Family vacations can be the best experience of your life or the worst—there really is no in-between. When you choose to take your next family summer vacation on Cape Cod, we can promise it will be the best one you’ve ever taken! Offering adventures and activities that appeal to all ages, there will be so much to do during your Massachusetts getaway that you’ll have to come back next year to experience it all! This guide to summer on the Cape will ensure you can choose the Cape Cod family activities you absolutely can’t wait another day to try!
There’s something lonely and yet majestic about a classic Cape Cod lighthouse; standing tall and proud overlooking the waters, even after all our years on Cape Cod we still give a sigh of delight when we see one! Offering a romantic focal point and the perfect backdrop to all our special occasions, your Cape Cod getaway would be lacking if you missed out on viewing the Chatham Lighthouse or the Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham. If you’re on a road trip, be sure to stop at any of the lighthouses you see!
Offering natural history tours, seal watching tours, and of course their unforgettable Sunset Cruises, Blue Claw Boat Tours has something for everyone! It’s BYOB (or snacks for the younger crowd) as you glide across a saltwater river to where it opens into Little Pleasant Bay and the show of a lifetime! If you’ve never experienced a Cape Cod sunset, this summer promises to be the perfect time to start! This is one of our favorite Cape Cod family activities.
Summer theater has been a Massachusetts tradition for longer than we can remember, and the Cape Cod Playhouse is one of our favorite places to catch a Broadway show! This year’s celebrity line-up promises to outshine all other years as Tony-winning actors and directors perform The Importance of Being Earnest, Chorus Line, and Little Shop of Horrors for the delight of audience members from all over the world.
Every adventure doesn’t have to be a grandiose one. Sometimes, enjoying a delicious muffin from the best bakery in town is all the excitement you need, and Woolfie’s Bakery is the one we suggest. Only open in the summer and early fall, the blueberry coffee cake muffin is the one we dream about all winter long, but your littles may prefer the chocolate chip ones!
Not every moment of every day has to be filled with exciting Cape Cod family activities, and when you stay in one of our summer escapes, you will find the quiet moments may very likely be the highlight of your entire trip. Enjoy dinner al fresco as you watch the sun set over the horizon, listening to your children chatter happily and your spouse laughing aloud; these are the moments we all hope for and Cape Cod vacations aim to please! Reserve yours with New England Vacation Rentals today! Click here to browse our wonderful vacation rentals.
As Spring Break season rolls around, the thought of fighting crowds of partying students for blanket space on the southern beaches of our nation can leave us feeling less than thrilled about our getaway. You’ve grown, matured, and to be perfectly honest, can no longer “hang” like you used to. We get it, because we’re where you are in our stage of life as well. But just because you’re not the party animal you once were, it doesn’t mean you should just give up and stay home; we think it means you should come to Cape Cod and participate in these fun Cape Cod Spring Break things to do!
It still can be pretty chilly in March and April on Cape Cod, so swimming is definitely off the menu, but there’s still fun to be had without entering the surf! Take pictures in front of the Chatham Lighthouse, grab a blanket and a good book and spend a few sunny afternoon hours escaping into the story, or bundle up and take a walk with your sweetie under the glow of starlight and moonbeams. These tranquil beach moments will be a reminder of how smart you were to choose Cape Cod—especially when you don’t have to fight for your piece of the sand!
A key element in an enjoyable spring break is the music. Whether itis headbanging rock, smooth sounding jazz, or in this case, the happy lilt of an Irish tune, your Cape Cod Spring Break will be a lot more memorable when spent listening to the music you love. O’Shea’s Olde Inne, a traditional Irish Pub located at 348 Main Street in West Dennis, holds Irish Music sessions every Sunday from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Open to all musicians,you can participate or simply enjoy your Guinness as you tap your toes to the old Irish favorites that make your heart beat faster.
A good meal does more than just fill your belly, it feeds your soul,and when you dine at the restaurants we list in this guide, you’ll understand exactly what we are talking about! Whether you choose a former church in Chatham that now serves the best Italian style seafood you’ve ever tasted (The Impudent Oyster, 15 Chatham Bars Avenue),the fine French cuisine you’ll find (Chillingsworth Restaurant, 2449 Main Street in Brewster), or any of the other wonderful restaurants on the Cape, you’ll come away feeling peaceful, happy, and full!
