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Best Things to Do on Cape Cod in the Spring

Table of Contents

1. Garden Tours and Wildlife Sightings

2. Spring Festivals and Cultural Celebrations

3. Outdoor Adventures

4. Seasonal Dining and Farmers’ Markets

5. Planning Your Spring Visit to Cape Cod

6. Conclusion

The allure of Cape Cod, Massachusetts as spring comes alive is like nowhere else on earth. As winter's grip loosens, the landscape of this peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean transforms into a vibrant tapestry of blooming flowers and lush greenery. Picture-perfect scenes unfold as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths come up for coastal air and Osprey return to their nests.

A springtime Cape Cod vacation also offers a plethora of activities to celebrate the Cape's revival. Outdoor enthusiasts eagerly embrace the warmer mid-60s temperatures – while keeping a weather eye out for the occasional showery cool day – setting out on nature trails that wind through forests and along pristine beaches.

For those seeking adventure on the water, Cape Cod's picturesque harbors and coves offer opportunities for kayaking, sailing, and even whale watching as these majestic creatures migrate along the coastline. The gentle lapping of waves against the shore is a soothing soundtrack to days spent basking in the sun or enjoying a stroll along the sandy shores.

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Cultural events also bloom with the arrival of spring, as art galleries unveil new exhibitions showcasing the talent of local artisans and craftsmen. Historic villages come alive with festivals celebrating Cape Cod's rich heritage, where visitors can immerse themselves in traditional music, dance, and culinary delights.

Starting on the Memorial Day weekend, the vibrancy of Cape Cod truly begins to come to life in its charming towns and villages. Quaint cafes and bistros spill onto cobblestone streets that are not yet full of summer crowds, offering al fresco dining experiences beneath the soft glow of twinkling lights, inviting all to revel in the joy of renewal and the promise of warmer days ahead.

 

 

Garden Tours and Wildlife Sightings

There's no better way to experience Cape Cod's springtime transformation than through its famous garden tours and wildlife experiences. 

Indeed, public garden tours are a cornerstone of spring on Cape Cod. These meticulously maintained landscapes explode with color as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and azaleas reach their peak. One of the most popular gardens to visit is the Heritage Museums & Gardens estate, a 100-acre Sandwich treasure that boasts a breathtaking collection of specialty gardens, each with its unique theme and charm. 

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The Spohr Gardens is another favorite. It's a six-acre woodland garden in the town of Falmouth, and hosts thousands of colorful blooming flowers, with cultivated flower beds blending into a natural environment that extends to Oyster Pond. Spohr Gardens is also a very popular spot for butterfly spotting!

Other popular gardens include Highfield Hall & Gardens in Falmouth, the Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich, and Suzanne's Garden, a public Provincetown park.

As for springtime wildlife experiences, many visitors venture over to Wellfleet to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Self-guided walking tours here offer a chance to witness the explosion of spring wildflowers alongside native shrubs and trees.

Natural reserves are also prime locations for birdwatching enthusiasts. Some of the best birding spots include:

  • Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge: This barrier island refuge, accessible by ferry from Chatham, offers unparalleled birdwatching opportunities in diverse habitats, including ocean shoreline, salt and freshwater marshes, dunes, and freshwater ponds. Spring brings a surge of activity, with terns, plovers, sandpipers, and numerous songbirds gracing the island with their presence.
  • Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in Barnstable, this 101-acre wildlife sanctuary provides crucial nesting and feeding grounds for a diverse array of bird species.  
  • Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary: This Edgartown sanctuary on Martha's Vineyard encompasses over 350 acres of forests, fields, and ponds, providing a haven for an amazing variety of birdlife. Spring brings a vibrant display of colorful warblers, while waterfowl like herons and egrets can be spotted in the freshwater ponds. Martha’s Vineyard is accessible by ferry from both Woods Hole and Hyannis.

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Aerial view of Monomoy

Spring Festivals and Cultural Celebrations

The Nantucket Daffodil Festival kicks off the spring season in style, with a three-day celebration showing off nigh on three million daffodils! The festival includes an antique car and motorcycle parade, followed by a tailgate picnic, as well as a series of events at Children’s Beach, including a daffodil hat parade, a dog parade, and live entertainment. 

The Brewster in Bloom festival is another vibrant celebration of spring's seasonal transformation. and boasts crafting activities, a scavenger hunt, and a flower-themed parade down Main Street.

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Toward the end of May, the Heritage Museums & Gardens presents the Rhododendron Festival, showcasing over 100 rhododendron varieties in full bloom. 

Also celebrating spring, but with a focus on Cape Cod's seafaring history, is the month-long Maritime Days celebration, featuring guided kayak excursions, lighthouse and walking tours, and nautical art exhibits.

