Explore Cape Cod: An Insider's Guide
Welcome to Cape Cod, Massachusetts! Our charming coastal New England destination offers a perfect blend of iconic landscapes, historic charm and stunning beaches. Whether you're a first-time or longtime visitor to the Cape, this comprehensive guide can provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your Cape Cod vacation.
Plan your visit to Cape Cod
Cape Cod spans approximately 400 square miles, so it's a good idea to plan your visit beforehand. Decide on how long you plan to stay, the towns you'd like to explore, and the activities you're interested in. The Cape is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, fresh seafood, rich maritime heritage, and diverse experiences, from nature trails and water sports to history and culture. Find information on towns in the Upper Cape, Mid Cape, Lower Cape and Outer Cape.
Best Time to Visit Cape Cod
Peak season for visiting Cape Cod is the summer months, when school is out of session, the weather is warm and the beaches are at their finest. However, spring and fall are a golden opportunity to take advantage of off-season lodging rates, fewer crowds, pleasant weather and local festivals. Winter provides a serene ambiance and opportunities for cozy escapes, and the holiday season is chock full of festive village strolls, Christmas parades, grand illuminations and seasonal cheer.
Getting to Cape Cod
To reach Cape Cod, you can fly into Boston's Logan International Airport and then take a bus, train or short connecting flight to Cape Cod, or rent a car for the scenic drive here. Once you arrive, public transportation options like buses, shuttles and Island ferries are available, as well as car rentals and bike rentals for more flexibility. Find out more about getting to and around Cape Cod.
Cape Cod Beaches
With 559 miles of shoreline, Cape Cod offers some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, including those along the Cape Cod National Seashore. For a classic Cape Cod experience, visit Coast Guard Beach in Eastham or Nauset Beach in Orleans. If you prefer calmer waters, try Mayflower Beach in Dennis, Old Silver Beach in Falmouth or Craigville Beach in Barnstable. The Cape’s gorgeous beaches are also the perfect spot to catch an Instagram-worthy sunrise or sunset.
Embrace the Outdoors
Nature lovers will be delighted by the outdoor activities Cape Cod offers. Enjoy hiking and birdwatching, bike along paved trails and through woodlands, or embark on a whale watching or seal watching excursion. For water enthusiasts, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing are popular activities in the Cape's bays and estuaries.
Cape Cod National Seashore
The National Seashore stretches along 40 miles of pristine coastline, and is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Hike the trails, go birdwatching, take a dune tour, or savor the swimming beaches. Don't miss the Marconi Station Site and Highland Light in Truro, which offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Find 7 cool things to do at the Cape Cod National Seashore!
Sample Local Cuisine
Cape Cod offers a diverse dining scene, with a focus on fresh seafood and local ingredients. From beachfront seafood shacks to upscale waterfront restaurants, visitors can savor delicious meals while enjoying the region’s coastal ambiance and culinary delights. Lobster rolls, clam chowder, fish & chips and locally caught oysters are popular options for enjoying local flavors.
Cape Cod is known for its trendy boutiques, art galleries, craft fairs and celebrated antique trail. The Cape has also been the inspiration for some incredible, unique brands and products inspired by seaside life. Explore downtown hubs and scenic byways, where opportunities to shop local for one-of-a-kind finds are never hard to come by. Don't forget to pick up souvenirs like coastal-inspired jewelry, salt water taffy and locally made crafts.
Visit Historic Sites
Cape Cod is steeped in history, and there are several landmarks worth exploring. Climb the Pilgrim Monument, commemorating the first landing place of the Pilgrims in 1620. Discover maritime history at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis, and stroll the exquisite grounds and vintage auto gallery at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich. Learn about the local ecosystem at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, or visit the JFK Hyannis Museum, showcasing the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy on Cape Cod.
Play on Cape Cod
Save time to play! Water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding are always popular ways to unwind. See magnificent whales in their natural habitat on a whale watching excursion, or charter a Cape Cod fishing boat. Cape Cod offers some of the finest golf courses in New England, and one of the longest seasons due to our milder climate. Catch a free game of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Ride the bike trails, and enjoy such family-friendly activities as the Cape Cod Inflatable Park, Wellfleet Drive-In Theater, ice cream and mini golf. Exciting events and festivals are held across Cape Cod in every season!
Capture the Arts
Immerse yourself in Cape Cod's vibrant arts scene. Check out the latest exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Art or Cahoon Museum of American Art, catch a performance of the Cape Symphony Orchestra or see a play at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis Village, the oldest professional summer theater in the country. Also make time for the smaller, more intimate museums dotting the Cape’s landscape, which have an equally intriguing story to tell.