St. Patrick’s Day might secretly be one of the best holidays. Compared to some other high-profile festivities (looking at you - Thanksgiving, Christmas...Valentine's), we aren’t expected to do anything. No cooking. No cleaning. No gifting. Maybe wear a green shirt. Or don’t. Maybe eat some corned beef and hash. Or don’t. The occasion’s primary “must do” is to meet up and enjoy the company of good friends.

As I started putting together an itinerary for my (early) St. Patrick’s Day-themed weekend on the Cape, I tried to keep this more relaxed attitude in mind. And I say "early" because the star of this weekend will be the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade in Yarmouth, celebrated a week ahead of the holiday on Saturday, March 9.

Normally, I’d insist “we’re hitting the road at 8 am sharp!” Then, somehow, my friends and I wouldn’t leave until 10 am. So, this time, we’re leaving at 10:30-ish! We’ll see how it goes. 

Our first stop is a practical one, checking into the Sandwich Lodge & Resort. I haven’t stayed there before, but I picked it because it looked modern and clean, and it's affordable. Plus, it’s right on 6A and close to restaurants. Also—while this isn’t necessary for my crew—the lodge allows pets, which is convenient for other visitors.

After dropping off our overpacked luggage and maybe taking an impromptu siesta, the plan is to head to Ten Pin Eatery in Hyannis. I chose this place because in addition to bowling, there’s a bunch of other things to do. Laser tag, escape rooms, virtual reality—fun options for the whole group. Following the car ride down we'll want to get moving, and Ten Pin addresses this situation nicely.

Choose Your Own Adventure Moment: Ten Pin also has a sizable menu, including intriguing entrees like tuna poke bowls with avocado, so we could have dinner there. However, if we feel like immersing ourselves in the spirit of the St. Patrick's Day holiday, we might head over to Yarmouth to check out Cape Cod Irish Village (styled after a traditional Irish-pub), followed by a live band at nearby Red Face Jack's.

As I said earlier, the main event of this trip is Saturday's Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade in Yarmouth. It starts at 11 am, so my friends and I have to stay on schedule and will be skipping a sit-down breakfast. Instead, I found a place in Hyannis that’s en route to the parade called Pain D'Avignon Café & Bakery. They have cinnamon pecan buns, which I suspect will taste especially delicious as we watch the festive parade procession of marching bands, Irish step dancers and bagpipers in kilts pass by.

After the parade, we’re headed to the Whydah Pirate Museum. Exhibits tell the tale of a sunken pirate ship discovered off the coast of Cape Cod in the 1980s through recovered artifacts and modern science. If you were part of the Titanic-Is-My-Everything Generation, I would hope you can understand my enthusiasm for discoveries of the deep. There were probably some Irish pirates too, so I think it goes along with the theme of the weekend (it could be a stretch, but still).

At this point in the day, we’ll probably want to grab some grub. I was looking up Irish spots on the Cape and found Bobby Byrne’s Restaurant & Pub. I imagine we’ll go to the one right on 6A in Sandwich near our hotel, but there are three locations on the Cape - so if we find ourselves in either Mashpee or Hyannis, there’s a restaurant that has the right vibe nearby. Later, we may see what's on tap at the Industry Ale House in Sandwich or dance to live music at the British Beer Company (a minute walk from our hotel). Look at me, planning to be spontaneous. I’m so easygoing...kinda.

Mini Confession Moment: Part of why I picked the Sandwich Lodge & Resort for our hotel was because we could easily drop our stuff off and motor to our activity. Its proximity to The Original Marshland was another deciding factor. After celebrating the night before, I’m going to need the sustenance on Sunday that only French toast covered in fresh fruit and raspberry butter can provide. I might also require a lobster benedict with hollandaise sauce. Only time will tell.

This final activity is a BIG maybe on my list. The ladies and I aren’t fans of the cold, but we do really love the beach. When it beckons our names, it’s hard not to answer the call. Plus, it’s Cape Cod, and the beach is kind of its thing. So, if the weather is favorable and we’re not too weighed-down by breakfast, a stroll along the Sandwich Boardwalk will be really welcomed. There is something about the quiet calm of a beach in winter that makes me feel centered. I can’t think of a nicer way to bid the Cape goodbye before we head home.

Hopefully, my early St. Patrick’s Day long-weekend on Cape Cod itinerary has helped inspire travel plans of your own. If you’re a traditionalist looking to celebrate on March 17, check out our “St. Paddy's Day Fun on Cape Cod” post for more events and activities.