Summer Escape: A Tour Vacation Hot Spots on Cape Cod

Summer vacation isn’t over yet, and the sun is blazing hot—it’s the perfect time for a road trip to Cape Cod. From clam shacks and Cape League games to double features at the drive-in, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities to keep the kids entertained. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to stay, eat, shop and have fun on the Cape in this last month before school starts.

UPPER CAPE

Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich and Bourne

Courtesy Heritage Museum & Gardens, Sandwich

You don’t have to travel a great distance to feel like you’re far from home. A vacation on the Upper Cape begins as soon as you cross the Sagamore Bridge. Book a room at the Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa, situated in historic Sandwich Village. The inn offers beautifully appointed rooms and a great Whale of a Time package that includes tickets for a whale watching excursion.

Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa, Sandwich

Grab your morning cup of coffee at Café Chew and poke your head inside the cute Merchant’s Row shops, like Wish Gift Co., before heading to Heritage Museums & Gardens. Offering 100 acres of family fun, the museum features wide, paved (stroller-friendly) paths that wind through verdant flower gardens. You can entertain the little ones at Hidden Hollow and ride the beautiful antique carousel. Don’t miss the museum’s special 2018 exhibit, featuring renowned cars from the Indy 500. Nearby, older children and adults can zip through the trees at the Adventure Park.

Upper Cape visitors can explore the region’s scenic harbors and inlets by kayak or pedal along The Cape Cod Canal Bike Path in Sandwich or the scenic Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth. Mashpee Commons offers great shopping and a multitude of dining options. On rainy days, bring the kids to the Cape Cod Children’s museum in Mashpee or stop in the Woods Hole Science Aquarium to learn about marine species that are native to New England.

STAY. EAT. EXPLORE.

Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa
149 Main St Suite #1, Sandwich
508-888-3622

Café Chew
4 Merchants Rd, Sandwich
508-888-7717

Wish Gift Co.
4 Merchants Rd #3, Sandwich
888-978-9474

Heritage Museums & Gardens
67 Grove St, Sandwich
508-888-330

Mashpee Commons
22 Steeple St., Mashpee
508-477-5400

Cape Cod Children’s Museum
577 Great Neck Road, Mashpee
508-539-8788

Woods Hole Science Aquarium
166 Water St., Woods Hole
508-495-2001


MID CAPE

Dennis, Yarmouth, Barnstable
(Including the villages of Cummaquid, Centerville, Craigville, Cotuit, Hyannis,
West Hyannisport, Marstons Mills, Osterville and West Barnstable.)

Red Jacket Beach Resort

The Mid-Cape region offers a blend of rich history and casual family-friendly fun. Take a drive down Route 6A, also known as Old King’s Highway, and you’ll pass historic inns, art galleries and sea captain’s homes. While to the south, Route 28 is home to a multitude of casual dining establishments and recreational entertainment options.

Families can enjoy a relaxing stay at the Red Jacket Beach Resort in South Yarmouth, which features a private oceanside beach and special summer programs for kids. The Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis is also popular with families. Among its amenities is a spectacular indoor/outdoor water park with four water slides, a wave pool and a lazy river. Dine at the onsite Hearth ‘n Kettle Restaurant, where you can order breakfast all day, and celebrate summer with a frosty dessert at Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville.

Families flock to Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm in East Dennis to harvest sun-ripened blueberries, and more adventurous kids can work out their energy at the Cape Cod Inflatable Park and its newly opened water park, The H2O, which features a lazy river and water slides.
Not far away, young and old will enjoy visiting the Whydah Pirate Museum, where you can see authentic pirate treasure or test your putting skills under cascading waterfalls at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.

STAY. EAT. EXPLORE.

Red Jacket Beach Resort
1 S Shore Drive, South Yarmouth
800-227-3263

Cape Codder Resort & Spa
1225 Iyannough Road, Hyannis
855-736-0802

Hearth n’ Kettle Restaurant
1225 Iyannough Road, Hyannis
508-568-2935

Four Seas Ice Cream
360 S Main St., Centerville
508-775-1394

Hokum Rock Blueberry Farm
1215 Route 134, East Dennis
508-385-2768

Cape Cod Inflatable Park
518 Main St, West Yarmouth
508-771-6060

Whydah Pirate Museum
674 Route 28, West Yarmouth
508-534-9571

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
728 Main St, South Yarmouth
508-394-6200


LOWER CAPE

Brewster, Chatham, Harwich and Orleans

If you think of Cape Cod like a flexed arm, the Lower Cape is located around the elbow. This is a region that offers gorgeous beaches, a landmark lighthouse and dozens of unique boutiques. There’s a small but robust fishing community in this neck of the woods and as a result the seafood and local shellfish is as fresh as it gets.

