The 11 finest locations to go to on Cape Cod, from penny sweet retailers to maritime museums

From zen moments of watching waves roll onto the seashore at sundown to the summer time pleasure of an ice-cream-fueled household trip, Cape Cod affords a variety of numerous experiences for quite a lot of guests. 

The Cape is finest recognized for its seashores and dunes, seafood and idyllic summer time holidays, however there’s way more to find alongside its 65 miles that jut into the Atlantic like a curled arm. Listed here are some favourite Cape locations that gained’t disappoint. 

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Get pleasure from recent seafood within the seaside city of Chatham © Ariel Skelley / Getty Pictures

Refill on penny sweet and fried oysters in Downtown Chatham

Situated within the “elbow” of the Decrease Cape, Chatham’s Important Road doesn’t roll up its sidewalk as early as another Cape cities. Children (and grown-ups) love the penny sweet at Chatham Candy Manor and treats from Buffy’s Ice Cream.

Root for the Chatham Anglers at Veterans Subject, a part of the Cape Cod Baseball League, and Bunny Hop into the summer time night with the Chatham Band at Kate Gould Park, a summer time Friday evening Chatham establishment since 1945. 

Fried clams with Cape Cod Beer on the Squire and prosciutto-wrapped haddock on the Wild Goose Tavern are just some of the eating choices in downtown Chatham.

Expertise the outside on the Cape Cod Nationwide Seashore 

Cape Cod Nationwide Seashore protects 40 miles of dramatic Cape Cod coast with crashing waves and quiet forest trails. Beloved by Henry David Thoreau and declared a Nationwide Seashore by John F. Kennedy in 1961, the park has stretches of seashore to discover and significant inland habitat with freshwater ponds dotting thick woods laced with climbing trails. 

All through Cape Cod Nationwide Seashore historic lighthouses make for postcard-perfect images and are open for excursions. 

The Highlands Heart is a 110-acre campus that till 1994 was an Air Drive facility that right now hosts scientists, artists and educators that’s open for particular public occasions.

Drag queens in pink wigs walking in the annual Provincetown Carnival Parade in Provincetown.
There’s all the time a celebration occurring in Provincetown © Cindy Goff / Shutterstock

Have fun the humanities in Provincetown

Lengthy a favourite LGBTIQ+ getaway, Provincetown is arguably the Cape’s most vibrant neighborhood crammed with artwork galleries, theaters, numerous eating places and eclectic boutiques. Situated on the tip of the Cape with Cape Cod Bay to its west and the open Atlantic to the east, P-town is a year-round vacation spot when different components of the Cape have closed up for the season. 

It’s the place the Pilgrims first landed in 1620 earlier than crusing on to Plymouth Rock, and was a serious whaling middle. When that business waned, its distant fishing shacks have been found by artists, writers and bohemians on the lookout for quiet escapes to focus on their work. 

Over the previous centuries, whale looking has given solution to whale safety, with a number of whale-watching firms together with Whale Watch Dolphin Fleet taking friends close to Stellwagen Financial institution Nationwide Marine Sanctuary to view humpback, fin and proper whales feeding on this wealthy space between Proviencetown and Boston.

Find out about Cape Cod’s aquatic wildlife on the Woods Gap Science Aquarium 

The Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded Woods Gap Science Aquarium is the oldest marine aquarium within the nation, based in 1885. This free aquarium and analysis middle homes marine species present in Cape Cod waters and contains reveals showcasing ongoing environmental analysis being carried out all through Cape Cod. 

Docents reply questions concerning the ecology of Cape Cod, and injured animals comparable to sea turtles are rehabilitated at this facility. These that may not be safely launched again into the wild have discovered everlasting properties right here.

A trio of people sit on the edge of a top-down car watching a movie at the Wellfleet Drive-In in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
There’s nothing fairly like watching a film on the drive-in © Evan Richman / Boston Globe through Getty Pictures

Catch a double-feature on the Wellfleet Drive-In 

After a day on the seashore, a night on the Wellfleet Drive-In Theater is the right solution to cap a Cape Cod day. A neighborhood staple of Cape Cod summer time nights since 1957, the drive-in exhibits present films however the expertise is both nostalgic or fully new for movie-goers. 

Automobiles align in rows and radios are tuned to 89.5 FM for the movie’s audio as households and {couples} settle in for the evening’s double-feature of latest releases. The walk-up snack bar sells popcorn and different bites. Cape Cod Crimson and different native beers can be found as properly.

Dive into historical past on the Whydah Pirate Museum 

This fascinating museum in Yarmouth accommodates artifacts of the Whydah, the one absolutely authenticated pirate shipwreck that was found off the Cape Cod coast close to Wellfleet in 1984. 

