28 THINGS TO DO IN CAPE COD YOU JUST CAN’T MISS

Watch as the sleepy beach towns of Cape Cod Massachusetts come alive in the summer, with stunning beaches, delicious restaurants, and a crowd of fun locals and tourists. Relax with a good book or fill up your time with endless outdoor activities, as Cape caters to all!

Discover the different cultures and lifestyles of the towns and see how beach living really is the best! From walking the national seashore and seeing an abundance of wildlife to having a sunny and salty beach holiday, get to know Cape Cod Massachusetts and enjoy its serene beauty.

Here are 28 things to do in Cape Cod that we know you and your crew are going to love.

UPPER CAPE 

28 THINGS TO DO IN CAPE COD YOU JUST CAN'T MISS
Courtesy of Cape Cod Kayak

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HERITAGE MUSEUMS & GARDENS (SANDWICH)               

Are you looking for beauty, peace and quiet, because the Heritage Museums and Gardens is an absolute showstopper! Walk nature trails, enjoy stunning gardens and experience Cape Cod life away from the beach in a lush green space. 

Discover what’s in bloom, ride a hand carved carousel and admire the Heritage Museum’s antique automobile collection! Sit in vintage cars and see a new side of Cape. With lots to explore and uncover; children, adults and all ages in between will find something to spark joy and inspire them. 

Details: 67 Grove St, Sandwich, MA 02563 | Website

DEXTER GRIST MILL

Head to a fully operating mill and grab yourself a bag of cornmeal. This original mill has been a part of this Cape Cod community since the 17th century, and sits among the many historical sites on the East Coast. View the water wheel turn and watch as corn is ground before your eyes! 

Dexter Grist Mills is set among scenic beauty and offers an engaging look into the past! From start to finish, learn about historic Cape Cod life through the years and understand the skills of mill trade. 

Details: 2 Water St, Sandwich, MA 02563 | Website

SANDWICH GLASS MUSEUM

This hidden Cape Cod gem not only offers visitors a historical and technical look into the art of glass working, but shows off amazing displays. With thoughtful explanations and glass blowing demonstrations, this little escape shows craftsmanship and creativity. 

With intricate designs, shapes and abundance of detail, shop for something new and gain insight on a wonderful artform. From blown jewelry, perfume bottles to classic hanging ornaments, see variations of blown glass and watch the masters at work!

Details: 129 Main St, Sandwich, MA 02563 | Website

SHINING SEA BIKE PATH

If there’s one thing Cape Cod knows how to do well, it’s outdoor living. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a casual biker, the Shining Sea Bike path offers a great paved pathway and picturesque charm throughout your ride. 

Begin your journey in Falmouth and end in Woods Hole passing through woodlands, marshes and gorgeous sea views! The 10.7-mile path is a perfect summer day activity and allows you to see the Cape from a new perspective! 

Details: Falmouth, MA 02540 | Website

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HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS 

In the heart of Falmouth sits a gorgeous Victorian Mansion with stunning gardens that will take your breath away! While the mansion exudes past histories, delve deeper into the center’s art exhibits and programs. 

The Highfield Hall and Gardens offers music performances, a gallery, culinary classes and much more at the core of its center. Tour the estate, stroll through conservation land and trails looking at vibrant flowers and gardens. A visit to these gardens is one of the best things to do in Cape Cod.

Details: 56 Highfield Dr., Falmouth, MA 02540 | Website

CAPE COD KAYAK

Are you ready to take on the high seas or glide through relaxing marshes and rivers? Then Cape Cod Kayak is your go-to destination. Operating since 1995 and offering guided tours, this is the perfect time to feel safe, enjoy Cape waters and have fun with family and friends. 

Whether you want to kayak or paddleboard, the choice is yours when it comes to renting or purchasing. Push the limits and learn skills, while seeing spectacular Cape waterways. 

Tip: I highly suggest booking in advance, as tours and rentals can sell out quite quickly. 

