What is the best way to see Cape Cod in one day?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Drive along the Old King's Highway, otherwise known as scenic Route 6A. It winds 34 miles through the villages of Bourne, Sandwich, West Barnstable, Yarmouthport, Dennis Brewster and Orleans, roughly paralleling the coastline of Cape Cod Bay. At the heart of the Old King's Highway Regional Historic District, America's largest designated historic corridor, Route 6A is recognized as one of the 10 most scenic byways in America. Along the way, the road passes a number of historic Cape Cod inns and famous watering holes.

Melanie Nayer
Cape Cod National Seashore©iStock/DenisTangneyJr

If you only have one day to see Cape Cod, you’ll need to experience the area’s best attraction, its beautiful sandy beaches. Head straight to Cape Cod National Park and Seashore and see the six beaches that make up this shoreline. Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is one of the area’s most alluring, and the park also has a number of nature trails, sand dunes and ponds. If you’re here for the scenery, hit the bike trails. The trail with the best views is the Cape Cod Bike Trail, which starts at the old Cape Cod railway in Dennis and ends in Wellfleet. The bike trail winds through forests, fields, marshes and cranberry bogs, and you can stop along the way for pictures and picnics. When you get to Wellfleet, find yourself a seafood shack (they’re all fabulous and fresh) and enjoy some fresh-shucked oysters.

If you’re here to shop, go straight to Chatham and visit the many boutiques that line its charming Main Street. The three-mile long street is home to antique stores, art galleries, homemade candy shops, glassblowing galleries, candle makers and all the fabulous beach-side souvenir shops you can manage. End your day at the Chatham Bars Inn’s famous Sacred Cod Tavern for some traditional New England clam chowder or lobster rolls. If you are into art, travel to Provincetown and spend the day walking around the artists’ studios and galleries. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Commercial Street is a good place to start; browse the gallery and then spend some time chatting with the friendly staff on where to find the most unique works in town.

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