The three-masted British ship was captured by pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy and used to plunder upon the excessive seas till its sinking in a 1717 storm in Cape waters. 

Tons of silver, gold and cannons sank into the ocean and have been buried within the sand. When the ship’s bell was recovered in 2013, the wreck was recognized past a doubt. Persevering with analysis of this archaeological web site and its recovered artifacts are defined and displayed alongside a replica of the Whydah.

Members of the Mashpee Wampanoag enter the arena during the Grand Ceremony at Barnstable County Fairgrounds in East Falmouth.
The Mashee Wampanoag is a federally acknowledged tribe headquartered in Mashpee © Essdras M Suarez / Boston Globe through Getty Pictures

Study concerning the Cape’s first individuals 

For millennia earlier than the arrival of the Pilgrams Cape Cod was – and nonetheless is – the house of Algonquin-speaking individuals. Many Cape Cod place names are Algonquin in origin together with Nantucket (far-away land), Monomoy (lookout place) and Mashpee (nice water). 

Right now, the Mashpee Wampanoag is a federally acknowledged tribe headquartered in Mashpee. Go to the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum to study extra concerning the Cape’s oldest and longest inhabitants, and the primary weekend of July attend the Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow that options conventional drumming and dancing competitions, meals distributors and different occasions that commemorate Mashpee Wampanoag tradition.

Tour the large metropolis of Hyannis

Hyannis is Cape’s “large metropolis”. The mile-long Important Road is lined with native retailers, galleries and eating places together with Flashback Retro Arcade, Bar & Grill. The Cape Cod Maritime Museum highlights the Cape’s crusing heritage with interactive reveals, and the Kennedy household’s long-association with the Cape is explored on the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. 

The Zion Union Heritage Museum celebrates the contributions of individuals of shade to the Cape’s whaling and agricultural previous, and showcases the artwork, literature and social activism undertaken by BIPOC residents right now.

Every day ferries journey between Hyannis and the islands of Martha’s Winery and Nantucket, and whale-watching excursions to the Cape Cod Bay depart from Hyannis. Nationwide acts carry out year-round on the Cape Cod Melody Tent, whereas Cape Cod Beer and Barnstable Brewing are favourite native hangouts with craft beer and meals vans.

A woman carrying a large straw bag walks past a store with a striped green and white awning in Martha's Vineyard.
Martha’s Winery is understood for its pristine seashores, sparse crowds and relaxed “Outdated Cape” way of life © Lena Mirisola/Getty Pictures/Picture Supply

Get pleasure from a slower tempo of life at Martha’s Winery 

There’s Cape Cod laidback, after which there’s Cape Cod Islands laidback. Secluded and romantic, the island of Martha’s Winery is understood for its pristine seashores, sparse crowds and relaxed “Outdated Cape” way of life. 

Flying into its airport or taking a ferry from Woods Gap of Hyannis are the one public methods to succeed in the island, including to its enchantment. Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are the 2 essential vacationer locations on Martha’s Winery, every with grand Victorian whaling captain properties and historic lighthouses. 

The 1876 Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs is the oldest repeatedly used carousel in the USA full with a golden ring to seize. In Edgartown discover the luxurious Mytoi Japanese Gardens on close by Chappaquiddick Island.

Go for a hike at Nickerson State Park 

Cape Cod is liked for its pristine seashores, however its inside is gorgeous as properly. Nickerson State Park is 1,900-acres of wooded trails and glacial freshwater ponds for climbing, swimming and tenting. 

Come October it turns into a riot of shade as leaves change and flutter to the bottom. The 28-mile-long paved Cape Cod Rail Path bike path passes via the park, making this a favourite vacation spot for cyclists. 

Go to Cape museums 

Whereas most guests plan to spend their time outdoors on seashores or sipping Cape Codders on verandas, ducking inside and testing the Cape’s many museums is properly well worth the effort. 

Among the Cape’s many museums embody the Atwood House in Chatham that preserves the 1750s house of sea captain Joseph Atwood and explains life on the Cape from the pre-colonial Wampanoag via the Forties. 

The Edward Gorey Home in Yarmouth celebrates the lifetime of the artist and author who lived right here from 1979 till his demise in 2000. The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis showcases the work of the Cape’s prolific creatives, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum in Mashpee particulars the lifeways of Cape Cod’s first inhabitants. 

On the island of Nantucket, the Nantucket Whaling Museum examines the historical past and impression of whaling with historic whaling instruments, boats and people’ evolving relationship with whales over the previous centuries. The Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee is an element playground, half STEM classroom for youths and fogeys, too.