|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.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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, 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 Rep in Brewster has semi-pro productions of high quality.
Sandwich Glass Museum, where the town's renowned glass industry lives on.
—by Tom Brosnahan