Cape Cod Massachusetts, or The Cape as it is referred to by locals, is a great place to visit for an afternoon, a weekend, a week or to stay.
The Cape is a popular destination among many on or close to the east coast. The proof of the popularity rests in the traffic backups on the weekends from the end of May until early October.. sometimes longer depending on the weather.
I grew up on The Cape. When I was younger my Nana would rent a cottage at the beach. It wasn’t like she couldn’t drive to the beach anytime she pleased, living less than an hour away, but it was a luxury to be able to get up, throw on a swimsuit and walk down the dusty paths to the waterfront. Those dusty paths are streets that only one car can go down at a time… not one way. There are many beach and lake cottages situated in clusters on paths all over The Cape… just waiting for the summer months… although some people do live in the cottages year round.
One of my favorite parts of The Cape is The Cape Cod Canal. The Canal begins in Buzzards Bay and goes on for miles… and miles… The easiest access for bicycle riders and those who wish to walk the Canal is at the base opening in Buzzards Bay. There is a parking area and the Canal is level with the parking area at this spot… If you travel further down into Bourne there are several areas where people can view the canal from their cars, picnic tables or the grass… adventurous souls can walk down the stairs to the base of the Canal to get right up close and personal.
Let me tell you, if you do choose to go down those stairs, travel light and be in good health! I can tell you from personal experience that those stairs do not seem so bad going down… but going up they seem to last for miles! Many people have emerged at the top of the stairs red faced, hunched over and gasping for air… and this is after taking several rests on the way up! Usually these people carried down chairs, a cooler, camera and perhaps small children… NOT a good idea!
Not too far from the opening of the Canal in Buzzards Bay is a great stop for salt water taffy, a must to try at least once… and a cheap and yummy gift to bring back to those who did not get to join you on your trip.
There are also several seafood restaurants in the area. The best ones are local restaurants, where the seafood is fresh. Pick up a guide or check online before you leave to find some ideas. One favorite is the Flying Bridge in Falmouth, with fresh seafood and beautiful waterfront views. Don’t be surprised if you see some locals arrive by boat!
Another popular part of The Cape is Martha’s Vineyard. This is an Island and the ferries can fill up… as do the hotels, so be sure to leave on time! While you may chose to take your car over with you most prefer to park and ride over. Some rent jeeps or scooters while there, although I always preferred to go by foot. The beaches are clean and neat, the architecture is beautiful and the food is great! Definitely go for the clam bake! While you can get fried seafood from take out windows, there are many places where you can sit inside or out and enjoy the good stuff… totally worth it!
Another favorite place on The Cape is Provincetown or P-Town. Provincetown is at the very end of The Cape. If you get on 28 and drive to the very end you will be in P-Town!
Driving to P-Town is beautiful… I love to drive between the high sand dunes that make me seem like I am in the middle of nowhere before I arrive at this bustling little city. I have found P-Town to be the best place on The Cape to catch a whale watch.. The sunset cruise is the best and is more likely to see whales than other cruises, who may not see anything at all… While all of the whale watch cruises on The Cape generally go to the same place, the ones out of P-Town tend to be cheaper and they are run very well.
I love to look at the homes in P-Town, as like Martha’s Vineyard, the architecture is beautiful! I also really like to check out all of the little artsy shops… and always stop for some homemade ice cream!
Do know, when traveling with children that P-Town at night is not child friendly. Also, do not be surprised to see a group of adult shops tucked away on their own street…
There is a lot to do and see on The Cape… and The Cape is a pretty big place, so do not be surprised if one visit gets you hooked!
Also know that along with the sun and sand there is snow… and the snow is not to be feared! While vacationing on The Cape anytime other than summer may seem odd to some, it is just as beautiful of a place to visit, just a bit different! I LOVE to go to the beach in the winter. I don’t throw on a suit, but I like to get out and walk around… the smell of the ocean is inviting and we generally would have the entire beach to ourselves. How cool is that?