Immerse yourself in the nautical New England vibe of Cape Cod, a beautiful seaside spot located an easy drive from Boston. With more than 40 miles of protected National Seashore, Cape Cod is a popular vacation area offering a wealth of hiking, biking, and swimming opportunities. Start the day at Cape Cod with a bike ride, spend the afternoon at the Sandwich Glass Museum, and finish with an evening of theatre fun at the Cape Playhouse. Thanks to the area’s compact layout, most Cape Cod vacation rentals are situated only a short drive from the top local attractions. Check out the town’s most popular activities.
1. Take a Dune Tour in Provincetown
Speed through the sand dunes on an excursion with Art’s Dune Tours. Hop into a rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle for a heart-pounding drive through the Peaked Hill Bars Historic District Sand Dunes. For an evening outing, take the company’s New England Clambake tour, which ends with a traditional lobster and clam picnic on the beach as the sun sets in the background.
2. Take a Whale-Watching Cruise in Barnstable
Get close to whales as they breach the waves aboard a Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises outing, one of the Cape’s most popular attractions. As you glide past the stunning Cape Cod shoreline, the captain helps you spot nearby whales. With 650 feet of rail space, indoor benches, and two sun decks, the company’s Whale Watcher boat offers plenty of comfortable viewing spots. The company is committed to WhaleSENSE principles, so you can rest assured that the vessel is safe for sea life and operating in compliance with the NOAA Northeast Whale Watching Guidelines.
3. Bike the Cape Cod Province Lands Trail in Provincetown
Pedal through sand dunes, cranberry bogs, and pine forests on the Cape Cod Province Lands Trail. This stunning trail features several steep climbs, making it a great choice for active families. Rent bikes for the whole family in Provincetown at Gale Force Bikes, which offers everything from beach cruisers to mountain bikes; for little ones, rent a bike trailer. After you explore the trail, take the connecting path to Herring Cove beach to cool off with a dip in the waves.
4. Play The Captains Golf Course in Brewster
Choose from two different courses designed by Brian Silva at The Captains Golf Course. On the challenging Port Course, play around unique kettle ponds as you enjoy the views from the forested fairways. On the Starboard Course, enjoy scenic greens and beginner-friendly holes. If you need to work on your game, book a lesson with The Captains’ staff of PGA professionals.
5. Kayak the Nauset Marsh in Yarmouth
Paddle through the quiet waterways of the Nauset Marsh with Great Marsh Kayak Tours. As you float through the secluded canals, keep an eye out for sandpipers and osprey. Near the outer beach, your guide can point out harbor seals and grey seals. During the summer, stop on one of the many sandbars for a swim, or explore the beach along the Atlantic Ocean. This fun, relaxing tour is great for beginners, so you can take little ones.
6. Visit the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich
Watch as artisans blow stunning glass pieces at the Sandwich Glass Museum. The museum, which was once the site of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, now hosts a variety of historical glass exhibits. With a variety of hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations, the museum is fun for adults and kids. After your visit, be sure to check out 1600s-era structures on a stroll through downtown Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod.
7. See a Performance at The Cape Playhouse in Dennis Village
Bring the whole family to a musical or play at The Cape Playhouse, a small theater that brings in professional performers from Broadway and well-known regional theaters. Over the years, the venue has hosted performers including Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Jane Fonda. Book seats in advance; the beautiful, barn-style theater fills up quickly. For kids, the theater hosts special FUNday Fridays, where little ones can watch performances and participate in interactive theater experiences.
8. Explore the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich
Explore 100 acres of carefully maintained gardens at the Heritage Museums and Gardens, the largest public garden in southern New England. Hang out on the banks of Shawme Pond and hike along the extensive trail system. Around Christmas, walk through acres of brilliant holiday lights, roast marshmallows, and visit with Santa during the Gardens Aglow event. For an extra treat, navigate the hanging bridges, high ropes, and zip line at the onsite Adventure Park, which features five different aerial trails.
9. See a Drive-In Movie in Wellfleet
Join in a beloved Cape Cod summer tradition at the Wellfleet Drive-In. Every night, the theater shows a first-run double feature, creating a fun family outing. Before the movie and during the intermission, let your little ones work out their energy at the onsite playground. A full snack bar provides classic movie snacks, and the theater broadcasts movie audio over your car’s FM radio; simply tune in to the posted station when you arrive.
10. Watch Baseball in Cotuit
Experience Cape Cod’s legendary tradition of collegiate summer baseball at Lowell Park, a compact ballpark in Cotuit and the home of the Kettleers. Games happen most nights from June through August, so it’s a breeze to fit one into your schedule. Bring the whole family; games are free, and the park’s concession stand offers a variety of snacks. If you’re not staying near Cotuit, check out a game at other Cape Cod parks, including Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth, Whitehouse Field in Harwich, and Doran Park in Bourne.
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