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.

Cape Cod Rail Trail

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.

Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum

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

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.

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

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.

Heritage Museums & Gardens

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.

Cape Cod National Seashore

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.