Planning on taking some actual time off from work and vacationing this summer? Whether you are vacationing near or far, Cape Cod is a wonderful destination. Not quite an island retreat, but the hook-shaped peninsula, often referred to as the ‘arm’ of Massachusetts, can certainty feel like a maritime haven. From historic lighthouses, coast guard stations, and windmills to serene reservations, gardens, and parks, with no shortage of shoreline hiking, bike trails, sandy beaches and, of course, deliciously fresh seafood eateries, quintessential New England vacation destination has so much to offer.
The, quite long, vacation guide below focuses solely on Barnstable County, which is all of Cape Cod, as locals say, from the shoulder to the hand, including: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Centerville, Chatham, East Falmouth, East Sandwich, Eastham, Falmouth, Forestdale, Harwich, Hyannis, Marston’s Mills, Mashpee, North Eastham, North Falmouth, Orleans, Osterville, Provincetown, Sandwich, South Dennis, South Yarmouth, Teaticket, Truro, Wellfleet, West Barnstable, West Dennis, West Yarmouth and Yarmouth.
The guide is organized into three categories, Upper Cape, Mid-Cape, and Lower and Outer Cape, with subcategories in each: Reserves, Sanctuaries and Conservation Land, Parks, Gardens, Beaches, Wildlife Educational Centers, Outdoor and Indoor Activities, Farms and Pick Your Own (PYO), Historical Museums, Societies and Sites, Specialty Museums and Visitor Centers, Theaters and Playhouses, Art Centers and Art Museums, Shopping, Travel, Bakeries, Cafés and Restaurants, Creameries and Gelato, Breweries, Wineries, and lastly, Miscellaneous. Entries under the subcategories are in no particular order, however, there are links to every place/destination and a small-write up detailing what makes every single destination unique in its own way.
Use this guide to inform, inspire, and ignite your inner vacation fire!
Includes: Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich
Reserves, Sanctuaries and Conservation Land
Two thousand and seven-hundred acres of open waters, barrier beaches, marshlands, and uplands. The reserve is one of twenty-eight, in the U.S. that comprises the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. In addition to being a center for research and education, the reserve is also a state park managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A two-hundred-and-ten-acre reserve encompassing Bourne, Plymouth, and Wareham, with one and a half miles of trails through wetlands and woodlands. Home to one of the last remaining native sea-run brook trout fisheries in the eastern United States.
A one-hundred and thirty-five-acre reserve in Mashpee and Sandwich, known for its two-hundred and fifty native holly trees, and named after its donor and former Harvard University President, Abbott Lawrence Lowell. The reservation has over two miles of moderately-trafficked trails with ample scenic views of Mashpee Pond.
Mashpee River Reservation – The Trustees of Reservations
A great place for a hike, with over two miles of trails and a pristine river that runs from Mashpee Wakeby Pond to Pirate’s Cove in Popponesset Bay, and is home to rare, sea-run brook trout.
A state operated recreation area, located in Sagamore, offering miles of beach, hiking trails, and R.V. sites with hookups and campsites.
A major attraction, and yet a hidden gem, located in Woods Hole and known for its unique walkway and gloriously vast views of Quissett Harbor and Buzzards Bay.
Seven-hundred-acre state forest with camping sites, horseback riding, and over fifteen miles of trails.
A park, located in Mashpee, with a long narrow beach and walk trails in woodlands and marshlands, ponds for boating and fishing, and stunning views of Martha’s Vineyard. South Cape Beach State Park is part of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Part of the Little Bay Conservation Area which offers a network of trails through forests along the shores of Little Bay with spectacular views. This whole area is only a section of the Falmouth moraine, which was formed by glaciers during the last ice age.
A 19th century estate, converted to a cultural center, surrounded by four hundred acres of conservation land with gardens and walking trails, located in Falmouth. View their website for visitor information, tours, upcoming exhibits, lecturers and classes, special events, and more.
The largest public garden in Southern New England with over one-hundred acres of gardens and miles of trails on the banks of the Shawme Pond in Sandwich.
Located in Falmouth, this six-acre woodland garden, next to Oyster Pond, is a wonderful place for a tranquil picnic or stroll. Many of their walkways are winding path featuring a variety of millstones and anchors along the pathway. They also have a hidden butterfly garden.
A popular beach on the Western shores of Falmouth with amazing views of Buzzards Bay, with both parking and restrooms. A wonderful place to watch sunset.
A rocky, long, and narrow beach with beautiful views of Martha’s Vineyard and Vineyard Sound on one side and Bourne’s Pond on the other side.
Restored lighthouse located in Falmouth overlooking Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, and Nantucket Sound. The beach below is a little-known hidden gem with stunning views of Martha’s Vineyard in the distance.
Wildlife Education Centers
Located in Bourne, a Native to New England butterfly habitat dedicated to conservation, education, and creating pollinator-friendly gardens.
The country’s oldest public aquarium with over one-hundred and forty species of marine animals on display found in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic waters. View their website for hours, directions, and visitor information.
Independent and non-profit marine animal hospital and education center located in Bourne. View their website for events and visit opportunities, hours, and directions.
An independent and non-profit organization, founded in 1930, dedicated to advancing their knowledge of the ocean and connection with the Earth. Browse their website to find out about the visitor and discovery centers, walking tours, and view their events calendar.
Outdoor and Indoor Activities
A fourteen-mile scenic and heavily trafficked bike path that runs on both sides of the Cape Cod Canal.
Over ten miles of bikeway along the Vineyard Sound shoreline from North Falmouth to Woods Hole. The Shining Sea Bikeway is named after a line in the song ‘America The Beautiful’, written by Falmouth native, Katharine Lee Bates.
A historic preserve boardwalk, roughly one-thousand three-hundred and fifty feet in length, originally constructed in 1875 by Gustavus Howland. The boardwalk crosses Mill Creek and leads to the Town Neck Beach in Sandwich.
A premiere stand-up paddle board experience offering yoga sessions, fitness classes, and more with outdoor venue locations in Great Pond in Falmouth, West Falmouth Harbor, Ockway and Popponesset in Mashpee, Waquiot Bay in Mashpee, Great River Mashpee, Sandwich Boardwalk, Monks Cove in Bourne, and Barnstable Fresh Water in Marstons Mills.
Highly rated unique and customizable kayaking and paddle boarding tours, including rental opportunities and bike rentals, with locations in Mashpee and Sandwich.
Known for their two-hour historic guided kayak tours that explore the estuaries of Sandwich. They also have kayak rentals and bike rentals.
Drive-in theater and live venue for musical artists, comedians and more, located at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth. View their website to view their full calendar of events and to purchase tickets.
Amusement center with six different themed puzzle/riddle escape rooms located in Mashpee Commons.
Farms and Pick Your Own (PYO)
Over a hundred-year-old working farm with a farm stand and pick your own (PYO) opportunities depending on what is in season.
Historical Museums, Societies and Sites
Possibly the earliest known remains of a Pilgrim building. The current structure is a replica built on the original foundation, located in Bourne. View the Bourne Historical Society’s website for a complete chronological timeline.
Located in Mashpee, explore the rich history and culture of the Wampanoag from the Stone Age to the present through a range of detailed exhibits, housed in the 1793 Bourne-Avant house.
A lively museum with changing exhibits and educational programs located in an old captain’s home in Woods Hole. View their website for events, exhibits, news, archives, hours, and more.
View their website for hours, events, and to check out their latest exhibits and various historical destinations and museums.
Located in Falmouth, the mission of the Museums on the Green is to educate, preserve, and celebrate the history and culture of the town of Falmouth. View their website for exhibits and artifacts, hours and directions, news, and archives.
This Greek Revival-style historic house was the dwelling of George I Briggs, friend of President Grover Cleveland, and instrumental in the creation of the town of Bourne. The house includes period displays and furnishings from the 1840’s to 1950’s and occasionally costumed docents preparing recipes in the wood stove. View the Cape Cod Museum Trail’s website for information about guided tours.
One of the oldest homes on the Cape, located in Sandwich and constructed as a saltbox style in 1675. The house has been restored and furnished to reflect the early colonial period.
The oldest historic home in New England continuously owned by the same family. The Wing Fort House was built in 1641 in Sandwich by the Wing family and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Today, the house has been restored and converted into a museum. View their website for news, updates, and visitor information.
Beautiful 17th century grist mill in Sandwich with views of Lower Shawme Lake, built in 1637 and operating until 1881. One of the most photographed sites on Cape Cod.
Natural history museum with a library, working jam kitchen, gardens, and trails. The museum is inspired by Thornton Burgess’ Briar Patch, a Sandwich native and author who wrote many children’s books about Peter the Rabbit.
Specialty Museums and Visitor Centers
Located in Mashpee, an interactive play-and-learn museum with exhibits and programs designed for children under the age of ten. View their website for exhibit and program information, as well as news updates, hours, and tickets.
Through interactive exhibits, explore the rich history and day to day operations of the Cape Cod Canal, run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Theaters and Playhouses
A non-profit theater organization located in Falmouth and operating for over fifty years. They have provided hundreds of college students the unique opportunity to learn from professionals and practice their craft. Each year they have nine fully produced musicals and operettas performed in their theater, considered the best theater productions in Cape Cod.
