Best places to stay in Cape Cod
This is a great resort for a holiday any time of the year. There are a wide variety of activities and attractions in Provincetown to suit holidaymakers of all ages with diverse preferences and tastes. Places to visit are the Pilgrim Monument, the Art House and of course the beautiful beaches such as Herring Cove Beach. Named as one of America’s Best All-Time Beaches by Region there all the facilities you need for a super day on the sand.
There is a vibrant arts community in Provincetown and theatre productions and cabaret shows abound while in Commercial Street there are many restaurants and bars to provide alternative night time options.
Accommodation ranges from luxurious suite hotels with full spa facilities and state-of-the-art fitness centres to family friendly and budget hotels. There is a superb adults only hotel in a former 19th century sea captain’s mansion if you prefer to stay somewhere without any children around.
Falmouth and Woods Hole
Attractions in and around Falmouth are many and there is something for everyone to enjoy. A few of these are Woods Hole Aquarium, Falmouth Museums on the Green, Nobska Point Lighthouse, the Oceanographic Institution, the National Marine Fisheries Aquarium and lots of others that are easily reached on foot or by the Shining Sea Bikeway. Several local shops offer cycle rental.
From Falmouth it is easy to sail across to Martha’s Vineyard on one of the scheduled ferry crossings or there are schooner cruises, ocean research cruises and of course no holiday to Cape Cod would be complete without attending a Clambake Dinner. There are nature walks, places to picnic, fishing, parks, bowling, roller blading, mini-golf, and so much more that no one can ever visit Falmouth and be bored!
In the main summer season there are free outdoor concerts and free films under the stars in the Margaret E. Noonan Park. Just take a blanket or fold up chair and enjoy the atmosphere. There are numerous restaurants, a French bakery, ice cream and frozen yoghurt shops, a weekly farmers market and many arts and crafts events.
Falmouth has the warmest water on the Cape for swimming and with around 90 kilometres of coastline and ten beaches there is room for everyone. Sunsets from Falmouth are simply stunning and some of the best beaches to see them from are Old Silver Beach and Chapoquoit Beach, aka Happy Chappy by the locals.
The three most popular beaches in Falmouth are Old Silver Beach, Surf Drive and Menauhant. The warm waters of Buzzards Bay at Old Silver Beach are great for youngsters and it is also very popular with weekenders from nearby Boston. Surf Drive is closest to the town centre and the shallow waters are ideal for families with small children. Menauhant offers stunning views across to Martha’s Vineyard and Vineyard Sound and has plenty of golden sand, warm waters and full beach facilities.
When it comes to choosing where to stay in Falmouth you really are spoilt for choice. On Old Silver Beach a superb family orientated hotel offers fantastic attractions for families while other options are small beach side inns, farm stays and several big brand name hotels.
Covering 260 square kilometres Martha’s Vineyard is only accessible by sea or air and it is the largest island not connected by bridge or tunnel to the East Coast of the US. Martha’s Vineyard is only one of five place names in the US with a possessive apostrophe.
Films and the Arts are popular attractions on Martha’s Vineyard with film festivals throughout the year and a Cinema Circus in July and August. For beach lovers Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and Edgartown have public beaches a short stroll from the town. Much of the shoreline is privately owned and for residents only; so do check before you set off to avoid disappointment.
For shopaholics there are no chain stores on the island but you can be sure that there are plenty of one-of-a-kind treasures to find. There are more than 50 art galleries offering crafts in just about every medium you can think of. Retail therapy is good for working up an appetite and it is easy to find lobster shacks, coffee shops, ice cream parlours and super restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets.
Accommodation ranges from luxurious hotels, romantic and cosy boutique hotels to family friendly inns and budget hostels. There are also camping sites with cabins, tents and parking for RV’s. Private house rentals range from quaint cottages to palatial mansions.
Nantucket has breathtaking views and all the charms that only a small island can have. You can wander along picturesque streets and visit quaint boutiques and one-off art galleries where the gifts you buy can only be bought on Nantucket. One of the best beaches is Eel Point which is heaven for seashell collectors or Dionis Beach is very sandy and great for building sandcastles.
In Nantucket town or just “town” the streets are lined with whaling captain’s houses from the 16th and 17th century, the sea comes right to the doors and jetties and piers are everywhere. Take time to explore the footpaths and bike routes on the island that will lead you to find out of the way places like Siasconset, Madaket, Quidnet and Quaise.
In Nantucket there are cute B&B’s or you can choose to stay in private rental homes, cosy inns or fully serviced hotels.
Mid Cape - Barnstable, Yarmouth & Hyannis
Hyannis is in the Mid Cape area and has ferries across to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for great day trips or you take the whale watching cruise from Barnstable Harbor. There are plenty of family orientated activities including mini-golf and karting or try canoeing on the 650 acre Wequaquet Lake.
The widest choice of places to eat and drink can be found around Hyannis and the night life is reasonable. Hyannis is also the location of the Cape’s only indoor shopping centre. The centre has shops such as Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Banana Republic and Sephora. Other amenities include an international food court and a 12 screen cinema complex.
Accommodations choices are motels, hotels, beachside inns, B&B’s and several of the major hotel chains have accommodation options here from the budget brands up to luxury five star.
Lower Cape - Dennis, Harwich & Chatham
Once you drive over the Bass River and into Dennis and the Lower Cape the scenery and the attitude change. This is the domain of clam-shacks, long uninterrupted beaches, conservation areas and it is a favourite haunt of kayakers and surfers. On Mayflower Beach there is a great summer theatre as well as kite-boarding and wind-surfing. The lighthouse at Chatham is much photographed and this is the Cape Cod of most people’s dreams with picket fences and clapboard houses.
In the summer the fast ferry from Harwich will take you to Nantucket. There are plenty of restaurants in Harwich and it is the location for many high end weddings in the posh beach clubs. Nearby Brewster is quieter and there are many antique shops to explore on the historic Route 6A which winds through Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod.
Places to stay include hotels, motels and B&B’s that can be located on a freshwater or saltwater beach some with stunning views or in one of the many quaint towns. Many of the places to stay are family owned and options for fully serviced hotels or self-catering holidays are everywhere.
Outer Cape – Eastham, Wellfleet & Truro
In October the Wellfleet Oysterfest draws in huge crowds to this part of Cape Cod that is true beach country. The Cape Cod National seashore beaches here are simply amazing and all year round surfers can be found taking advantage of the excellent conditions. There are many lighthouses in this part of the Cape and exceptional hiking trails. Life here is more seasonal and many of the restaurants and facilities only open in the summer. The clam shacks are some of the best on the Cape and the way of life is very much beach, beach and more beach.
Much of the accommodation in this area is in private holiday home rentals if they are not already occupied by their owners and their families!