Spring is also when art galleries often kick off new exhibitions featuring paintings, sculptures, and photography capturing the essence of the Cape's creative spirit and way of life.

Outdoor Adventures

Spring beckons Cape Cod explorers to experience the diverse landscapes that come alive as winter fades – and as hiking trails are painted anew with vibrant wildflowers, from daffodils to cherry blossoms. Popular treks include the Nauset National Seashore, which passes through woods and cozy picnic areas, alongside Nauset Marsh, all the way to Coast Guard Beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore.  

For its part, Nickerson State Park boasts a network of well-maintained trails that weave through forests and kettle ponds. An 8-mile set of bicycle trails connects to the Cape Cod Rail Trail and winds through a cedar swamp, pond views, and woodlands.

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Indeed, spring breathes life into all of Cape Cod's bike paths, making them ideal for leisurely rides or adventurous explorations. The Cape Cod Rail Trail, stretching over 25 miles, passes through the towns of Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet, and offers glimpses of cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and shoreline.  

It’s also the perfect season to take a stroll along the Cape Cod Canal, a 7-mile waterway lined with paths on both sides, and connecting Cape Cod Bay in the north to Buzzards Bay in the south.

Cape Cod is also a springtime haven for paddleboarders. Adventurers can glide across glistening pond surfaces, explore hidden coves, or navigate through tranquil marshes teeming with birdlife.  

But perhaps the most epic of spring experiences is the exciting start of Cape Cod's whale-watching season in mid-April. Visitors can simply hop aboard a boat and embark on an unforgettable adventure to witness majestic creatures like humpback whales, fin whales, and dolphins migrating along the coastline. 

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Seasonal Dining and Farmers’ Markets

Spring on Cape Cod is a feast for the senses, and that certainly includes your taste buds! With the arrival of warmer weather, the dining scene explodes with fresh, local flavors that capture the essence of the season. 

Spring menus at Cape Cod restaurants transform into a celebration of local produce. Imagine indulging in dishes featuring very fresh, very local asparagus, plump littleneck clams, and tender baby vegetables. As restaurants open up again after the off-season, chefs across the Cape showcase their creativity and culinary delights, from Cape Cod’s famed lobster rolls and chowders to rare foodie delights.

Spring is also a time for restaurants to reconnect with local farms, and Cape Cod's farm-to-table restaurants are a living showcase to some of the finest flavors in the world, from produce and livestock to Cape Cod Bay oysters.

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Speaking of oysters, Cape Cod's iconic waterfront restaurants come alive in spring, offering breathtaking scenery to go along with their delectable offerings. These restaurants often update their menus to feature the day's catch and the freshest seasonal vegetables, ensuring an unparalleled dining experience.

With spring comes the much-anticipated reopening of many of Cape Cod's vibrant farmers' markets. These bustling marketplaces assemble local farmers, artisans, and fishermen, offering a delightful and fresh alternative to air-conditioned grocery shopping! 

Chat with local farmers about their produce, sample delicious homemade jams and baked goods, and – if you're lucky – discover hidden culinary gems in the region!

Planning Your Spring Visit to Cape Cod

Spring paints Cape Cod in a vibrant palette, making it the ideal time of year for a refreshing getaway from the city. It’s also the perfect time to skip the usual summer traffic and explore the charming towns and villages that dot Route 6A, the scenic byway that winds its way through the heart of Cape Cod. Here are some tips to get the most out of your New England getaway:

Spring weather on Cape Cod can be variable, so pack layers and be prepared for occasional cool days or rain showers. Pack layers! A light jacket, comfortable walking shoes, and a scarf are your best friends. Waterproof boots or shoes are also a good idea, especially if you plan on exploring trails or beaches after a rain shower. 

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With spring's unpredictable weather in mind, plan loosely and embrace the day's possibilities. If a morning downpour throws a wrench in your outdoor plans, consider a day trip to Boston for sightseeing and exploring its rich history, or check out local art galleries. 

Spring being a shoulder season, you may potentially find better deals on vacation rentals. Look for charming cottages that will enhance your experience by providing the perfect space for cozying up with a book on a rainy afternoon. 

 

From exploring charming villages to indulging in fresh seafood, this New England gem offers something special year-round, but spring truly allows you to see its breathtaking beauty come alive. 

Conclusion

Cape Cod in spring represents a vibrant awakening where nature and culture intertwine.

If you're craving fresh air and wide-open spaces, lace up your boots and explore a network of nature trails, vibrant with wildflowers, or feel pristine beach sand between your toes.

Naturally, Cape Cod's allure extends beyond its gorgeous landscapes. Quaint villages come alive with festivals celebrating the region's rich heritage, culinary delights, and vibrant art exhibitions.

This is more than just a vacation - it's a rejuvenation. Hope to see you here soon! 

 

 

 

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