Cape Cod has a fascinating history sprinkled with anecdotes of welcoming Native Indians, curious explorers, determined settlers, bygone whaling communities and pirates, shipwrecks, and so much more! The land itself is uniquely shaped by nature’s mysterious ice chisel, glaciers, and carries secrets still unearthed by man.
It features in Norse Sagas and carries the badge of being the only part of America to have been touched by WWI!
But nothing gives its people more pride than being referred to as home of the outcasts.
Cape Cod openly welcomes all—be it artists, inventors, and LGBT people in search of acceptance and an escape for travelers and tourists.
Forest-hidden cottages, iconic coast, quaint fishing villages, lighthouses, and real pirate treasure—all of these and more beckon people to Cape Cod.
Here’s a rundown on why you should visit Cape Cod.
The 550-mile stretch of public and private beaches offers visitors much more than just sun, sand, water, seafood, and cocktails—from Gothic architecture to a 43-foot sperm whale skeleton to the Edward Gorey House. A walk down the breakwater in Provincetown will bring you an eerie reminder of nature’s power. A few years back, a nor’easter grabbed a 42-foot fishing vessel called the Artemis and flung her straight across to the west end of the town’s breakwater. The ship might no longer be there, but you’ll see reminders and hear tales of her everywhere.
If that doesn’t satisfy your macabre adventure needs, take a stroll through history at the Whydah Pirate Museum and hear the stories of the slave ship, Whydah, and how she went from transporting slaves to being a feared pirate ship under one of the wealthiest pirates ever, Black Sam! She was shipwrecked by a nor’easter too! See and touch one of the world’s only authenticated pirate treasures. Don’t forget to check out the pistols, cannons, buckles, life-sized replica of the ship, and so much more.
Activities on Cape Cod
Not intrigued by pirates and treasures? No worries. Cape Cod has a little bit of everything.
Love wildlife? Want to get close to some of the largest mammals in the world? Visit the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and catch glimpses of whales of all kinds—Humpback, Finback, and Minke, among others. If you’re really lucky, you might even see the nearly extinct species, the Right Whales. Are you a thrill-seeker? See the sharks instead.
Prefer green to sand? Hire a bike and sweat it out on the 26-mile paved Cape Cod Rail Trail. Don’t dismiss the Cape Cod Rail Trail as any ordinary bike trail, though. You’ll cross the historic Great Western Road, bike across a large salt marsh, cross into Nickerson State Park with incredible views, and pass through cranberry bogs. Don’t bother with carrying provisions. You’ll find shops, eateries, ice-cream parlors all through the trail. And if you get too hot and need a break, stop at any of the natural ponds and dip away your exhaustion.
Word to the wise. Get a break before you hit the Dunes of the Provincelands. It’s a 5-mile stretch that has all the makings of the most thrilling bike adventure—steep hills, low tunnels, sharp curves, and hazards—all the while, you’ll be battling nature, be it sandstorms or submerged areas.
Not an outdoor person at all? Then you’ll love Cape Cod!
From its luxurious B&Bs and sprawling Inns to the JFK Museum to the oldest professional theater, Cape Playground, private mansions, and shopping sprees on classic Main Streets for their kitschy knick knack or art and antique galleries, you’ll have your choice of high-society pursuits.
Need something more to fill your day with? Visit Truro Vineyards and enjoy private tastings on rooftop decks or relax at Cape Cod Winery with its wine flights. Want to floor your friends and family with unique gifts? Visit the Lavender farm and browse their vast range of fresh, natural products like shampoos, soaps, candles, scented sachets, chocolates, and more. Try their lavender lemonade and lavender lemon marmalade! They’re to-die-for!
Spend your days walking down beaches, slurping on shucked oysters, visiting quaint fishing villages, or swimming in warmer waters on the South coast. Explore any of the 15 lighthouses that dot the coast. Some have survived every nor’easter that ravaged New England’s shores, including the ones that caused the Artemis and Whydah shipwrecks.
For a more private experience, head to a kettle pond left behind by glaciers that once traveled that far south or romanticize your evenings with a movie at one of the only remaining drive-in theaters in the US, live music, and night shopping.
Why You Should Visit Cape Cod
Cape Cod truly has something for everyone. Is it a surprise that Cape Cod makes for an excellent holiday destination with such diversity and culture?