Gone are the days of rooming with a dozen other college students in cheap hotels with questionable hygiene issues. You’ve grown to expect the kind of service, style, and yes, cleanliness you will only find in a New England Vacation Rentals vacation hideaway! Reserve yours today and celebrate this Cape Cod Spring Break with style!
Whenever we start planning our next vacation, the destination is carefully chosen and decided by a number of qualifications: Is the scenery breathtaking? Are the attractions family friendly? How delicious is the food? And most importantly, what type of shopping expeditions can we expect? There’s nothing better than filling the empty spots in our suitcases and sifting through our treasures upon our return, reliving the vacation one trinket at a time. When you choose Chatham on Cape Cod for your once in a lifetime vacation getaway, you’re guaranteed an experience you won’t want to end—especially when you spend your time treasure hunting with our Chatham Shopping Guide!
Quirky, charming, and destined to be the highlight of your Chatham shopping expeditions, Ducks in the Window offers a unique gift shopping experience. Featuring rubber duckies that match the personality of everyone you know, and the opportunity to personalize some for an extra special goodie, this special shop has been a Chatham tradition since opening day!
Take a piece of the Cape home with you when you explore the wares of Mayflower Shop, offering a taste of everything that makes our village special. If you can’t find it here, you probably don’t need it anyway. While you are definitely going to enjoy the gifts, home décor, and hobby items you can find here, we bet you won’t be able to stop laughing at the selection of funny greeting cards they sell. Padding your schedule with extra time might be a wise thing when shopping at Mayflower!
When you’re this close to where our county’s dreams began, you’re going to expect the antique stores in the area will be filled with artifacts and mementoes that bring that history to life. Chatham Village Antiques offers a fascinating glimpse into America’s past; the trinkets and treasures found here will look beautiful in your home or office.
We finish our tour of Chatham’s Main Street with a visit to Yankee Ingenuity, another Cape Cod tradition. Featuring a little of this, a lot of that, and everything in between, it’s their selection of Cape Cod gifts that always bring a smile to the faces of shoppers. With soaps, jewelry, coasters, artwork and more, this special boutique should be moved to the top of your vacation bucket list and Chatham shopping activities!
As you’ll be needing a place to temporarily store your Cape Cod treasures, and knowing that the best vacations deserve the best vacation rentals, may we suggest our Chatham homes for rent? Located close to all the best shopping spots and designed to make you feel at home, we can promise THIS will be the best part of your Cape Cod escape. Reserve your stay with New England Vacation Rentals today!
A wise lyricist once sang about the changing of the seasons, and although we may be throwing a different spin on one of our favorite songs, the changing of the seasons on Cape Cod are usually followed by an exciting event that must not be missed! If you are planning a visit to our town in the next few months or so, this list of Dennis Port Attractions will give you something special to do during your stay; just plan your stay in our New England Vacation Rentals Cape Cod escapes to take place during your favorite!
Pretty much everyone remembers writing poetry during their oh-so-dramatic teen years. On September 13th, when you visit Dennis Port’s Gathering of Poets, held at 5 Hall Street, you can try it again (maybe without so much drama!) at an open mike event held from 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. Read what you have written, or read some of your favorite poetry written by others in a nurturing environment. Costing nothing to participate in, we’re sure you’ll find your stay on Cape Cod contributes to your creativity!
September is really the perfect month on the Cape, still warm enough to enjoy some time at the beach, but with the promise of fall in the air, cool enough to not feel sticky and hot, making it the perfect time for the Cape Cod Roots & Blues Festival! Held at Nauset Beach, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity, you can enjoy the perfect September day with good music, food, and drink and do a good deed at the same time!
Fall’s bounties bring a smile to our face every year, and this dinner and auction is a big reason why! Costing $35 for adults, $15 for students, and taking place at 100 Cable Road in nearby Eastham, this is your opportunity to experience Cape Cod life like a local. Featuring delicious foods prepared by students from the culinary arts department as well as from local restaurants, there will be music and more to keep you happy and occupied. Learn about local wines and keeping a garden, bid on awesome prizes in the silent auction, and of course, eat until your stomach can’t handle another bite at the 4th Annual Farm & Sea-to-Table Dinner & Auction.
Designed to bring families closer together, while still giving them the space they need, your Cape Cod vacation promises to be better than you dreamed when you stay with us. Reserve your stay today!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a beautiful seaside area in New England that is one of the most sought after vacation destinations on the East Coast. In addition to the breathtaking scenery and the abundance of amazing restaurants to choose from, Cape Cod also boasts a rich history. One of the best ways to experience both the natural and historical world of Cape Cod is to visit the museums of the area. Below are our top picks of museums on Cape Cod!
Bringing the entire family on vacation to Cape Cod? There are several family friendly museums in the area that are sure to keep the kids entertained while they learn! The Cape Cod Children’s Museum, located in the town of Mashpee, Massachusetts, is dedicated to the mission of having families learn together, all while having fun. They have hands-on exhibits that explore science as well as arts and crafts. There is a special area for toddlers to play and learn, a pirate ship for older children to explore, and a planetarium! The Children’s Museum is open 7 days a week all year long, so no matter when you visit Cape Cod, you can make it part of your trip.
If you are interested more specifically in the natural world, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, MA has a range of exhibits and activities that explore the ecosystem of the area. Families can explore nature trails, visit the fresh and salt-water aquariums, or participate in one of the many family programs that the museum offers. You are guaranteed to leave the CCMNH with a renewed appreciation for nature!
The Cape Cod Museum of Art, founded in 1980, is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting exceptional works of art that have a connection to the Cape Cod area. Located Dennis, MA, the Cape Cod Museum of Art displays exhibitions of pieces from their permanent collection, borrowed artwork from other institutions, and juried pieces from contemporary artists. Their collection ranges from traditional New England paintings to abstract modern works. No matter what style of art you prefer, there is something for every at the Cape Cod Museum of Art!
Perhaps the most unique museum on Cape Cod is the Cape Cod Maritime Museum. This museum, situated on the waterfront in Hyannis, MA, is devoted to preserving the historical maritime history and culture of the region. Wholly unique, even for Cape Cod, the museum has exhibitions on marine art, boat building, and currently boasts the largest collection of scrimshaws that tell the tales of the area’s whaling history. As you can see, Cape Cod has a wide variety of museums to explore, no matter where your interests lie!
Your vacation to the Cape is coming up next week, and aside from staying in a luxury New England Vacation Rentals home, and maybe going to the beach, you really don’t have any plans for while you are there. The nice thing about Cape Cod is that you don’t need to spend your trip participating in activity after activity after activity; a Cape vacation tends to be about slowing down and discovering the beauty that is Cape Cod. But because it is fun to do things on vacation, we have provided a list of top activities occurring next week on our island. Don’t feel pressured, though, the only thing you absolutely have to do while staying on Cape Cod is to enjoy yourself!
Some of us can’t pass up the chance to be frightened, while some of us are eager to learn the history of whatever place we are visiting, and the Barnstable Village Haunted & History Tour offers the opportunity to do both, meaning everyone in your family can enjoy this spooky event! The tour begins at the US Coast Guard Heritage Museum at 7:00PM on August 7th, 10th, and 13th, allowing you a few chances to participate during your stay on the Cape. Costing $15 for adults and $8 dollars for Children 8-12 (kids under 8 are free!), this two-hour tour features 10 stops along the “Old Kings Highway,” including a cemetery!
Held on August 10th from 10:00AM till 3:00PM, this charming event takes place at the Green Briar Animal Center. If you have young children, they won’t want to miss this fun-filled event, especially as they have the opportunity to meet the famous Peter Rabbit himself! You and your family will experience the thrill of animal meet & greets, story time, and even play games of chance geared towards the interest levels of your youngsters! This free event is held at 6 Discovery Hill Road in East Sandwich.
In our humble opinions, you can’t consider a vacation to be an excellent one unless you’ve spent some time enjoying top notch live music, and the Provincetown Jazz Festival, held August 11th & 15th, has been a premier way to spend your down time for 12 years. Featuring musicians from all over the world, including Europe and New Zealand, the $30 ticket price is extremely reasonable, meaning this event has sold out a few times over the years! Being a non-profit event, your dollars will go to a worthy cause, so you can feel good about yourself as you listen to the best Jazz music around. The August 11th event will be held at the Crown & Anchor at 247 Commercial Street in Provincetown.
Cape Cod is our favorite spot on Earth and the events listed are just a few of the many reasons why we love this place so very much. Book your New England Vacation Rentals luxury vacation property today and start exploring the wonder of Cape Cod!
