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Things to Do in Falmouth (MA)

Table of Contents

1. Must-visit Attractions

2. Best Activities

3. Family Friendly Activities

4. Pet-Friendly Activities

5.  Where to Eat

6. Travel Tips

Falmouth, Massachusetts, offers travelers the quintessential Cape Cod experience. Steeped in history and adorned with natural beauty, this vibrant town offers a blend of historical intrigue and outdoor adventures. Cobblestone streets lined with charming shops and historic landmarks whisper tales of a bygone era, while its beaches and glistening waters invite extended and leisurely explorations. 

Whether you're a family seeking a fun-filled New England getaway, a history buff looking to delve into the town's rich past, or a nature lover eager to explore the captivating coastline, Falmouth has something for everyone. 

Today we'll provide a curated list of must-see sights, from iconic landmarks like the Nobska Lighthouse to the pristine shores of Falmouth Heights Beach. We'll provide tips for choosing the perfect vacation rental accommodations, and delve into the best activities for families, including exciting watersports and educational experiences.  We'll also provide recommendations for pet owners looking to discover dog-friendly beaches and trails. And we'll guide you through the town's culinary scene, which boasts an abundance of fresh seafood and local flavors.

Must-Visit Attractions in Falmouth

Falmouth seamlessly blends a rich history with breathtaking natural beauty.

Standing sentry at the entrance to Falmouth’s Woods Hole Passage since 1876, the Nobska Lighthouse offers breathtaking panoramas of the ocean and surrounding islands. Visitors can climb the tower (weather permitting) for unparalleled views and gain a visceral appreciation for its role in maritime history.

A world-renowned center for oceanographic research, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of marine science exploration and discovery. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, witness research vessels docked at the harbor, and participate in educational programs. The nearby Woods Hole Science Aquarium, established in 1875, is the country's oldest public aquarium.

Visitors can also delve into the town's rich past at the Falmouth Historical Society. Exhibits showcase the area's transformation from a Native American settlement to a thriving maritime hub, while highlighting the region's whaling industry, shipbuilding heritage, and the lives of the early settlers.

Downtown Falmouth, or Falmouth Village, includes its exceptionally picturesque Falmouth Main Street, with galleries, boutiques, gift shops, bookstores, artisanal ice cream, and a wide range of cuisines from all over the world.

And of course, no exploration of Falmouth is complete without an experience of its beautiful beaches.  You’ll get a different experience depending on whether the beach looks out on the quieter, warmer waters of Buzzards Bay, toward Vineyard Sound, or toward Nantucket Sound to the south.

Among the most popular Buzzards Bay beaches are Old Silver Beach, with its powder-soft sand and spectacular sunset views, and “Chappy,” or Chapoquoit Beach, which is a local favorite due to its Bay views and more secluded nature. Facing the Nantucket Sound, Falmouth Heights Beach is popular among both locals and visitors, while Menauhant Beach is a favorite for shell collectors and for its views on Martha’s Vineyard. Other local favorites include Surf Drive Beach and Wood Neck Beach.

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Best Activities to Enjoy in Falmouth

Falmouth boasts eight distinct villages, each contributing to the town's overall charm and character: East Falmouth, Falmouth, Hatchville, North Falmouth, Teaticket, Waquoit, West Falmouth, and Woods Hole.

Notably, Woods Hole serves as the closest mainland point to Martha's Vineyard, just seven miles offshore. Throughout the year, travelers can access the island via the Steamship Authority's scheduled ferry service, with additional seasonal options available through the Island Queen ferry.

Nature lovers can embark on hikes along the scenic trails of the Shining Sea Bikeway, while kayaking and paddleboarding enthusiasts can explore the calm waters of the inner harbor. But in truth, just about everything you do in Falmouth takes place against a backdrop of natural beauty, whether you’re teeing off at one of Falmouth’s scenic golf courses, raising a glass at the Cape Cod Winery, or walking the trails of Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Other nature destinations include the Cornelia Carey Sanctuary, known as The Knob, which is a picturesque salt pond and bird sanctuary that’s popular year-round for explorers and photographers. Also popular are the Spohr Gardens, a 6-acre woodland garden that’s known as the perfect spot for serene nature walks, and Highfield Hall & Gardens, a magnificent Victorian estate in Beebe Woods, offering beautifully restored gardens, nature trails, and conservation land.

