Cape Cod Massachusetts is one of the most popular summer vacation spots on the East Coast. If you are looking for a quintessential fun beach vacation with charming towns, delicious, fresh seafood, ice cream every night, family mini-golf games, and beach days, you’ll definitely want to consider vacationing in Cape Cod. Here are our Cape Cod vacation tips for your next summer vacation at this popular summer vacation destination.
Disclosure: We’ve received complimentary/media rate stays at some Cape Cod hotels like the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, the Harbor Hotel Provincetown, and Ocean Edge Resort in the past. We’ve also paid for some of our own stays throughout the years and own a home in South Yarmouth. This Cape Cod travel guide post contains affiliate links and a clickthrough/purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you.
While the summer months are the most popular time to visit, there are other times to consider traveling to Cape Cod. If you can, consider visiting in early fall, when the crowds have retreated back home and the ocean water is warm. Prices are usually a little lower at this time too.
Summer, of course, is loads of fun and is definitely the most popular time to visit. The beaches are all open, as are the restaurants. The weather is usually nice and warm, with a cooling sea breeze.
If you are visiting in the winter, check out these things to do on Cape Cod in the winter.
Once you decide when you want to visit, you’ll want to think about what you’d like to do once you are on vacation. That will help you decide where to visit on the Cape.
Shop and Stroll: On your Cape Cod vacation, you may want to stroll around the quaint towns, stopping in the various small shops and art galleries. You’ll find a variety of things, including pottery, jewelry, clothing, home decor, and more. These shops can be the best place to find art from local crafters.
Museums: Within Cape Cod, you’ll find a number of museums dedicated to the history and landscape of the Cape. Here are a few of the most popular options:
There are also a number of other small, niche museums including the Atwood, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Todd Hall Classic Sports Car Museum, the Sandwich glass museum, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Museum. Plimoth Plantation (recently renamed the Plimoth Patuxet Museums) is not technically on the Cape but is a short drive from the upper Cape. It’s best visited either on your way to the Cape or on your way back home.
Beaches: The Atlantic Ocean beaches are a big draw to any Cape Cod vacation with your family, and you’ll find that there are so many great options – from tiny beaches to larger ones – along Cape Cod Bay and the Nantucket Sound. If you have a specific beach that you want to visit, you may consider staying at a Cape Cod hotel, resort, or vacation rental near that beach.
Because of their popularity, it’s always best to arrive at the Cape Cod beaches early. Parking lots can and do fill up early in the busy months.
The Cape Cod National Seashore includes six Cape Cod beaches. These include Nauset Light Beach in Eastham, Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, the Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, Race Point Beach in Provincetown, and Head of the Meadow Beach in North Truro. Each of these beaches offers different amenities, so check their websites in advance.
There are loads of other beaches beyond the Cape Cod National Seashore beaches. Here are just a few of the most popular ones. If staying in a hotel, motel, or resort, ask the concierge or other hotel staff for their recommendations closest to your location.
If you aren’t visiting a beach attached to your hotel, remember that you’ll need to bring along beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas. Here are some things to bring with you to the beach:
Resort activities: Depending upon where you stay for your Cape Cod vacation, you may be able to participate in various resort activities right on the property. These include golf, tennis, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, spa treatments, pools, water slides, and more.
Eating: As you’d expect, you’ll find lots of fresh seafood restaurants throughout Cape Cod – many offering window ordering and outdoor seating. Some of our favorites include the following:
Other activities: There are a number of other fun activities that you can participate in while visiting Cape Cod for a family vacation. These include mini-golf, whale watching, and other boating excursions, and biking.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail, which runs through six Cape Cod towns, is a gorgeous place to bike. You can bring along your own bike, or consider renting one from your resort or some of the local bike rental spots on the Cape. It’s one of the more popular bike trails on Cape Cod.
Unless you have a specific resort you plan to visit, or know exactly what you’d like to do, you may be wondering where to stay on Cape Cod. While it’s a small section of a small state, there are still many different small towns you can visit.
The Cape has various regions based on location. These include the upper Cape, the mid-Cape, the lower Cape, and the outer Cape. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are small islands located off the coast of Cape Cod, and they can be accessed via plane or ferry.
Some of the most popular towns on Cape Cod include the following:
When booking your Cape Cod vacation, you’ll find so many different lodging options. There are luxurious family resorts, family hotels, roadside and seaside motels, and vacation homes, and condos. Think about the amount of space you’ll need and what amenities you’d like to enjoy when considering your lodging.
Here are some of the best places to stay in Cape Cod:
In addition to hotels, you’ll find a lot of Cape Cod vacation rentals to choose from.
As a popular tourist destination, Cape Cod can be very busy. You can improve your experience with a little advanced planning, however.
One of the best ways to avoid crowds is to travel in the off-season. Keep in mind, however, that some restaurants, shops, and attractions close seasonally. September is a good option because it’s still warm but much less crowded.
If you are visiting in the summer, mid-week is another good option. Weekends are always busy, and mid-week can be a little less crowded.
Planning to visit a beach on your Cape Cod vacation? Before you leave, check out the specific details. Parking for some beaches is only available by permit, and other lots fill up early.
Bring along a beach wagon with your chairs, umbrella, and towels. You may need to walk for a while with all of your beach gear.
With only a few routes into Cape Cod, you are likely to encounter traffic, especially during peak travel times. Try to leave early or late to avoid the worst of the traffic. This is especially important on holidays and weekends.
Many of the most popular restaurants on Cape Cod offer counter service. It’s best to visit these restaurants early or late to avoid the lines. If a restaurant does accept reservations, make those early.
Have you been on a Cape Cod vacation? What is your favorite place to visit?
See our Cape Cod vacation story here.
Note: A previous version of this article listed Nauset Light Beach as being located in the incorrect location. It is located in Eastham.
Looking for more Cape Cod travel tips? Click to see our guide with town recommendations, things to do, restaurants, and more in Cape Cod.
The post Cape Cod Vacation Guide and Tips For Families appeared first on Family Travel Magazine.2022-09-21T18:15:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd