Things To Do on Cape Cod

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a fantastic place full of fun activities for everyone.

Whale Watching and Water Activities

Ever been face-to-face with a 50-foot, 40-ton whale? It’s an unforgettable experience waiting for you in Massachusetts.

Named one of the top ten whale-watching spots in the world by the World Wildlife Fund, Massachusetts offers an adventure like no other.

You can take a boat tour to see these amazing creatures up close. It’s an experience you won’t forget!

But that’s not all. Cape Cod is perfect for water activities. You can try:

Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is a popular activity in Cape Cod, offering a great way to explore the calm waters and get some exercise. Prices for paddle board rentals can vary based on the location and rental duration. On average, you can expect to pay:

  • Hourly Rental: $25 – $30 per hour
  • Half-Day Rental (4 hours): $50 – $70
  • Full-Day Rental: $80 – $100

Some rental shops might also offer guided paddle boarding tours, which can cost around $50 – $80 per person for a 2-hour tour. It’s a good idea to check with local rental shops for the most accurate pricing and availability.

Kayaking

Kayak Rental Costs
Hourly Rental: $20 – $30 per hour
Half-Day Rental (4 hours): $40 – $60
Full-Day Rental: $60 – $80
Guided Tours: $50 – $100 per person (for 2-3 hours, depending on the provider)

Kayaking in Cape Cod is a fantastic way to enjoy the coastline and experience local wildlife, including fish and birds. Here are some recommended spots and average rental costs:

Kayaking Spot in Cape Cod

Nauset Marsh

    • Location: Eastham
    • Highlights: Serene waters, abundant wildlife, scenic marshland.

Kayak Rental Shop

Goose Hummock

    • Location: Orleans
    • Website: Goose Hummock
    • Details: Offers hourly and daily rentals, guided tours available.

Fishing

Cape Cod has great spots for fishing. You can fish from the shore or take a fishing charter out to sea.

Stretching 65 miles out from the mainland into the sea, it’s no wonder Cape Cod has some of the best fishing in the country. It even has a fish species in its name! This area has a long history of fishing, going back hundreds of years, and some people even say it started with the Vikings.

To get to Cape Cod, you first have to cross the Cape Cod Canal, which is a great fishing spot by itself. Once you’re there, you’ll find amazing fishing everywhere. Thousands of anglers go out on the water every day, and there are even some freshwater fishing spots to explore.

Best Fish to Catch in Cape Cod

Cod and Haddock

  • Found off the shores of Massachusetts.
  • Popular for their delicious white meat.
  • Can be caught year-round, although there are restrictions in northern Cape Cod.

Striped Bass

  • State saltwater fish of Massachusetts’ neighboring states.
  • Targeted by most anglers in Cape Cod.
  • Population recovering due to strict regulations.
  • Best caught from May through October.

Bluefish

  • Known for being good fighters and eager biters.
  • Suitable for both beginners and experienced anglers.
  • Commonly found in shallow waters of flats and bays from May through October.

Bluefin Tuna

  • Sought-after worldwide for their meat and the challenge they present.
  • Thrive in Cape Cod’s chilly waters, especially in summer.
  • Offer an action-packed fishing experience.

Explore the best fishing spots with our comprehensive Cape Cod fishing map, your ultimate guide to a successful angling adventure!

If you’re planning to enjoy the excellent fishing opportunities Cape Cod has to offer, there are some important guidelines you need to follow to ensure a legal and enjoyable experience.

Obtain the Necessary Fishing Licenses:

  • Saltwater Fishing: Anyone aged 16 or older needs a Massachusetts Recreational Saltwater Fishing Permit.
  • Freshwater Fishing: Anyone aged 15 or older needs a Massachusetts Freshwater Fishing License.

You can purchase your licenses online:

Follow Local Regulations and Guidelines:

  • Fishing Seasons and Limits: Be aware of the specific seasons, size limits, and catch limits for different fish species. These regulations are in place to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing.
  • Protected Areas: Some areas may be off-limits to fishing to protect wildlife and habitats. Respect all signage and local guidelines.
  • Conservation Practices: Practice catch and release when required and handle fish with care to minimize harm.

Safety Tips:

  • Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast before heading out, as conditions can change rapidly.
  • Equipment: Ensure you have the proper gear and safety equipment, especially if venturing into deeper waters.
  • Local Wildlife: Be aware of and respect local wildlife, including seals and sharks.

Respect the Environment:

  • Leave No Trace: Dispose of all trash properly and avoid leaving fishing lines or hooks in the water or on the shore.
  • Use Sustainable Practices: Follow sustainable fishing practices to help preserve Cape Cod’s beautiful and delicate ecosystems.

