Leave Boston's traffic behind and slowly curl your way up to the tip of the peninsula toward paradise. The fifteen quaint towns of Cape Cod have drawn sun-worshippers, writers, naturalists, artists and wealthy cottagers for years; there are 300 miles of shoreline for every interest. Build sandcastles at Nauset Beach or shop for art in Wellfleet; stroll through the Kennedys' neighborhood in Hyannisport or make your way to Provincetown's all-night parties. Before the sun sets, stop at the local clam shack for an order of hot, deep-fried clams to eat at the beach.
Things to Do
On Cape Cod, the landscape and its history are so revered that many of its beaches and bicycle trails are protected as part of the National Park Service. Collect seashells, search for tide pool creatures or sunbathe on Cape Cod's windswept golden beaches. Sandy Neck's unspoiled dunes draw naturalists and romantics with secluded shorelines and soaring coastal birds. Race Point Beach draws gay and straight couples for sunbathing and whale-watching, while Nauset Beach fills with families and young people playing in the surf. When you get tired of beachcombing, rent a bicycle for a ride along the Shining Sea Bicycle Path with views of glittering Nantucket Sound and the Nobska Point Lighthouse.
The tree-lined streets of Chatham draw shoppers to inviting storefronts filled with carefully arranged displays of leather deck shoes, beachwear and nautical-themed home furnishings. Chatham Glass Company is a local favorite, where glass artisans craft fragile, glittering creations while customers look on. Tony Wellfleet's art galleries sell something for every taste, from one-of-a-kind art jewelry to abstract garden sculptures.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Perched atop a dune at Cahoon Hollow Beach, Wellfleet's young and hopping Beachcomber bar and dance club scores high marks for its sweeping views of Cape Cod. But Provincetown steals the show when it comes to Cape Cod nightlife. Expect fun and slightly crazy bars and entertainment, from drag shows and cabaret to comedy and dance clubs.
Restaurants and Dining
It's no trick to find good, freshly caught seafood in Cape Cod. Feast at quaint sidewalk cafés in Chatham, where strolling and window-shopping have been honed to art forms, or indulge in the day's catch at linen-and-crystal restaurants in upscale Wellfleet. Visitors go casual at The Clam Shack in Falmouth Harbor. Sun-browned boaters and beachcombers crowd the picnic tables at this quintessential portside eatery and dig into plates of New England's freshest clams.