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Discover Things To Do On Cape Cod.

With miles of sandy shores inviting you to relax and indulge in water adventures, and picturesque villages showcasing historic architecture and culinary delights, Cape Cod has it all. Dive into the rich culture with museums and theaters or immerse yourself in nature's beauty, from serene salt marshes to lush pine forests. Cape Cod beckons, promising an extraordinary vacation tailored to your every desire. Don't miss out on the vacation of a lifetime – come explore Cape Cod!

CapeCodTownMAP

 

Cape Cod can be divided into four distinct regions, each with its own unique characteristics and attractions. These regions are often referred to as the Upper Cape, Mid-Cape, Lower Cape, and Outer Cape:

Learn more about each Cape Cod Town.

Outer Cape:

Provincetown

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Provincetown is fairly bursting at the seams with spirit, history, and artistry – to a far fuller and livelier extent than you might otherwise expect in a small coastal resort town.

With a famously LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere, it’s also renowned for its stunning natural surroundings, including over 30 miles of beaches, as well as a wealth of dunes, ponds, and scenic nature trails.

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Truro

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Some call Truro Cape Cod’s “sleepiest” town, while highlighting its just-down-the-road proximity to Provincetown. Others call it positively idyllic, with its landscape of dunes, moors, rivers, undeveloped forests, and over two thirds of its territory within the Cape Cod National Seashore.

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Both assertions are legitimate, and the truth is that experiencing Truro is in many ways like peering through a window to a place that time has forgotten. And what a place it is, with stunning scenery everywhere you look, from its picturesque backroads to its extraordinary views on Cape Cod Bay as well as the Atlantic Ocean. 

 

Wellfleet

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If you happen to be counting Cape Cod art galleries, Wellfleet comes second only to Provincetown. However, it’s second to none when it comes to seafood – the town is famous for its oysters, and its annual October Wellfleet OysterFest offers ample proof.

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That’s not all Wellfleet has going for it. In fact, you might even say it’s got more than its fair share of natural beauty. With nearly two-thirds of its territory covered by sections of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and over 1,000 acres of protected wildlife sanctuary, Wellfleet is a true paradise for nature lovers.  

Eastham

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Eastham is more than just a pretty town, although it very much is that, with an abundance of charming stores, restaurants, and art galleries. It’s also more than the sum of its evocative historic sites, including the Penniman House, the 1869 Schoolhouse Museum, and the Cape’s oldest working historical windmill, originally built in 1680. 

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If you absolutely had to find a single reason to experience Eastham, it would be its remarkable natural beauty. The gateway to the Cape Cod National Seashore offers Coast Guard Beach (often ranked as one of the top beaches in the US) and Nauset Light Beach, as well as two of the Cape’s most popular hiking spots – Fort Hill Trail and Red Maple Swamp Trail. 

Mid Cape:

Orleans

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In many ways, Orleans is where cross-currents meet. Cape Cod’s main routes intersect here, at the crook of Cape Cod’s arm. It’s the commercial center for much of the Outer Cape. And it also blends a modern flair with superb natural beauty. 

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Along with its charming and sometimes quirky downtown area, which includes its famous Artist Cottages, the town is also blessed with spectacular beaches, forests, hiking trails, and bike paths, as well as an abundance of ponds, bogs, and inlets.

Chatham

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At just over 16 square miles of high ground, surrounded on three sides by the powerful embrace of the Atlantic, Chatham is not merely a town. It’s a living, breathing testament to centuries of maritime history. 

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Chatham has also been called the most walkable town on Cape Cod, thanks in large part to its Main Street blend of history and modern attractions – as well as a wide variety of activities and destinations within easy reach.

Brewster

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Sea-faring captains of yore made Brewster their home, and it’s easy to see why, with its beaches, all looking out to beautiful Cape Cod Bay. Indeed, you can literally trace their footsteps at low tide thanks to the Brewster Flats - nearly a mile of sandbars, tidal pools, and photo opportunities. 

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Their mansions and estates have also been lovingly preserved in the form of museums and historical markers, as well as art galleries and antique shops. 