For more information on fishing regulations and to purchase your fishing permits, please visit the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries website:

Enjoy your fishing trip to Cape Cod and ensure a safe and responsible experience for yourself and others!

Windsurfing

Feel the thrill as you glide over the water, powered by the wind, while windsurfing in Cape Cod.

This exhilarating activity combines the excitement of sailing and surfing, offering both a workout and a fun experience. Cape Cod’s varied coastline, with its bays, inlets, and open ocean, provides ideal conditions for windsurfing enthusiasts of all levels.

Are you a beginner learning to balance on the board or an experienced windsurfer catching the wind in your sail, the beautiful scenery and vibrant marine life of Cape Cod add to the adventure. It’s an exciting and fun way to explore the waters and embrace the natural beauty of this iconic destination.

The cost of windsurfing in Cape Cod can vary depending on several factors, such as equipment rental, lessons, and the duration of the activity.

Here’s a general breakdown:

Equipment Rental:

  • Hourly: $20 – $50
  • Half-Day: $50 – $100
  • Full-Day: $80 – $150

Lessons:

  • Group Lessons (1-2 hours): $50 – $100 per person
  • Private Lessons (1-2 hours): $80 – $150 per person

Package Deals:

  • Multi-day Packages: $200 – $400, often including equipment rental and lessons

It’s always a good idea to check with local windsurfing schools and rental shops in Cape Cod for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing. Some popular spots for windsurfing may also offer seasonal discounts or package deals for multiple sessions.

Beaches

World-Class Beaches

Coast Guard Beach (Eastham)

  • Regularly ranks on Dr. Beach’s annual list of the “Top 10 Beaches in America.”
  • Known for its stunning scenery and excellent surf.

Marconi Beach (Wellfleet)

  • Features dramatic dunes and a long stretch of sandy beach.
  • Popular for its picturesque boardwalk and excellent conditions for surfing and swimming.

Herring Cove Beach (Provincetown)

  • Located at the end of Rte. 6.
  • Known for calm waters, beautiful sunsets, and being more sheltered from the Atlantic’s waves.

Other Notable Beaches

Nauset Beach (Orleans)

  • A long, sandy beach facing the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Popular for surfing, swimming, and its scenic beauty.

Old Silver Beach (Falmouth)

  • Famous for its warm waters and stunning views of Buzzards Bay.
  • Great for swimming and family outings.

Race Point Beach (Provincetown)

  • Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
  • Known for its strong currents, beautiful dunes, and as a spot for whale watching.

Skaket Beach (Orleans)

  • Located on Cape Cod Bay.
  • Known for warm tidal pools and gentle waters, making it ideal for families with young children.

List of All Public Beaches in Cape Cod

Golf Courses

Premier Golf Courses

If you love golf, Cape Cod is the place for you, boasting some of the best golf courses in the country. From scenic ocean views to challenging layouts, Cape Cod’s courses provide a diverse and memorable golfing experience. Here are a few top picks:

  • Highland Links Golf Course: Offers stunning views of the ocean, providing a unique and picturesque golfing experience.
  • The Cape Club: Known for its challenging holes and beautiful scenery, it’s a top choice for golfers seeking both difficulty and aesthetics.
  • Cranberry Valley Golf Course: A favorite among locals and visitors alike, this course offers a welcoming atmosphere and well-maintained greens.
  • Willowbend: Renowned for its meticulously maintained fairways and upscale amenities, Willowbend provides a luxurious golfing experience.
  • Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club: This course is part of a historic resort and features beautiful coastal landscapes and a challenging layout.
  • The Club at New Seabury: Offers two 18-hole courses with stunning views of Nantucket Sound, catering to golfers of all skill levels.

With such a variety of premier golf courses, Cape Cod is a golfer’s paradise waiting to be explored.

Scenic Bike Paths

Biking is a popular activity on Cape Cod, offering a variety of scenic bike paths to explore. Some of the best include:

  • Cape Cod Rail Trail (25 miles): This trail takes you through forests, by lakes, and along the coast, offering a diverse and extensive biking experience.
  • Shining Sea Bikeway (10 miles): A path with beautiful views of the ocean and marshes, perfect for a leisurely ride.
  • Cape Cod Canal Bike Path (7 miles): A flat, easy path along the Cape Cod Canal, ideal for families and casual cyclists.
  • Province Lands Bike Trail (7.25 miles): A challenging trail with lots of hills, offering great views of the dunes and the sea.
  • Nauset Marsh Trail (1.5 miles): A short but scenic trail that winds through marshlands and offers stunning views of the coastline.

