What things to do in Cape Cod???

butterfly130December 11, 2002

My friends and I are planning a week vacation in Cape Cod in Apr 03. We are staying in either Mashpee or Falmouth and we have already planned on driving to Provincetown hopefully to take a whale watching trip. We love crafts, history, antiques, sightseeing and they are dying to eat fresh lobster. Anybody have any suggestions on what we can't miss?

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If you head out to Provincetown, be sure to plan for time in the town itself. Lots of galleries and restaurants. The town just before, Truro, is also beautiful, but quieter.

The Cape Cod National Seashore is not to be missed.

I also love Chatham. Gorgeous little town.

Just in case you haven't gone on a whale watch before, be sure to bring warm clothes. In April, a winter coat, warm hat, and gloves wouldn't be too much. Even on a 90 degree day in the middle of the summer, I never go without a warm jacket.

Have fun - the cape is always a good time.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2002 at 12:47AM
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My husband and I took a 15 day vacation in New England 2 months ago - we spent 3 days in Sandwich which was a very picturesque town with very nice antique stores, a wonderful mill pond and old mill and beautiful beach - we stayed at the Dan'l Webster Inn. There are several museums in Sandwich including a glass museum which was interesting. Before we went to Sandwich we went to Nantucket for a couple of days - that was fabulous. Before we left on this trip I read several issues of Cape Cod Magazine, logged on to various cape code sites, sent for lots of brochures from individual chamber of commerces and bought 2 guidebooks to Cape Cod. My husband would not go on a whale watching trip so we skipped that, but I understand they are very interesting. After all my research, we ended up simply driving the cape all the way to Provincetown - stopping along the way at various towns and walking around visiting antique stores, museums, restaurants, then driving down the other side of the cape and cutting over back to Sandwich. Cape Cod is a very casual place filled with pretty small towns that just have to be experienced. Hyannis is more like a typical anywhere town with malls, fast food and services - we went through there in order to catch the ferry to Cape Cod - but it was definitely not what we wanted to see (we can experience shopping centers and traffic where we live). Magazines, websites and guide books all will list different special events - there are several spring flower events in Cape Cod - Nantucket has a a daffodil festival I believe. I guess my point is that we really didn't want to "do" anything in Cape Cod except experience the beauty and small New England town feel of the place without doing a lot of pre-planned things. Boston and Maine were different - we preplanned most things - but you just sort of have to experience the quiet, scenic layed back feeling of all the little towns in Cape Cod to appreciate its uniqueness. You'll have a wonderful trip.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2002 at 4:45AM
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Cathleen seems to have done the research for you. Let me say, if you stay in Falmouth, you are closer to catching the ferry to the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Falmouth has a quaint center, most of the stores are year-round. Mashpee has a quaint looking, but big, outdoor mall type with many stores. Antiques are in both areas. If you want to travel up Route 6A, you will get into the smaller cape towns on the way to Provincetown. Hyannis is to be missed unless you are nostalgic for the Kennedy's. There are prettier towns to spend your time in. There are smaller villages within the Falmouth - Hyannis route, off Route 24 that have charming small inlets, harbors - Osterville, Wianno, Centerville, Quisset Harbor to name of few.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2002 at 12:58PM
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Joanne, Cathleen, and Blaze: Thank you for your info. I have received a booklet from Mashpee and I am awaiting others. We (4 women) take an annual trip w/o the husbands so we can do the fun stuff like craft stores, antiques, scenic areas, etc. No one has been to this area so we are anxious to see it.

Do you know when they start the whale watching season?
Early April looks like the most available time for us to visit but we would like to make it late April. Would love to go on a whale watching trip.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2002 at 1:11PM
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Altho I live in the area, I've never been on whale watch - just not my thing. But, April would seem to be a bit early to be out on the ocean. Your best bet is to call the Chamber of Commerce. If you are going to travel up the Cape towards Provincetown, you might want to take Route 6A. It's a very picturesque route - not highway like Route 6 and not as congested at Route 24. There are some interesting shops along the way towards Brewster and Truro. Antiques seem to be a bit pricey on the Cape. There is an antique store in Dennisport, which is on Route 24, and up a bit (30 mins. or so) from Falmouth. I can't remember the name. It's a consortium of antique dealers - it's right in Dennisport Center. You might want to try there for your hunt for antiques. Good Luck! If you stay in Falmouth, there's a great restaurant in West Falmouth called the Chapi (think it's Chapiquak or something like that, the locals call it the Chapi) Grille. It's crowded even on the off-season so either go early or expect a bit of a wait - no reservations.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2003 at 11:35PM
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If you want to see some history of Cape Cod, you might want to stop at the National Seashore Visitor's Center in Eastham. It's a short distance from the rotary in Orleans.
This rotary is the end of the highway part of route 6. As one of the earlier posters stated route 6A, which parallels route 6 from the time you enter the cape up to the Orleans rotary is a scenic road loaded with antique/collectible/craft shops as well as some nice really old house to see. Late April would probably be better weatherwise.
The references to "route 24" I believe meant Route 28. this is the main road from Falmouth to Hyannis and towns beyond on the south side of the cape(route 6A runs along the north side of the cape).