The upside to vacationing in the summer is it generally means no responsibilities, no work, no stress or deadlines, and you still get paid! Kind of a cool deal when you think about it—you get paid to play!
The downside to vacationing in the summer is the heat. Dry and fierce, or damp and smothering, summer heat can drain the energy and enthusiasm out of a body and leave you tired, cranky, and in need of a nap. Fortunately, there are creative ways to stay cool, and the top way is to go to Cape Cod on your summer break!
Cape Cod’s average highs in the summer range between 68 and 78 degrees! But because it can, very rarely, top 90 degrees in the summer here, our wonderful staff at New England Vacation Rentals have compiled a list of 5 stay-cool activities for those once in a blue moon searing temperatures.
Go to the Beach
The waters off the coast of the Cape can range from just right to icy cold depending on where you are. Cape Cod Bay tends to have the warmest temperatures, generally reaching around 70 degrees in the hottest days of summer, while Nauset Beach runs the coldest!
Sandwich Glass Museum
On the hottest of the dog days of summer, staying inside is often the wisest way to survive, and visiting a museum—any museum, although we are partial to the Sandwich Glass Museum—can be both engaging and fun! The Sandwich Glass Museum offers beautiful exhibits of glass art, glass blowing exhibitions hourly, and many interactive “hands on” activities to fascinate even the youngest in your group.
Continuing with the staying indoors theme, why not see a play? The Cape Playhouse is home to our nation’s oldest professional theater group, and having the opportunity to not only watch a finely acted production, but to also get a glimpse inside a historical landmark (church pews serve as patrons’ seats!) makes staying inside a really good thing!
We never miss out on a good shopping spree, and if it means staying cool while you do, well, there is NO down side! Cape Cod offers shopping opportunities of all kinds: kitschy souvenir stores, art galleries, charming boutiques with adorable handmade items that are just begging to be owned by you, and endless antique stores that will have you amazed at the age and quality of their inventory!
Woods Hole Science Aquarium
Spend the day admiring the exciting world of undersea life at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. Laugh at the antics of the rescued seals, marvel at the beauty of the sea life that makes their home in the northeast and middle Atlantic waters, and stay cool while you’re doing it!
New England Vacation Rentals
Book your luxurious New England Vacation Rentals home or condo today and start preparing for the coolest of summer vacations!
Cape Cod has a long history of being a popular tourist destination, but if you’re planning your first trip to the Massachusetts peninsula, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where your time will be best spent. Though you’ll probably want to include plenty of sun, sand, and relaxation on your itinerary, you won’t want to miss out on some of these top attractions.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is 22 miles of paved trail that offers some of the most authentic and beautiful views of the Cape Cod area. Biker will travel through charming villages that are situated along a diverse range of landscape that includes beaches, salt marshes, forests, and cranberry bogs. It’s a fairly easy ride with many places to stop and take a break on the way.
The Pilgrim Monument stands tall and proud, commemorating the pilgrims’ Mayflower landing in Provincetown, which is at the very tip of Cape Cod. The 252-foot granite tower was begun in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt and completed in 1910. Visitors are also invited to climb its 116 steps. The Provincetown Museum was constructed at the monument’s base, featuring many historical exhibits, as well as more modern ones.
Commercial Street offers a treasure trove of shopping and vibrant activity. Easily one of Provincetown’s busiest streets, vacationers will find numerous retail, dining, nightlife, and entertainment choices. Whatever you happen to be looking for, you’re sure to find it here among the eclectic options.
It’s no secret that one of the most notable families to ever frequent Cape Cod was the Kennedys. The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum pays tribute to the late president, exhibiting much of his life through multimedia forms so that others can learn more about the legacy he left behind. The museum can be found in the former Hyannis Town Hall building.
The Cape Cod village of Sandwich is home to the Heritage Museums & Gardens, which consist of three galleries and a large display of flourishing gardens. Guests can browse through the interesting exhibits depicting American folk art, a vintage carousel, and a remarkable collection of classic automobiles. Within the gardens, the main feature is rhododendrons, but herbs, daylilies, hollies, and many other types of plants can be found.
Of course, no trip to Cape Cod would be complete without visiting its more than 44,000 acres of National Seashore. Located on the outer banks of the peninsula, the protected shores provide a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities that include camping, beaches, nature trails, and much more.
