Exploring the Cape’s bustling downtown villages and scenic byways is a great way to take in this seaside destination’s unique charm. In your travels, you may also discover what truly is a shopper’s paradise, where opportunities to shop local for one-of-a-kind finds are never hard to come by.

Read on for some of our favorites.

Downtown Falmouth

Cape Cod is peppered with quintessential New England towns, each of which have a central hub full of unique restaurants and shops. Walkable downtown Hyannis is lined with open air cafes with patio seating, eclectic stores and art galleries. LoveLocal Collective (539 South Street) features the work of numerous artisans, using a co-op model to share retail space, while highlighting the best locally-made products. Bringing a little rustic western style to downtown Hyannis is Country Soul (616 Main Street), where you can round up cowboy hats and boots, turquoise jewelry, and accessories for that person in your life dreaming of ranch life. Housed in an adorable storefront, Kandy Korner (474 Main Street) is an iconic spot to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Falmouth’s picturesque, tree-lined Main Street is as charming as its shops, which include galleries, boutiques and modern favorites like The Black Dog (214 Main Street).  At Board Stiff (193 Main Street), you’ll find skate/surf lifestyle vibe apparel, plus sunglasses, skateboards and footwear, while Harvest of Barnstable's selection of curated home decor items has made the store a ‘must visit’ shop on the Cape. Eight Cousins (189 Main Street) is one of the quaint stops along the popular Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail of independent booksellers.

In Chatham, an Americana-styled Main Street is where you’ll find the memorably-named Ducks in the Window (507 Main Street), where the young and young at heart will find toys, gifts and the world’s largest collection of rubber ducks. A block away, Chatham Clothing Bar (534 Main Street) has been outfitting men, women and children in classic Cape style since 1979. And the exquisite nautical jewelry at Chatham Jewelers (532 Main Street)  ̶  think gold sand dollars, anchors and seashells  ̶  makes a great keepsake of your Cape Cod vacation.

Provincetown is known for the colorful shops, galleries and restaurants along its vibrant Commercial Street, which is where you’ll find Marine Specialties (235 Commercial Street), a local landmark for the past 60 years. An army-navy surplus store, it’s a treasure trove of unusual one-of-a-kind gifts you can’t find anywhere else–vintage lifesavers, lobster-print pajama pants, unique shells, and much more. Provincetown is also the home of Anchor2Anchor (338 Commercial Street), which derives its inspiration form the Sea Gypsy - a little nautical, a little hippy and a bit of a scallywag. The shop offers nautical apparel and accessories, along with a line of hand-poured soy candles in such scents as Tutti-Frutti, Over the Rainbow, Beach Rose and Smugglers Rum. Sailor’s valentines, glass blown baubles, jewelry and other novelty items can be found nearby at The Shell Shop (276 Commercial Street)

Route 6A

There’s no other highway in the country that’s like Route 6A. Historic Old King’s Highway meanders from one end of the Cape to the other, passing salt marshes, cranberry bogs and four centuries of architecture along its 62-mile stretch. Less highway and more scenic drive, driving this route and stopping to explore is a great way to really immerse yourself in Cape Cod culture.

Stops along the way include Barnstable Pottery (3267 Route 6A) in Sandwich, a working studio known for such exquisite handmade pieces as vases, bowls and birdbaths. At Eldred’s Auction Gallery (1483 Route 6A) in Dennis, three generations of the same family have run New England’s leading auction house. Its tasteful galleries are full of art and decorative pieces with a story. Also in Dennis, Littlenecks (766 Route 6A) is the place to find organic, new, vintage and pre-loved clothing and gifts for the littles in your life.

Another stop on 6A in Dennis is Cape Abilities Farm (458 Route 6A), where individuals with disabilities are provided employment and opportunities to interact with the local community. The farm sells organic produce, flowers and handmade gifts, all while cultivating an inclusive community. In East Dennis, Ross Coppelman (1439 Route 6A) has been designing and hand crafting his elegant yet whimsical gold, platinum and silver pieces for more than 50 years.

Cape Cod is a hub for the arts, and you can visit painter and printmaker Timothy Jon Struna’s Struna Galleries studio (3873 Route 6A) in Brewster to enjoy his collection of sea-inspired work. Voila! Designs by Frederique (169 Route 6A) in Yarmouth Port features the work of Frederique Poulain, who creates hand painted ceramics, clothing and housewares. Just Picked Gifts, just off 6A (13 Willow Street Street) in Yarmouth Port, is a great stop for a souvenirs.

Mashpee Commons

An increasingly growing trend is the concept of an open-air mall, where well-known retailers and independent shops alike are centered around a common area, much like downtown centers of the past.

Mashpee Commons is for both dining and shopping, featuring mostly independently owned restaurants and shops, including Sachs Jewelers, a 4th generation jeweler, and Rustic Marlin, a home decor store known for its handmade house signs – owned by a local couple and made right on the Cape. Celebrate 100 years of classic New England style at Puritan Cape Cod, where the trendy apparel will make you rethink your wardrobe Larger stores like L.L. Bean and Pottery Barn complement the trendy boutiques and specialty shops, providing a great mix of options. Charming restaurants like Bobby Byrne's, Siena, Estia Taverna and Cape Cod Coffee Café can be found throughout the Commons, so you’re in luck if you work up an appetite while shopping.

Over in Hyannis, Cape Cod Mall is the region’s only indoor shopping center, featuring big box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s, plus other chains like J. Crew, Hollister and Barnes & Noble. Jersey Mike’s Subs and Five Guys Burgers are just a few of the eateries you can choose from as you shop.

And just over the bridge off the Cranberry Highway is Wareham Crossing, an open-air mall that’s home to 45 stores and restaurants, including top retailers like Old Navy and Target and outlets like Lowe’s and L.L. Bean. The restaurants within offer shoppers everything from casual dining to global cuisine.