Renowned shopping and living community with over a hundred unique businesses, including restaurants and cafes, markets, fitness studios, entertainment venues, and seventy-seven residential units. Mashpee Commons is open daily and conveniently located between route 28 and 151.
A favorite antiques shop, over twenty years old, located in Sandwich. Considered one of the ‘finest destination antique galleries in New England’.
A highly recommended and favorite Cape Cod art gallery located in Teaticket featuring original oil paintings, commissioned artwork, and limited-edition fine prints.
America’s oldest glass company located in Sagamore. Their designs can be found in over thirty museums across the country, including Boston’s Museum of Fine Art.
Highly reviewed and recommended family-owned glass blowing studio and gallery featuring exquisite glass artwork and located in Sandwich.
Glass blowing workshop and gallery, located in Sandwich and in business since 1992 selling affordable and functional glass pieces, great for gifting or collecting.
In tandem with the Sandwich Historical Society, the Glass Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the work the history of the town of Sandwich which heavily involves glass production. View their website for the latest exhibits, demonstrations, directions, hours and more.
An independent and family-owned bookstore, located in Falmouth, open for over thirty years. They started as a children’s bookstore and grew, over the years, to having an eclectic array of books for young adults and adults on a variety of topics.
Treasured family run bookstore, located in Sandwich, that also sells unique gifts.
A National Scenic Byway, approximately sixty-two miles long, that runs through some of the oldest towns in America. The byway starts in Bourne and ends in Provincetown. Originally, the byway was a Native American trade route and later a cart path for the Mayflower Pilgrims. During the 17th century, the byway was an extension to the Plymouth Colony’s ‘King’s Highway’. Today, Route 6A still follows much of the original trade route and cart path of the early natives and settlers.
High speed year-round ferries to and from Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Travel between Woods Hole and Hyannis terminals to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard terminals.
Cape Cod Canal
Artificial waterway, seven-mile-long canal, connecting Cape Cod to Buzzards Bay. The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, the longest vertical lift bridge in New England, carries railroad traffic across the canal. The Bourne Bridge carries traffic, along Route 28, across the canal, similar to the Sagamore Bridge, which carries Route 6 traffic across the canal.
Bakeries, Cafés and Restaurants
A praised and highly rated gluten-free and grain-free bakery, located in Mashpee, that accommodates a variety of dietary restrictions and serves baked goods.
A highly rated custom boutique bakery offering baked goods, cakes, and confections, and located in Mashpee.
Highly rated European inspired patisserie and boulangerie located on Main Street in Falmouth.
Roadside dining serving breakfast and lunch in East Falmouth. Voted ‘best breakfast’ in the Upper Cape five years in a row.
A café with an eclectic menu on Main street in Falmouth serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They are well-known for their delicious fried pickles.
Charming sandwichery and café serving award winning breakfast, lunch, and homemade baked good, located in Sandwich.
A favorite breakfast and lunch café with the students of Riverview School, in Sandwich, being a vital part of the café’s success. A unique experience for students of the Riverview School’s GROW Post High School Transition Program to work and learn about restaurant operations.
Highly reviewed and rated family-owned seafood restaurant and market with gorgeous panoramic views of the Sandwich East Boat Basin and the Cape Cod Canal, serving lunch and dinner and brunch on Sundays only.
Family owned and operated breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner restaurant with a seafood-heavy menu and known for their deliciously large, and highly recommended breakfast dishes.
Upscale Mexican eatery located on the Main Streets of Hyannis and Falmouth for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Their Hyannis location has a unique outdoor eating experience where guests can sit underneath weeping beech tree planted in 1776.
Family-owned boat-to-table restaurant and fresh seafood market with a panoramic view of Sandwich East Boat Basin and the Cape Cod Canal. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner and located in Sandwich.
Award winning dive bar with live entertainment, a large draft-menu, and weekly specials, located in Falmouth and serving lunch and dinner and brunch on Saturday and Sunday only. They are known and highly recommended for their Quahog chowder, fish and chips, and lobster roll.
Popular and laid-back bar and marketplace, well-known for their generous portioned and fresh lobster roll, located in Popponesset and serving lunch and dinner.
A renovated Victorian home serving American comfort food, known for their signature burgers, waffle fries, sweet potato fries, and shakes. Servin lunch and dinner in Sandwich.
Specializing in BBQ, smoked daily on-site in Sandwich, serving lunch and dinner. Known for their highly reviewed burgers, pulled pork, and BBQ wings and ribs.
Cozy restaurant in a remodeled old home, with a funky vibe, serving lunch and dinner in Buzzards Bay. A hidden gem in plain sight.
Highly recommended scratch kitchen and bar serving lunch and dinner in Borne. As folks say, feasting at the tavern is ‘worth the U-turn.’
An unassuming, yet highly reviewed family run and veteran owned brick-oven pizzeria, located in Mashpee, and featured on Phantom Gourmet, serving lunch and dinner.
Lively and upscale-casual lunch and dinner dining, boutique bowling, and entertainment under one roof, located in Mashpee Commons.
Founded in 1969 as a neighborhood fish market in Bourne. Today, a seafood shack, market, and bar serving lunch and dinner in a rustic building with outdoor seating overlooking Back River tidal estuary.
Casual eatery with a nautical environment, located in Falmouth and serving traditional seafood dishes daily, for lunch and dinner, with occasional live entertainment.
A longtime favorite in Sagamore, serving seafood, Italian and classic American dishes for lunch and dinner with live entertainment on the weekends.
Lively atmosphere with live music and occasional trivia, over a dozen beers on tap, and serving tasty Irish cuisine for lunch and dinner, located in Falmouth.
Quicks Hole Tavern is a farm-to-table gastropub serving classic seafood dishes, while Quicks Hole Taqueria serves Baja California inspired dishes. Both tavern and taqueria are located next to each other on the harbor in Woods Hole, conveniently across from the Ferry Terminal, and serve lunch and dinner.
Popular family-owned Italian eatery open for more than twenty years in Falmouth and serving lunch and dinner.
Serving lunch and dinner and located on a converted barde in Red Brook Harbor in Cataumet inside the Kingman Yacht Center. Known for its classic seafood dishes and nightly entertainment at the piano bar.
A highly regarded and popular upscale French bistro, located in Mashpee Commons, with an impressive wine list, serving lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on Sundays.
A former church built in 1901 and converted and refurbished into quaint, fine-dining bistro, serving contemporary American cuisine for lunch and dinner with local ingredients in Sandwich.
Chef-owned and little-known Cambodian gem in Pocasset serving nightly dinner.
Highly reviewed little gem and trendy restaurant located in Falmouth and serving a variety of fine cuisines for dinner.
Popular and highly recommended elegant eatery in an intimate and quaint environment serving dinner and located in Falmouth.
Casual and fine dining for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner in a variety of settings from candle lit to fireside, or cozy tavern dining, serving up contemporary American cuisine in Sandwich.
Historic tea-room and wine bar in an 1800’s carriage house, with occasional themed entertainment and events. Located in Sandwich, the Dunbar House is a truly unique experience.
Small brewery located in Falmouth, started by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who roomed together and studied at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.
A small-batch craft brewery and taproom, located in Mashpee, with a variety of different beers and specializing in IPA’s.
With over nine varieties of wine and located three miles away from the ocean in East Falmouth, Cape Cod Winery is a wonderful retreat. They also have food items available for purchase on site, however, visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic.
A family-owned creamery, located in Cataumet, serving homemade ice cream cones, sundaes, frappes, floats, and more since 1937.
Twin Acres Ice Cream Shop
A popular creamery located in the historic Route 6A, in Sandwich, and serving sundaes, shakes, and freezes, known for their large portion sizes.
Miscellaneous (Abandoned Places)
The Dome Restaurant (Abandoned)
Built in the 50’s, restauranteur Buckminster Fuller, opened a ritzy, forward-thinking, and environmentally friendly fine dining restaurant that proved to be more than popular. However, the architectural glass triangle panels that made the restaurant unique, created a greenhouse-like effect inside, increasing guests’ discomfort. Furthermore, the building’s structure allowed for rainwater to leak through. The restaurant eventually closed, and the building was sold. Plans to develop the abandoned structure became time-consuming and expensive. Today, the Dome sits abandoned atop a hill in Woods Hole.
MID – CAPE:
Includes: Barnstable Village, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Osterville, Marston’s Mills, and West Barnstable
Reserves, Sanctuaries and Conservation Land
One and a half miles of trails that overlook Barnstable Harbor and Sandy Neck Barrier Beach, located in Barnstable.
Managed as a bird sanctuary and part of the undeveloped Sampsons Island/Dead Neck barrier beach system, located off Cape Cod mainland in Osterville. Access is limited to the Cotuit Bay, March through September, dawn to dusk.
Former mill site reclaimed by nature. One mile of trails through the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp in Osterville.
Two and a half miles of scenic harborside trails, meadows, and woodlands located in Cummaquid.