In addition to luxurious guest rooms, The Chatham Bars Inn offers excellent children’s programs that promise to make each child’s visit unforgettable. Hop aboard a CBI boat to view the native harbor seals bask in the surf. Another great place to stay with kids is the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club which offers “dive-in” movie nights, held by the pool, complete with popcorn and snacks. Their children’s center features a nautical-themed playground with a giant play structure shaped like a pirate ship.

Grab a bite to eat at the Chatham Filling Station, a retro diner decorated with gas station memorabilia and a giant, whimsical mural depicting sharks, fishermen and a Coast Guard boat, If you want a great burger, head to The Knack, and dine in their kid-friendly covered patio.

Nature lovers will appreciate visiting the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, which offers educational exhibits and seaside walking trails.

If you enjoy live theatre, catch a performance at the Harwich Junior Theatre or The Academy of the Performing Arts in Orleans.

Popular summer events on the Lower Cape include Friday night Chatham Band concerts and Cape Cod Baseball League games.

STAY. EAT. EXPLORE.

The Chatham Bars Inn
297 Shore Road, Chatham
800-527-4884

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club
2173 Route 28, Harwich
508-432-5400

Chatham Filling Station
75 Old Harbor Road, Chatham
508-945-4380

The Knack
5 Route 6A, Orleans
774-316-4595

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
869 Main St./Route 6A, Brewster
508-896-3867

Harwich Junior Theatre
105 Division St, West Harwich
508-432-2002

Academy of the Performing Arts
120 Main St, Orleans
508-255-1963

EVENTS:

Through Aug 17: Sharks in the Park
As part of a public art project, there will be 40 sharks decorated by local artists on display at Eldredge Public Library Lawn in front of the library. The sharks will later be auctioned off online. 564 Main St., Chatham, 508-945-5170. More info

Through August 31: The Chatham Band Concerts
Every Friday evening at 8 p.m., all roads on the Cape lead to the Chatham Band concert at Whit Tileston Band Stand at Kate Gould Park on Main Street in Chatham. Kate Gould Park, Main St. More info


OUTER CAPE

Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown

Breathtaking beaches and a thriving artist community make the Outer Cape a magical place to visit. This is a region where surfers come to catch the best waves and where cyclists can ride past rolling sand dunes on the Province Lands Bike Path.

Flip-flop your way to fun with a visit to First Encounter Beach in Eastham, where little kids can splash in safe, shallow tide pools, For a more exhilarating beach day, take your boogie boards to Lecount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet or Nauset Beach in Eastham. While you’re there, you can catch a glimpse of the region’s beloved beacon, Nauset Light.

When you get hungry, you can’t beat the fresh-off-the-boat seafood at Mac’s Shack, since the owner is also a local seafood distributor. PJ’s Family Restaurant is the classic place to stop for lunch or ice cream after a day at the beach.

Nature lovers will enjoy stopping in the Cape Cod National Seashore’s Salt Pond Visitor Center or exploring the seaside nature trails at the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Outer Cape towns are peppered with art galleries and eclectic shops where you can shop for a range of gifts crafted by local artisans. A stroll through Provincetown isn’t complete without visiting a candy shop to pick up some saltwater taffy and a climb up the Pilgrim Monumet to enjoy the view. For an old-fashioned good time, bring the family to the Red Barn for a round of mini-golf, catch a summer blockbuster at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, or cheer on the Firebirds, the local Cape League team.

STAY. EAT. EXPLORE.

Salt Pond Visitor Center
99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet
508-255-3421

Nauset Light
120 Nauset Light Beach Road, Eastham

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
291 State Highway, Route 6, South Wellfleet
508-349-2615

Mac’s Shack
91 Commercial St., Wellfleet
508-349-6333

PJ’s Family Restaurant
2616 Route 6, Wellfleet
508-349-2126

Pilgrim Monument
1 High Pole Hill Road, Provincetown
508-487-1310

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