Everybody knows that hot dogs taste best on the beach, which is just one more reason Cape Cod is a quintessential destination for a seaside Independence Day. Check out our Fourth of July on Cape Cod events calendar for a full schedule of patriotic festivities around the Cape. In the meantime, here's a round-up of just some of the ways to show your stripes!


Forty miles out to shining sea, Fourth of July means one thing: whales. Yes, you can savor all the best of small-town America—from homespun parades in Wellfleet and Provincetown to old-fashioned lemonade at the Eastham Schoolhouse Museum—but then you can celebrate with giants. Dolphin Fleet offers an annual fireworks whale watch cruise, where your prime-spot view of the humpbacks is also a prime view of the fireworks over Provincetown Harbor.

Chatham Band

If you can’t be in two places at once, you will have to make a tough choice between the hometown parades in Chatham and Orleans. Either is sweetly nostalgic - Chatham's seaside theme is "Chatham: It's a Shore Thiing" - and both towns offer a host of special events around the holiday. In Chatham, the first band concert of the season kicks off Friday, June 28th at 8 pm; in Orleans, fireworks over Rock Harbor begin Tuesday, July 2 at dusk. To catch tomorrow’s stars earning their stripes, the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Harwich Mariners take on the Brewster Whitecaps at 5 pm on July 4th at Harwich's Whitehouse Field. And Gloriæ Dei Cantores presents a "Let Freedom Ring" Concert on Tuesday, July 2 at 6 pm at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, celebrating the sacred sounds of America with music that has lofted through rafters across the country since its founding.

Yarmouth Sculpture

Oh say can you see … more than 30 amazing sand sculptures all around town when the annual Sand Sculpture Trail returns to Yarmouth, reminding you that wherever you are on Cape Cod, you’re never far from the shore. In Barnstable, you’re never far from a Fourth of July parade—you’ll find them in Hyannis, Barnstable Village, Hyannisport, Cotuit and Centerville, not to mention the annual boat parade in Hyannis Harbor, which you can watch from Ocean Street. Afterwards, stroll by the harborside artist shanties and grab a bite to eat at a downtown Hyannis eatery.

Falmouth Bike and Carriage Parade

Falmouth is famous for being the hometown of “America the Beautiful” lyricist Katharine Lee Bates, and celebrations across the Upper Cape would make her proud. Start the festivities early in next-door Mashpee, where the annual fireworks display and community picnic will be held Friday, June 28 on the lawn of Mashpee High School. Live music, carnival games, train rides, and local food vendors are all part of the fun. When Independence Day arrives, Falmouth’s spectacular fireworks display (hailed one of the best in the nation) is as picture-perfect as any amber waves of grain. Catch the fireworks at dusk from Falmouth Heights Beach or aboard the Island Queen. Local history buffs will also appreciate the town's Carousel of Light on the grounds of Mullen-Hall School; kids who participate in the carousel's 4th of July Decorated Bike Jamboree get a free token to ride on the hand-carved carousel.