Hidden gem located on Dennis bay with miles of open pastures woods and beaches.
One and a third mile loop trail along the banks of Bass River in South Dennis.
Veteran’s Memorial Park
A Korean War Memorial dedication park with panoramic views, located in Hyannis.
An eight-and-a-half-acre historic park with specialty gardens, trails, and a rare tree arboretum, located in Osterville.
Public beach with parking, restrooms, changing facilities, and a concession stand. In season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Located in West Barnstable.
Located in West Barnstable on the end of the six-mile-long eastern tip of Sandy Neck.
A very popular public beach with parking, food stands, and restroom facilities, located in Centerville.
Considered the best public windsurfing beach on the Cape. Kalmus beach has parking, restrooms, changing facilities, and a snack bar, located in Hyannis.
Public beach in Dennis with a scenic boardwalk with stretches from the parking lot to the dunes below. Walk for miles on the tidal flats at low tide. An ideal spot for photographers or those looking to catch a vivid sunset.
Popular beach in West Dennis, spans over a mile long. Good spot for windsurfing, kite-flying and other beach sports.
A popular crescent shaped beach with calm-water located in Dennis. Walk along and explore the flats area at low tide or walk along the warm tidal pool formed by the curve of the beach.
Outdoor and Indoor Activities
Tours of Barnstable Great Marsh, Nauset Marsh, and Scorton Creek.
Highly reviewed and recommended kayaking and paddleboard rental company located in West Dennis.
Offering a wide variety of watersport activities and located in East Dennis. They pride themselves on their experience and reputation, reliability and customer service, and safety measures.
Abord the three-level vessel, Whale Watcher, designed specifically for whale watching in New England waters. View their website to purchase tickets and plan your trip. Located in Barnstable.
Family-owned go-kart facility with batting cages, a pitching speed cage, an arcade, and home to Cape Cod’s only trampoline basketball. Located in South Dennis.
Farms and Pick Your Own (PYO)
Pick your own blueberries on this lovely little farm located in East Dennis. A Cape Cod hidden gem.
Historical Museums, Societies, and Sites
Learn about Cape Cod’s rich maritime traditions and history through exhibits, events, and educational programs. Located in Hyannis.
Located in the historic customs house in Barnstable, the Coast Guard Heritage Museum came to life, thanks to the brainstorming of two Navy men, with many generous contributions along the years.
The oldest wooden jail in America, located next to the Coast Guard Heritage Museum in Barnstable. Constructed in the late 1690’s and remained in use until 1820.
Features interactive exhibits, special programming, educational curricula, and community involvement, designed to inspire, inform, and animate John F. Kennedy as a man and salesperson. Located in Hyannis.
A non-profit organization. View their website for events, exhibits, and archives. Located in Barnstable.
Recently celebrating its three-hundredth year anniversary, this historic meetinghouse is home to a half-ton bell cast by Paul Revere for the Town of Barnstable in 1806 and given to the West Parish Church, a four-hundred-year-old congregational church, in memory of Colonel James Otis. Research done in 2016, indicated that the original bell was replaced by the Revere Bell Company in 1833. Located in West Barnstable.
A historic and well-known haunted house located in the Barnstable Historic District.
Visit their website for the latest events, exhibitions, programs, and more. Located in Centerville.
Visit their many museums, markers and historical sites or browse their online digital archives.
Thirty-foot tall tower located in Dennis atop the highest hill in mid-Cape overlooking Scargo lake.
Home of the man for whom the town of Dennis was named after. There is also a 1745 one-room schoolhouse located on the grounds. View the Dennis historical society website for hours and directions.
Theaters and Playhouses
Named one of the best small theater stages, Cape Playhouse is the longest-running professional summer theater in the country, located in Dennis. Their mission is to inspire, entertain, and educate. View their website to check out their newest season of shows and get ticket information.
Featuring and preserving the artwork and artistic identity of the Cape, Islands, and the regions finest artists. Surrounded by a sculpture garden and located in Dennis. View their website for announcements and the latest exhibits.
View their website to find out the latest exhibitions, events, and how to visit. Located in Cotuit.
A wonderful place to celebrate the arts. The center offers educational programs, performances, and exhibitions. Located in Cotuit.
Shop, stay, play, eat, drink and be entertained in the eclectic Main Streets of Hyannis.
A local favorite ceramics studio, gallery, and overall destination located in Dennis.
Family owned and operated penny-candy store located in Centerville.
Located in the historic Jonathan P. Edwards House in Dennis Port, this small family owned, and operated candy shop has over fifty years of candy making experience. Treat yourself to an array of chocolates, hard-candy, gummies, and more.
A Cape Cod favorite glass studio to, not only buy one of a kind glass-blown pieces, but also watch demonstrations. Located in Dennis Port. View their website and call or email ahead of time and ask about their hours and their schedule for glass-blowing demonstrations.
Scenic trail excursions in the daytime and the evening, past cranberry bogs, marshes, dunes, and more. Visit their website to learn more and purchase tickets. Located in Hyannis.
Twenty-one private planes, including Waco YMF-5 biplane, Beech 18, Seabee, and a few antique taildraggers. Visit their website to get pricing, or simply visit their airfield to watch planes and skydivers come and go. Located in Marstons Mills.
Bakeries, Cafés and Restaurants
Full coffee bar located in Barnstable.
Café in West Dennis serving homemade pancakes, waffles, omelets, sandwiches, combos, and sides.
Barnstable’s newest café, offering breakfast and lunch options, located in Barnstable.
Located in Hyannis, Spoon and Seed offers locally sourced menu options for both breakfast and lunch.
A modern diner serving breakfast and lunch daily. Conveniently located on West Main Street in Hyannis.
An acclaimed café in Hyannis serving breakfast all day, and lunch.
A hidden gem café in Marstons Mill serving both breakfast and lunch.
Café in Marstons Mills serving local food with fresh ingredients for breakfast and lunch, eat-in or takeout.
Brought together by a ‘common ground’, this unique eatery featuring wooden-caved décor, serves smoothies, juices, and a variety of other assorted drinks, as well as brunch, lunch, and dessert to locals and visitors alike. Located in Hyannis.
Offering a wide variety of organic, fair-trade Indigo coffee, made-from-scratch baked goods, paninis and wraps, soups, vegan options and more. Located in Dennis and serving breakfast and lunch.
Fifties family owned and operated diner, open for over thirty years, serving only fresh ingredients, cooked to order, for breakfast and lunch. Located in South Dennis.
A very popular breakfast and lunch restaurant located in East Dennis and known for their homemade soups and hearty meals.
A renowned bakery, in Hyannis, that offers artisan breads, pastries, and desserts for breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. They wholeheartedly believe recreating old-world traditions using baking recipes and techniques unaltered through time.
Seafood shack, known for its lobster rolls, serving breakfast and lunch in Dennis.
Classic seafood market and bar serving fresh seafood and comfort cuisine for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Located in Osterville.
A casual and rustic eatery, located in Osterville, serving snacks, wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Popular beach style hang-out serving lunch and dinner, located in South Dennis.
A seventy-year-old landmark restaurant serving lunch on Monday and weekly dinner, located in Barnstable.
Family owned and operated, a classic American bar and pub serving lunch and dinner. Located in Hyannis.
Serving authentic Thai cuisine cooked to order for lunch and dinner, a Hyannis local favorite.
A highly recommended Japanese hibachi steak house serving lunch and dinner, and well-known for its sushi. Located in Marstons Mills.
Popular casual fine dining tavern and restaurant serving lunch and dinner, located in Dennis.
Serving lunch and dinner options in Barnstable. They also continue to operate at their original location in Osterville, Osterville Fish.
Growing and harvesting their own oysters, a process which can take up to four years, located in Dennis Port and serving both lunch and dinner.
A waterfront seafood restaurant, serving lunch and dinner on the harbor, with indoor and outdoor tables, plus curbside and dockside takeout options. Located in Barnstable.
Located in a restored two-hundred-year-old barn in Dennis Port, serving Irish breakfast and dinner for over seventy years. Named after the 19th century packet ships which transported goods from Boston Harbor to Cape Cod, ‘Wee Packet’ means small ship.
Award winning raw bar with locally sourced oysters raised in the Barnstable Harbor oyster farm. Serving lunch and dinner, and conveniently located on Main Street in Hyannis.
Highly recommended and reviewed family owned and operated dinner restaurant in Dennis, focused on sourcing local ingredients and sustainable dining, making meals from scratch.
Located in Dennis Port with gorgeous views overlooking Nantucket Sound, serving cocktails, dinner, and dessert inside and outdoors.
Extensive views of the salt marsh of Sesuit Harbor, known for their dinner menu seafood and stews. They also have a sister restaurant, The Otherside Pizza and Pastries, located in East Dennis.
Traditional pub with Irish eats and nightly entertainment, a hidden gem. Located in West Dennis and serving dinner seven days a week.
Founded by two long-time friends and praised by Opera Winfrey in O Magazine as one of her “favorite things” in 2009, 2012, and 2017. Located in Osterville.
