What are the best things to do on Cape Cod?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Visit the Cape Cod National Seashore, which was designated as protected in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. It offers 40 miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes and ponds. There are 27 public and 15 private golf courses on the Cape, running the gamut of skill levels with courses that are pristine, scenic, challenging and fun. Guests of Wequassett have golf privileges at Cape Cod National Golf Club, one of the finest, most prestigious golf clubs in the nation. The championship-quality 6,954-yard, 72-par course, with 18 challenging holes, was designed by Brian Silva.

Cape Cod is known for its spectacular beaches. A few area beaches are Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, Nauset Beach in Orleans and Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. The Cape Cod Rail Trail offers 30 miles of paved bike paths from Dennis through Nickerson State Park to the Cape Cod National Seashore. The beautiful islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are perfect for day trips, just a ferry ride away.

I live in McLean, Virginia, but I have a home in Cape Cod, and there is no place I’d rather be. That’s where my recreation is. I do a lot of exercising there, including a five-mile run that I do every time I’m on Cape Cod. Three-quarters of the run — in Osterville, near Hyannis — is along different water routes, and the only problem with that is nesting birds that dive at me; it’s a big issue. Actually, one time I was stuck on a point, and I had to flag down a boat to take me across a little waterway because the birds were diving at me. I also play a lot of tennis, and I play a lot of golf at a private golf club called Oyster Harbors Club.

Melanie Nayer

No matter when you visit Cape Cod, there’s always something to see and do. Rocky shores, picturesque beaches and fresh seafood give Cape Cod its legendary beach resort appeal. Travelers descend on the Cape during summer months to enjoy its beachside towns and take in a few waves, while those in-the-know wait until the crowds dissipate after Labor Day to have those postcard-perfect beaches all to themselves. Don’t miss a few of our favorite Cape Cod activities, including:

1. Cape Cod Lighthouses. The Cape is lined with historic lighthouses, many of which are open to the public for tours. One of the most famous is the Nauset Light and The Three Sisters, located along Nauset Beach, which visitors can tour every Sunday from May through October, as well as every Wednesday in July and August. You can also take a free tour of the Chatham Lighthouse, Nobska Light in Woods Hole or Race Point Light in Provinvcetown.

2. Beaches. You can’t come to the Cape and not enjoy a few moments on the beach. Stop at one of the many mom-and-pop grocery marts along Route 6 for some snacks, then head to one of the many public reserves for a few hours of downtime. The Cape is lined with beaches from beginning to tip, many with public restrooms, some that are pet-friendly, and all that offer the quintessential rocky New England shoreline. Sandy Neck Beach in Sandwich and Nauset Beach in East Orleans are two good bets for peace, quiet and gorgeous, soft yellow sand.

3. Whale watches. One of the most famous sightseeing tours offered on Cape Cod takes place in the water. Head to Provincetown and catch a boat to sea for some whale watching. Whales migrate along the New England waters toward Nova Scotia during the summer and fall, so it’s likely you’ll see a few flipping around while you’re here.

4. Biking. Cape Cod is one of the more outdoorsy destinations in New England, thanks in most part to the stunning natural scenery. Grab a bike and set off along the 7-mile Province Land Trail, which takes you along beaches and over sand dunes. The dunes offer a bit of a workout, so if you’re looking for something more leisurely, stay on the street bike path.

5. Baseball. It’s no secret that nearby Boston is loyal to its Red Sox, but there’s also a fondness in this area for other leagues and teams, including the beloved Cape Cod Baseball League. Teams are located throughout the Cape and their games are free to spectators. A small donation to the league is requested. Pay close attention to the players — you might see them in the major leagues soon, as the league has been the starting point for many major league players.

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