Cape Cod is known all over the world for its majestic beaches that hug the Atlantic coastline, and a relaxing day stretched out on the sand is the first order of business for many vacationers to this destination.

But if you crave a little adventure to break up even the most blissful of beach days, you can find it without even straying from the ocean. Here’s how:

Cruises and Tours
Cape Cod Learning Tours offers private walks along kettle holes, salt marshes and tidal flats. The hands-on guided experience has families wading into local waters and across sandbars in search of lobsters, crabs, sea urchins and other marine critters. The interactive tours tend to be half-day and daylong treks— complete with a picnic lunch—that are tailored to a family’s particular interests.

Hy-Line Cruises offers sightseeing cruises along the legendary Cape Cod Canal. Travelers on board learn the compelling history of the historic canal and hear intriguing anecdotes about some of the fascinating places along the way, including Aptucxet Trading Post, Grey Gables and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Specialty cruises feature sunset cocktails.

Out of Hyannis Harbor, Cape Cod Pirate Adventures is a real-life ocean excursion that allows young ones to become marauders for a short time as they search for sunken treasure. This 75-minute interactive excursion will test all three- to 10-year-old buccaneers (and their parents) foolhardy enough to climb aboard the Sea Gypsy.

Kayaking and SUPs
Gliding along the water in a kayak is a peaceful way to get out and experience Cape Cod’s coastline. RideAway Adventures offers tours for both experienced and first-time kayakers in and around Mashpee's Popponesset Bay and Sandwich's Scorton Creek. Excursions include their Lazy River Nature Tour and Full Moon Adventure, along with a two-hour Sunset Spectacular, where you’ll paddle around Popponesset Island as the sun prepares to slip under the horizon. Cape Cod Kayak also offers tours in and around Upper Cape waterways; Quissett Harbor, Megansett Harbor and Monks Cove are just a few of the picture-perfect spots you'll explore. Their Kayak Photo Shoot tours are a must for lovers of nature photography - tour guides will take you on an easy paddle to some of the best spots to capture reflective pools of light, shorebirds and jaw-dropping sunsets.

Another cool opportunity to observe local waters from a different vantage point is stand-up paddleboarding (it's also a fantastic workout if you didn't know). Goose Hummock in Orleans offers both kayak and SUP rentals if you’re interested in heading out on the water solo to create an experience all your own - as do RideAway Adventures and Cape Cod Kayak. Flyer’s Boat Rental in Provincetown also provides rentals of one and two-person ocean kayaks - and if you have a need for speed, check out Flyer's rentals of powerboats and speedboats.

Seal Tour
While you might see seals frolicking in the distance from the shore, nothing beats a boat cruise devoted to watching the friendly sea creatures. On a boat out of Orleans, Blue Claw Boat Tours offers the chance to observe seals swimming and playing in their natural habitat, while the captain on board shares insight on local landmarks and lore along the way. The Harwich-based operation Monomoy Island Excursions offers boat tours to Monomoy, a barrier island where thousands of harbor and gray seals make their home. Aboard Beachcomber Boat Tours, guests are transported by trolley to the boat’s location at Ryder’s Cove, and then cruise Pleasant Bay in search of seals along the Chatham Harbor waterways.

Whale Watching
Whale watching is another exciting ocean adventure, with trips running from mid-April through October. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off Cape Cod consistently ranks among the top 10 places on the planet to see these majestic creatures; sightings could include anything from Humpback, Finback, Minke, and Pilot whales to dolphins, porpoises and seals. Led by expert naturalists aboard comfortable vessels, three to- four-hour trips depart in season from Provincetown Harbor (Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch) Barnstable Harbor (Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises) and Plymouth Harbor (Captain John Boats —also operating out of MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown). Private whalewatch trips for small groups are offered out of Provincetown aboard SeaSalt Charters.

Charter Fishing Excursions
For lots of folks, there’s not a more enjoyable way to engage with the sea than by tossing in a line and waiting for the fish to bite. The Cape has a slew of top-notch charter boats that offer the chance to fish on the open ocean for a few hours or longer. Out of Falmouth, Patriot Party Boats offers morning and afternoon excursions for scup, black sea bass, fluke and tautog, along with sport fishing trips on the rips and shoals of Nantucket and Vineyard Sound. Hy-Line Fishing offers bottom fishing trips, as well as cruises where passengers can troll for sea bass, blues or stripers. You can also catch your own supper aboard Yarmouth-based Shark Shark Tuna Fishing Charters, a family-run private fishing charter. Their experienced captains will take you to some of the best fishing spots for sea bass, scup, striped bass, bluefish, fluke, tuna, and shark.

Sailing Adventures
Private captained sailing day charters are a relaxed option for soaking in the Cape's natural beauty. Departing out of Provincetown, Moment Sailing Adventures' yachts will take up to six guests on a leisurely cruise past beaches, harbors, lighthouses, and wildlife. For the more adventurous, take a two-day overnight sailing trip with four guests to Plymouth and Wellfleet.