Each of the 15 towns on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod is unique and beautiful. All of them have pristine shoreline, historic sites, wonderful shops and delicious restaurants. When crossing the bridges, it is hard to go wrong in choosing a spot to visit. These are just a few of the Cape Cod jewels.Each of the 15 towns on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod is unique and beautiful. All of them have pristine shoreline, historic sites, wonderful shops and delicious restaurants. When crossing the bridges, it is hard to go wrong in choosing a spot to visit. These are just a few of the Cape Cod jewels.
Falmouth Chamber of Commerce
Falmouth is the second-largest town on Cape Cod and is located in the southwest corner of the peninsula. Like every other Cape town, it is home to some amazing beaches, such as Old Silver Beach. It also includes the village of Woods Hole and its world-renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Nobska Lighthouse shows the way for ferries leaving the Steamship Authority for nearby Martha’s Vineyard. Surf Drive Beach on the southern shore was one of a handful of places on the Cape to see action during the War of 1812. After taking in a spectacular sunset at the Knob on Quissett Harbor, stop in and enjoy a great meal at the Quahog Republic Dive Bar, which serves award-winning seafood.
Paul Marotta/ Getty Images
Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod, settled in 1637. It has a rich historic district that includes the Hoxie House, one of the oldest surviving houses in Massachusetts. Dexter’s Grist Mill and the Sandwich Glass Museum are also within a short walk. For a longer walk, head over to the Sandwich Boardwalk and enjoy 1,350 feet of engraved planks on one of the top 10 boardwalks in the country, as voted by National Geographic. If an excursion away from the ocean is what you want, it is only a short drive to Shawme-Crowell State Forest, where you can wander among 700 acres of natural beauty. It also has 285 camping sites for an overnight adventure. After visiting the galleries and exhibits at the Heritage Museums & Gardens, take the time to grab a little casual cuisine at the Marshland Restaurant, the first of 3 locations in southeastern Massachusetts.
Chatham is the quintessential Cape Cod fishing village. At sunrise, fishing boats take their leave, passing along Lighthouse Beach in front of the ever-present Chatham Lighthouse, and head out for their daily catch. Watching this parade is a perfect way to start a day. Chatham has a delightfully quaint Main Street, filled with specialty shops and restaurants and perfect for walking. The day can be spent lounging away at Hardings Beach or along Oyster Pond, or you can take a stroll along the shore of the 40-acre mainland portion of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge for a taste of unspoiled Cape Cod. There are more than 7,500 acres more located on the actual Monomoy Islands. When it gets dark and it’s time to leave the beach, make sure to go off the beaten path and grab a spectacular burrito at the Corner Store.
Wellfleet is a slice of Olde Cape Cod, surrounded by Cape Cod National Seashore. The picturesque town on the Outer Cape is celebrated for its oysters with the annual OysterFest in October. There are also many beautiful and historic spots, including Marconi Beach and the Marconi Wireless Site, White Cedar Swamp, and the spectacularly secluded Bound Brook Island Beach. It can be just as fulfilling to relax away the day next to the quiet waters of Mayo Beach on the bay side or the slightly rougher waters of Cahoon Hollow Beach on the ocean side. After working up an appetite strolling the dunes and forest along the Great Island Trail, stop by and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine at PB Boulangerie Bistro. If time allows, indulge your sweet tooth at its bakery as well.
Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Provincetown, at the tip of the Cape, is the original landing spot of the Pilgrims. Now, it is the cultural and art center of the area. Commercial Street may be narrow and a bit cramped, but it is packed with art galleries, museums, shops and restaurants that attract visitors from all over the world. It is easy to lose the crowds, though, by taking a walk out to Race Point Lighthouse or across a harbor breakwater to Wood End Light and Long Point Light. Rent a bicycle and ride over the dunes of the Province Lands Bike Path, or simply relax on the sand at Herring Cove Beach; there is no wrong way to spend the day in Provincetown. Climb the 252-foot Pilgrim Monument for a breathtaking view, and afterward, stop at the Lobster Pot for a dinner of classic Cape Cod seafood.
From the canal to the tip, Cape Cod is chock-full of beautiful beaches, historic sites, quaint shops and delicious restaurants. Come to see the sights, and be sure to stay for dinner.