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Cape Cod, Massachusetts Travel Guide

Cape Cod Summary


  • Miles of pristine beaches
  • Beautiful, old lighthouses sprinkled along the coast
  • Historic sites -- Provincetown where the Pilgrims first landed
  • Multiple biking trails, like the Nickerson State Park in Brewster and the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth
  • High-end restaurants, as well as more budget-friendly picks
  • Outdoor activities like golf, fishing, and boating
  • Many diverse villages -- from historic towns, to gay-rights communities, to commercial retail hubs
  • Perfect summer weather for beach-goers: cool mornings and warm, sunny afternoons
  • Proximity to warm Gulf Stream ocean current causes a longer summer season


  • Winter storms can be brutal
  • Heavy traffic on summer weekends

What It's Like

Ask anyone from Boston and they'll probably tell you that Cape Cod is a little slice of heaven right here on earth. As one of the nation's most storied summer beach vacation spots, there is no shortage of activity for all walks of life. From the cultural offerings and lively nightlife of Provincetown to the sleepy New England charm of Chatham and everywhere in between, it's not hard to see why the crowds keep returning.

Where To Stay

Provincetown: A thriving hub of LGBT culture, Provincetown boasts a history as impressive as its beaches, nightlife and current cultural scene. Commercial St, P-Town's main drag, is a very lively hub of activity, bustling with shops, restaurants, bars and inns. Bunking up near this street (or Bradford St, which runs parallel) will keep you close to the action and to the water.

Chatham: Nobody pulls off "quaint" quite like Cape Cod can, and Chatham is arguably the leader of the pack in bringing beachside New England charm to the table. The town is populated with friendly year-round residents (many of them commercial fishermen) who have deep roots to their town. Overfishing has begun to wreak havoc on local industry, but visitor spending has helped keep the town afloat in the face of adversity. Chatham juts out south from the Cape's "elbow," with long stretches of beach grass and gorgeous views. It has six major saltwater beaches that face the Atlantic and Nantucket Sound, some with calm, shallow water that's perfect for kids. There are also long stretches of wildlife refuges, parks, ponds and coves for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoor beauty of the northern coast.

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