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
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 info
Cape Cod, MA
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.
|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:
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
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."
|Your innkeeper is always the best source for recommendations and
reservations, but based on recent visits, we recommend:
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
BedandBreakfast.com'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.
Find a B&B
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