Details: 802 MacArthur Blvd, Pocasset, MA 02559 | Website

MID CAPE

28 THINGS TO DO IN CAPE COD YOU JUST CAN'T MISS

CAPE COD MUSEUM OF ART

This small but mighty museum takes you on a journey, not only through Cape Cod life, but the artists who share their stories. With intricate pieces and detailed exhibits, the CCMA is one of the finest art galleries on Cape. 

As the Cape is a beacon of light for artists and creatives alike, it’s no wonder this museum does an amazing job at selecting artists to share their work. Its subjects deliver a core message, with thought-provoking values and beauty. 

Details: 60 Hope Ln, Dennis, MA 02638 | Website

JOHN F. KENNEDY HYANNIS MUSEUM

Cape Cod has a high profile of celebrities who vacation here, but the Kennedys may be the most prestigious. Since he was a young boy, JFK could be seen here, and his love with the Cape continued into adulthood too. 

The JFK Museum is on a mission to learn and honor the legacy of JFK and his connection to Cape. Understand why he called this summer destination home, and get to know him and his family deeper!

Details: 397 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601 | Website

WHALE WATCHING

You can’t visit Cape Cod without making time to do some whale watching! From seeing your first whale tale (the flukes) to potentially seeing a whale breaching, whale watching is an unbelievable experience. The sheer size, beauty and grace these fantastic whales achieve is quite remarkable. 

Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises allows you to see these stunning creatures up close and personal and I couldn’t recommend it more. See the whales at the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, where is noted as the premier whale watching destination in New England and the East Coast. 

Tip: If you can’t do whale watching in Hyannis, there are plenty of whale charters in Provincetown, too.

Details: 307 Commercial St #1, Provincetown, MA 02657 | Website

CAPE COD CENTRAL RAILROAD

Enjoy a unique and fun experience on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. Travel past beaches, mashes, cranberry bogs, sand dunes and much more on this riveting and thrilling journey. 

Learn about Cape Cod life, discover how cranberries are harvested, or enjoy a relaxing sunset dinner train ride through picturesque beach towns. Come one, come all but all come abroad.

Details: Hyannis Depot: 252 Main Street, Hyannis, MA | Buzzards Bay Depot: 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA | Website

ESCAPE TO ANOTHER ISLAND

Even though Cape Cod is an iconic East Coast beach holiday, I highly recommend taking a day trip to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. Although they all have similar attributes like breathtaking beaches, delicious restaurants, and are local favorites, they’re unique and charming in different ways. 

Hop on the Steamship Authority Ferry and cruise the high seas to see both islands from Cape Cod! To get to Martha’s Vineyard, both Oaks Bluff or Vineyard Haven head out from Woods Hole, and to reach Nantucket leave from Hyannis. Get ready for a vacation within a vacation!

Details: Website

THE EDWARD GOREY HOUSE 

Tour the home and get a better understanding of the life and work of Edward Gorey. Gorey was an author, illustrator, playwright and costume designer, and his once-home-turned-museum is a true testament to honor his work and individual self. 

The Gorey House, or as others call it the “Elephant House,” is to inspire and educate its visitors through his legacy and art! 

Details: 8 Strawberry Ln, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675 | Website

WHYDAH PIRATE MUSEUM

Ahoy, Matey! Come to the Whydah Pirate Museum to see the largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts today. Understand a pirate’s life and see how pirates had a part in Cape Cod culture. Follow the story of four real life pirates, and see the journey they had on the Whydah ship — from the takeover of Captain Bellamy to its shipwreck. 

I couldn’t recommend a better place to go on a Cape Cod rainy day. I took my nephews last summer, and I truly believe I had a better time than they did. It’s education, it’s fun and great for all ages! 

