With a few weeks of summer left, what better time to travel to Cape Cod? Enjoy this Cape Cod attractions travel guide with all the best things to see.
Spend your days lounging by the water and soaking up the sun rays.
Cape Cod is known as the place to go for weekend getaways and beaches on the east coast. So we’re doin’ up a little Cape Cod travel guide with all the must-see top tourist attractions!
From outdoor adventures to museums to sightseeing, Cape Cod really has it all.
When to Plan Your Trip:
So, I bet you’re wondering when’s the best time to plan a visit to Cape Cod? Well, the best time is from May to June or September to October.
These months are perfect because the weather will be nice and warm—being on the East Coast you can never be too safe so pack light layers!
You’ll also avoid the heavy crowds that swarm in during the summer season from July to August.
Where to Stay:
As you plan your trip, I highly recommend staying at one of these hotels.
Stay at one of the most popular hotels in Cape Cod. The rooms are spacious and overlook the property gardens.
Enjoy golfing, fine dining, and relaxing at the Mansion at Ocean Edge Resort.
The ultimate cottage core style hotel is located in Nantucket Sound in South Chatham. You get to soak in the oceanfront views and being right on the private beach.
Just a ten-minute drive away from downtown Chatham and is a great option for celebrating an anniversary or time alone.
Be within walking distance to Bayview Beach and ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. This Inn is located near a variety of restaurants, shops, and festivals.
Not only do you have a prime location, but you also get amazing service and clean and spacious rooms.
Be immersed in one of the most popular beach communities in Cape Cod. With unlimited ocean views, you can also plan to sit out on the deck to watch the sunrise or sunset.
All the rooms are contemporary and renovated with spacious bathrooms. Be sure to take advantage of the daily gourmet breakfasts.
Be less than 3 miles away from National Seashore Beach and enjoy the comfort of being so close to the ocean.
Enjoy all the amenities and fun activities on-site of the Inn and eat the complimentary breakfast. This is a great spot if you’re traveling with kids.
16 Cape Cod Attractions
Located in Cape Cod bay, explore all 40 miles this beach has to offer.
From picnicking to going on guided tours, Cape Cod National Seashore is the go-to place to spend your trip.
There’s no better time to try outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, surfing, or observing wildlife than in Cape Cod.
You can even camp out on the beach in the super cute cottage Cape Cod vacation rentals—the ultimate cottage core vibes.
Ok, this place is seriously the cutest. When you get there the air smells so fragrant and relaxing because of the lavender—so dreamy.
Off a beaten path in Harwich, you’ll stumble upon a cottage-looking house that is actually a gift shop.
You can buy all things lavender from essential oils to soaps to hats, they really carry a lot of knick-knacks here. Maybe even get yourself a lavender plant to start your own garden.
3. Whale Watching
If you haven’t gone whale watching before you really have to! There’s nothing like being close to wildlife—it feels like you’re in a movie.
Whale watching is perfect whether you’re traveling with family or friends.
Nickerson State Park is the place to go to if you’re more of an outdoorsy type of person. They offer camping or day-use meaning you can enjoy time with nature.
There are a lot of places you can hike in the state park-like around the pounds or through the woods.
They have easy trails like the Cliff Pond Trail or a more moderate trail like Silas Road Trail—these are some of my favs.
I’m sure you remember learning about the Pilgrims in elementary school and making fun arts and crafts. My mom literally finally just threw away my paper cut pilgrim hat from kindergarten. 😂
The Pilgrim Monument was made to commemorate where the Pilgrims first landed, which is so cool to see history right in front of your eyes.
Just be ready to climb the 252-foot granite monument.
While you’re visiting the monument, you can stop by the Provincetown Museum to learn about the cultural heritage of the historical town.
The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a very popular spot to birdwatch since the refuge has important nesting, resting, and feedings habitats for migrating birds.
I know this is all super sciencey, but you really won’t see birds like this anywhere else. It really feels special connecting with nature.
Once you finish up birdwatching, you can have some fun on the beach and enjoy the water.
If wildlife conservation is your thing, you should check out the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The JFK Hyannis Museum is the place to learn all about JFK’s deep relationship with Cape Cod and to see how he spent his summers.
Visiting the museum you’ll learn a ton of fun facts—making you a trivia expert in JFK Cape Cod history.
I know history-type museums aren’t for everyone but this one is done very well.
If you like American history, make another stop at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center to learn about wireless communication during WWII.
Another gorgeous beach that you have to visit. You can see so much wildlife activity here like seeing seals or whales in the ocean.
You can even explore the dunes or visit the lighthouse for the ultimate east coast summer.
Just pack a lunch and snacks and enjoy sitting on the sand while getting a little tan. Make sure to have your camera ready—the sunsets here are unreal!
The Edward Gorey House is another popular museum spot to learn about the author-illustration, Edward Gorey, and animal welfare.
Don’t worry if you don’t know who Edward Gorey is, the museum will guide you in understanding all about his eccentric life.
You’ll leave the museum glad knowing more about the author and seeing all his fun and quirky work.
I know I’m sharing a lot of museums, but Cape Cod really has some very unique and fun ones that you don’t want to miss.
The Sandwich Glass Museum is seriously so cool. You can even see a live demonstration on how people make glassware—I had no idea how they made it before coming here.
The glassware really is so beautiful and I love seeing how the colors mix together.
Have you ever thought about going on a bike ride while on vacation?
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 25-mile bike path and lane that takes you from South Dennis to Wellfleet.
Why not get lost—not literally—in nature looking out at gorgeous landscapes. This is the go-to summer activity in Cape Cod.
Bike to the beach and look at the seals swimming or go to North main street to the new trail on the Bass River Bridge for beautiful views.
Located in Eastham, Coast Guard Beach is the beach to throw down your beach blanket and soak up the summer sun.
You can hike here and enjoy the stunning views of the Cape Cod National Seashores.
Enjoy the beach at dusk to feel like you’re in a movie. Most people leave at this time so you’ll feel like the only person in the world out watching the waves the with sun setting.
The Whydah Pirate Museum is the perfect place to make a stop if you’re traveling with a family.
This is a super cool interactive science museum where you can see real, authenticated pirate treasure that was discovered in 1984—so cool!
Honestly, you would be surprised at how much fun you’ll have exploring this museum.
If you’re an art lover this is the place to make a stop at. The Cape Cod Museum of Art is a small one but has some gorgeous artwork that you must see.
Enjoy the gorgeous sculpture garden and the wide range of exhibitions. The museum may be small, but it’s definitely special.
The Chatham Orpheum Theater is a super cute old-school movie theater that you would see in a rom-com where the teenagers go on their first date.
This is not your ordinary movie theater, it has a lot of character and is on the smaller side.
It was also the very first movie theater in Chatham, Massachusetts. It’s been around for 72 years and is still running.
You can watch new movies, international movies, or even old movies. This is a cool place to catch a film.
That wraps up my Cape Cod Attractions guide to the top 15 things to see. Cape Cod is such a special little beach town filled with so much history, nature, and wildlife.
If you’re looking for some good spots to eat I recommend checking out the restaurants in Hyannis Port for some really good seafood.
I tried to cover everything, but if there’s anything you think I missed let me know (@wtfab). Or tag me in your pics if you decide to visit Cape Cod this summer!
You definitely should not miss:
– Cape Cod National Seashore
– Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
– Cape Cod Rail Trail
– Pilgrim Monument
It is recommended to spend at least 3 days in Cape Cod to really explore what the beach town has to offer. There are so many restaurants, activities, and sights to see.
Cape Cod is known for the National Seashore, Museums, Wildlife exploration, and the beaches.