As summer draws ever closer, it is time to start making plans for the annual seasonal vacation, the one week out of your year where your only responsibilities are to see something new and have an amazing time while you do it. These seven days of freedom give you the time you need to recharge, refresh, and renew, and it just so happens those seven days can be especially exciting and relaxing when you choose New England Vacation Rentals for your vacation escape. Summer on Cape Cod is the most wonderful time of the year, and from mid-June until Labor Day, our vacation rentals become available for Friday to Friday seven-day bookings. This is the only way to book from us during the busiest season of the year, but there is no hardship in using your precious vacation days on Cape Cod, especially when you follow our guide to seven amazing days on our historic Cape!
Your first day on Cape Cod is one generally spent stocking your kitchen, choosing your bedroom retreat, and getting a feel for the area you have chosen to make your home away from home for the next seven days of your life. Choosing your bedroom is easy, and whether you are the type of traveler who prefers to live out of their suitcase or one that has to unpack and put everything neatly away, (there will be plenty of storage and closet space in your Cape Cod sanctuary) a quick trip to the Chatham Village Market or the local Shaw’s grocery store will free you up to start exploring!
A sunset walk should be added to your daily itinerary, for there is no better way to enjoy the beaches of Cape Cod than by witnessing the fiery colors that light up the sky each evening. But for now, even as the day is nearing its natural conclusion, it is time to gather up the family and grab something to eat, and although your fully equipped kitchen is newly stocked with everything you need to create a full meal, we suggest that a dinner at the Impudent Oyster, 15 Chatham Bars Avenue, is the best way to finish off your first day in paradise! This is a popular spot, serving the tastiest seafood on Cape Cod, so reservations are suggested for dinner and can be made by calling 508-945-3545. They also serve land mammal dishes, and if you are looking for a taste of something fancy, their Duck Wesley is the perfect dish to sample!
On your first day on Cape Cod, you may have already enjoyed a taste of the beach with a sunset stroll, but today is all about staking your claim on a stretch of sandy beach and experiencing all that an ocean by the sea has to offer! There will be plenty of time to explore local attractions on days three through seven, but on day two, sunny skies and the roaring ocean are calling your name.
Depending on which of our properties you are staying in, you have a varied selection of beaches on which you can play, but if you get the chance, try to spend at least one day at Mayflower Beach in Dennis. This popular beach offers three parking lots, so if you are staying in other villages, you should be able to find a parking spot for your rental car. The water is a touch warmer on this shore and the waves crest high, ensuring that the surfers love this spot as much as you will, as it gives you something to watch during your lazy moments on the sand! At lunch, Chapin’s, located just steps away from your umbrellas and beach chairs, is the perfect spot to enjoy all your favorite seafood dishes and vacation cocktails; their Patio Painkiller made with Rumhaven Coconut Water Rum, New Amsterdam Mango Vodka, pineapple juice, and a dash of nutmeg is dangerously delicious!
The lighthouses of Cape Cod have guided many a sailor to safety, but they are also popular with tourists who have not grown up by the sea, so why not take a self-guided tour to see what all the fuss is about! You may have already posed for the family Christmas card in front of Chatham Lighthouse, but there are many more to explore and love.
The Three Sisters Lighthouses, located on Cable Road in Eastham, were moved to their current location when erosion at the shoreline could have caused them to be lost forever. (The original Three Sisters were built of brick and did end up falling into the sea; this version is wood built on stone foundations.) Nauset Light, also located in Eastham, may look familiar to you, as it is the star attraction on bags of Cape Cod Potato Chips! Stage Harbor Light in Chatham—located on private property, but easily viewed from Harding’s Beach in Chatham—and West Dennis Light (formerly known as Bass River Lighthouse) are just a couple more examples of lighthouses you should be looking out for during your unforgettable stay on Cape Cod. You may not get to see the inside of some or any of these beautiful structures, but we can promise that the pictures you will take will all be frame worthy, enticing you to hang them on your walls in a place of honor!
When it comes time for dinner, a special day spent touring the lighthouses deserves the incredible meals found at The Brewster Fish House at 2208 Main Street. Even though your tour of lighthouses did not bring you to Brewster, it is worth driving a few more miles to taste the seafood offered here, starting with their creamy and delicious lobster bisque!
As you reach the midway point of your Cape Cod getaway, you have started to settle in and are realizing that you really have stepped out of your real life right into paradise, and that makes day four the perfect time to enjoy the perfect day on Cape Cod. Early risers can start this day out with a walk along the shores nearest your New England Vacation Rentals getaway, watching the sun rise over the sea and marveling over the many colors displayed in the sky. After, you can always head back to your sanctuary for a little more sleep, or you can mosey on over to the Hole in One Breakfast & Lunch, 98 MA-6A in Orleans, for a breakfast you will never forget. This is where the locals go for hearty breakfasts and sweet treats that you will miss when you return home to real life—especially their donuts!