For outdoor adventurists, Nickerson State Park offers 400 acres of trails and ponds, along with bike paths that connect to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Brewster is also where you’ll find some of the best golfing in Cape Cod.

Harwich

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Said to have been the birthplace of the cranberry industry due to its ideal climate and soil conditions, Harwich’s cranberry bogs are a favorite for photographers as well as visitors simply looking to soak up the beauty of this delightful Cape Cod town.

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Whether you’re visiting Harwich for its scenic golfing, biking, or hiking trails, it's well worth taking the time to visit the charming Harwich Port, which includes Saquatucket, Wychmere, and Allen Harbors, plus an array of art galleries, eateries, and other discoveries. It’s also the departure point for a daily seasonal Nantucket-bound ferry, as well as seal-watching cruises and fishing charters. 

Lower Cape:

Dennis

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The coast-to-coast town of Dennis offers picturesque beaches that look out on Nantucket Sound as well as on Cape Cod Bay. This includes the very popular Mayflower Beach, which presents ample opportunities for low-tide discoveries and wanderings. The warm-water beaches facing the Sound are beautiful spots for sunsets, as well as simply enjoying the windsurfing & kiting during the day.

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Charm and evocative history stand shoulder to shoulder in Dennis, including the mansions of sea captains past, water parks, art studios, and the famous Cape Playhouse that has featured such stars as Bette Davis, Julie Andrews, and Humphrey Bogart. 

Other notable Dennis attractions include scenic hiking trails, oceanfront dining, and the cobblestoned Scargo Tower, from which you can spy Provincetown on a clear day.

Yarmouth

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Yarmouth is truly where old meets new. It says a lot about this lively town that one of its newest attractions is devoted to Cape Cod’s rich past: the Whydah Pirate Museum features on many explorers’ lists of top things to do in Yarmouth.

Likewise, follow a tour of over 50 18th- and 19th-century sea captain homes with an exploration of the town's restaurants, souvenir shops, and miniature golf courses. 

Yarmouth

With shoreline on both Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound, Yarmouth also offers a wide variety of scenic beaches. Gray’s Beach features a long boardwalk over salt marshes into Cape Cod Bay, while Bass River Beach is famous for its annual sand castle contest. 

For a timeless experience of the outdoors, Yarmouth offers golfing, scenic hiking trails, and kayaking and paddleboarding activities.

Barnstable

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At 60 square miles, Barnstable is Cape Cod’s largest town and its official hub. With over 100 miles of beaches, explorers can enjoy the calm waters of Sandy Neck Beach, the seashells of Englewood beach, or the scenic Craigville Beach, among many others.

In true Cape Cod style, each of its seven villages presents a different character. The popular Hyannis area presents museum and tour experiences paying tribute to the JFK legacy, as well as a vibrant downtown and Lewis Bay waterfront.

Barnstable

Looking out on Nantucket Sound are the villages of Cotuit, Osterville, and Centerville, with the villages of Marstons Mills, West Barnstable to the north. Also to the north: Barnstable Village, from which you can embark on extraordinary sightseeing and whale watching cruises.

Upper Cape:

Sandwich

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Founded in 1637, Sandwich is Cape Cod’s oldest town. No surprise, then, that it presents an incredibly rich history to explore, from a mill that’s been grinding corn since 1654 to the oldest house on the Cape – the Hoxie House, built in 1675. 

Within easy walking distance of the town center you’ll find art galleries, potters, and glassblowers, along with the famous Sandwich Glass Museum and the Heritage Museums & Gardens.
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Beyond beaches overlooking both the Bay and the Atlantic, explorers will also experience stunning wildlife views biking along the Cape Cod Canal, which is the widest sea-level canal in the world. Hiking trails take you through gorgeous marsh land, pond, and creek ecosystems, as well as wooded areas. Among the best-loved areas for nature-spotting are Ryder Conservation Land, Maple Swamp Park, and the Shawme-Crowell State Forest.

Mashpee

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In 2019, Coastal Living called it one of the best places to live on the coast. Centuries before the arrival of the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag Tribe simply called it home. Mashpee’s Native American heritage defines much of the town’s character today, and you can explore it at the summer PowWow celebration featuring dancing, drumming, games, crafts, and more. 