Details: 674 MA-28, West Yarmouth, MA 02673 | Website

JUDAH BAKER WINDMILL

Cape Cod is filled with beautiful windmills, and the Judah Baker Windmill takes the cake for its classic Cape-style and endless activities. With a beach right beyond the windmill, take a dip in the cool water or watch as horseshoe crabs crawl though the shallows. 

This windmill was first built in 1791, and it has had many locations before settling west of Bass River. It has been rebuilt and restored, but still contains original equipment and materials. Take a look at an East Coast gem and walk through the past. 

Details: River St, South Yarmouth, MA 02664 | Website

LOWER CAPE

28 THINGS TO DO IN CAPE COD YOU JUST CAN'T MISS
Courtesy of Friends of Cape Cod Rail Trail

BIKE THE CAPE COD RAIL TRAIL

With scenic views in every direction, bike the 25.5-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail on your holiday! Travel through the towns of Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet, where its winding and paved paths let you enjoy the ease and beauty of life.

Pass salt marshes, kettle ponds and lush greenery on a smooth ground that cyclists love. Don’t have a bike? No problem, bike rentals are available in all the major towns. I highly recommend doing this bike trail and ending in Wellfleet to enjoy its charming town and some of the best restaurants on the Cape. 

Details: Website

MONOMOY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Just off the elbow of Cape sits an untouched wildlife refuge, which offers not only gorgeous sand dunes, marshes, and clear water, but has great wildlife to see and discover. From its enormous seal population to the dwindling piping plovers, keep your eyes peeled for plenty of wildlife!  

For more adventure, look at getting a boat tour to Monomoy Island where you can roam pristine beaches and be at the essence of beach living!

Details: Chatham, MA 02633 | Website

CHATHAM MARCONI MARITIME CENTER 

On your way to the charming and quaint seaside town of Chatham, stop off to look around the Marconi Maritime Center. Unravel the stories behind maritime radio and understand the significance of this station in World War II and beyond. 

Listen to the original video and understand how this once was the busiest maritime radio communication station on the East Coast!

Details: 847 Orleans Rd, Chatham, MA 02650 | Website

FRENCH CABLE STATION MUSEUM

This tiny but great museum is not only informational, but connects you with the Cape community and culture. This telegraph station was built in 1891, and is a tech historian’s paradise. 

From Atlantic undersea cables to important machines, learn about the museum’s historical significance in communication techniques between other countries. Communication has progressed a long way and this is a great way to see how. 

Details: 41 S Orleans Rd, Orleans, MA 02653 | Website

CAPE COD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Cape Cod’s natural environment is not only captivating and lovely, but something to be conserved and preserved. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History not only serves to do that, but educates its visitors through its own collections and stewardship. 

Look inside the butterfly sanctuary, discover Cape’s wild charm, and experience the landscape at John Wing Trail. The trail that takes you through woodlands, salt marshes and leads to a barrier beach on the bay side. I highly recommend going for this little hike. 

Details: 869 Main Street/Route 6A, Brewster, MA 02631 | Website

NICKERSON STATE PARK

Camp, explore and discover serene woodlands and crystal-clear waters at this East Coast state park. From fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding, enjoy the endless ponds and splash in the calm waters all day. 

With plenty of trails and bike paths, explore the great outdoors before settling down with a campfire under the night sky. Enjoy some peace and quiet while relaxing at Nickerson! 

Details: 3488 Main St, Brewster, MA 02631 | Website

OUTER CAPE

28 THINGS TO DO IN CAPE COD YOU JUST CAN'T MISS

RACE POINT BEACH 

Grab your beach bags and get ready for a day at the beach. I might be biased, but Cape Cod has the most spectacular beaches on the East Coast, and Race Point truly is superb. 

From its fabulous sand dunes, miles of unspoiled beach and crisp environment this P-Town beach is terrific. Looking for an adventure walk to Race Point light for a classic lighthouse aesthetic and marvel at miles of ocean! Fingers crossed you see a whale! 

The Province Lands Visitor Center, open from May through October, is located nearby.