While you are in Orleans, stop by the Jonathan Young Windmill Collection at 41 Old King’s Highway for a sneak peak into the history of the Cape and some really cool pictures of a windmill that was constructed in the 1700s. Lunch at the Oyster Company (202 Depot Street in Dennis Port) breaks up the long day in the most delicious of ways, and after, one last touristy stop at Cranberry Bog Tours, 1601 Factory Road in Harwich, is where you will discover those commercials for cranberry juice weren’t exaggerating about what a cranberry bog looks like. By now you are probably pretty hungry, so we will finish up the day with a few hours of relaxation at your favorite beach, watch the sun set over the sea, and head back to your vacation home away from home for a home-cooked dinner enjoyed on the patio!
From your first moments on Cape Cod, you cannot help but be wowed by the history that surrounds your every step, and as such, a day spent steeped in history will be a memorable one. From a sea captain’s home clad in stereotypical clapboard siding offering widow’s walks and the scents and sounds of the sea to the museums that highlight the beauty of the Cape by exploring its history in depth, this beautiful place is rich in history and charm, and after devouring a delicious and filling breakfast at Grumpy’s, 1408 Main Street Route 6A in East Dennis, it will be time to explore some of the museums and historic sites that have made Cape Cod famous.
The Edward Gorey House, also known as the Elephant House, is where the famous author, illustrator, and playwright finished out the later years of his life. Located at 8 Strawberry Lane in Yarmouth Port, today his home serves as a museum for his work and a celebration of his life. Get a glimpse of what life was really like for Cape residents in the early 1800s with a visit to the Caleb Nickerson Homestead, located at 1107 N Orleans Road in North Chatham, marking the grounds where the first settlers set up residency in 1664. Tours are available on Wednesdays only in the summer months, which conveniently happens to be day five of your Cape Cod getaway! Chatham played its part in the last World War, with local lads sacrificing their lives, including one private who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Boat builders contributed designs for boats and local women set up a Civilian’s Defense Committee and knitted warm sweaters for their boys at war. The Chatham Historical Society, based in the Atwood Museum, 347 Stage Harbor Road, tells these stories and so many more in your final historical stop of the day. Spend a few hours exploring the renovated captain’s house built in 1752, and marvel at how much has changed on Cape Cod over the centuries and how much has stayed the same!
Why is it that the months leading up to vacations seem to stretch out in an endless array of seconds, minutes, hours, and days, but your seven days on Cape Cod fly by in a blink? On your last full day on the Cape, there are still so many things you want to do and seemingly so little time in which to do it! After five days, you have experienced much of what Cape Cod has to offer, so this day is dedicated to shopping and more time at the beach, starting (and perhaps ending!) with the shops on Main Street in Chatham. Grab a few gifts for yourself and the family members or friends back home who were not fortunate enough to join you on this getaway at Yankee Ingenuity, a gift shop found at 525 Main. Savor the enchanting souvenirs found at Mermaids on Main (410 Main), including whimsical gifts which are interspersed with vintage items that you never knew you needed! The Tibetan Gift Shop (595 Main) features wares with an Eastern and mythical flair, and the Mayflower shop (475 Main) offers a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of everything in this historic shop that has decorated the Chatham landscape since 1875! One shop that you will want to leave Main Street for is the Chatham Jam & Jelly Shop, located at 16 Seaquanset Road. Offering sweet treats that will serve as a fleeting reminder of the sweet memories made on Cape Cod, everything made here is created with local produce, ensuring that the sweetness is fresh as well!
No one wants the good times to end, but your Friday to Friday seven-day booking in our New England Vacation Rentals summer sanctuaries has come to its natural conclusion. Before you check out and begin your re-entry to real life, there is still time for one more trip to the beach, one last seafood meal, and one final look back at the sturdy Cape Cod home that sheltered you and provided relaxation over the last week. The living room where you enjoyed a roaring fire on cooler nights, the fully equipped kitchens in which many meals were created and stories were shared, even the dining room table where you and your family gathered around playing games and devouring foods, talking loudly and laughing even louder. These memories will be ones that will be treasured forever, and as you pack your bags (Aren’t you glad you brought that collapsible bag found on Amazon that is now filled with all the goodies you purchased over the course of your Cape Cod adventures?) and walk away with your luggage trailing behind, you may not even recognize how relaxed, happy, and renewed you feel. Reserve your favorite summer sanctuary today!