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Looking out on Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds, Mashpee covers roughly 27 square miles of land and water, including sandy beaches, rivers, ponds, and inlets, and pine and oak woodlands. Mashpee also offers thousands of acres of conservation land, some of Cape Cod’s largest freshwater ponds, and South Cape Beach State Park, an ideal location to hike, boat, birdwatch, and fish. 

The town also has more than five miles of ocean beaches, a vibrant shopping area, and three premier championship golf courses.

Bourne

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The gateway to Cape Cod, Bourne is home to seven villages perched on either side of the Cape Cod Canal, a 17.4-mile waterway extending from Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay and offering seven miles of bike path along both sides. This idyllic area draws runners, bikers, and roller-bladers, as well as birders, fishers, and photographers. 

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Like much of Cape Cod, the landscape of Bourne is characterized by magnificent shorelines, serene ponds, rivers, and inlets, and sheltered harbors, making it a haven for fishing, water sports, or simply hanging out on the beach.

It’s also rich in historical significance. Located in Bourne is the Aptucxet Trading Post museum, which recreates a pilgrim trading post built in 1627 and believed to be the nation’s oldest store. Also paying tribute to Cape Cod’s glass art heritage is Pairpoint Glass, America’s oldest glass company.

Falmouth

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Bartholomew Gosnold is said to have been the first Englishman to set foot on Cape Cod, so it stands to reason that the name of the town of Falmouth would actually hail from his home port of Falmouth, England.

We can only guess what it was that particularly recalled home to him, but if Falmouth, England was legendary for the depth of its harbor, Falmouth on Cape Cod is notable for its 68 miles of seashore – among the longest coastlines in the entire state. No surprise, then, that it’s one of the best towns for nature spotting on Cape Cod. 

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Another testament to the extraordinary natural richness of the area: the legions of scientists and students who come from around the world, to gather at Falmouth’s Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Beach, please.

Perhaps the most alluring part of Cape Cod are its amazing beaches, check out our favorite ones below:

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Mayflower Beach
Dennis, MA
 
Mayflower Beach in Dennis is a favorite with its stunning views and extensive shoreline during low tide. Ideal for families, the beach offers lifeguards, picnic areas, public bathrooms, and easy beach access from the parking lot via a boardwalk. Situated on the bay side, Mayflower Beach has calmer waves than other Cape beaches, making it a perfect destination for all.
 
 
 
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Newcomb Hollow Beach
Wellfleet, MA
 
Wellfleet's popular Cape Cod shoreline boasts massive sand dunes and gentle waves, often frequented by seals and occasional sharks. Evening visits allow for nighttime fishing and beach bonfires with a valid permit, perfect for marshmallow-roasting and bonding. Note that Newcomb Hollow's stunning cliffs mean access involves a steep dune; there are no stairs, making it inaccessible for those with mobility challenges.
 
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Breakwater Beach
Brewster, MA
 
Brewster's Breakwater Beach is a family-friendly destination with compact size, easy parking, and a peaceful atmosphere. Despite its small footprint, it never feels crowded. Parents can supervise their children playing in the sand or gentle waves. During low tide, explore tidal pools for critters and seashells. For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers interactive exhibits on local wildlife and the environment.
 
 
 

The Best Food on Cape Cod, and where to get it.

Indulge in the culinary delights of Cape Cod with luscious lobster rolls, velvety clam chowder, and perfectly seasoned fried clams, a trio of coastal treasures that capture the essence of seaside dining at its finest.

LOBSTER ROLLS

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Sesuit Harbor Cafe | Dennis

Sesuit Harbor Cafe's lobster roll is a delight, featuring succulent chunks of fresh lobster in a buttery bun with a hint of lemon and mayo, capturing the essence of Cape Cod's coastal flavors.

357 Sesuit Neck Rd, Dennis, MA 02638

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Mac's Shack | Wellfleet, Chatham

Mac's Shack lobster roll excels with its use of fresh, local lobster, perfectly toasted buttery roll, and a balanced blend of seasonings, creating a delicious and memorable Cape Cod culinary experience.