History buffs can delve into Falmouth's fascinating past at the meticulously preserved village of  Falmouth Heights. Explore historic homes and charming shops, and gain insights into the town's role in the whaling industry and its transformation into a popular summer resort destination.

Falmouth also caters to cultural enthusiasts. Art galleries showcase the works of local and regional artists, while the Falmouth Theatre Company entertains audiences with a variety of productions throughout the year.

Other unique Falmouth experiences include boat tours that let you observe the majestic humpback whales migrating through the waters, or visits to the vibrant farmers' market, brimming with fresh local produce and handcrafted goods.

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Family-Friendly Activities

Falmouth welcomes families with a plethora of activities designed to create lasting memories. Here are a select ten:

  1. Spark your children's curiosity at the Children's Discovery Museum, where interactive exhibits ignite a love for learning through play. 
  2. Experience the Falmouth Museums on the Green and delve into the town's fascinating history.
  3. Explore the vibrant Falmouth Village with its charming shops and historical landmarks.  
  4. Take a boat tour from Falmouth Harbor, spotting harbor seals or exploring the picturesque Quissett Harbor.
  5. Rent bikes and explore the scenic bike paths and walking trails surrounding the cranberry bogs. 
  6. Pack a picnic basket and find a tranquil spot for lunch amidst the natural beauty.  
  7. Embark on a whale-watching cruise, creating unforgettable memories of witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
  8. Enjoy outdoor concerts, art exhibitions, and cultural performances throughout the year.
  9. Plan your visit around family-friendly events like the vibrant Falmouth in Bloom festival, transforming the town into a colorful display of flowers. 
  10. Falmouth's beaches provide endless opportunities for swimming, building sandcastles, and creating lasting family moments.

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Activities If You Have Pets

Falmouth offers a range of activities catering to pet owners.

On-leash, dogs are welcome on the extensive network of trails within the Shining Sea Bikeway. Remember to carry waste bags and dispose of waste responsibly. Note that dogs are not allowed on Falmouth's beaches during peak season. Pet access is allowed only from October 2 through to April 30. 

For off-leash fun, do head to the Falmouth Dog Park, a designated area where your furry friend can socialize and run freely. 

Several restaurants offer outdoor seating areas where well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome.  Always check with individual establishments beforehand to confirm their pet policies and any restrictions. 

Del Mar Vacation Rentals' Falmouth vacation rentals offer a range of options to ensure a comfortable stay for both you and your pet.

Where to Eat in Falmouth

Falmouth offers a diverse array of dining options for every palate. For a taste of locally sourced seafood served in a cozy atmosphere, head to The Glass Onion. This charming eatery prides itself on "refined New American cooking with global wines." For those seeking upscale dining with a scenic backdrop, Anejo Mexican Bistro & Tequila Bar delivers an unforgettable experience. Indulge in flavorful Mexican cuisine crafted with locally sourced ingredients.

Quicks Hole Tavern offers a more casual dining experience, with a laid-back atmosphere that focuses on comfort food and craft cocktails. Situated in the heart of Woods Hole, this hidden gem is perfect for a leisurely meal after exploring the nearby shops and attractions.

No visit to Falmouth is complete without sampling the delectable treats at Smitty's Homemade Ice Cream, a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

To make the most of your dining experience in Falmouth, consider making reservations in advance, especially for popular spots like The Glass Onion and Anejo Mexican Bistro. Additionally, time your meals to coincide with the breathtaking sunset views along the coast for an unforgettable dining experience.


Falmouth Travel Tips

1 Consider visiting during the "shoulder seasons" (April-May and September-October) for a truly delightful Falmouth experience. Vibrant fall foliage and refreshing spring air alike offer comfortable temperatures and relative tranquility. 

2 Do book your Falmouth vacation rentals well in advance, especially during peak summer months (June-August), as popular options tend to get reserved quickly.

3 If you’re not traveling by car, Falmouth does offer a public bus system for convenient travel within the town. For exploring neighboring areas like Sandwich or Barnstable, however, consider renting bicycles or using ride-sharing services.

4 Falmouth also serves as a convenient launchpad for day trips to other captivating New England destinations.  A scenic ferry ride whisks you to Martha's Vineyard, while historic Plymouth offers a glimpse into America's early beginnings.  Venture north to Boston for a city escape, or explore the charming villages along Route 6A towards Hyannis.  


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