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8 Must-Visit Towns in Cape Cod

By Soren Rivero


Bright blue oceans, lighthouse adventures, seafood shacks, and more are waiting for you in Cape Cod! If you’re looking for the perfect summer destination, you should definitely consider visiting this hook-shaped peninsula in Massachusetts.

There are dozens of fun things to do in Cape Cod, but the real excitement comes from visiting the cape’s quaint towns. Keep reading to learn more about them!


Chatham

A seaside town on the most eastern end of the peninsula, Chatham is a rather traditional village with a very homey feel to it. Beachgoers would especially love this quiet town as there are plenty of options available, such as the beautiful Lighthouse Beach. You can also attend local summer-night live music events in the busy streets of the town. History lessons via touring The Chatham Railroad Museum or taking a boat ride to Monomoy Island are also super fun activities!


Sandwich

Near the entry point to Cape Cod’s deepest interiors is the peaceful town of Sandwich. The population is rather small – estimated at around 20,000 people in the year 2020. It’s the oldest town in Cape Cod making it full of history to be learned and love to be felt. The town’s motto is "Post tot Naufracia Portus" translating to “after so many shipwrecks, a haven" from Latin. Nature-lovers should be on the lookout to visit the town’s expansive and beautiful Heritage Museum and Gardens!


Hyannis

If small and quiet towns aren’t for you, why not pay a visit to Cape Cod’s bustling city of Hyannis? Well, Hyannis is actually a village inside of the town of Barnstable, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting! You can find some of the best beaches in Cape Code here, including Veteran’s Park Beach, Kalmus Park Beach, and Colonial Acres Beach. You may also want to visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum to see a detailed chronicle of the assassinated president’s time spent in Cape Cod.


Provincetown

We’re heading up north for our next best town in Cape Cod. Fun fact: Provincetown was the port where the Mayflower landed in 1620. You can learn more about this by visiting the nearby Pilgrim Monument Provincetown Museum.

You’d think that the sight of so much history would be riddled with historians and archaeologists, but this town seems to be more popular among nightlife enthusiasts and emerging artists. This is also one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly towns in the world, as open members can find both comfort and fun at the entertaining streets of P-Town! Bars, restaurants, cabarets, galleries, and more can be found on the bustling Commercial Street.


Photo by Michelle Raponi on Pixabay

Yarmouth

For a more unique trip to Cape Cod, visit Yarmouth. This town is divided into West, South, and Port locations, all on different ends of the cape. You’ll find something interesting in every corner of Yarmouth, from golf courses to beaches, to even standing on the grounds where WWE was invented in South Yarmouth! Be sure to visit the Edward Gorey House if you’re a fan of… quirky artists.


Falmouth

Beaches, rocky hills, lighthouses, and gardens… everything you need for the perfect vacation out in nature. This town is on the southeastern coast of Cape Cod, known for its beaches and lighthouses. You’ll definitely find some peace and quiet here as there’s a beautiful nature spot practically at every corner. Aside from spending time outdoors, you can visit the Woods Hole Science Aquarium to see the nation’s first small aquarium that includes exhibits and touch tanks of local sea life!


Photo by Cristopher Ryan on Unsplash

Mashpee

This town houses the headquarters and a majority of the members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (People of the First Light in their language), who are indigenous to Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In 2007, the tribe was granted the federal recognition they filed for. In 2015, 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170 acres of land in Taunton were granted as the Tribe’s initial reservation, where they can exercise full tribal sovereignty rights. In late 2021, they won around 320 acres of land around Cape Cod in a groundbreaking decision. The Tribe is now hoping to use it to further economic development and bring revenue back to their community. You can learn more about the history at local museums such as the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum and volunteer to help preserve local wildlife at the reserves. Don’t forget to support the small businesses when you visit!


Wellfleet

Discover even more beaches and nightlife hotspots here in Wellfleet! This includes one of the best nightclubs in Cape Cod: Beachcomber. Aside from activities popular among partygoers, there are other interesting things to do in Wellfleet. The town draws in plenty of literary, art, and historical fanatics thanks to its plentiful museums and exhibits. Make sure to visit the Wellfleet Historical Society & Museum if you want to see some fascinating artifacts.

Which of these cool small towns in Cape Cod will you visit?

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