Producing an array of beers year-round, built on their ‘four-pillars’ standards: customer service, quality, community, and conservation. Located in Hyannis.
After winning the Samuel Adams “Come Brew With Us
contest and brewing on a larger, professional scale, owner Peter Connor and his wife Ann opened Barnstable Brewing in Hyannis in 2017.
Unique small batch brewery located in South Dennis, home of the Handline Kolsch, brewed with vanguard hops, a rival of lager-style beers.
Serving ice cream, frozen yogurt, frappes, and sundaes in East Falmouth, Mashpee, and East Orleans.
Award-winning and unique flavored homemade ice cream, located out of an old blacksmith shop turned into an ice cream store, operating since 1934. Located in Centerville.
Making and serving award-winning homemade ice cream since 1976, with locations in Dennis Port and Harwich Port.
Award winning gourmet ice cream with locations in Hyannis, Dennis, and South Yarmouth.
LOWER AND OUTER CAPE:
Includes: Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown
Reserves, Sanctuaries and Conservation Land
Popular and extensive, over five miles, of trails in Wellfleet through panoramic salt marshes, and beaches, woodlands with an array of wildlife. The sanctuary also features an award-winning nature center, the Esther Underwood Jonson Nature Center, with exhibits and aquariums.
A federal wildlife refuge established in 1944, located on Monomoy Island off the Coast of Chatham, well-known as an epicenter of Great White Shark activity. A protected habitat with migratory birds with salt and freshwater marshes and miles of beach-side trails. Monomoy Light House, one of the first lighthouses made of cast-iron in 1849, is located at the southernmost tip of the island.
An off-the-beaten-path scenic and historic walking trail and one-hundred-acre area of fields, forests, and salt marshes in Eastham, with beautiful views and is the site of an ancient Nauset Tribe encampment. The district also includes the Edward Penniman House and Barn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and serves as a museum detailing the story of the Penniman family and whaling in New England. Fort Hill provides extensive views of Nauset Salt Marsh and is a great location to bird watch.
Two-hundred and fifty-nine acres in Harwich of reservoirs, forestland, a great place to bird watch with sweeping views of the salt marsh and over two miles of trails.
Left behind by glaciers at the end of the last ice age, Doane’s Rock is the largest glacial bolder in Cape Cod, reaching eighteen feet above the ground. Named for one of the original settlers of Eastham, Deacon John Doane, whose former homestead foundation sits nearby, along one of the many hiking paths leading from Doane’s Rock to Coast Guard Beach.
One-mile nature preserve walking and biking trail through forests, with views of small ponds and plenty of wildlife, located in Provincetown.
Over five miles of challenging paved bike trails and walking or running paths through pine woodlands, sandy dunes, and cranberry bogs, that starts at the visitor’s center and branches out to Herring Cove and Race Point Beach and Bennett Pond in Provincetown. The Province Lands Visitor’s Center offers exhibits, films, a bookstore, and a stunning three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view on their indoor and outdoor observation tower and deck.
A mile long breakwater stone barrier and walkway stretching from Commercial Street to Long Point Peninsula in Provincetown, with breathtaking views of the coastline ‘arm’ of Cape Cod.
Breathtaking Cape Cod cultural landscapes including beaches, marshes, ponds, and hiking and bicycling paths, located along the outer portion of the Cape, extending over forty miles through Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown.
A popular two and a half mile hiking trail loop through wetlands, sandy dunes and pine woodlands, all the way to the ocean and back.
Over a mile loop trail through oak and pine forests to a boardwalk through White Cedar Swamp and back to the historic sand ‘Wireless Road’, the site of the Marconi Wireless Station, where Guglielmo Marconi, a famous Italian inventor, completed the first transatlantic radio communication in January 1903 by sending a message from President Theodore Roosevelt in the United States to King Edward VII in the United Kingdom.
An eight-mile round trip, moderate hiking trail alongside sandy Wellfleet Harbor and Cape Cod Bay to the Great Island and sandbar Jeremy Point Overlook, the longest hike on the Cape Cod National Seashore. Great Island was once an actual island, until silt deposits caused it to reconnect it to the mainland. The trail leads to the colonial-era Great Island Tavern Site also known as Samuel Smith Tavern Site, excavated in 1969 and 1970 by archeologists who discovered artifacts such as drinking vessels, pipe stems and various glassware. Today, nothing remains of the tavern, except a commemorative sign.
An easy half a mile trail, with a few mile-plus extensions, in Truro, through wooded areas, a dune overlook, hill summits, including Bearberry Hill, and past an old cranberry bog house.
A one-mile loop trail in Truro that leads to a historic marker which commemorates the Pilgrims exploration of the trail, where they found a spring and drank their first fresh water in New England.
A picturesque one thousand and nine-hundred-acre state park in Brewster with miles of wooded trails, kettle ponds and four-hundred camp sites.
An easy-to-miss small park, in Provincetown, with a memorial plaque, in the middle of a rotary where Commercial Street and Province Lands Road intersect, that marks the first place the Pilgrims came ashore on American soil on November 11th, 1620. This location point was marked on a map in the third governor of Plymouth Colony, Edward Winslow’s booklet, Mourt’s Relation.
A hidden gem park and beach located in Cape Cod Bay in Orleans that has two sides, a western and an eastern side. The western side is known for its extremely popular beach, with vast flats at low tide, and known for its fishing and charter boats. While the eastern side is much quieter and has gorgeous views.
Established in 2009, a secret and public garden on Commercial Street and cooperative project between the Town of Provincetown and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts PARC Program, in memory of Suzanne Sinaiko, garden enthusiast and resident of Provincetown.
One of the most popular beaches in Brewster with incredible flats at low tide that allow beachgoers to walk miles out into the bay.
One of the larger Brewster beaches, with scenic views of Cape Cod Bay and within walking distance of Nickerson State Park. A wonderful beach to watch sunset.
A small, yet popular beach in Chatham with a salt marsh with beautiful views of Nantucket Sound. There is also a little salt marsh and creek behind the sandy beach, a great place for wildlife viewing.
A large, family-friendly beach on the bay side of Chatham with warm, calm waters overlooking Nantucket Sound. There is plenty of room for beach games, water sports, walks along the beach, bird watching and many more activities.
Extremely popular beach in Chatham Harbor, half-under the watchful eye of Chatham Light House and a mile from downtown Chatham, with very strong currents. Rumer has it, Chatham Lighthouse Beach was the inspiration behind the fictional beach in the movie Jaws (1795), due to the Great White Shark activity at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, also located in Chatham Harbor.
A large, popular, family-friendly, and picturesque soft-sand beach, overlooking Cockle Cove in Chatham, with two sides, an ocean front, and a protected tidal inlet, perfect for water sports.
A beach with historic significance and extensive flats at low tide with panoramic views of Cape Cod Bay. The beach was named because it is supposedly the site of the first encounter between the Nauset Tripe of the Wampanoag Nation and the Pilgrims of the Mayflower Company. A tablet on the knoll at the north end of the beach marks the location of the encounter.
Stunning beach, part of the National Seashore, in Eastham with wide-open views of the Atlantic Ocean and with Nauset Light overlooking the sandy dunes. Well-known for its seal activity in the warm shore water, and consequently, shark activity as well.
Small bayside beach in Eastham, typically not very crowded, and well-known for its breathtaking sunsets, and extensive flats at low tide.
An extremely popular sandy beach with powerful waves stretching ten miles, starting in Orleans, and ending in Chatham, known for its seal and shark activity, with amazing open ocean views of the Atlantic.
A popular beach for families with calm waters and warm water tidal pools on Cape Cod Bay in Orleans. A great place to watch the boats come in and out of Rock Harbor and to watch sunset.
Extremely popular picturesque and spacious beach in Harwich, a great beach for shelling and watching sunset.
Popular town beach with soft sand and gentle waves in Harwich, with views of Nantucket Sound. A great place to watch the boats in Wychmere Harbor.
Extremely popular and very long sandy beach with rough waves and large dunes, located on the Atlantic Ocean side-tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown. Known for seal and heavy shark activity, a great place to walk, birdwatch and bike on the nearby Province Lands Bike Trail. Located on the beach is the historic Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, a decommissioned maritime rescue station, and most recently a museum, originally built in 1897 and relocated from Chatham to Race Point Beach.
Extremely popular and expansive sandy beach with great views of the coastline, located at the very end of Route 6, on the Cape Cod Bay side-tip of Provincetown.
Lengthy sandy beach with rough waters and spectacular views of the bay and coastline, located on a peninsula on the curved tip of Provincetown in Cape Cod Bay. Nearby are many scenic walking trails, including the mile long break long stone barrier stretching from Commercial Street to Long Point Beach, known as the Provincetown Causeway, and, the six-mile Long Point Lighthouse Trail, with views of both Long Point Light Station to the Northeast and Wood End Lighthouse to the Southwest.
The largest and most popular beach in West Yarmouth, with views of Nantucket Sound, ideal for swimming, walking windsurfing, and shelling.
Also known as Smugglers Beach, located where Bass River meets the Atlantic Ocean in South Yarmouth. Large beach with calm waters and a boat ramp and fishing pier.