Life is an experience that’s filled with plenty of requirements. The responsibilities we’re held to daily can seem overwhelming at times. That’s what makes a getaway somewhere scenic and exciting so enjoyable! Vacation is a chance to let go of stress, unwind in style, and explore a destination that’s new and inviting without any of those life demands following you around. Making it even more meaningful is often the fact that the choices are entirely yours when it comes to selecting a vacation destination that perfectly matches your interests and style.
While there are plenty of places on the map to choose from that are worth experiencing at one point or another, those with plans to travel this summer or fall who are looking for a place where simple pleasures are magnified at every turn will find everything they’re looking for and more on Cape Cod with our Cape Cod travel guide! Setting your travel sights on this one-of-a-kind destination is sure to be an inspiring choice that offers up much in the way of rest, relaxation, fun, and exploration too. There’s truly something for everyone on Cape Cod, whether you’re in town for the delicious seafood, historical stops, elevated shopping, or options to encounter nature at its very finest.
Cape Cod is a scenic peninsula located off the coast of Massachusetts that’s known as a popular summertime destination but makes just as much of a fun and scenic impact in the fall. Between the collection of quaint villages, towering lighthouses, mouthwatering seafood stops, and beautiful beaches, it’s not hard to see upon arrival why first-time travelers find themselves wanting to return year after year. While many famous names have made their way to Cape Cod over the decades to enjoy a luxurious getaway or two, it remains a place that feels familiar and welcoming, beyond its reputation for being a one-stop resource for luxurious retreating like no other. Across Cape Cod, small moments have the potential to becoming unforgettable life-long memories. Quaint beaches, charming seafood tops, historical sights, and breathtaking wildlife have a way of inspiring that’s unmatched. No matter what else your Cape Cod summer or fall itinerary entails, the following are a few activities and attractions that are sure to elevate the experience further and you definitely won’t want to miss out on while you’re here!
While Cape Cod is visited and referenced frequently by its umbrella name, the area itself is made up of several communities–each hosting its own identity, culture, and undeniable sense of charm! Chatham, Brewster, Harwich, Eastham, Orleans, Hyannis, Dennisport, Truro, West Barnstable, Centerville, Yarmouth, and Provincetown are among the many stops that travelers can make and enjoy when setting their vacation sights on Cape Cod. Because there are so many places to pick from, choosing those activities that speak most closely to interests and intrigue can sometimes seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case! When you make your way to Cape Cod, you never have to travel that far to access the next destination, making it possible to pack a lot of fun into even a short stay with our Cape Cod travel guide.
One of those Cape Cod activities that is universally inviting no matter what village or town you happen to find yourself in is beach-hopping! Cape Cod’s ideal location on and surrounded by pristine waters makes it the perfect place for those with a passion for shoreline adventures to either settle into the sand and work on that amazing tan or jump in the water and go for a swim that puts you up close with some incredible creatures.
If you’re up for exploring some truly incredible sights, stick to the Cape Cod National Seashore, which shouldn’t be hard to do seeing as it stretches 40 miles between Provincetown and Chatham. For a super exclusive beach day, head to North Beach in Chatham which is definitely off the beaten path and only accessible by boat. Those more interested in pairing their tanning with hitting the waves will want to head to East Orleans and check out Nauset Beach which is typically a popular place amongst those with a passion for boogie boarding their way through a sunny summer or fall afternoon. Skaket Beach in Orleans is a great place to find yourself when you’re on the hunt for calm waters and would be interested in checking out smaller flats and tidal pools as well. Kingsbury Beach in Eastham is a good place to go for a beach walk and bring your camera along to capture seabirds along the way. Duck Harbour Beach in on Cape Cod Bay is popular amongst beach hoppers looking for a great view and appreciate warm waters.
For those that enjoying exploring new places on two wheels, Cape Cod in general promises to be a fantastic destination both in the summer and fall for renting a bike and hitting the trails in style. Not to worry, there’s no shortage of routes to pursue whether you’re an avid cyclist or excited to get out and enjoy the weather and views alongside the entire family. That said, one of the most inviting pathways to peddle is by far the Cape Cod Rail Trail. This cycling route is actually built on an old rail bed and offers up 26 miles of trail to be explored at your very own leisurely pace. The trail stretches between Dennis and Wellfleet but in between, there are plenty of stops to be made—many of which happen throughout Chatham. Even the most enthusiastic of cyclist will find it hard to resist the temptation of enjoying some time at one of the several cafes that dot this route. It’s particularly a fun way to spend a day if you find yourself in good company and are looking to balance out physical exercise with some well-earned treats along the way.
