10 Things to Do in Cape Cod for First Time Visitors

If you’re planning a trip to Cape Cod, chances are you’re looking for a taste of the small, beach town lifestyle that’s been popularized by either Jaws or the Kennedys. It’s either those or you’re just particularly interested on why everyone insists on going to Cape Cod for the summer. This part of Massachusetts is known for more than its affiliation to large fish and dead presidents. Cape Cod is home to some of the most beautiful sights and relaxing beaches the northeast has to offer. If you’re visiting Cape Cod for the first time, you’ll have to do these 10 things in order to get the full Cape experience.

1. Head to Race Point Beach

You should go to the water first and admire the beauty of the pristine white sands and dunes of Race Point Beach. It’s the beach for all types of beach goers: sunbathers, light or strong swimmers, surfers, and observers. The current here is typically strong so beware of the undertow. Also keep a lookout for whales and sailboats that might be close by.

2. Watch out for some whales

You might be able to get away with seashore sightings of whales, but if you want to get up close and personal with these historic creatures, go with a paid tour. You’ll appreciate the history you’ll learn about the relationship of whales and this part of the world.

3. Ride your bike around

There’s no better way to go around the Cape than on two wheels. During the summer time, you can relish in the salty breeze and the warmth of the sun while you ride from beach to beach or to visit local spots to do some sightseeing. You can also ride your bike along the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth for a completely different experience.

4. Visit a museum

Cape Cod offers fair selections of museums to visit depending on which area you’re staying at. If you have enough time to spare, visit as much as you can to learn more about the wonderful history of the area. We suggest starting at the Salt Pond Visitor Center for an orientation point. Some of the most recommended museums include the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Edward Gorey House.

5. See a lighthouse

At the very tip of Cape Cod is Long Point, and at this tip is the Long Point Lighthouse built so many decades ago. The area is a ghost village now, but there’s nothing eerie about his place regardless of its history as a military post and garrison at some point. It’s more serene if anything.

6. Walk down Commercial Street

It’s definitely the hot spot in Provincetown, and there’s probably no other place on the Cape as vibrant as Commercial Street. The street is lined with restaurants, bars, boutique shops, art galleries, and plenty of other local spots. It’s crowded. It’s fun, and it’s exactly where you’ll find the best local specialties and delicacies.

7. Go on a plane ride

At Cape Cod Airfield, you can get a ride on a biplane and experience Cape Cod from the skies. There’s nothing like the bird’s eye view perspective of the area. If you can, take the ride on different times of the day. Sunset is quite a view; so make sure that you take that trip at some point.

8. Visit a monument

More specifically, you’ll have to stop by and see the Pilgrim Monument, which is modeled after the Torre del Mangia in Spain. This monument remains to be the tallest all-granite structure in the US. You can spare the 10 minutes to climb up this tower and get the best vantage point on the Cape.

9. Take a hike

Cape Cod is home to some of the most serene walking trails in the east coast. There’s also quite a variety to choose from. You can walk the gorgeous dunes of Provincelands Trail in Provincetown, or you can find historic surprises at the Punkhorn Parklands in Brewster. Either way, make sure you allot at least three hours of walking time because that’s how long the trails will take to finish.

10. Get in the water

Leave the shore be and get your feet wet. There are plenty of water activities you can enjoy on the Cape. Sailing is a great way to spend your day, but you can also get on a paddleboard or kayak if that’s more your style. Cape Cod is also known for its fishing, and if you go on a charter boat, you’re guaranteed to bring some fresh fish home at the end of the day.


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