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Whale Watching on Cape Cod

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May 6th, 2011, 08:51 AM
  #1
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Whale Watching on Cape Cod

Want to go Whale watching on the Cape! We will be staying in Falmouth as a base, and understand you can depart from Barnstable and also from Provincetown? I am weighing the drive time to Provincetown verses the boat trip time to see the whales? Does anyone have experience with these trips as to which one would be the best experience? I am also interested in bicycling around the beach areas. Looking for advice about this experience also.
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May 6th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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One of the nicest Cape bike trails is the Shining Seas trail which now goes between Woods Hole and North Falmouth. It passes by the beach in Falmouth and you can lock your bike and spend time there.
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May 6th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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We've taken trips out of Provincetown both in May and October and have seen whales both times. We've also seen them from the Provincelands NP visitor's center and also on the bay side from the top of the dunes in North Truro.

I think the right whales are there now as was mentioned in a recent trip report here. Once we had a real show, fin backs, hump backs, dolphins, and from the sky, gannets diving from a great height straight down into the water near the ship.

Every trip weve taken we've been lucky enough to see whales sometimes going out to Stellwagen bank and sometimes right in the bay.
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May 7th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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I've only been on the provincetown one but it was great. We saw a lot of whales. Plus provincetown is a fabulous town to visit. The bike trails that go along the national seashore are also fantastic!
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May 8th, 2011, 08:24 PM
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I've only WW'd out of Plymouth so I can't really answer your question but the companies do work together so you might set off in one direction and then head in another because they've been given the heads up that there is a group of whales in a particular area.

I don't think you can go wrong with either.

You don't say when you are going but my main suggestion is wrap up warm!
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May 9th, 2011, 06:58 AM
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Well you can't get further away from Falmouth on Cape Cod than Provincetown! Provincetown will take about 2 hours of driving but once you are there you can spend the day in this vibrant village. If you are energetic enough to drive, do a whale watch and sightsee before heading back to Falmouth, then Provincetown makes sense. If you just want to see some whales, then save some time and go out of Barnstable Harbor. Falmouth makes a good base for going to MV on the slow ferry, but it really is not centrally located for visits to the National Seashore and Provincetown and Chatham. Perhaps you should leave the outer cape for another visit when you can base yourself a bit closer to whalewatching.
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May 9th, 2011, 05:52 PM
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thanks all for the input,. We are staying in Falmouth due to ferries to MV and Nantucket. But will make the trip for the whales and National sea shores... Looks like we will have two long trips as trying to do both in one day would be too taxing for two retired old folks... maybe one at first of vacation and one later on.... Thanks again
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May 11th, 2011, 02:30 PM
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All the whale watching boats go to the same area to see the whales. The difference is time on the water to get there!

If you're going to be in Boston, you can actually take a ferry from Boston to Provincetown and back. It isn't a budget choice, you can't bring your car (won't need it in Provincetown anyway), but it's an efficient way to quickly get to the Cape from Boston. You can see Provincetown, go on a whale watch, even stay over for a few nights to enjoy the wonderful Provincetown restaurants then head back to Boston and drive to Falmouth from there.
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May 15th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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We will be in the area for the first time in July, dividing our time between Boston and the Cape (location to be determined). We were planning to do our whale watching from our Boston base, leaving out of Gloucester. Would there be an advantage to doing the WW out of Provincetown instead? What would be the pros/cons?
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May 15th, 2011, 08:32 PM
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The whale watches from Boston, Gloucester, and Provincetown all head to Stellwagen Bank. If you want to see Provincetown then it would be easy to do a whale watch while you're there. If you're just exploring the upper Cape, and you'd like to venture outside the Cape and Boston, then heading north to Gloucester will give you yet another view of a working seaside town.
Gloucester is about 45 minutes north of Boston. Compare that time to the time it will take you to get to your Cape destination if that is driving your decision. Cape traffic is something to factor in during the summer. I suppose if I wasn't interested in seeing Provincetown (unique place and worth the trip, in my opinion) I'd be perfectly happy taking the shorter drive to Gloucester (also an interesting place to be). The ferry from Boston to Provincetown is expensive.

There are whale watches out of Boston, no? They'll go to Stellwagen Bank too.
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May 16th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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Cape traffic is frequently the worst getting on and off the Cape, so it is extremely unlikely that it would be quicker driving to Gloucester than to Provincetown. And Barnstable is much closer than either.

They do all go to the same area to see the whales. I believe Provincetown is just closer to that area so it takes less time for the boat to get there than from Barnstable.

There are wonderful bike trails through the dunes in Provincetown.
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May 16th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Nikki -- Right now we have three nights at the start of our trip booked in Boston and two or three nights after that on the Cape. We have an extra night that we can put in either place depending on where we do the whale watching -- we can add a night to the end of our Boston reservation and go out of Gloucester or we can add a night to our Cape reservation and go out of Provincetown.

The advantages of staying in Boston and doing Gloucester, to me, is that the lodging is less expensive (given the specifics of our reservations) and that, if it rains and we need to cancel our expedition, there are lots more things to do in the rain in the city than on the Cape. So, I was leaning to the Boston/Gloucester option for those reasons but just thought I'd ask. We'll probably be in Brewster on the Cape, if that helps.
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May 16th, 2011, 08:26 PM
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It's a 2 hour drive from Boston to Provincetown.

It's a 42 minute drive from Boston to Gloucester.

It's an easy, and pleasant drive from Brewster to Provincetown and 6A is one of the Cape's most scenic drives.

I suggest you save your Boston days to explore Boston and do a whale watch from your Brewster, Cape Cod base.

(Nikki: Google Maps is your friend...)
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May 17th, 2011, 02:37 AM
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Ah, I missed the poster who was talking about staying in Boston. I thought we were still talking about the original poster, who was leaving from Falmouth, and that is what my post was assuming. From Boston, of course Gloucester is closer.

But from Brewster, Barnstable is closer than Provincetown, although the drive to Provincetown is worth it if you want to see Provincetown or any of the places on the way. Whether it is an easy and pleasant drive in July however is dependent on the traffic. Most of that drive is on Route 6 after it stops being a divided highway.
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May 17th, 2011, 03:31 AM
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They'll be fine. It's 6 of one, half a dozen of another at this point.

If they're heading off Cape from Brewster they can go to Barnstable. If they're not, I'd still suggest a daytrip to Provincetown.

What did the original poster want to know? I've forgotten, but we've given advice for nearly every eventuality.
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