Small beach with large picnic area and pavilion, located at the mouth of Garden Creek along Cape Cod Bay in Yarmouth Port, and has a long scenic boardwalk, Gray’s Beach Boardwalk, that extends over the salt marsh area.
A quiet and small marina beach, with a playground and boat launch, located in West Yarmouth with amazing views of Lewis Bay.
A popular and narrow beach, located in South Yarmouth, with amazing views of Nantucket Sound, and a jetty to fish or walk out on. The beach is ideal for families as there is gentle waves, lots of seashells and a playground.
A long and narrow beach, located in Truro, with calm waters and views of Provincetown and the Cape Cod Bay. The name Corn Hill Beach supposedly derived from the Pilgrims who found a stash of corn that has been buried by the Native Americans who resided in the area at the time.
Large and very popular beach in Wellfleet, somewhat secluded, with massive dunes, also known as the Beachcomber Beach. The beach is named after the Cahoon family who lived on the outer Cape.
Also called Breakwater Beach, not to be confused with Breakwater Beach in Brewster, this beach and recreational area is owned by the town of Wellfleet. This beach overlooks Wellfleet breakwater and harbor and during low tide, has seemingly endless tidal pools.
The only beach in Wellfleet not located in the harbor, with stunning views of Cape Cod bay and Provincetown. A rocky beach well-known for its stunning sunset views.
Huge beach in Wellfleet with steep sand dunes, large waves, great for surfing, and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Outer Cape. The beach is named after Guglielmo Marconi, a famous Italian inventor who completed the first transatlantic radio communication who, in January 1903, sent a message from President Theodore Roosevelt in the United States to King Edward VII in the United Kingdom.
Small beach with grasslands and calm waters, overlooking Wellfleet Harbor and Breakwater, a great place to watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.
The northernmost beach in Wellfleet, a popular location for nighttime fishing, with large beach with steep dunes and picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Popular beach and surfing destination in Wellfleet, also known as Four Miles Beach and Surfer’s Beach, with dune cliffs, grasslands, and Atlantic Ocean views.
Bound Brook Island Beach
An isolated hidden gem beach, located at the end of a mile long dirt road in in Wellfleet, with spectacular views of Cape Cod Bay, the outer Cape coastline, including Provincetown and the Pilgrim Monument.
A large and rarely crowded beach, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, located in Truro, with gorgeous views of the open Atlantic Ocean. Also, behind the beach parking lot is the paved, two-mile Head of the Meadow Hiking and Bike trail which runs all the way to High Head Road in Truro. Little known fact, from the beach at low tide the 1872 shipwreck of the Frances may still be seen. The United State Live Saving Service men rescued all the men aboard, however the ship’s captain, Wilhelm Kortling, died several days later of hypothermia and is buried in Truro Old North Cemetery.
Scenic inlet beach in Brewster with calm water and expensive flat at low tide and small tidal pools, perfect for exploring and a wonderful place to watch sunset.
Wildlife Educational Centers
A visitor orientation facility, theater, museum, and store operating year-round. In the visitor center lobby, a map shows Cape Cod’s glacial history and the natural forces that continue to shape the landscape, while the museum emphasizes many cultural themes represented on Cape Cod. Near the visitor’s center are trails, including the one and a half mile Nauset Marsh Trail, the Nauset Bicycle Trail and the quarter of a mile Buttonbush Trail.
Outdoor and Indoor Activities and Tours
A twenty-five and a half miles of paved rail trail for walking, running, or biking, that passes through Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet with breathtaking views.
Kayaks, stand up paddle boards, canoes, and pedal boat rentals on Swan Pond River and Bass River Park located in Dennis Port and Dennis. View their website for rentals and rates, reservations, and contact information.
A family-owned boat tour and cruise agency, including a beachcombing, sunset and seal watching cruise, you can also design your own private and custom cruise. They are located on Main Street in Orleans.
A family-owned and operated sailboat, kayak, paddle board rentals, tours, and lessons. They also have a convenient beachfront store and snack bar, overlooking Nantucket Sound, located on Ridgevale Beach in Chatham.
Highly reviewed kayaking adventures through Nauset Marsh in Eastham and Parkers River in Yarmouth.
A highly rated sports fishing venture charter and guide that offers deep sea fishing and is located in Truro. View their website for charter information, rates, and more.
A highly rated and reviewed whale watching tour agency established in 1975 that guarantees guests will get a chance see a while in action on their boat tour.
Highly rated sightseeing flight tours and top-quality flight training from Chatham to around the Lower Cape area with tour options and much flexibility. View their website for tours, trainings, pricing, and more.
In the summer yoga is offered on Chatham Lighthouse Beach for both beginners and those who are more experienced. Walk-ins welcome. Visit their website for schedules, events, what to bring, rates, directions, and contact information.
Tour the largest organic cranberry bog in Cape Cod, located in Harwich, tours are offered seasonally. They also have a farm stand and farm animals on the premise. View their website for tour information, hours, and directions.
A tour agency offering off-roading experiences through the dunes of Provincetown and kayaking, sailing, speed boating, and sea fishing. They also offer a Race Point Lighthouse tour. View their website for tours and contact information.
A unique guided tour experience to view more than 30 houses and vistas in North and South Truro painted by American realist painter and printmaker, Edward Hopper.
Located off Commercial Street, MacMillan Pier is a great place to walk, birdwatch, watch the boats come in an out or catch a ferry or whale watching boat. Due to Provincetown’s naturally deep waters, the harbor acts as a refuge for boats small and large, including cruise ships.
Peaceful and fragrant lavender farm and gardens, harvested annually in June and July, tucked away in Harwich. They also have an all lavender-based products gift shop on the premise.
Award winning eighteen-hold mini golf course in a nautical setting, the largest mini golf course in lower Cape Cod, located in Orleans.
An extremely popular and elaborate two courses, each with eighteen-holes, pirate themed mini-golf course located in South Yarmouth.
A highly rated mini golf course, operating in West Yarmouth since 1979, with unique nautical themed concrete structures and an ice cream stand.
A highly reviewed eighteen-hole animal adventure themed mini golf course located in West Yarmouth.
One of Cape Cod’s oldest golf courses, founded in 1982 – 1898 in North Truro, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean next to Highland Lighthouse, and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Drive-in theatre from 1957, also featuring a children’s playground and snack bar on the premise.
A drive-in live entertainment venue located in West Yarmouth, hosting comedians, musical artists and showing classic films, and more.
Astronomy observatory, located inside Dennis-Yarmouth High School in South Yarmouth, with a twelve-and-a-half-foot Ash dome and a warm room, where imaging from the dome can be viewed.
A former Methodists church, now Provincetown’s public library, is a hidden gem offering free programming, tons of resources for bookworms and historians, and surprisingly, houses a full-size schooner on the second floor and amazing skyline views on the top floor.
Historical Museums, Societies and Sites
A historic telegraph station with a rich and lengthy history, part of the National Register of Historic Places, now a living history museum. The current station was constructed in 1891 in Orleans and became the American termination point for a 3,200-mile-long telegraph cable, called “Le Direct” that came directly to Orleans all the way from France.
A gambrel-roofed house built in 1752 and acquired by the Chatham Historical Society with eleven galleries, some permanent and others temporary. The museum is considered a hidden gem and covers many eras of Cape Cod history.
Restored schoolhouse, built in 1869 and serving Eastham students in eight grades, bought by the Eastham Historical Society, and turned into a museum on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum displays Native American artifacts, farming, shipwreck displays, a whale’s jawbone, and an interactive schoolroom exhibit with the original schoolmaster’s desk.
A two-hundred- and fifty-two-foot monument, the tallest granite structure in the United States, that honors the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims and offers breathtaking views. The Provincetown Museum’s exhibits highlight the building of Pilgrim Monument, the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims, display Inuit and Wampanoag tribe artifacts, detail Provincetown’s maritime history, and much more. View their website for news and events, tickets, and directions.
A fully furnished 1840’s Victorian era sea captain’s home, the centerpiece of the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located on the Old Kind’s Highway, Route 6A in Yarmouth Port Common. Also, on the grounds of the Hallet House Museum is a rare one hundred-and twenty-year-old weeping Beech Tree.
A historic picturesque mill, sparkling brook and museum, the only remaining structure of Brewster’s Factory Village, a once bustling 19th century industrial area, a true Brewster treasure. The museum features 19th century artifacts and interactive demonstrations representing Cape Cod life. View the town of Brewster’s website to plan you visit and get directions.
Organized in 1951, the historical society’s mission is to collect and preserve the story of Wellfleet with exhibitions, archives, and community engagement.
Founded fifty-seven years ago and committed to preserving Eastham’s past and future, hosting annual events, programming, book reviews, historical presentations, public displays, and more. View their website for news, events, their museums, collections page, directions, and contact information.
Located in a Greek Revival structure that was formerly a Meeting House for the Universalists Church of Orleans, the Orleans Historical Society now uses the building as a museum for special exhibits and hosts cultural programming. View their website for information about exhibitions and CG36500, gold-metal motor lifeboat, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that rescued thirty-two survivors during the 1952 70-knot nor’easter snowstorm. The rescue story was written about in The Finest Hours by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias, and later adapted to a Disney Film, directed by Craig Gillespie.
The Truro Historical Society’s mission is to inspire and let patrons discover, explore, and experience the rich history and heritage of Truro and the Outer Cape, through exhibits, community interactions and more. View their website for information on the Cobb Archives, maps, charts, books, photographs, and other historical documents accessible to the public for research.
An old coast guard station in service until 1958, now serving as the Cape Cod National Seashore’s residential environmental education program, which offers educational groups an opportunity to experience the historic and natural beauty of Cape Cod. The station is not open to the public, but visitors can walk around the grounds and enjoy views of Coast Guard Beach.
A marker and viewing platform commemorating the site of the first United States transatlantic wireless telegraph station, built in 1901/1902. On this site in January of 1093 Guglielmo Marconi, a famous Italian inventor, completed the first transatlantic radio communication between President Theodore Roosevelt in the United States to King Edward VII in the United Kingdom.
A three-story grand mansion and a monument to romance in Brewster. Legacy has it, the man who built the mansion was inspired after traveling west to make a fortune and falling in love. He returned to the coast with a bride twenty years his junior, and built the mansion styled after the Chicago’s Gold Coast Mansions. The Crosby Mansion has a legendary two-story art gallery filled with invaluable paintings and statuary by famous artists.
A two-hundred-year-old sea captain’s home in Yarmouth Port Common, purchased by Edward Gorey, an author, illustrator, playwright, costume and set designer, in 1979. After Gorey’s death in 2000, the house was converted into a museum dedicated to Gorey’s life and work and passion for local and national animal welfare.
A relocated and remodeled 1780 Georgian-style house, located in Yarmouth Port, with an impressive collection of colonial furniture, rugs, ceramics, family heirlooms, and other collected antiques.
An iconic light house, still active, formerly known as ‘Twin Lights’ prior to 1923, that has undergone many renovations throughout the years. Located on the ‘elbow’ of Cape Cod overlooking Lighthouse Beach.
The youngest of the lighthouses on the Cape, built in 1880, also known as Harding’s Beach Lighthouse. It was built to help the Chatham Light House, because Chatham is one of the foggiest points on the East Coast. Today, the lighthouse is privately owned and cannot be toured.
The first light house station in Eastham and the most photographed light house in Cape Cod, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once stood with three other lights, known as The Three Sisters. Due to a receding shoreline, the light was relocated multiple times, until it was moved onto its new location, where it sits today.
Due to the eroding seashore, three lighthouses, known as the Three Sister Lighthouses, were relocated, and restored multiple times, and two of the lights were decommissioned. Eventually, they were bought by the National Park Service and moved back to their original location on Cable Road, while the third light remains on Nauset Light Beach Road, a third of a mile down the street.
Historic lighthouse built in 1864 that remains and active U.S. Coast Guard navigational aid, located on the Southwestern tip of Woods End in Provincetown, only accessible by boat, ferry, and hiking across the Provincetown Causeway breakwater.
Due to treacherous travel for vessels navigating the bars off Race Point in Provincetown, a lighthouse was erected and lit on November 5th, 1816, one of the earliest revolving lights, to differentiate it from other Cape Cod lighthouses. After many years of restoration and updating, the light station remains active and is maintained the Coast Guard, while the structure and grounds are maintained by the Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouses Foundation. The light station is open to the public for tours and accommodations and special events.
The oldest and tallest active lighthouse on Cape Cod, first erected in 1797 and rebuilt many times, until 1857, when the current structure was constructed in North Truro. The lighthouse is currently a museum and store and is organized by Eastern National, a partner of the National Park Service. The light itself is operated by the United States Coast Guard.
A major tourist attraction, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and believed to be the oldest and last working gristmill on Cape Cod, built in 1680 and restored, maintained, and re-located throughout the years.
A historic Smock windmill built in 1795 and relocated and restored by the Brewster Historical Society. The Windmill is located off o Old King’s Highway in Brewster and is part of the National Historic Register of Historic Places.
One of Massachusetts’s last surviving wooden windmill still in working condition, built in 1797, restored many times, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The windmill sits on Rink Hill in Chase Park in Chatham.
Historic windmill, with all its original early parts and machinery still intact, built in 1720 and relocated multiple times and finally dissembled and moved to its final home along the Old Kings Highway in Orleans.
A picturesque and authentically rebuilt 18th century windmill, that still contains the original mechanic equiptment, located in South Yarmouth named after its builder Judah Baker.
Uncle Tim’s Bridge
A historic footbridge with spectacular views that dates back to the 1700’s, formerly known as The New Bridge, that crosses Duck Creek to connect Hamblen Island to the village of Wellfleet. The bridge is named after Timothy E. Daniels, known as Uncle Tim, who had a retail shop located across from the bridge in the 1800’s.
Specialty Museums and Visitor Centers
A small museum in Brewster focusing on inspiring, teaching and appreciating natural history and archeology through exhibits and interactive programs. View their website for their events calendar, programs, hours, and directions.
Natural history museum, located in Chatham, that offers an in-depth look at the Great White Shark through interactive exhibits, videos, and displays. View their website for tours, programs, hours, directions, and more.
Museum on MacMillan Pier in Provincetown, exploring the history of the Golden Age of Piracy and displaying artifacts and treasures discovered and preserved from the 1717 Whydah shipwreck off the shores of Wellfleet, the world’s only authenticated pirate shipwreck.
Theaters and Playhouses
A 19th century brick bank converted into a cultural center offering entertainment, instruction, and exhibition in the performing arts, located in South Yarmouth. View their website for educational opportunities, events, and exhibitions.
Established for over forty-eight years, the Center for the Arts is an inclusive and supportive arts community providing a range of artistic experiences including workshops, lectures, exhibitions, performances, special events and more, located in the dunes of Truro and in walking distance to Cape Cod Bay.
A community theater and performing arts academy, located in Orleans, and operating since 1973, that offers year-round productions in a historic theater arena, and educational opportunities in the performing arts.
Performing arts theater in Brewster, with a two-fold mission, restoration, and preservation of their historic property within Nickerson State Park, which started with converting the Camp Chapel into an Outdoor Theater, the Cape’s only outside theater. They also offer a 4 to 5 play indoor theater season, between May and December and in the summer, offer professional shows for children in their outdoor theater.
Performing arts theater in Provincetown, formed in 2001, offering year-round performances, programming, and educational opportunities for those interested in the theatrical arts within the Outer Cape Cod Community. View their website for upcoming productions, virtual programming, tickets, directions, and more.
Known as ‘WHAT’ for short, an award-winning hidden gem theater performance company in Wellfleet founded in 1985, with a wide array of productions, the also have an outdoor theater for children’s performances.
Art Centers, Galleries, Museums
Seasonal open cottages, located in the Orleans Market Square, hosted by local artists that feature photography, fabric art, home décor, jewelry, mixed media, and more. A great place to shop for unique gifts.
Located in Harwich Port for over ten years, the art gallery features twenty-four local artists with one-of-a-kind paintings and sketches in various media.
A highly reviewed art gallery and store featuring the work of two emergent artists, located in Harwich.
An art gallery and exhibition space in an 1850’s cape-style house, located in Harwich, and featuring a wide-variety of paintings and sculptures from local artists.
An extremely successful, inviting and highly rated and reviewed, art gallery featuring the work of both emerging and establish artists, located in Orleans.
A three-thousand square feet, family owned and operated, eclectic art gallery and antiques center, established in 1977, and based in Orleans.
Award winning gallery on Commercial Street in Provincetown, that hosts one of the largest and most diverse collections of local contemporary art by regional and national artists in an array of artistic mediums.
An art gallery that focuses on fine art photography around Cape Cod and beyond, conveniently located on Commercial Street in Provincetown.
An art gallery on Commercial Street in Provincetown that displays an eclectic collection of contemporary, modern, abstract, surrealism, tonalism and classic works of art on various artistic mediums.
Fine art gallery located on Commercial Street in Provincetown with digital and mixed media installations featuring established and emerging artists.
An art gallery in Wellfleet featuring the art of many local artists, including jewelry, sculptures, etchings, photographs, paintings, and more.
A fine contemporary art gallery, founded in 1986, and one of the nation’s leading representational painting dealers. View their website for current exhibitions, artists, news, and more.
A fun, secret, and quirky outdoor art gallery down an alley off Commercial Street in Provincetown, memorializing the creative collection of bohemian artist Bob Gasoi.
A handmade and innovative artisan glass shop, operating since 1968. Over the years, new and old designs have been crafted and refined, produced by Bill Sydenstricker and his group of talented glass artists. Witness and learn about glass making firsthand, view their website for hours, directions, and more.
An extremely popular art museum on Commercial Street in Provincetown, established in 1914 by a group of artists and townspeople that aims to unify and highlight America’s oldest art colony with the beauty of the outer Cape. View their website for current exhibitions, events, educational programs, and find information about visiting and purchasing tickets.
A three mile long extremely busy and popular street in Provincetown lined with waterfront views, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, bars, inns, salons, shops, boutiques, galleries, museums, and other types of entertainment. Commercial Street is located near many historic landmarks, such as Provincetown Library, Town Hall, Theater and the well-known Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Also, home to MacMillian Pier, a great place to birdwatch and take in views of the harbor, and the mile-long Provincetown Causeway, a breakwater stone barrier and walkway stretching from Commercial Street to Long Point Peninsula.
The largest flea market in the Cape with up to three hundred vendors. Shop memorabilia, antiques, jewelry, collectables, clothing, and so much more. View their website for updates and information.
A highly rated antiques store located in West Yarmouth featuring over a hundred dealers and consignors offering extensive antique collectables specializing in glass silver, decoys, antique weaponry, paintings, jewelry, books, and more.
Antiques shop offering a wide range of unique items, such as, furniture, blown, cut and patterned glass, ceramics, pottery, silver, art and prints, jewelry and more, located in Harwich Port.
A highly rated antique store in Eastham with a variety of artistic odds and ends and unique gifts that are reasonably priced.
Highly reviewed antique store in Chatham selling a vast collection maps, charts, and prints.
Hand-made pottery and gifts store and gallery, open for more than sixty-six years and located in Truro.
A unique gift, toy, and candy shop, located on Main Street in Chatham, known for having over eight hundred styles of rubber ducks.
Bakeries, Cafés, and Restaurants
A rustic café and roastery for coffee-lovers with local art and various small-gifts for sale, a great gathering space to connect and socialize. Next door is Great Cape Herbs, which sells fine old-fashioned herbal apothecaries and more.
A cozy, made-from-scratch bakery, open for nineteen years, serving hot and fresh baked goods and ready-to-bake pies and pastries, located in South Yarmouth.
A highly recommended bakery in Brewster known for their high-end specialty baking, and even more specifically, their Brewster buns coated with cinnamon and sugar.
A popular in-house bakery serving breakfast specialties, donuts, pastries, muffins, custom cakes, and cookies along the historic Route 6 in Eastham.
A charming little bakery and café, with outdoor seating, serving sandwiches, coffee, espresso, bagels, baked goods, hand-made donuts, and so much more, for breakfast and lunch in Chatham.
A charming and highly rated little bakery in Orleans serving breakfast and lunch, as well as freshly baked pastries, pies, breads, and custom cakes.
A top rated, extremely popular, and truly unique bakery, located on Commercial Street in Provincetown, famous for their malasada/Portuguese fried dough and praised for the breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
Small café and bakery, serving baked goods, coffee and breakfast and lunch options in Wellfleet.
A popular and charming bakery and sandwich shop on Commercial Street in Provincetown, open for breakfast and lunch.
A lively local favorite, located on Commercial Street in Provincetown, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual and cozy environment with fun local art on display and floor to ceiling windows.
An extremely popular award-winning French bakery, pastry shop, and bistro, located in Wellfleet, serving homemade and hand-crafted products and French cuisine with fresh ingredients for breakfast and lunch.
A popular and award-winning café and candy shop, established in 1993, in Orleans, offering breakfast and lunch options and a large variety of beverages, such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
A popular Irish breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant serving traditional Irish American cuisine, located in West Yarmouth. They also have Keltic Kottage selling Irish sweets, food items, and imported gift, such as jewelry, clothing, and more.
A popular compact diner in West Yarmouth, operating since 1975, offering an eclectic, made from scratch menu for breakfast and lunch.
Award winning in-house bakery offering a wide selection of handmade donuts, muffins, bagels, and pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch specialties, located in Orleans.
A hidden gem with a sophisticated menu, serving gourmet breakfast and lunch fare, located in Chatham Municipal Airport.
A popular food truck that converted into a cozy café in Orleans focused on locally sourced and fresh ingredients, serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Serving gourmet coffee, espresso, and breakfast, lunch and, dinner in Harwich Port with an extensive drink menu that includes frozen drinks, smoothies, and frappes. They also have a Beer Garden with rotating draft beers on tap and outdoor seating with local live music, games, and a fire pit.
A highly rated hidden gem in Yarmouth Port serving breakfast and lunch in a charming and casual environment with indoor and outdoor seating, well known for their popovers and pancakes.
Breakfast all day, lunch and afternoon café, set in a 1849 Gothic-revival gingerbread house, known as the Fredrick Howes House, conveniently located on the Old Kings Highway, Route 6A in Yarmouth Port.
A small town and vintage inspired diner, located in South Yarmouth, serving all day breakfast and lunch.
A casual ocean front eatery with an outdoor patio well-known for their unique breakfast and brunch, especially their carnitas tacos, chicken and waffles, benedicts, and homemade guacamole.
The ultimate grab-and-go counter service for breakfast and lunch, offering burritos, paninis, sandwiches, soups, cookies and whoopie pies with two locations in Chatham and Orleans.
A hidden gem specialty food market in North Truro well-known for their creative sandwiches, offering breakfast and lunch options.
A quick-lunch bite, sandwich specialty chain with locations in Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown, also serving breakfast, and well known for their variety rollwiches, a roll-up sandwich.
A favorite Provincetown corner store and deli with an off-site bakery, offering prepared foods and known for their award-winning sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.
An iconic and family friendly eatery, open for lunch and dinner, known for their vast pizza selection, located in Eastham. They also have an eighteen-hole two level barnyard themed mini golf course and an arcade.
Highly rated contemporary restaurant, serving Mediterranean inspired dishes for lunch and dinner, and well-known for their delicious pizzas.
Highly rated and funky joint right off historic Route 6 in Eastham offering New York style pizzas, burgers, gyros, and more for lunch and dinner, with vegan and gluten-free options.
A popular and modern roadside stand, started by two brothers, serving in-house made hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches with local seafood, sides, and shakes for lunch and dinner.
A favorite lunch and dinner stop amongst the locals in Eastham, serving American cuisine and known for their burgers, wings, offering regionally sourced craft beer in their large bar area.
An eclectic tavern with a multi-cultural menu and a large selection of beers on tap, conveniently located on Main Street in Chatham, serving lunch and dinner.
Cozy tavern, decorated in baseball memorabilia, serving American comfort food for lunch ana dinner, conveniently located in Harwich Port village.
A casual and cozy family-owned restaurant and hangout serving classic New England pub food for lunch, dinner, and late night, located in Orleans.
One of the last family-owned restaurants on Main Street in Chatham. Operating for over fifty years and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a classic New England style menu and a casual dining experience.
Serving hearty New England fare for forty years in West Yarmouth, serving lunch and dinner and well-known for their chowders.
A highly rated and popular gastropub open daily for dinner, serving eclectic American cuisine, with gluten free options, located in Orleans.
American gastropub and bar, in a cozy environment, serving creative dishes and cocktails for dinner in Yarmouth Port.
Casual restaurant serving contemporary American dishes with a French influence, they also have vegan and vegetarian options, open for dinner and brunch on Sundays only.
A popular family-owned take-out counter, open for lunch and dinner, with limited seating, serving fresh fried seafood from Nauset Fish and lobster from the Lobster Pool, next door, plus chowder, and more, operating for over fifty years in Orleans.
A contemporary bistro, established in 1982 in a charming cottage in Brewster, with a seasonal menu, known for their fresh seafood, and serving lunch and dinner.
One of the oldest Cape Cod waterfront restaurants with views of Nantucket Sound, located in South Yarmouth, and serving award-winning chowder and local seafood for dinner. They also have an ice cream shack on the premise offering a variety of sundaes and they serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Operating since 1984 with multiple locations including Falmouth and Sandwich, the oldest location being in South Yarmouth, offering counter service and serving quick bite fried and boiled seafood dishes for lunch and dinner.
Highly reviewed waterfront fish market and take out counter, located in the historic Chatham Fish Pier, and serving classic New England sea food.
Extremely popular award-winning clam shack, serving fresh seafood for lunch and dinner and Richardson’s ice cream for dessert, open for more than forty years in Eastham. They also have an eighteen-hole mini golf course.
A former church converted into a popular upscale restaurant in Chatham, operating for over forty years and serving seafood fare for lunch and dinner.
An iconic family-owned eatery, established in 1979, with waterfront views, recognized by their large, red neon sign on Commercial Street in Provincetown and well-known for serving fresh seafood for lunch and dinner.
A local favorite family seafood restaurant in Wellfleet serving lunch and dinner and well-known for their lobster rolls and fried seafood.
Eatery and raw bar in Wellfleet serving local seafood for lunch and dinner with sweeping Duck Creek and Cape Cod Bay harbor views and occasional live entertainment.
Little bistro serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays only and hearty eats and seafood for dinner in a historic 1750’s house with local art adorned to the walls.
Rustic chain eatery in Wellfleet serving costal cuisine and sushi for lunch and dinner. They also have locations in Provincetown, Eastham, Chatham, and Dennis.