The natural beauty and sensational scenery of Cape Cod isn’t lost on travelers or those who are local and spend their time on the cape year-round. One of the most mesmerizing destinations in which to take it all in is the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge—a place well worth checking out when you’re in the area in the summer or the fall. This massive wildlife refuge actually encompasses not one, but three entire islands that are situated fairly close to Chatham. Consisting of both salt and freshwater marshes, the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible habitat for protected seabirds and ecosystems that visitors can enjoy by walking the paths and taking in the sights at will. First established as a refuge in 1944, it continues to be a place that captivates visitor minds and imaginations today-not to mention, plays a vital role in protecting the landscapes and ecosystems that make Cape Cod such a marvel. While visiting the wildlife refuge, it’s entirely possible to set your sights on Piping Plovers, Roseate Tern, the American Oystercatcher, and Red Knots. While these protected birds roam the shoreline and skies, if you keep your eyes peeled on the surrounding waters, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter anything from gray and harbor seals out searching for a bite to whales and dolphins that might breach the waves within sight.
If you happen to find yourself exploring Falmouth in the summer or fall and could use a moment of rest and recuperation in a space that speaks to natural beauty and tranquility, head towards 45 Fells Road where you can spend some quality time Spohr Gardens. This inviting destination covers six acres of woodland terrain and is dotted with delightful daffodils that dot winding pathways complete with benches and natural artifacts and water features to enjoy. The garden was first established in the 1950s and today is owned by a charitable trust and functions as an open space for guests to spend a peaceful moment wandering or in contemplation of nature’s beauty.
For many travelers to Cape Cod, it’s hard to imagine a trip this way without some well-earned time spent at a lighthouse or two. While there are several to choose from, Chatham Lighthouse has that certain something special about it that shouldn’t be missed out on. Standing 43 feet tall, Chatham Lighthouse stands next to its shore station and is easy to identify thanks to its stark white façade. The lighthouse dates back to 1808 and is an incredible local attraction to enjoy, explore, and of course photograph!
Getting out on the water is always a delightful way to spend a vacation on Cape Cod, but there’s something even more exciting about pairing those on-the-water adventures with options to spot a whale or two along the way. Cape Cod enjoys a firm place along many whales’ migration routes and if you find yourself here in the summer or early fall, there’s a good chance of catching a glimpse of a few if you book the right excursion. Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises is a good place to start when you’re excited to get up close to these incredible marine creatures. Humpback whales, finback whales, and even mink whales have been seen from these comprehensive cruises that include insight into whale migration patterns and behaviors. Tours with Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises leave from Barnstable Harbor and guests enjoy the experience on board a 130-foot whale watching vessel designed without external propellers to ensure a safe experience for passengers and marine life below. With two captains on board at all times and over 50 years of Cape Cod guide experience, Whale Watcher Cruises offers up a sense of confidence and a legacy of excellence that travelers count on.
For summer and fall travelers to Cape Code looking for something with a bit more speed and adrenaline included on the water, the team at Cape Cod Power Boat Rentals in South Yarmouth is ready and waiting to answer the call to fun. This premier provider of all things powerboat rentals is located at 130 Pleasant Street and is happy to offer rentals that span a few hours, a half-day excursion, or a full day of excitement on the waves.
While getting out and exploring the best of Cape Cod is always a delight whether you’re traveling this way in the summer or fall, no adventure can truly be considered complete without taking some time to enjoy the savory stops along the way as well. Fortunately, Cape Cod is packed with delicious dining destinations to choose from. While it’s possible to find nearly every type of food item one could crave somewhere in this area, there’s something particularly appealing about the fresh-caught fare that’s straight from the sea when you’re visiting a place that showcases the waters at nearly all times. That’s what makes a meal enjoyed at Mac’s Chatham Fish & Lobster so enjoyable and memorable!
This savory stop can be found at 1291 Main Street Route 28 in Chatham and is open to the dining public daily between 11:00 am and 9:00 pm. Here, guests are invited to indulge their tastebuds by selecting from various fresh-caught fish and seafood dishes that are bound to delight. Whether you go with the Wellfleet oysters, tuna, salmon, calamari, or shrimp, the menu has something for every seafood lover that drops by. The atmosphere is fun while the service is notoriously friend at Mac’s Chatham Fish & Lobster, making the experience that much more worthwhile!
After a day of exploring Cape Cod, knowing you’re booked into rental accommodations that are not only comfortable and luxurious but conveniently located near those places you can’t wait to explore can elevate your experience even further! When you partner with the property professionals at New England Vacation Rentals, guests can pick and choose from a vast portfolio of property options that span the entire cape and can be customized to meet every traveler’s need and exceed expectations too. Whether it’s a charming bungalow by the water or a multi-level residence complete with a specific view that would make your trip complete, New England Vacation Rentals has the homes and properties to fit every budget and lifestyle. Reach out today to learn more!