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Discover Cape Cod: 7 Day Travel Itinerary


Dingy | Dennis Port | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Dingy | Dennis Port | Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Water dominates the landscape of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The hooked shaped peninsula is a beach comber’s paradise. With over 550 miles of constantly changing coastline, visitors are never far from the seashore. Inland, there are marshes, lakes, and estuaries full of wildlife waiting to be discovered.


Nestled between the woods and water there are 15 towns. Dotted with weathered cape houses and village greens, many evoke a feeling of old New England. There are historic homes, steepled churches, antique shops, and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails to scout out. (See our post: Bike Trails of Cape Cod.)

Primroses at the Beach | Cape Cod
Primroses at the Beach | Cape Cod

Unfortunately, the villages are strung together by a network of sprawling mini-malls and roadways that can be confusing. Eliminate the stress of getting bogged down in the traffic and crowds by following our 7-day travel guide. See the best of Cape Cod with a focused travel itinerary.

7 Day Cape Cod Travel Itinerary At-A-Glance
Jetty | Ocean's Edge | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Jetty | Ocean's Edge | Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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TRAVEL GUIDE / TRAVEL TIPS

TRANSPORTATION

Cape Cod is roughly 77 miles long. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority runs a year round bus service between towns, but to really enjoy the area you will need your own vehicle.

Road Trip | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Road Trip | Cape Cod, Massachusetts

WHERE TO STAY

Though we love the Falmouth and Provincetown regions, for this trip we recommend you choose lodgings in the mid- or lower Cape to minimize driving times. We like Chatham. It has a vibrant downtown area, pier, beach and many restaurants.


If you plan to spend a lot of time at the beach, book a hotel within walking distance of one. Parking is a pain. It can be expensive, and time consuming trying to find a spot. After a day of sightseeing, it is nice to be able to grab your beach gear and trek to the water with a minimum of fuss.

Woods Hole | Falmouth, Massachusetts
Woods Hole | Falmouth, Massachusetts

WHEN TO GO

The average temperature on the Cape in July and August is 75'. In these months, traffic and tourism are at its peak. We love the region in June and September when the primroses are in bloom, but the crowds are lighter (68-69'). October is also nice with an average temperature of 60'.


BEACHES

There are many beaches on Cape Cod; long, short, sandy, and pebbled. There are beaches to be 'seen' on and ones to get lost on. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Chatham - Hardings Beach (Barn Hill Road from Route 28).

  • Dennis - Mayflower Beach (Off Route 6A to Bayview Road to Dunes Road)

  • Eastham - Coast Guard Beach (Off Route 6 and Coast Guard Beach Road)

  • Falmouth - Surf Drive Beach (Surf Drive Road)

  • Orleans - Nauset Beach (Off Route 6 and Beach Road)

  • Provincetown - Herring Cove Beach

  • Yarmouth - Bass Hole or Gray's Beach (Route 28 to South Sea Avenue)

Ocean Overlook | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Ocean Overlook | Cape Cod, Massachusetts

TRAVEL ITINERARY

DAY 1: Check-in

Upon arrival check-in, explore your surroundings, and take a walk on the beach (see list above).


Day 2: Hike the Shining Sea Bikeway. Explore Falmouth and Woods Hole

Drive to Woods Hole and park for free in the Steamship Authority's parking lot (you will need to drive on the bike trail for a short distance until you reach the lot). On the Shining Sea Bikeway walk toward Falmouth. Note: the bikeway is an old rail trail. It is for walkers and non-motorized cyclists.


After passing though a wooded section of the path, emerge at the stunning Surf Drive Beach. This beautiful seaside section of the trail has panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean (Marker 3 at 2.0 miles). Hike to the Salt Pond (Marker 5 at 2.8 miles) or Locust Street (Marker 6 at 3.3miles), before turning around.

Surf Drive Beach | Falmouth | Cape Cod
Surf Drive Beach | Falmouth | Cape Cod

After returning to the parking lot, walk to Woods Hole. This interesting little village is home to an aquarium and a number of top scientific institutes (some have hours open to the public). Walk the waterfront, dine in one the village restaurants, and shop the artisan craft shops. Before leaving the area, head to the town of Falmouth with its village green and whitewashed churches. Shop the collectibles, candy, and clothing stores of Main Street.

Eel Pond | Woods Hole | Cape Cod
Eel Pond | Woods Hole | Cape Cod

Day 3: Bass Hole Boardwalk and Gray's Beach, Yarmouth Port. Ice Cream & Antiques

Begin the morning in Yarmouth Port at the Bass Hole Boardwalk. The half-mile boardwalk crosses marshland and grassy dunes on the way to Gray's Beach. Crossing the wooden walkway keep alert for the birds and marine life that gather in the wetlands. At the entrance of Clay's Creek pause on the platform for spectacular views. Enjoy the day at Gray's beach. There is a picnic area, walking paths, and tide pools to poke around in.


Before leaving Yarmouth Port stop at Hallet's Store for some homemade ice cream (Route 6A). Also, check out the Antique Center of Cape Cod (Route 6A) where over a hundred dealers are said to show they're wares.

Boardwalk | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Boardwalk | Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Day 4: Provincetown: Explore the National Seashore Park. Walk Herring Beach & Commercial Street

Park in Provincetown's Herring Cove Beach Parking Lot. Hike the 5.45 mile Province Land Bike Trail. Circle past the Visitor's Center and the Beech Forest (with connector to Race Point Beach). The hilly, winding trail passes by cranberry bogs and pine groves. The sea grass, sand dunes, and ocean vistas are breathtaking.


Spend the afternoon hanging out at Herring Cove Beach. There are food stands, showers, and toilets. Later, freshen up at one of the park's bath houses and head to Provincetown's Commercial Street to explore the shops, restaurants, and galleries of this funky, LGBTQ friendly community.

Sand Dunes & Sea Grasses | Cape Cod
Sand Dunes & Sea Grasses | Cape Cod

Day 5: Antiquing Along Mid-Cape Route 28. Road Trip to Hyannis Harbor & Port

Spend the morning antiquing along the Old King's Highway (Route 6A). Begin your journey in Sandwich and work toward Orleans. There are said to be over 50 antique shops along this corridor.


Later in the day, drive to Hyannis Port. Take a meandering route past the summer 'cottages.' History buffs should make a stop at the Kennedy Hyannis Museum, and walk the 1.6 mile Legacy Trail (10 stops). Then, travel on to Hyannis Harbor. Pick a restaurant for dinner where you can view the yachts and fishermen returning to port.

Thrift Shop | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Thrift Shop | Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Day 6: Monomoy Ferry & Island Reserve. Visit Chatham Pier and Shop Downtown

Get out on the water today. Travel to Chatham and the Monomoy Island Ferry (80 Bridge Street). The ferry offers boat tours around the Monomoy Island Reserve for fishing, seal spotting, and whale and bird watching. See the wild side of Cape Cod up close with a knowledgeable naturalist.


Spend the afternoon hanging out at Chatham's Harding Beach on Nantucket Sound (snack shack and rest rooms). Later, motor to the Chatham Pier and Fish Market where you can watch commercial fishermen unload their catch. End the day in downtown Chatham. Walk its pedestrian friendly streets and buy some stylish souvenirs.

Main Street | Chatham, Massachusetts
Main Street | Chatham, Massachusetts

Day 7: Beach walk. Check-out. Travel home.

Walk the beach of your choice (see list above). Check out and head home.


Safe Travels, Laura and Randy

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