Cape Cod is a hot spot for tourists and as such, it offers all kinds of fun events and yearly festivals to keep everyone entertained. Though peak season on Cape Cod is the summertime, no matter what time of year you visit the area you will find something fun and exciting to do. Here are some of the most popular annual events to look forward to on Cape Cod.
Start the year off with First Night Chatham. This annual New Year’s Eve event welcomes those from near and far and offers the “cod-drop” at midnight, fireworks, open-houses at many of the businesses, and live music and entertainment. Be sure to purchase a button ahead of time!
The Cape Cod Orchid Show, which happens every January showcases some of the most beautiful orchids in a myriad of colors. Learn about growing these flowers and see some of the spots of Cape Cod where they are in full bloom. In March, take part in the annual Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Day parade. Many line the streets and watch the floats, local bands, and leprechauns march by. The parade is centered in Yarmouth and isn’t something to be missed!
Every May is the Cape Cod Maritime Days event, which celebrates the area’s maritime heritage, and has been voted one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association.
Cape Cod Quahog Day is always held on the very first day of summer. The local prized clam, lovingly named “Doug,” has a task not unlike the groundhog who predicts the beginning of spring. A festival is held in which Doug will predict the length of the upcoming summer season and visitors gather from miles around to hear the predictions, enjoy amazing food, beautiful weather and more.
There’s a large Independence Day Parade in Chatham every year drawing thousands and Cape Cod fireworks in many towns to celebrate the 4th. It’s a chance for locals and the visitors alike to come together in celebration.
Carnival in Provincetown takes place in August offering an extravagant parade, colorful costumes, music, food, and fun! Take part in the Falmouth Road Race every August as runners run for charity and make their way through the picturesque town. If you’re not a runner yourself, you can cheer the runners from the sidelines.
The Bourne Scallop Festival takes place every September as does the ClamBQ (A New Orleans inspired food and music festival with lots of fresh seafood and live music to enjoy). The Orleans Surf Film Festival is always a hit in October at The Jailhouse Tavern and a Pancake Breakfast with Mrs. Clause and Santa the Saturday after Thanksgiving is a great way to usher in the holiday season. Of course the Wellfleet Oysterfest is always the place to be in mid-late October, this multiple day festival offers live music, beer & wine, local shops and galleries selling goods, and of course the star of the event, freshly shucked oysters!
Cape Cod is a unique peninsula jutting into the Atlantic from the Massachusetts coastline. The area acts as a haven for lovers of nature and wildlife in particular as there are countless opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the marvelous phenomenon of the natural world. Here you can experience Cape Cod wildlife encounters like nowhere else.
Cape Cod has been home to massive booms in population and development over the last few decades. However, the community has done its part in preserving some of the most astounding and beautiful ecosystems in the world. This is what the Audubon Preserves represent. There are multiple areas that have become preserves, such as the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary. Wellfleet Bay is 937 acres of untouched natural beauty spanning hills and shorelines overlooking Wellfleet Bay. You can see picturesque landscapes and countless species of wildlife. Long Pasture offers more of an inland experience with beautiful, sprawling meadows and woodlands. These places serve as a place to explore, learn, or simply lose yourself in the majesty of the natural wildlife in Cape Cod.
As the peninsula extends far out into the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod offers some of the best areas to whale watch in the country. Virtually any portion of the shoreline facing out into the ocean is a good place to hunker down and wait for the show of whales peacefully gliding through the water and breaching the surface. Specifically, the north end of the peninsula is a prime location for such endeavors. There are also countless services that will take you out into the ocean on a large boat to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
To witness the carefree lives of countless sea birds, simply take a seat on the beach and watch as they dance around the tides and dive into the water in their endless pursuit of fish. To witness even more incredible variety, spend a day at one of the Audubon Preserves. The Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary located in Falmouth provides particularly diverse and spectacular bird watching.
The waters surrounding Cape Cod are rich with nutrients and as a result, attract numerous species of sea life. Anything from seals and whales to starfish and sharks. There are countless opportunities to sea how the creatures of the sea spend their days here.
Cape Cod is often hailed for its beautiful beaches and charming towns. But the real secret to the boundless beauty found here is in the natural landscapes and plentiful Cape Cod wildlife. Plan your next vacation here and immerse yourself in a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise!