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!