    Bookmark   January 9, 2003 at 4:38PM
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OK, I now have a confirmation for a Falmouth resort for the week beginning Apr 26. I found that Nantucket has a daffodil festival but I'm having a hard time finding how to get there. It seems the ferries don't run all the time. Can somebody give me some advice on how to get to Nantucket and what it might cost?
Also, will the shops along Rt 6A and 28 be open by then?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 8:11AM
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The ferry to Nantucket only leaves from Hyannis - a short (40 mins.) ride from Falmouth. You can catch the ferry to Martha's Vineyard from the Falmouth/Woods Hole area. For information on price and times, check the website: steamshipauthority.com/ I believe, but you should check out on this webpage to be certain, that you can catch the ferry to Nantucket from the Vineyard also.
I was in the Truro/Brewster area in late March a year ago and most of the shops along Route 6A and 28 were open.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2003 at 3:04PM
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Blaze, thank you again. I thought I had checked the steamship authority before but apparently not because this time I found the info I needed. We will definitely go to the Chapi Grill (I love personal recommendations).

Sarasal, yes we will stop at the Visitor's Center. We love driving around looking at old houses, stone houses, victorian houses, etc and I'm getting much info on the shops.

We are getting really excited about this trip. Each of us has problems/stress to deal with (my latest being I haven't had any heat/hot water since last Sat 1/11 because my furnace died and the repairmen came today to install the new one and two valves are broken so still no heat-and it's 30 degrees and snowing here!) Yikes! By the time this trip comes up, we will be soooooooooo ready for a goooooooodddddd time.

Thanks again to everybody.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 1:08AM
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You are going to have a ball. I would strongly recommend that you spend at least a day or two on Nantucket. We took the hi-speed ferry from Hyannis last October - look at Hy-linecruises.com . The hi-speed ferry tickets for 2 plus parking was about $130. You definitely need to make reservations ahead of time - we did so over the phone. It takes 1 hour to get to Nantucket from Hyannis on the hi-speed ferry. Nantucket is not to be missed but hurry on those overnight and ferry reservations - the Daffodil Festival is very popular. Beware that almost everything in Nantucket is very, very expensive ($50 for a plain cotton short sleeve t-shirt, $40 for a very modest lunch for two). There are some good, more reasonable restaurants off the main street. Do take an island tour with one of the tour companies (some have vans, some busses). Be sure to post and let us know how your trip was.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2003 at 7:08AM
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I live outside of Boston and have a cottage in Mashpee. If you go to Sandwich take time to go to the Heritage Plantation, just 10 minutes outside of the center of town. It has beatiful grounds including a world renowned collection of Rhododendrons and several museums: antique car museum, arms museum and American Folk art museum including a working antique carousel. The whale watch does operate in April and the sightings are often very good early in the season. Don't worry about it being too early to be on the ocean, most of the trip you are in the relatively sheltered waters of Cape Cod Bay. By the way, we find that it is better to take the whale watch from Provincetown than from Hyannis - if you go early then you are back by noon and have the rest of the day to shop and see the sights "downcape." Also you have less time in the boat traveling out to where the whales are usually found off the tip of the Cape, therefore more time for whale sightings. If you enjoy art be sure to check out the galleries in Orleans, Dennis and Provincetown.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2003 at 8:16PM
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For whale watching, let me recommend the Dolphin Fleet. They're connected to Center for Coastal Studies, and have a naturalist on board, so you learn much more about what you're seeing, it's not just "look at the whales!".

Also, if you're staying in Falmouth and don't mind a short hike, visit the Knob. It is beautiful.



Here is a link that might be useful: Dolphin Fleet

    Bookmark   March 20, 2003 at 1:03PM
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