Details: Province Lands Bike Trail, Provincetown, MA 02657 | Website

CAPE COD NATIONAL SEASHORE

Are you searching for 40-miles of pristine beaches, dunes, marshes, and abundance of wildlife? Take a timeless approach and view the lighthouses, cultural attractions and relax on the beach all day or turn up the thrill and voyage through the sand at Art’s Dune Tours!

With plenty to see and do, look out for Capes wildlife such as whales, birds, turtles and even sharks! From fishing, hiking, and kayaking, the national Seashore is ready to make your dreams come true! 

Details: 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667 | Website

PROVINCETOWN ART ASSOCIATION AND MUSEUM

The Cape is filled with many local artists, and P-town is a beacon of expression and creativity for them. The PAAM is located on Commercial Street, which is the main street of Provincetown, and offers a glimpse into the vibrant and vivid art within the museum. 

PAAM offers a great look into the world of art, but if you’re looking for more art galleries, wander the streets of P-Town to find local shops. With eclectic and quirky shops around you, I highly suggest popping in for a show! 

Details: 460 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 | Website

PILGRIM MONUMENT

This historical site has significant meaning, as this is where pilgrims landed in 1620 and explored the Cape before sailing to Plymouth. The Pilgrim Monument was made to celebrate this colossal milestone in history, and was even seen by President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Learn and understand a huge part of American history in a little and quirky town! Climb to the top of the largest all-granite structure in the United States, and get ready for a stunning view of the harbor, ocean, and Cape Cod in Provincetown.

And opened in April 2022, a funicular-type elevator was added take visitors from Bradford Street up High Pole Hill to the museum and monument, making for a fun way to access the site.

Details: 1 High Pole Hill Rd, Provincetown, MA 02657 | Website

NAUSET LIGHT

Roam a little path and head to a working lighthouse that looks after Nauset beach and beyond. Climb Nauset Light and learn about the lookup room’s history and all about the lights. 

With scenic views throughout the exploration, take time to wander the grounds, walk to the beach and explore the small trails during your visit. I highly recommend doing a lighthouse tour of the Cape during your holiday. 

Fun Fact: This lighthouse is featured on the Cape Cod Kettle Chips bag!

Details: 120 Nauset Light Beach Rd, Eastham, MA 02642 | Website

HIGHLAND LIGHTHOUSE

This active lighthouse not only serves seamen, but is a treasure to the Cape Cod community. Head to the quiet town of Truro for a walk-through history and to appreciate the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape. 

The grounds are open year-round and guided tours are available at select times. Learn about erosion, the process of moving the lighthouse and its famous light to sailors. 

Details: 27 Highland Light Rd, North Truro, MA 02652 | Website

WELLFLEET DRIVE-IN

Partake in a treasure from the past and feel the joys of seeing a movie at a drive-in movie theater with a visit to the Wellfleet Drive-In. This iconic theater is the last on Cape Cod, and only one in a few hundred remaining in the U.S. Watch movies under the stars, relax in your car and enjoy classic movie food in a thrilling experience. 

From children’s movies to classic thrillers, get your speakers ready, curl up under blankets and get ready for a one-of-a-kind movie extravaganza. Get there early for the best parking spot!

Details: 51 State Highway, Route 6, Wellfleet, MA 02667 | Website

TRURO VINEYARDS

Stop by the only vineyard on Cape Cod and sip on a delicious glass of wine, while enjoying the fantastic grounds and lively atmosphere. With white wine, rose, and red wine, try the different variations of notes or try the vineyard’s specialty cocktails.

Sit outside during the beautiful Cape Cod summers and enjoy live music, cold drinks and yummy food from the Blackfish food truck. Explore the little gift shop, to buy souvenirs and take home bottles of wine! From wine tasting to an afternoon drink, stop off for an afternoon to enjoy Cape Cod life!

Details: 11 Shore Rd, North Truro, MA 02652 | Website

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