Logo   Highlights of Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Massachusetts' prime vacation playground has lots to see and do in the 60 miles (97 km) from the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown.

by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange

Bass River Beach, South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts


Chatham Lighthouse, Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts



Cape Cod Beaches

Cape Cod has lots to see and do, but few come to the Cape without enjoying its wonderful beaches.

The Nantucket Sound beaches along the southern shore and Atlantic beaches up the eastern shore (including the Cape Cod National Seashore) offer broad swaths of sand, cool to chill water temperatures and, in some places, good surfing.

Beaches along the Cape's northern and western shores, facing Cape Cod Bay, are less eye-catching but usually great for families and those who prefer warmer water temperatures, less surf, and smaller crowds.

Bass River Beach, South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Bass River Beach, South Yarmouth, Cape Cod...

Cape Cod even has freshwater beaches on a number of its glacial ponds. More...

Pretty Towns

Although it is among New England's most popular vacation destinations, Cape Cod is not a modern resort region—it has been inhabited for millennia! The first European settlers arrived in the 1630s, and most of its towns boast historic houses, churches, cemeteries and other monuments to the centuries. In short, it's long on Old New England charm.


Sandwich calls itself "the prettiest town on Cape Cod." It's certainly the oldest, and has the fine museums and historic houses to prove it.


Falmouth, with its picture-perfect New England village green, fine old Town Hall, library and other public buildings, has a dignity and class that's in pleasant contrast to the more commercial beach resorts.


Chatham, filled with graceful old trees, fine mansions, palatial inns, and a sturdy lighthouse, is perhaps the most refined of the Cape's major resort towns, drawing visitors from around the country, the continent, and the world. More...


Provincetown, with lots of sand and beach, gaudy Commercial Street strolling and shopping, whole neighborhoods of cozy inns, a vibrant GLBT scene, hides its history a bit, but this is where the Pilgrims first set foot in the New World, as the lofty Pilgrims Monument proclaims.

Nature Reserves

Cape Cod is a glacial landscape, mostly forested, of broad beaches, numerous glacial ponds, and a few rocky outcrops. Extending into the Atlantic Ocean, it's a stopping-place for birds, whales, seals and other wildlife.

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore, besides its popular beaches, has miles of hiking and bike trails and many wildlife reserves and observation areas. More...

Nickerson State Park

Nickerson State Park in the Cape Cod town of Brewster is 1900 acres (769 hectares) of forest with eight glacial ponds, fresh- and salt-water beaches, hiking and biking trails, and 400 camping places. More...

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, eight miles (13 km) of low sand islands off the Cape Cod coast south of Chatham, is a favored stopping-place for migratory birds. Tours can be arranged by boat. More...

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, in Brewster, is the answer to the question "Where do we look for nature on an inclement day?" On fair days, the museum and its aquarium has its own outdoor nature walks to enjoy along with the indoor exhibits. More...

Music & Theater

Provincetown Playhouse, an old-time favorite, is active all summer.

Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis features top-name popular vocalists in concert.

Cape Playhouse in Dennis has famous actors in timely productions.

Cape Rep in Brewster has semi-pro productions of high quality.

Monomoy Theaterin Chatham, with a stock company from Ohio University.

Historic Monuments

Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown, near where the Pilgrims first stepped on American soil.

French Cable Station Museum, Orleans, where the first transatlantic telephone cable came ashore.

Marconi Station site, near South Wellfleet, where the great Italian physicist established a transatlantic wireless station in 1902.


Heritage Museums & Gardens, a 76-acre estate in Sandwich with outstanding collections of Americana.

John F Kennedy Museum, a small tribute collection to the late president in Hyannis.

Provincetown Museum, in the Pilgrim Monument.

Sandwich Glass Museum, where the town's renowned glass industry lives on.

Thornton Burgess Museum in Sandwich, where the children's book author's stories live on.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Cape Cod Hotels, Motels & Inns

Best Cape Cod Itineraries

10 Best Cape Cod Beaches

Cape Cod Transportation

About Cape Cod

Nantucket Island

Martha's Vineyard Island

Massachusetts South Shore

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Dexter Grist Mill, Sandwich, Cape Cod MA

Above, Dexter Grist Mill, Sandwich.

Country Store, Centerville (Barnstable), Cape Cod MA

Country store in Centerville village, Barnstable.


Bass River Beach, South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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