Cape Cod

Cape Cod Travel Guide

A symphony of chirping welcomes you to this bird-lovers paradise. The staff has tons of personality—if you tell them a joke, they’ll give you a free pencil.

Craigville Beach, the place to see and be seen in Hyannis, is sometimes called Muscle Beach for its concentration of buff beachgoers.

Located on the end of MacMillan Wharf, this small museum showcases artifacts from the only verified pirate shipwreck ever found: the Whydah, an 18th-century ship commanded by “Black Sam” Bellamy before it sank off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts in 1717.

Located on Main Street in West Chatham, this little gray cedar, cottage-style shop with a blue awning and front porch has a big customer following due to its yummy pies, both sweet and savory.

Art’s Dune Tours, in Provincetown, take travelers off road through the lunar landscape of the dunes outside town; in the distance you can see the shacks that have been inhabited over the years by Tennessee Williams, Jackson Pollock, and other legends, and are still rented to artists.

The six-mile-long, dune-capped Sandy Neck Beach, in West Barnstable and Sandwich, is populated by more piping plovers than people.

A bronze statue of John F. Kennedy stands in front of this brick Colonial building, a museum dedicated to his Cape Cod life. It looks as if he had stepped from the curved white-columned portico for a barefoot stroll through the plumed grasses to his beloved beach.

Rent a bike at Gale Force Bike Rentals in Provincetown, pick up a map, and ride five miles along scenic High Head Road to the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Cape.

Walk the mile-long Beech Forest Trail, which winds through fragile sand dunes.

The rambling former residence of the famous illustrator has been turned into a museum. The first floor has an ample display of his pen-and-ink drawings, along with personal photographs and mementos.

To find shabby-chic cottage décor, check out Joan Peters of Osterville. The owner’s signature Cape Cod toile design appears on fabrics, tiles, and even sinks.

For a more active adventure, catch the eight-mile Cape Cod Province Lands Bike Trail at Race Point. It passes through sand dunes and forests and ends at the ocean. Don’t miss the spur that leads to the Herring Cove lighthouse.

The bright-yellow vessel operated by Beachcomber Boat Tours offers seal-watching tours or drop-offs of passengers at North Beach (and pickups later).

All the rooms at Eastham’s Whalewalk Inn & Spa are furnished with antiques; the most romantic is the tiny Salt Box Cottage. Ask the owners about the best hike and they’ll send you to a place most locals have never heard of.

Jobi Pottery, in Truro, has been making its retro pieces, decorated with small black fish, since 1953.