Cape Cod seashore
Cape Cod
Chatham Lighthouse, Cape Cod
Walking along a beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod holidays - Charming, varied and attractive

A beautiful peninsula divided into four regions, Cape Cod is a popular holiday area – and for good reason. With miles of pristine beach, boutique shops, museums and galleries, delicious seafood, quaint fishing villages and excellent whale watching, there’s something for everyone.

A sweet peninsula boasting gorgeous boutiques and seafood

Cape Cod is an arm-shaped peninsula located to the east of Massachusetts, which can be loosely divided into four regions: Upper Cape, Mid Cape, Lower Cape the Outer Cape. The peninsula is accompanied by three smaller islands including Gosnold, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

It is a well-trodden tourist holiday area and is blessed with many miles of beaches, natural attractions, top quality restaurants and bed and breakfast accommodation. The town of Princetown on the northern tip of the island is the historic landing place of the first Pilgrims from England.

Things to do in Cape Cod

Cape Cod has many varied activities on offer to suit a variety of different tastes: from cosmopolitan boutique shopping areas like Hyannis, to the gentle pursuits of golf on one of the island’s quality courses. If you have a strong pair of sea legs, you might prefer to join the local anglers on a deep sea fishing trip in some of the richest fishing grounds on the East Coast.

Hiking is popular with tourists, and many enjoy the variety of good hiking and biking trails throughout Barnstaple. Hyannis is also an ecotourism destination with natural wildlife and conservation areas including the Sandy Neck Great Salt Marsh and the Cape Cod Pathways Trail.

The peninsula is also rich in culture and has a number of museums and galleries including the John F. Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. The museum has a multimedia exhibition dedicated to preserving the memories of JFK and his family, who have a close association with the area.

A trip to the Cape would not be complete without a visit to its smaller neighbours, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Both islands are accessible by ferry from Woods Hole and Hyannis respectively, and are popular for their natural beauty.

Holiday highlights

  • Exciting deep sea fishing trips to Stellwagen Bay and Cape Cod Bay
  • Shopping: good shopping facilities in the villages of Hyannis and Barnstaple
  • All year round natural beauty
  • Hiking and walking: miles of natural footpaths and bike routes
  • Excellent museums including the John F. Kennedy museum in Hyannis
  • Professional quality golf courses

When to go to Cape Cod

The Cape and surrounding islands are generally about 10 degrees warmer in winter than the mainland due to the effects of the Gulf Stream, and subsequent offshore winds keep them 10 degrees cooler in the summer.

Rainfall is above average in the US, and the downside to being surrounded by water is the tendency to experience fog, although it can be quite a romantic experience.

Spring is a popular time to go, as the islands are in full daffodil bloom during May and June and visitors can enjoy a selection of daffodil festivals.

July and August are the most popular times to go as the days are generally sunny and breezy and swimming in the Atlantic becomes comfortable. Summer gives way to a riot of shifting colours as the trees and moorlands change with the onset of autumn.

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Julie Leggatt
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