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How to Have Fun on Cape Cod

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Posted on June 28, 2023

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is an iconic peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, its crooked arm bent in a welcoming gesture to vacationers who seek respite in its quaint towns, pristine beaches, and historic sites. Here are some must-do activities for anyone looking for how to have fun on Cape Cod that allow you to experience the peninsula in all its unique glory.

Top Ways to Have Fun on Cape Cod

Beach on Cape Cod

1) Beach Bliss: Cape Cod is renowned for its wonderful coastline. The Cape Cod National Seashore stretches over 40 miles, presenting a panorama of sandy beaches, marshes, ponds, and uplands. Each beach has a distinct personality; Nauset Beach is known for its surf, while the calm waters of Skaket Beach are ideal for families. In Provincetown, Race Point Beach, with its extensive dunes, offers incredible sunset views. Bring your beach gear and enjoy the day soaking up the sun, swimming, or building sandcastles.

2) Seafood Savors: Delight in the delectable local seafood, the area's culinary pride. Indulge in a lobster roll, fried clams, or the famous clam chowder at a seaside shack. Or, for a fancier affair, dine at the Ocean House in Dennis Port, an elegant restaurant offering panoramic ocean views and a seafood-dominated menu. If you fancy a hands-on experience, join a clam-digging tour or oyster farm visit.

lobster dish

3) History Trails and Tales: Walk through history on the cobblestone streets of Sandwich, the Cape's oldest town. The Sandwich Glass Museum showcases the town's rich glassmaking history. Plimoth Patuxet Museums, a living history museum in Plymouth, just outside the Cape, brings the world of the Pilgrims and Native Americans to life. Visit the iconic Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, which provide fascinating insights into the Mayflower Pilgrims' landing in Provincetown.

4) Outdoor Adventures: Cape Cod's diverse natural landscapes offer numerous outdoor activities. Explore the well-marked hiking trails of the Cape Cod National Seashore, perfect for birdwatching and photography. Get on your bike and pedal the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail or kayak through the marshes in Wellfleet. Don't miss the chance to join a whale-watching tour, as Cape Cod is one of the best places in the world to see these majestic creatures.

humpback whale

5) Artistic Inspirations: Cape Cod's fabulous landscapes have long inspired artists, writers, and musicians. Discover the rich art scene in the galleries of Provincetown and Wellfleet or attend a theater performance at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, one of the oldest summer theaters in the country. The Cape Cod Symphony in Hyannis offers world-class performances, while the Cape Cod Museum of Art features works from local artists and sculptors.

6) Island Hopping: If you have the time, visit the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, each with its unique charm. Accessible by ferry, these islands feature quaint towns, lighthouses, beautiful beaches, and biking paths. Explore Nantucket's historic district and visit the Whaling Museum to learn about the island's seafaring past. On Martha’s Vineyard, explore the colorful gingerbread cottages of Oak Bluffs and the iconic Gay Head Lighthouse.

7) Cape Cod Charm: Visit Chatham for a classic Cape Cod experience. Shop for unique souvenirs at the local boutiques, enjoy ice cream at a local parlor, and watch the Friday night band concerts at the gazebo. Don't forget to see the Chatham Lighthouse, an active Coast Guard station with a beacon that still guides sailors safely to shore.

Chatham Lighthouse

8) Wine and Dine on Cape Cod: The region’s wineries and breweries are rapidly gaining recognition. Embark on a wine-tasting journey at Truro Vineyards, known for their selection of exquisite wines. Enjoy a guided tour to learn about their wine-making process and then sample the fruits of their labor in a serene setting. Beer enthusiasts shouldn't miss a tour of the Cape Cod Beer brewery in Hyannis, which offers a taste of locally made craft beers.

9) Maritime Marvels: To really appreciate Cape Cod's maritime heritage, visit the Cape Cod Maritime Museum in Hyannis. The museum features exhibits on the peninsula's maritime culture, a boat-building workshop, and a collection of historical sea charts and maps. Join a lighthouse tour that covers several of the 14 lighthouses on the Cape, like Highland Light or Nobska Point Light, each with a captivating history and spectacular views.

10) Festive Fun: Cape Cod's event calendar is filled with various festivals throughout the year. The Wellfleet OysterFest celebrates the town's famous shellfish with oyster shucking competitions, tastings, local food, and music. The Provincetown Carnival is a week-long celebration featuring parades, parties, and art fairs, while the annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument is a beloved holiday tradition.

11) Wildlife Wonders: Head out to Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, a series of barrier islands just off Chatham. Home to a variety of migratory birds and harbor seals, it's a dream for wildlife enthusiasts. Explore the refuge by foot or take a boat tour for seal sightings.

12) On the Water: The waters of Cape Cod are perfect for various recreational activities. Try your hand at surfing in Wellfleet or go paddleboarding or windsurfing in Provincetown Harbor. Anglers can join deep-sea fishing trips for a chance to catch striped bass, bluefish, or even tuna.

13) Sailing into the Sunset: Complete your day with a sunset sail from Provincetown, Hyannis, or Falmouth. As the golden sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in mesmerizing colors, you’ll understand why so many are drawn to the unique allure of Cape Cod.

14) Scenic Drives: Cruise along the Old King's Highway, also known as Route 6A, which snakes through some of the oldest villages in America. The scenic route is particularly stunning in fall when foliage turns to vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold. Along the way, you'll discover charming art galleries, antique shops, and historic landmarks.

15) Tee Time: For golf enthusiasts, Cape Cod offers some of the best courses in New England. The Ocean Course at the New Seabury is an oceanfront golf course, offering a challenging play along with stunning vistas. Highland Links in Truro is one of America's oldest golf courses, where the rolling landscape and ocean views make for a memorable round.

16) The JFK Legacy: Discover the legacy of one of America's most beloved presidents at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. The museum hosts a series of exhibits and multimedia displays about JFK's time spent on Cape Cod, his family's special relationship with the area, and his significant impact on the nation.