Cape Cod

TRAVEL GUIDE

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Continually shaped by ocean currents, this windswept land of sandy beaches and dunes has compelling natural beauty. Everyone comes for the seaside, yet the crimson cranberry bogs, birch and beech forests, freshwater ponds, and interior marshlands are just as splendid. Local history is fascinating; whale-watching provides an exhilarating experience of the natural world; cycling trails lace the landscape; shops purvey everything from antiques to pure kitsch; and you can dine on simple, fresh seafood, creative contemporary cuisine, or most anything in between.

Henry David Thoreau, who famously traveled the sparsely populated mid-19th-century Cape Cod, likened the peninsula to "a bare and bended arm." Indeed, looking at a map the outline is obvious, and many people hold their own arm... Read More

Continually shaped by ocean currents, this windswept land of sandy beaches and dunes has compelling natural beauty. Everyone comes for the seaside, yet the crimson cranberry bogs, birch and beech forests, freshwater ponds, and interior marshlands are just as splendid. Local history is fascinating; whale-watching provides an exhilarating experience of the natural world; cycling trails lace the landscape; shops purvey everything from antiques to pure kitsch; and you can dine on simple, fresh seafood, creative contemporary cuisine, or most anything in between.

Henry David Thoreau, who famously traveled the sparsely populated mid-19th-century Cape Cod, likened the peninsula to "a bare and bended arm." Indeed, looking at a map the outline is obvious, and many people hold their own arm aloft and point to various places from shoulder to fist when asked for directions.

Separated from the Massachusetts mainland by the 17½-mile Cape Cod Canal—at 480 feet, the world's widest sea-level canal—and linked to it by two heavily trafficked bridges, the Cape is surrounded by water that defines the peninsula’s land and seascapes: just off the mainland to the southeast are the gentler, warmer waters of Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, and Nantucket Sound. Cape Cod Bay extends north to the tip of Provincetown, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

There are three main roads that travel, more or less, the entire Cape: U.S. 6, Route 28, and Route 6A, a designated historic road also called the Old King’s Highway. Most visitors stick to these main byways, though the back roads can save time and aggravation in summer.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Trail/Path
South Wellfleet
Province Lands Visitor Center
Scenic Drive/Tour Trail/Path Park (National/State/Provincial) Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook
Greater Provincetown
Heritage Museums and Gardens
Garden/Arboretum Museum/Gallery Carousel Historic District/Site
Sandwich Center
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Museum/Gallery Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Zoo/Aquarium Trail/Path
West Brewster
Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Beach–Sight Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Trail/Path
Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Museum/Gallery Local Interest–Sight
East End
Cape Cod National Seashore
Information Center Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Park (National/State/Provincial)
Fort Hill Area
Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook Park (National/State/Provincial) Trail/Path

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Language

English

Nearby Airports

PVC

Electrical Outlets

120 V/60Hz; Type A plugs have two flat prongs. Type B plugs have the same two flat prongs with a third round prong; together the three form a triangular shape.

Currency

US Dollar

Language

English

Electrical Outlets

120 V/60Hz; Type A plugs have two flat prongs. Type B plugs have the same two flat prongs with a third round prong; together the three form a triangular shape.

Currency

US Dollar

Nearby Airports

PVC

The Cape and islands teem with activity during high season: roughly late June to Labor Day. If you're dreaming of a classic shore vacation,...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Cape Cod with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

The Cape and islands teem with activity during high season: roughly late June to Labor Day. If you're dreaming of a classic shore vacation,...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Cape Cod with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

The Cape and islands teem with activity during high season: roughly late June to Labor Day. If you're dreaming of a classic shore vacation,...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Cape Cod with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

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