Up until 5 days ago, the weather here had been glorious. Bright and sunny almost every day, lawns still green and I never had to wear a jacket for a quick trip to the store. This is the mildest winter I can remember. Ever. Up until now.
This week I have been slapped by ole man winter, hard. I can’t seem to get warm and I actually had to shovel snow. Well, I didn’t but it’s annoying reminding the men in the house to get out there and do it.
The only thing that has been able to warm my old bones is to think about the summer and our yearly visit to Cape Cod. I absolutely love Cape Cod for many, many reasons. It is great for families and for couples. There is so much to do and because the island is so small, day trips on Cape Cod are a breeze. You can go out and explore and still get back to your motel/hotel for the night. I absolutely hate a vacation where I have to constantly pack and unpack, never mind the get out by 11am but you can’t check in till 3:30pm rules of most accommodations.
My favourite time to go to Cape Cod is off-season. If you can arrange it, try to go in June or late August. Prices are drastically reduced and you don’t have to deal with the massive crowds that descend on the Cape during high time. Be sure to pre-plan attractions. Frequency of tours and hours of operation vary greatly by season. You can’t fly by the seat of your pants if you want to cross everything off of your “must-do” list in the off-season.
You definitely need a car for your vacation on Cape Cod. We could fly and rent a car if we wanted to but we prefer to make the nine-hour car ride. We rarely make stops on the way there because we are so anxious to get there but on the way home, there are many side trips we usually do to extend the vacation for just a little bit longer.
I can not explain the feeling of peace and serenity that envelopes us both once we cross Bourne Bridge. It joins Cape Cod to the rest of Massachusetts. It is like entering a different world. Calm, relaxed and friendly. Welcome to Cape Cod.
1. Explore Lighthouses
If you are a lighthouse enthusiast, you will be in heaven. There are over 14 lighthouses on Cape Cod. Many are open to the public and have tours. I highly recommend making a day of it and visiting as many as you can. Bring your camera because you will get some amazing pics. Click on the pic above for a map of lighthouses on Cape Cod.
2. A Different Beach Every Day
Where land meets the shore, there is a beach. If your idea of a vacation is sitting on your tushy and watching the sun cross the sky, this is the perfect place for you. Cape Cod is literally framed by beaches. Far too many to mention. Each has its own characteristics. You can choose the ocean side for more active waters during the day and then take a walk on the cove side for a calm and relaxed evening stroll. It’s amazing how you will experience sunset differently on each beach as you can see from my pic above. You can click on it for a list of Cape Cod beaches.
3.Provincetown And Whale Watching
First of all, P-town, as locals call it, is an event in itself. Quaint little shops, great little art galleries and fabulous places to eat. Whether you are looking for a street vendor, a pub or a proper restaurant, you will enjoy the best food on the island. Provincetown also hosts fairs and street parties, so be sure to check the town’s Chamber of Commerce site before you go. Click on the pic for the link.
An absolute must is whale watching. There are many different charters that can take you out and they all have websites that update sightings from each tour daily. Many guarantee you will see whales. I have to admit, we have never had a no-show and we go every time we visit Cape Cod.
I recommend however, that you put your camera away. Above is the best pic I took of a minke whale we were following and while most people were catching all the breaching, I wasted so much time trying to get the whale centered in my frame that I missed most of it. They have a photographer and videographer on board every cruise and you can purchase prints at their land office within hours. Don’t miss the beauty of these animals because you are trying to get the perfect shot.
4. The JFK Museum in Hyannis
Hyannisport is where the Kennedy compound is and you will want to check out the museum in Hyannis. I love the old pics and memorabilia. If you are a historian, make this one of your stops.
Spend the rest of the day in Hyannis exploring the boutiques, gift shops and restaurants.
5. Get Married!
Could anything be more romantic? The very first time I went to Cape Cod, I got married on Nauset Beach! It is so easy to do. You register for a marriage license at the court-house in Barnstable, wait three days, pick it up and you are ready to go. There are many officiants on-line that offer services on Cape Cod. All you have to do is pick what kind of ceremony you want, a place and a time.
6. Ghost Hunting
No trip would be complete without taking a walking ghost tour in Barnstable which includes the oldest jail in America. Build in 1620 it is widely known as one of the most haunted places in the world. The tour guides are fabulous and each time we go it is unique experience.
7. The Ferry To Martha’s Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful island and like a world on its own. The ferry ride is about 45 minutes. Once you arrive, there are many ways to get around the island. You can rent a car or a scooter or you can take the local bus, a taxi or an air-conditioned bus tour that has regular stops at attractions. You can not get around the island without transportation so make sure you plan and budget for it. Many people bring bikes with them on the ferry.
Edgartown is the main attraction of the island and it was the back drop for the movie Jaws. It is a real town with shops and restaurants. You can visit the docks, beaches, sheriff’s house and more locations that were used for the movie. Plus you can buy every kind of shark souvenir there is.
I hope I have inspired you to plan a trip to Cape Cod this year.
Have you started planning your summer vacation yet?