That can be a daunting question to answer. There are 15 towns on Cape Cod and the good news is that there is something for everyone. One factor you should keep in mind is seasonality. As you can imagine, there are far more activities in the warmer months. The late fall, winter and early spring are less crowded but many attractions are just not open. However, the beauty of the ocean, either the Bay or Atlantic are always there to relax, inspire or awe you!
Sandwich offers a beautiful boardwalk that can transport you to spectacular views of Cape Cod Bay. A visit to the Sandwich Glass Museum or http://www.sandwichglassmuseum.org/ or Heritage Museum and Gardens http://heritagemuseumsandgardens.org will never disappoint. Be sure to visit the Dunbar Tea Room http://www.dunbartea.com/ . Tea is not just for Grandmothers and granddaughter’s.
Falmouth has a lovely main street for shopping. You can hop on a ferry either as a passenger or with your vehicle (Wood Hole for your vehicle) to Martha’s Vineyard (a short ferry ride) or Nantucket (a longer ride). https://www1.steamshipauthority.com/ The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is located nearby as well. Try one of their tours. https://www.whoi.edu/ If your a runner, the Falmouth Road Race (called The New Balance Falmouth Road Race) will take place August 17, 2014. http://www.falmouthroadrace.com/
There are 7 villages of Barnstable; Cotuit, Osterville, Centerville, Hyannis, Barnstable, West Barnstable and Marston Mills. The most recognizable of the seven is Hyannis. Hyannis was made popular by the Kennedy family. There is a Kennedy Museum on Main Street which is a must see. http://jfkhyannismuseum.org/cape-cod/ You can hop on the high speed Hy-Line Cruise ferry http://jfkhyannismuseum.org/cape-cod/ to Nantucket or sail to Martha’s Vineyard. Hyannis also has the Cape Cod Mall, popular restaurants (Alberto’s, The Brazilian Grill and The Paddock to name a few) or familiar chains (Sam Diegos’ , Not-your-average-Joe’s and Olive Garden as an example). Take a drive along Rt. 6A in Barnstable to get a totally different look at the Cape. Exploring any of these 7 villages will be a days itinerary for sure.
As you continue along Rt. 6 east, you will pass through Dennis, Harwich, Orleans. Nauset Beach is breathtakingly beautiful. Miles of beach to walk along. You can see seals and in the summer Great White Sharks have been seen! This beach is popular because of the waves. Surfers in their wet suits can often be seen there. Liam’s Clam Shack is a fun spot to get a bite of nourishment or just a snack. They have it all; fried whole belly clams (is there any other way), clam fritters, fries, burgers and where would a day at the beach be without ice cream?
As you continue along Rt. 6 east you’ll pass right by the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center. Stop. Go in. You won’t regret it. There are trails to explore, films to watch and loads of information about the National Seashore. Next is Wellfleet. The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will give you yet another view of Cape Cod. You’ll experience views of Cape Cod Bay and all types of nature. If your a photographer, birds abound, especially early in the morning. Great Island and Jeremy Point offer trails that actually take you out into the Bay. You must mind the tide as Jeremy Point is under water at high tide.
Truro Starts to give you sights of the beautiful and protected sand dunes that are on the Outer Cape. There you will also discover the Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod. http://trurovineyardsofcapecod.com/index.php. Tastings are offered for a small fee. If you are there in late summer, you might even get to help pick grapes! Another treasure you will find in Wellfleet is PB Boulangerie Bistro http://pbboulangeriebistro.com/. This intimate, French restaurant is wonderful. The kitchen is easily viewed so you can see you meal being prepared. The bakery is packed and if you get there early you MAY get one of their fabulous fresh daily baked goodies. The bread alone is a meal.
Provincetown is right at the tip of Cape Cod. Whale watching takes place in Provincetown and the Dolphin Fleet is the only way to go.http://jfkhyannismuseum.org/cape-cod/ You are out on the water for approximately 3 hours. The Humpback whales are a sight to see. You may also see Fin and Minke whales. If your really fortunate, North Atlantic Right Whales have also been spotted. There’s lots to see and learn on one of these tours. Also in Provincetown visit the Pilgrim Monument http://jfkhyannismuseum.org/cape-cod/. Once you climb the 116 steps and 60 ramps, you will have a specular, panoramic view of Provincetown Harbor. Art’s Dune Tours http://www.artsdunetours.com/ will get you up close and personal with the majestic sand dunes of Cape Cod. Don’t forget to explore the shops and feast your eyes on the beautiful architecture of the buildings of Provincetown. If you are in Provincetown in August, you can’t miss the annual Carnival. This year the theme is Super-hero’s. http://www.ptown.org/#!carnival-schedule/c3tp.
Because Chatham is not directly off of Rt. 6, it is often missed. Once you have found Chatham, you will wonder why you haven’t been there before. A small Village (year round population of 6,800 residence), there is nothing small about what it has to offer. Chatham is surrounded by the National Seashore. South Beach is arguably one of the most awesome sights. The sun rises and treats you to stunning sights as the fishing boats head out in the early hours. Just behind you is the Chatham Coast Guard Station and Chatham Light. Periodically, during the year, the lighthouse is open to the public. http://www.uscg.mil/d1/stachatham/Lighthouse.asp The climb (44 steps) is well worth the effort. Visit the Chatham Fish Pier and watch the daily catch arrive. The shops on Main Street have something for everyone. From July 4th until Labor Day there are free band concerts performed by the Chatham Band on Friday evenings. Don’t miss Tail of the Cod, http://www.taleofthecod.com/ Yankee Ingenuity, http://www.yankee-ingenuity.com/ Buffy’s Ice Cream (in season) and The Candy Manor http://www.candymanor.com/ One deep breath and you will never be the same. One taste and you will be hooked for life. Dinning in Chatham has many choices. The Impudent Oyster, Bistro on Main, Del Mar are favorites. For a quick, but tasty meal try The Captain’s Table, Kreme and Kone, Chatham Squire and The Red Nun. Don’t forget to make plans to visit Chatham and experience the 4th of July parade. Chatham pulls out all the stops for this event! Floats, marching bands (even Chatham’s town band), clowns, balloons and much more. Chatham’s First Night is fun for the whole family. In fact, very family oriented. Venues are placed all over Chatham; the Chatham Bars Inn, Eldridge Library, the Methodist Church, The Congregational Church and the high school to name a few. Shuttle buses are provided to get you from one place to another. The evening ends with the ringing in of the New Year. The Falling Cod counts down the last 60 seconds of the old year and fireworks welcome the new year. The town picture is taken at the light house at 12 noon. There is a noise parade as well.
The only thing you have to do is start planning your visit to Cape Cod.