 2008, captures all of this. The wooden footbridge spans Duck Creek, connecting Hamblen Island to the village. It's the perfect place for a quiet retreat to forested Hamblen Island, which boasts little noise and numerous trails to the beaches along the Wellfleet harbor.
7. Commercial Street, Provincetown
If you're in search of a Main Street on Cape Cod that boasts just as much architectural color as character, Commercial Street in Provincetown will impress. The lively district is lined with art galleries, restaurants and eclectic boutiques and bars that buzz all hours of the day and night. It's the spot to be for prime people-watching, especially in the busy summer months.
8. Scargo Tower, Dennis
Scargo Tower is arguably one of the Cape's first tourist attractions. Originally built in 1874 with the purpose of drawing visitors to the newly established Nobscussett luxury tower. It was destroyed twice and rebuilt in 1901 as the cobblestone structure that remains today. The views are just impressive today as they were 150 years ago. The 28-feet-tall tower, which sits atop Scargo Hill, offers scenic panoramas of Dennis. On a clear day Plymouth and Provincetown can be spotted in the distance.
9. Gray's Beach Boardwalk, Yarmouth Port
At the mouth of Garden Creek at Gray's Beach, a weathered gray boardwalk stretches over mazes of salt marshes leading to Cape Cod Bay. Come for views of coastal inlets, green paths and several species of birds. When low tide and sunrise or sunset align, photo enthusiasts can capture dazzling reflections on the shallow tidal pools that meander for what seems like miles.
10. Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich
Is search of a vibrant backdrop with a pop of color? Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich boasts botanical blooms throughout the year, including rhododendrons, daylilies, hostas and hydrangeas. Visitors can spend the day wandering through miles of trails, including a sculpture park on 100 acres of manicured grounds on the banks of Shawme Pond.
While it may seem obvious, Cape Cod beaches offer some of the most dazzling scenes in New England. With sea, surf, sand and sunsets, you'll catch majestic Instagrammable spots both day and night. So get out your camera and start snapping!