13 Reasons It’s Cooler on the Cape
As the end of summer looms, there’s one thing we can all agree on: it’s not over til’ it’s over. And when it comes to summer destinations, there’s nothing that can ward off the September blues quite like the beauty of Cape Cod. If you’re waiting for that sign to take the last-minute trip you’ve been dreaming of, here are 13 reasons it’s cooler on the Cape.
1. Comfortable temps. Yes, it’s literally always cooler on the Cape. Come summer heat and humidity, it’s no surprise that weary (and sweaty) travelers from near and far flock to Cape Cod for offshore breezes and refreshing ocean dips.
2. Sandy beaches. Surfers, swimmers and anglers may enjoy the ocean in different ways, but they can all agree on one thing: Cape Cod has some of the best beaches in the world, including those along the pristine Cape Cod National Seashore. With almost 560 miles of Atlantic coastline, plenty of ocean adventures await.
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3. Fresh seafood. If you haven’t enjoyed a lobster roll on the beach, is it even summer? Whether you prefer fish or scallops, there’s no better place to get your seafood fix than Cape Cod. The Cape offers seafood restaurants at every dress code and budget — whether it be oysters and champagne at The Pheasant in Dennis, fish & chips and a craft cocktail at the Mad Minnow in Harwich Port, or clam strips and a frosty beer at Spanky’s.
4. Sand sculptures. A favorite summer tradition, the Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail’s 33 family-friendly sand sculptures are available for viewing — and photographing — every year from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Download a trail map and learn more about the sand sculpture photo contest at yarmouthcapecod.com/sand-sculpture-trail.
5. Quaint downtowns. There is much to be said about Cape Cod’s scenic beaches and backroads, but the Cape’s bustling Main Streets deserve equal praise. Eclectic galleries, boutique shops, interesting museums and great restaurants await in the strollable downtown hubs of such Cape towns as Provincetown, Chatham, Hyannis and Falmouth.
6. Craft Beverages. Though Cape Cod has long been known for its culinary offerings, the local craft beverage industry is just as alluring. The area’s booming with craft breweries that produce nationally recognized beers, and offer communal spaces to gather over hoppy IPAs, crisp ales and rich porters. New this summer are excursions tailored to embrace the craft beer culture in a safe and responsible way – including the Cape Cod Brew Bus, TapTastings and Sips Cape Cod.
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7. Drinks with a view. On Cape Cod, any hour can be happy hour as long as you have a drink in your hand and a view of the beach. One of the best places to indulge in a midday cocktail is at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet, an outdoor bar and restaurant with fun vibes, live music and stellar views of Cahoon Hollow Beach. The Black Cat Tavern, located on the docks of Hyannis Harbor, is also a local favorite. For something more upscale, premium cocktails, craft beer and vintage wines come with a view at the Beach House at Chatham Bars Inn and Wequassett Resort.
8. Bike trails. Get some fresh air — and your steps in — with a ride along Cape Cod’s biking trails. Whether you’re a pro looking to take a day trip or a beginner looking for a scenic way to get to the beach, biking is one of the best ways to explore this vacation destination. Popular paved routes include the Shining Sea Bikeway, Cape Cod Rail Trail, and Cape Cod Canal Bikeway; or opt for a mountain bike trail through marshland and forests.
9. Pets welcome. No need to feel guilty about leaving your four-legged BFF at home while on vacation — pets can enjoy Cape Cod too! Many of the Cape’s accommodations are pet-friendly, including everything from campgrounds to boutique inns, vacation rentals and upscale resorts. Additionally, the Cape Cod National Seashore is open to leashed dogs year-round, and dog parks are located in several Cape towns.
10. Pirate adventures. If Cape Cod proves anything, it’s that pirates aren’t just for kids. At the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, visitors can explore treasure recovered from a ship wrecked off the coast of Wellfleet in 1717 — the only viewable, certified pirate treasure in the world. Take your nautical adventure a step further with an interactive Pirate Adventures cruise, ideal for kids aged three to ten, before rounding out the swashbuckling with a round of mini golf at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.
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11. Whalewatching. Visitors to Cape Cod have an awesome opportunity to gaze upon some of the most majestic creatures on earth, who just happen to call this beautiful place home. The Cape is a world-class destination for whale watching, and whalewatch excursions depart daily in season from Provincetown, Hyannis and Plymouth. You can also plot your journey for other Cape attractions inspired by whales along the Massachusetts Whale Trail at whaletrailma.com.
12. Live music. Come summer on the Cape, there is perhaps no more beloved local tradition than free outdoor concerts. Evening concerts are held through August at locations across the Cape, include downtown Harwich Port and Kate Gould Park in Chatham. Additionally, the free outdoor concert series held in Mashpee Commons continues into October. Of course, the Cape is also home to live music and jazz venues, where visitors and locals can dance, eat and drink the night away.
13. Picture-perfect sunsets. There’s no sunset quite like a Cape Cod sunset— and to ensure you get your own postcard moment, there are several spots on the Cape that are guaranteed to give you the best view of the sky come dusk. If you’re looking for two sunset viewing experiences like no other, check out Chapin’s Beach in Dennis or Race Point in Provincetown.
That vacation isn’t going to book itself. Learn more about how to book a last-minute summer trip to Cape Cod.
This post is funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.