Biking is a popular activity on Cape Cod, offering a variety of scenic bike paths to explore, such as the Cape Cod Rail Trail, Shining Sea Bikeway, and Province Lands Bike Trail. Bike rentals are widely available near these trails, with several shops providing high-quality bikes for both adults and children. Here are the typical costs:

Adult Bike Rentals:

  • Daily: $28 to $35
  • Weekly: $135 to $150

Kids’ Bike Rentals:

  • Daily: Starting around $20

All rentals usually include essential gear such as helmets and maps of the bike trails.

For the most accurate and up-to-date pricing, it’s recommended to check directly with the rental shops.

Coastal Hiking Trails

For those who love hiking, Cape Cod has many coastal trails. Here are a few you should try:

  • Great Island Trail: A long trail that takes you through forests and along the beach.
  • Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge: Perfect for bird watching and enjoying nature.
  • Salt Pond Visitor Center Trails: Offers easy, short trails with beautiful views of the water.

Tips and Things to Know for Coastal Hiking

  1. Check the Tides: Coastal trails can be affected by tides. Make sure to check the tide schedule to avoid getting stranded or finding parts of the trail submerged.

  2. Bring the Right Gear:

    • Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good grip, as coastal trails can be sandy, rocky, or muddy.
    • Clothing: Dress in layers and bring a windbreaker, as coastal areas can be windy and weather can change quickly.
    • Sun Protection: Use sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect against the sun’s reflection off the water.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks: Coastal hikes can be long and tiring, especially in sunny weather. Carry plenty of water and high-energy snacks.

  4. Wildlife Awareness: Be aware of local wildlife, including birds and marine animals. Keep a safe distance and do not disturb them.

  5. Respect the Environment:

    • Leave No Trace: Pack out all trash and leave the natural environment as you found it.
    • Stay on Marked Trails: Protect fragile coastal ecosystems by staying on designated paths.
  6. Navigation and Safety:

    • Map and Compass/GPS: Bring a map and compass or GPS, especially for longer trails like Great Island Trail.
    • Tell Someone Your Plans: Let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time.
  7. Be Prepared for Weather Changes: Coastal weather can change rapidly. Be prepared for fog, wind, or sudden rain showers.

  8. Bug Protection: Bring insect repellent to guard against mosquitoes and ticks, especially in wooded or marshy areas.

Enjoying the Trails

  • Great Island Trail: Offers a mix of forest and beach scenery, perfect for those looking for a longer hike with diverse landscapes.
  • Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge: Ideal for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. Bring binoculars to fully enjoy the wildlife.
  • Salt Pond Visitor Center Trails: Great for families and those looking for a shorter, easier hike with beautiful water views. The visitor center also provides information and exhibits about the area’s natural and cultural history.

Shopping in Cape Cod

Cape Cod has some of the best shopping around. You can find unique items and souvenirs. Check out:

  • Main Street, Hyannis: Full of shops, restaurants, and cafes. A great place to spend the day.
  • Mashpee Commons: An outdoor shopping center with a variety of stores and eateries.
  • Chatham Village Market: A charming area with local shops and boutiques.

Cultural Attractions

Cape Cod is also a top cultural destination. It’s full of galleries, art studios, and museums. Here are a few must-see spots:

  • Cape Cod Museum of Art: Showcases works by local artists.
  • Heritage Museums & Gardens: Features beautiful gardens and historical exhibits.
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum: Known for its impressive collection of American art.

Top Attractions in Cape Cod

When visiting Cape Cod, don’t miss these top attractions:

  • Pilgrim Monument: A historic monument in Provincetown, offering panoramic views of the area.
  • Cape Cod National Seashore: A protected area with stunning beaches, trails, and historical sites.
  • Chatham Lighthouse: An iconic lighthouse that’s still in operation today.

Fun and Games

Looking for some fun and games? Cape Cod has you covered:

  • Cape Cod Inflatable Park: Great for kids with its inflatable slides and obstacle courses.
  • Ryan Family Amusements: Offers bowling, arcade games, and more.
  • Wackenhammer’s Clockwork Arcade and Carousel: A fun spot with classic arcade games and a carousel.

Full-Day Tours

Take a full-day tour to see more of Cape Cod. Options include:

  • Whale Watching Tours: Spend the day at sea, watching whales and learning about marine life.
  • Cape Cod Winery Tours: Visit local wineries, taste delicious wines, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Historical Tours: Explore Cape Cod’s rich history with guided tours of historic sites and museums.

Historical Tours

Cape Cod has a rich history. Here are a few historical tours you should consider:

  • Mayflower II and Plymouth Plantation: Learn about the Pilgrims and their journey to America.
  • Old King’s Highway: A scenic route with many historic buildings and landmarks.
  • Sandwich Glass Museum: Discover the history of glassmaking in Cape Cod.

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