Monomoy Point Light
Photo courtesy Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

Cape Cod has over a dozen lighthouses, many of which can be seen from the land, and several of which are open to the public. You can stay overnight at two of them - just remember that you are paying for an incredible experience and are helping to preserve a piece of American history. The accommodations are basic, and you typically have to bring your own linens, towels, food, and drinking water.

Monomoy Point Lighthouse: Separated from the mainland at Chatham by fierce storms, Monomoy Island is a protected wilderness area, ideal for bird-watching in spring or fall. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster (worth a visit as well) offers naturalist-led overnight trips to the South Monomoy Point Lighthouse keeper's cottage, May-Oct.

Race Point Lighthouse A 45-minute walk from Race Point Beach near Provincetown, is the Race Point Lighthouse where overnights can also be arranged in summer.

Rather not rough it? The Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis is a delightful old-time family resort. Overlooking Nantucket Sound, it was originally built in 1854 as the Bass River Light Station, but has been expanded many times over the years. In addition to rooms in the main house, the cottages are ideal for family getaways.

More lighthouse overnights

More lighthouse info
Cape Cod, MA
Getting Around
Village Green Inn, Falmouth The Cape begins at the Cape Cod Canal, connecting Buzzards and Cape Cod Bay. If flying in, compare airfares to Boston's Logan Airport, with those of Green Airport in Providence, since the distance to the Cape is the same -- approximately 75 miles.
From the canal to the Cape's tip at Provincetown, it's about 70 miles. From Boston, you'll take Route 3 to the Sagamore Bridge; from the south pick up Route 25 to the Bourne Bridge. The three main roads on Cape Cod are Rte. 6A, following Cape Cod Bay to the north; Route 6, the Mid-Cape Highway; and Rte. 28, along Nantucket Sound to the south. All three merge at the rotary (traffic circle) in Orleans; from there, follow Route 6 to Provincetown.

A great way to see the Cape is by bike. Favorites include the bike paths that run on either side of the Canal, the 25-mile-long Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Falmouth Shining Sea Trail, and the Harwich-Chatham Bike Path. More info. Ferries connect Woods Hole and Marthas Vineyard, Hyannis Port and Nantucket, Boston and Provincetown, and more. More info.
When to Go
Although the Cape is beautiful in summer, rates are at their peak, and roads, restaurants, and golf courses can all be crowded, especially on weekends. Fall is an especially appealing time to visit, when the pace slows, but the temperature stays moderate because of the warming effects of the Gulf Stream. As always, midweek, off-season rates represent top value.
Sights & Activities
With 559 miles of coastline, and dozens of towns and villages, you'll find a wide variety of land and sea sports, walking trails and bike paths, shopping malls, antique shops, and art galleries. Be sure to ask your innkeeper for insider tips on where to find the best in whatever interests you. Some highlights, listed from west to east:

Sandwich: Heritage Plantation offers folk art, antique cars, and an antique carousel. The Sandwich Glass Museum displays more than 5,000 pieces created in this 19th century glass-making center.
Woods Hole: Visit the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Exhibit Center to learn about ocean science research.
Hyannis: A busy seaside town, Hyannis is also home to the JFK Memorial, and the JFK Museum , a multimedia exhibit devoted to Kennedy's days at Cape Cod.
Dennis: A worthwhile stop is the Cape Museum of Fine Arts celebrating the important role that this region has played in American art. Rte. 6A (the King's Highway) has lots of great shops for antiquing and browsing.
Cape Cod National Seashore: Extending from Orleans to the Cape's tip at Race Point, the National Seashore has 40 miles of pristine sandy beaches and more. Stop at park headquarters in Wellfleet for details. Insect repellent advisable.
Provincetown: P'Town has lots of art galleries and a lively street scene. It's also a departure point for first-rate whale-watching trips offered by the Dolphin Fleet. Visit the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum for a taste of Cape history and a great view. According to the Gay & Lesbian Guide to P'town, "Provincetown is a safe, gay-friendly town where you can be open and carefree."
More info.
Your innkeeper is always the best source for recommendations and reservations, but based on recent visits, we recommend:

Seafood Sam's has four locations on the Cape, with yummy lobster rolls, fresh seafood, reasonable prices, and fast service. Oysters Too in East Falmouth is a favorite with both locals and tourists, and is well worth the wait for a table. In warm weather, stop at Shuckers Raw Bar,on the wharf in Woods Hole, a casual place with a fun young wait staff. The Roo Bar in Falmouth has first-rate martinis and excellent steak au poivre. We've never been disappointed at the Impudent Oyster in Chatham. Moby Dick's is a casual seafood restaurant in Wellfleet, with a picnic-type atmosphere. Overlooking Provincetown's fishing docks, it's hard to go wrong at the Lobster Pot.
B&Bs and Inns

Cape Cod is home to a great many wonderful inns and B&Bs. For a complete list, check's Cape Cod map, then click through to the town's that interest you. Noted below are some we've visited recently, and can personally recommend (listed from west to east):
Falmouth area: The Village Green Inn has beautiful rooms, a convenient location, great breakfasts, and wonderful innkeepers Diane and Don Crosby.. Decorated in bright and airy contemporary style, the Inn on the Sound has wonderful water views, spacious common areas, and a breakfast basket brought to your door. First choice for beach lovers is the appealing Grafton Inn, directly across the street from the wide public beach. Great water views are also a plus at Bailey's By the Sea, an 1870s home within walking distance of the Vineyard ferry. Luxurious décor and amenities are hallmarks of the Scallop Shell Inn
Barnstable area: Lisa Callahan has made the inviting Acworth Inn in Cummaquid even more appealing with recent improvements; a favorite room is the Cummaquid with a working fireplace. Honeysuckle Hill in West Barnstable is another long-time favorite with gracious hosts, comfortable accommodations, and tasty breakfasts.
Hyannis area: Innkeepers Carol and Jack Cummisky enjoy catering to guests at the Captain's Choice, from ferry pickups to a choice of breakfast menus to take-home flower arrangements. The Inn on Sea Street combines antique furnishings with a relaxed atmosphere; it's an easy walk to the beach, and special packages are available for golfers.
Harwich Port: Walking distance to the beach, the Augustus Snow House has delightful innkeepers, Joyce and Steve Roth, plus spacious, beautifully decorated guest rooms with fireplaces.
Chatham: One of the Cape's most luxurious inns, the Captain's House has it all, offering its guests almost every possible amenity, plus beautiful accommodations, great breakfasts, and afternoon tea. Midweek, off-season specials are a great value, too.
East Orleans: Just a mile & a half from Nauset Beach is the Parsonage Inn, where guests return year after year for the reasonable rates, lovely décor, excellent breakfasts, convivial wine & cheese hour, but most especially innkeepers Ian & Elizabeth Browne.
Wellfleet: Only a block from Wellfleet harbor, the Stone Lion Inn is a handsome sea captain's home, renovated by cordial & helpful innkeepers Janet Lowenstein and Adam Levinson. Guest rooms are bright and airy, with great colors and Adam's hand-crafted furniture. Great breakfasts with scones to die for.

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