A Week in Cape Cod, MA
We spent a week in August in Cape Cod and really enjoyed being there at that time of year. The weather was sunny and high 80’s every day – perfect beach weather during the day, and cool enough to walk around & sit outside in the evenings.
Since we booked this later than we should have, it was difficult to find any places in that had 2 weeks available, so we only stayed 1 week which didn’t feel long enough! We are so happy that we were able to include CC in our adventure.
Provincetown. Located at the very tip of the Cape Cod peninsula is this unique & eclectic beach town. There are numerous restaurants, & shops on the cute little main street. You can also visit the Pilgrim Monument & Museum, which was built to honor the Mayflower Compact that was signed here in Provincetown. We spent the entire day walking around and having treats, enjoying iced coffee and sightseeing. Just outside of the city are a few other attractions such as Race Point Beach, Coast Guard Beach, and Cape Cod National Seashore.
Beaches. Craigville Beach – We visited this beach in Barnstable several times because it was less than 5 minutes from our AirBNB and it is a great family beach. Parking is $20 for the day (free after 5pm), or you can get a weekly pass for $70. The sand is soft and the beach was clean so we enjoyed it.
Race Point Beach – A beach with a gorgeous view! The shoreline has beautiful dunes that go as far as you can see, right next to the soft, white sugar sand, right up next to a deep blue Atlantic Ocean. It is dreamy! It was also a great place to spot whales (it’s where the whale watching boat excursions go!), and seals very close so that made the girls excited. They flew their kite here for the first time and had so much fun! The week after we left, a great white shark was spotted 4 feet from the shore, so do some reading before getting in!
Chatham Light Beach – This beach was 30 minutes from our AirBNB in Barnstable, and we drove to it twice because we loved it so much. You can only park for 30 mins max, so Chris dropped me & the girls off with our stuff and then drove about 5 minutes down the road to park. (There’s a parking lot on Main street that charges $5 to park. For $15, they will shuttle you and your stuff back to lighthouse beach.) Well worth it for a family carrying a bunch of beach gear for the day. The beach was not crowded and is very clean.The water was pretty, clean and was calm in the shallow areas, which was good for the girls to swim in (water was a bit cold). The nearby homes are tastefully New England elegance.
Hyannis. If you’re in the area, it’s worth a stop to downtown Hyannis. We ate at a few different places here and didn’t have a bad meal. There is a carousel and arcade to entertain the kids right in the middle of Main Street. The John F. Kennedy museum is also here where you can learn more about his life, personal interests, and presidency.
Martha’s Vineyard. We used the Steamship Authority ferry service to get to Martha’s Vineyard. Parking is rather far (about 15 minutes from the terminal) but they have a bus service to drop you off at the front. After a 45 minute boat ride, we arrived in Oak Bluffs, a cute waterfront town. Here you can rent cars & bikes, walk around the little neighborhoods and shopping area, walk to the beach, and ride America’s oldest carousel.
Oak Bluffs and Edgartown were our favorites that we visited. Edgartown had some pretty homes, nice shopping, and a scenic lighthouse that you can climb to the top for a great view. Oak Bluffs has the ferry terminal so there are a number of things within walking distance. This is where we rode the carousel and played in the beautiful Ocean Park. However, at these ages, it felt like a bit more work and logistics for just a one day trip.
Whale watching. We chose to use Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises for our morning tour, and so thankful we did! This cruise did not disappoint. If you haven’t watched our YouTube video yet, you really need to watch the show that these wild animals put on for us. Talk about the right place at the right time! (Link to video below.) The pictures just can’t do it any justice!
The entire ride is about 4 hours. There are plenty of places to sit inside & outside the boat, and they have a snack/drink bar available the entire time. We ended up going to the tip of Massachusetts near Race Point Lighthouse where we saw the most action. We found a mom & calf feasting on some fish, and then she began showing her baby some tricks that he mimicked. And we were there to witness it all! It was really incredible to watch them play together in their natural environment. And we also saw some harbor porpoises pass by and play! Overall, it was a perfect excursion and a highlight of our trip.
Chatham. We LOVE Chatham! What a perfect Cape Cod town with incredible beaches. This is definitely somewhere we will revisit, with or without kids. The downtown area has plenty of nice shops and restaurants to choose from. Plus, the homes here are just dreamy! One New England style house right after the other made for some pretty awesome drives. I would highly recommend this town to stay in when visiting Cape Cod, and we will most likely stay in Chatham for our next visit as well.
Plymouth, MA. On our way out of Cape Cod and towards Rhode Island, we stopped by Plymouth to see the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock, and so glad we did! They happened to have the Plymouth Waterfront Festival going on that day (it’s actually the largest festival we think we’ve ever attended. There were at least 200 tents and a several thousand people walking around), so we walked through the tents, ordered food from several different food trucks, learned the story behind Plymouth Rock, and let the girls run around in Brewster Park. It was a day well spent!