A popular and casual eatery, in Provincetown, serving seafood classics and specials, including sushi and raw bar options, in an upscale environment for lunch and dinner daily. Next door, their seafood market offers fresh fish and shellfish, along with deli salads, cooked lobsters, meat, cheese, and produce.
Wellfleet BYOB (bring your own beverage) clam shack and seafood establishment, operating since 1983 and serving lunch and dinner.
A highly rated hidden gem in South Yarmouth serving fine Sicilian inspired cuisine for dinner in a cozy and relaxed environment.
An award-winning and upscale Tuscan themed restaurant with a lengthy wine list serving dinner daily in Harwich.
A popular bar and restaurant serving wood-fired cuisine and fresh seafood in a welcoming and charming atmosphere for lunch and dinner in Harwich Port.
Operating since 1988 in North Truro and serving classic made-from-scratch Italian and local seafood dinner dishes.
A casual New England eatery, open daily for lunch and dinner, serving sandwiches, salads, soups, and chowder in a two-hundred-year-old building on Commercial Street in Provincetown. They also have a heated beach patio out back with views of Provincetown Harbor.
Family owned and operated restaurant and raw bar in Wellfleet, operating since 1980, serving locally caught seafood and prepared meat for dinner.
Serving a rotating menu of native seafood and creative American cuisine, for dinner, in an upscale 19th-century home, with an extensive wine list located in Harwich Port.
Well-known and highly rated authentic Japanese restaurant serving dinner in Yarmouth Port, known for their fresh sushi, sashimi, tempura, miso soup, and seaweed salad.
A truly unique and popular Japanese eatery, serving creative sushi options for dinner in the confines of an old church built in1843.
Highly rated and serving sophisticated and creative Japanese, Thai, and Korean dishes for dinner with locally sourced ingredients in an up-scale environment on Main Street in Chatham.
Multi-level casual kitchen and bar in Wellfleet serving American-style cuisine with a southern influence for dinner.
A hidden gem and local favorite eatery in a cozy building on Commercial Street in Provincetown offering a small, but creative menu for dinner with cocktails and wines from around the world.
Serving local seafood cuisine for lunch and dinner seven days a week, in a rustic atmosphere, with fantastic views of Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port. They also have a Sunday brunch buffet.
A historic old wharf converted into a two-story indoor and outdoor fine and casual dining experience, serving New England inspired cuisine, wine and cocktails for lunch and dinner, with one-hundred and eighty-degree views of Provincetown Harbor.
A highly rated and reviewed eatery, open for lunch and dinner, with a bar and piano lounge, located on Commercial Street in Provincetown, serving locally sourced farm to table American cuisine with global fusion influences in their dining room, with waterfront views, and outdoor deck.
Haunted inn with a lengthy history, operating as a tavern since 1696 in Yarmouth Port and serving up fine American pub food with a seafood focus for dinner.
Casual dining in a small and cozy cottage, serving creative and contemporary Italian inspired dishes and local seafood for lunch and dinner daily, located in Orleans.
A highly reviewed casual tavern in Wellfleet in an elegant 1805 mansion with a gorgeous outdoor patio serving seafood dishes for lunch and dinner.
A family-owned hidden gem and highly reviewed Mediterranean, Italian, and American diner, and bar in Yarmouth Port, serving lunch and dinner.
A unique family owned and operated restaurant serving seafood dishes for lunch and dinner, with a secondhand bookstore attached, operating for over fifty-five years in Wellfleet.
An eclectic hidden gem and local favorite, tucked away on Commercial Street in Provincetown, serving upscale American cuisine with a seafood focus for dinner in a casual environment.
Built in 1805 and opened as an inn in 1915, the Red Inn Restaurant serves upscale, award-winning, and seasonally rotating American cuisine with a seafood focus for dinner, and offers breathtaking views of Provincetown Harbor, including Long Point Light House and Wood End Lighthouse.
A highly rated former blacksmith shop converted into a rustic eatery and bar serving fresh seafood dishes for dinner.
A charming and contemporary wine, martini and tapas tavern and dinner restaurant with an old-world twist, serving seasonal dishes in Harwich Port.
In business for over thirty-eight years in West Yarmouth, serving fine dining seafood-inspired and grilled dishes in a unique atmosphere, featuring an indoor waterwheel. The Yarmouth House is a great place for a special occasion or a romantic night out.
An old sea captains home converted into a charming and nautical themed eatery with a bar and an outdoor herb garden, offering eclectic dishes for dinner on Commercial Street in Provincetown.
Serving traditional South African cuisine for dinner in Eastham, with an eclectic menu featuring vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. They also carry an assortment of imported beers and South African wines.
A rustic and romantic kitchen and restaurant in North Truro on the historic Old Kings Highway, Route 6A, serving local and organic Neo-Pagan cuisine for dinner.
Stylish nightspot Chatham serving native seafood, bistro, and wood-fired cuisine for dinner with an extensive wine list.
A unique upscale restaurant with a relaxing ambiance, located along Commercial Street in Provincetown, with a dinner menu inspired by classic French techniques with an Italian spirit using local New England ingredients.
Award winning upscale dining in a 19th century former dry goods and penny candy store, converted into a casual dining room and bar, serving New England cuisine for dinner on Main Street in Orleans.
A local favorite, on Commercial Street in Provincetown, offering an eclectic lunch and dinner menu with creative martini and cocktail list and impressive panoramic views of Provincetown Harbor.
A highly rated one-of-a-kind fine dining experience with an elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere, serving contemporary and fusion dishes for dinner in Chatham.
A highly rated Wellfleet waterfront Italian dinner restaurant with a seven-course fining dining menu and stunning views of Duck Creek and Chipman’s Cove.
A fine dining restaurant serving seafood and American cuisine for lunch and dinner, with stunning view of Pleasant Bay located in the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich.
Established in 1964 and born out of the Provincetown Mews Food and Wine Society, the Mews offers a contemporary American menu for dinner with a large vodka selection. Little known fact, they have three hand-carved panels, two behind their bar and one near their beach level dining room, all of which were rescued from the, now demolished, Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey. View their website for a long list of famous diners.
Twelve-lane candle pin bowling and an in-house smoked BBQ restaurant, with a full bar that allows guests to eat and drink while they bowl or dine in the casual dining room or at the bar. They also have a seasonal patio with an outdoor fireplace. Located in Orleans.
Waterfront cocktail lounge with large couches, bar seating, and wrap-around windows with views of Provincetown Harbor.
A popular quaint and cozy spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, known for their top-shelf creative drinks and nautical décor, offering indoor and outdoor dining in Provincetown.
Serving creative cocktails and beers on a large waterfront deck with amazing views of Provincetown Harbor.
A seasonal outdoor craft beer and creative cocktails garden oasis in an intimate setting on Commercial Street in Provincetown, serving from-scratch eclectic pub food.
A well-known chocolate shop operating for over sixty-five years on Main Street in Chatham and are known for their hand-dipped chocolates and fudge. They pride themselves on their traditions, time, and taste.
A well-known and highly reviewed small counter shop serving homemade pies, baked goods, seafood specialties and other comfort eats.
A highly rated local and visitor phenomena, located on Commercial Street in Provincetown and known for their heavenly vanilla cupcake with pink buttercream on top. Started by owner Scott Cunningham, whose life story inspired a musical called Cupcake A New Musical, performed at the Boston Club Café.
Creameries and Gelato
Award winning homemade ice cream shop, open since 1976, and serving unique and seasonal flavors in Harwich Port.
Cozy cottage in South Yarmouth serving homemade gelato, sorbetto, affogato, and offering espresso and coffee drinks.
A former U.S. Life Saving Station built in 1897, converted into an award-winning seaside dining, specialty cocktail and entertainment club located in the dunes of Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
A brewery located in Orleans and named after the uninhabited Hog Island, where supposedly Scottish sailor and pirate Captain Kidd buried his treasure on Cape Cod.
A craft brewery with a taproom and outdoor seating area, offering rotating seasonal beers, pub food, and games for entertainment.
Family owned and operated vineyard and winery in Truro offering vineyard tours, tastings,
and a small retail shop.
Miscellaneous (Haunts and Abandoned Places)
The Orleans Waterfront Inn (Haunted)
A well-known haunted inn located on Orleans Cove, that was featured in Ghost Hunters on the SyFy Channel, one of the twenty-five most haunted inns in New England. Rumer has it, the inn housed a brothel in 1925, and one of the women was murdered there and still haunts the premise.
North Truro Air Force Station (Abandoned)
Abandoned radar station and barracks, one of the first listening stations to monitor for Soviet bombers, until it was decommissioned in 1944 and the land was sold to the National Parks Service. The grounds are open to the public and the Park Service conducts guided tours on the property or explore at your own risk.
Bates Motel (Abandoned)
Abandoned and boarded up beachside motel off the Old King’s Highway, Route 6A, in Truro.
Usher’s Store (Abandoned)
Abandoned convenience store and gas station, closed in 1989 and now overgrown by trees and bushes, once a landmark serving penny candy, cold drinks, antiques, and newspapers. Usher’s Store is located along the Old Kings Highway, Route 6A in the small village of Cummaquid, right next to Antony’s Cummaquid Inn.