Occupying a wide swath of the Atlantic Coast in Massachusetts, Cape Cod boasts 15 tranquil town separated into four areas: the Upper Cape, the Mid Cape, the Lower Cape, and the Outer Cape.
The Upper Cape
The Upper Cape is closest to the mainland. Here, you'll find the towns of Falmouth and Sandwich. Incorporating many smaller hamlets and boasting 10 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, Falmouth is one of the most popular vacation spots on Cape Cod Head to Nobska Lighthouse for views of Martha's Vineyard or the Crowell-Bourne Farm, a 1775 farmhouse with 49 acres of walking trails. In the evening, pack a picnic dinner and watch a gorgeous Cape Cod sunset from Old Silver Beach.
Sandwich is the oldest town on the Cape and features the family-friendly Heritage Museum and Gardens, known for its hydrangeas and antique car exhibitions, as well as the Sandwich Glass Museum, which focuses on the town's glass-making history.
The Mid Cape
The Mid Cape is a bit more rugged and boasts the historic towns of Barnstable and Hyannis Port. Barnstable is the largest town on the Cape and features the Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary and the U.S. Coast Guard Heritage Museum. Art lovers should check out the Cahoon Museum of American Art, and The Cotuit Center for the Arts boasts year-round art exhibits as well as concerts and plays.
Planning on spending some time on the peaceful and idyllic island of Nantucket during your visit? Hyannis offers a ferry service to both Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, making it ideal for day trippers who would still prefer to stay on the Cape proper.
If you choose one of our Cape Cod vacation rentals in Hyannis Port, you'll also be in good company: the small town is home to the famed Kennedy Compound, where the family has held summer gatherings since the 1920s.
The Lower Cape
The Lower Cape is home to Brewster, Harwich, and Chatham. Originally a seafaring mecca during whaling's glory days, Brewster still has hints of its past life. Retaining its historic flavor, Brewster offers visitors the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, as well as the gorgeous and secluded Nickerson State Park.
Home to lavender fields and cranberry bogs, Harwich offers an idyllic pace on Nantucket Sound. Chatham is a charming little town with lighthouses, windmills, and the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, home to hundreds of migratory birds.
The Outer Cape
The Outer Cape is one of the most popular places to stay, thanks to tiny enclaves such as Provincetown and Truro. LGBT-friendly Provincetown is at the tip of the Cape, and is relaxed and mellow during the low season...but come summer, nearly 60,000 visitors flock to Cape Cod beachfront rentals. It's home to the oldest gay bar in the United States, the Atlantic House, as well as a number of well-maintained lighthouses.
Truro is one of the most affluent towns on the Cape, and that's saying something. The Highland Lighthouse shouldn't be missed, nor should one skip a day frolicking at one of the beautiful beaches in town. South of Truro, historic Eastham is known as "the gate" to the Cape Cod National Seashore and makes a fantastic home base for exploring the entire region.
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard
While not on Cape Cod proper, the nearby islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard definitely deserve a mention!
Refined and idyllic Nantucket is 30 miles south of the Cape and was a whaling post for many years. You can still see remnants of that heritage at many of the older buildings in Siasconset, as well as the island's famous Nantucket Whaling Museum. A trip to the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is also a must-see. Rent and bike and ride around the picturesque island and enjoy a nosh at one of the quaint spots in town.
Lush and unpretentious Martha's Vineyard has long been a favorite with sitting and former presidents, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Often touted as a cultural center, Martha's Vineyard has a century-old affluent African-American presence in Oak Bluffs. The beaches are lovely and plentiful, and you must make a stop by Aquinnah, home of the Wampanoag Tribe, to see the most incredible clay cliffs and hike down to the sandy beach below. The Martha's Vineyard Film Society hosts special screenings throughout the summer, and kids will love Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest operating carousel in the nation.
Whether it's beachcombing, touring lighthouses, eating delicious food, or exploring the beautiful coast, you'll find it all within reach at one of our Cape Cod beachfront rentals.
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