The Cape Cod peninsular brings a feeling of nostalgia, history, peace, and relaxation. It could have something to do with the quaint villages that are a delight to see. Or maybe the lighthouses, seafood shacks, and an abundance of ocean beaches.
And let’s not leave out some of the best beach and ocean resorts. They offer accommodation, good food and plenty of fun activities.
One thing is for sure, Cape Cod has, over the years, become a popular tourist attraction. One of the most popular destinations is the 43,000-acre National Seashore. As of 2021, the area attracted over 4 million visitors. That makes the National Seashore a significant contributor to the economy.
Visitors bring in the income at the national parks, lodging facilities, eateries, and entertainment spots. That has also opened up job opportunities in different sectors.
So, if you are looking for holiday plans, the laid-back Cape Cod is a fantastic option. Let’s check out some must-visit places and activities.
1. The Must-Visit National Seashore
The national Seashore is a protected stretch on the east coast of Cape Cod. You get over 40 miles of beaches, woodlands, hiking trails, and more. Please note that the area can get pretty crowded, especially in summer.
The tons of activities are a crowd puller. You can relax at the beach or take part in water activities. Bird watching and hiking are other popular exploits. Please make time to visit the Atlantic Cedar Swamp as well.
Take in all the wonders the area has to offer. The pristine wooden boardwalk gives way to a private beach. You also get access to Aunt Lydia’s cove for unending views of sparkling blue water. If you are feeling adventurous, take a bike ride on the sandy beaches. The fat tire bikes are especially suited for the terrain.
One of the best Cape Cod resorts is the Chatham Bars Inn, located in the historic Chatham downtown. The inn also offers guests farm-to-table meals. They source all their suppliers from the 8-acre farm in Brewster.
Come with spending money because there are many galleries, shops, ice cream parlors, and candy shops at Chatham.
2. The Laidback Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard lies south of Cape Cod. The best descriptors of this little island are stunning, romantic, and secluded.
Please wear comfortable shoes because you will be doing plenty of exploring. If you come in by boat, you should disembark at Oaks Bluff harbor. Get a bit of history at the oldest carousel, the flying horses. Can you imagine it has been around since the 1800s?
If all you want to do is relax, then Joseph Sylvia State beach is the perfect destination. The Aquinnah Cliff overlook is the place to be for breathtaking vistas and sunsets. Nearby is the Gay Head Lighthouse, another must-visit location.
Don’t leave without getting your fill of the famous New England clam chowder at the Edgartown Seafood Shanty.
3. The Nostalgic Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre
Wellfleet drive-in theatre is clinging to the past fun times. Indeed, it is the only remaining drive-in theater, thus bringing in a sense of nostalgia.
Other than the giant screen, visitors can also play mini golf. It provides a fantastic break from the beaches for the whole family.
4. The Historical Nantucket
Nantucket sits on a 15-mile scratch south of Cape Cod and is rich in history. It came into existence in 1659, thanks to Thomas Macy and the Quakers. Whaling was one of the major activities. You can get to know more at the whaling museum.
One of the oldest buildings still in existence is the Jethro Coffin House, built in 1686. It is also home to the first female American Astronomer Maria Mitchell. Her place of birth is now a museum under the name the Maria Mitchell House.
Other noteworthy museums are the House of Natural History and the Nantucket Life Saving Museum.
The best way to explore the town is by foot or cycling. The hotels near the beach also arrange for ferry drops and pickings.
But beyond the historical aspects, Nantucket is ideal for a summer escape. There are many other fun activities or beach R&R if that is what you wish.
5. The Vibrant Downtown Provincetown
Sitting at the tip of Cape Code, Provincetown is vibrant. You can get your fill of dining, shopping, culinary delights, etc. There is a wide selection of cafes, Boutiques, souvenir shops, and more.
Check out the pier or see what the local artisans offer at their shops. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum will also expose you to other works.
The town is very welcoming and hosts a large population of LGBTQ. Indeed the bright, colorful flags that dot the buildings are a celebration to them. While not a very popular destination for beachgoers, the town has plenty to enthrall visitors every time.
And then, there is the nightlife. This town bursts to life with the setting of the sun. Drag shows, karaoke spots, bars, and dance clubs are plentiful.
6. The Towering Pilgrim Monument
The pilgrim monument holds the distinction of being the tallest granite structure in America. Standing at 252 feet, it overlooks the Provincetown skyline. Indeed, it is the first thing you will notice as you approach Princetown.
President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned the monument in 1907. It was to commemorate the Mayflower pilgrims. The impressive structure took three years to build, with President William Howard Taft dedicating the finish.
Put your fear of heights to the side and get ready to climb. Ascending to the top takes approximately 10 minutes. That translates into 60 ramps comprising 116 steps in total. But, the vantage point at the top is worth the aches you may experience the next day.
Many organizations, cities, and towns in America donated interior stones. That brings to mind a symbolic meaning of togetherness.
Cape Cod has so much to offer visitors. The different towns bring in their personalities and attractions.
You can dedicate each day of your trip to a specific activity. Day one could be a tour of the town.
Enjoy day 2 with visits to historical sites and museums. Day three shopping and getting your fill of culinary delights.
Day four is for enjoying outdoor activities by hiking or water activities. Day 5 is for complete R&R at some of the best beach and ocean resorts.
Boredom is not and can never be an option in this delightful peninsular of Cape Cod.