1291 Main Street Route, 28, Chatham, MA 02633
 
 
 
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Chatham Fish Pier | Chatham

Chatham Fish Pier's lobster roll earns top ratings for its quality, featuring locally sourced lobster, a perfectly toasted bun, and a genuine taste of Cape Cod's renowned seafood.'

45 Barcliff Ave, Chatham, MA 02633

CLAM CHOWDER

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Captain Parker's Pub | West Yarmouth

Since 1981, they have been serving hearty New England fare from their lively indoor and outdoor deck. At Captain Parker's Pub, they are passionate about their clam chowder. Stop by and taste their award-winning chowder in a bread bowl, take home their iconic mug it's served in, or take a quart to go! 

668 MA-28, West Yarmouth, MA 02673
 
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Skipper Chowder House | South Yarmouth

Skipper Chowder House in South Yarmouth is one of the longest-standing waterfront restaurants on Cape Cod, offering breathtaking views of Nantucket Sound. Indulge in their award-winning Cape Cod Clam Chowdah, celebrated at festivals in Boston, Cape Cod, and Newport.

152 S Shore Dr, Yarmouth, MA 02664

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The Squire | Chatham

Head over to The Squire, the go-to spot for friends to gather, featuring trivia, karaoke, and more. Don't forget to bring your four-legged companions to savor the dog bar while you indulge in their delectable clam chowder!

487 Main St, Chatham, MA 02633

FRIED SEAFOOD

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Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar | Eastham

Over 40 years ago, Cape Codder Nate Nickerson established a drive-through clam shack, which has expanded significantly over the decades. The establishment now offers indoor seating, outdoor picnic tables, an ice cream stand, a gift shop, and even a mini golf course, and offers some of the best fried seafood on Cape Cod.

3580 US-6, Eastham, MA 02642

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Kream 'N Kone | Chatham, Dennis

For over 60 years, Kream 'N Kone has been delighting patrons with its commitment to serving fresh, never frozen, fried seafood. Renowned for offering some of the finest fried seafood on Cape Cod, the establishment has become a longstanding favorite among seafood enthusiasts.

961 Main St, West Dennis, MA 02670
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Sir Crickets Fish & Chips | Orleans 

Sir Cricket’s Fish and Chips has been highly noted by Fodor’s, Zagat’s, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, and thousands of visitors and locals for their mouth-watering fried seafood, lobster rolls, chowder, and more. This is definitely the best seafood at the best prices on Cape Cod! Call ahead for take-out, or have a seat at one of the few tables inside or outside for a full dose of local color and flavor.

38 MA-6A, Orleans, MA 02653

The Seasons on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod's timeless appeal makes it a year-round gem. From summer's sunny embrace to autumn's vibrant foliage and winter's serene charm, the Cape offers a quaint escape for every season.
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Spring
(March to May)
  • Spring on Cape Cod is characterized by gradually warming temperatures.
  • Daytime temperatures typically range from around 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 15 degrees Celsius) in March and can reach 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius) by May.
  • Spring is a transitional season with blooming flowers and trees, making it a visually appealing time to visit. 
 
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Summer
(June to August)
 
  • Summer is the peak tourist season on Cape Cod, attracting visitors with warm temperatures and sunny days.
  • Daytime temperatures can range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius) but can occasionally reach higher.
  • The region is popular for its beaches, and water temperatures become suitable for swimming during the summer months.
 
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Fall
(September to November)
 
  • Fall brings cooler temperatures and is a popular time for visitors looking to experience the beauty of autumn foliage.
  • Daytime temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius) in September, gradually dropping to 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 10 degrees Celsius) by November.
  • Fall on Cape Cod is marked by vibrant colors as leaves change, and it's a quieter time compared to the summer months.   
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Winter
(December to February)
 
  • Winters on Cape Cod are cold, with temperatures often ranging from 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to 4 degrees Celsius).
  • Snowfall is common, but the amount varies from year to year. The Cape typically receives less snow compared to inland areas.
  • Winter is the off-season for tourism, but it can be a serene and peaceful time to explore the Cape's natural beauty.