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Cape Cod is a wonderland of fun and unusual things to do

Cape Cod has something for the whole family lodging options near the water, major attractions, great food, shopping and outdoor recreation. Browse museums, galleries and gardens. Find a place to hunker down near the beaches with scenic views and ocean breezes or get some pampering at a day spa. Do some contra dance at the tip of Cape Cod, take in some live theater, enjoy the sophisticated sounds of the Cape Cod Jazz Festival. Walk wildlife refuges and bird sanctuaries, play tennis and golf. Get out on the water for boating, fishing and whale watching. Bike to the beaches, walk the dunes.

Historic Shore Street Falmouth, MA, 02541 Phone: 508-540-3000 Toll-Free: 800-352-7100

An old-fashioned Cape Cod vacation like your grandparents remember

If you want to experience Cape Cod the way your grandparents remember it, the place to stay is ShoreWay Acres Inn in Falmouth. We're family owned and family run. The main part of our inn is an historic sea captain's home, built in 1806 and located in downtown Falmouth. That means we're within walking distance to everything -- the beach, the village, bird sanctuary, day spas, shops, galleries, museums, churches, trolley stop, library, and more than twenty restaurants, pubs, and sidewalk cafes. With short notice we can prepare a traditional Cape Cod clam bake -- with lobster, steamers, corn on the cob, and watermelon -- or a cook out, with hot dogs, hamburgers, and BBQ chicken. These meals are served on the lawn, so it's come as you are. Bare feet and bathing suits are fine.

75 Falmouth Heights Road Falmouth, MA, 02540 Phone: 508-548-4800

Great places start with a great journey.

As if Martha’s Vineyard wasn’t enough of a great place to travel to, getting there only adds to the fun. From May through October, climb aboard the Island Queen in Falmouth, MA on ol’ Cape Cod and settle in for a sweet 35 minute mini cruise across beautiful and historic Vineyard Sound. The sea along the Massachusetts Coast is your soothing backdrop for 35 minutes of relaxation, conversation and a refreshing touch of sun, sky and salt air that fills the lungs and lifts the spirit. Passengers only are welcome aboard along with their bicycles, kayaks, paddle boards and pets. Reservations are not accepted. Group Bookings available for 20 or more passengers.

Route 28 on Pleasant Bay Chatham, MA, 02633 Phone: 508-432-5400 Toll-Free: 800-225-7125

Tots to teens to Moms and Dad’s will find something to make their day

The family friendly resort features tennis, eighteen holes of championship golf, two beaches and two magnificent pools. Private cabanas offer views of Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and all the relaxing extras. The Annual Cape Cod Jazz Festival, free and open to the public, has a lineup of the region’s hottest jazz artists and is one of the most anticipated events of the summer. The Children's Center offers educational, fun and whimsical programming for children 2-12. The kids will love the high tech amenities, a nautical themed playground with a "tot lot" for the youngest children and "children's area" for those over five. During the summer there is an aquatic playground as well as Drive-In Movie Family Fun Night, Teen Gaming Night, tennis, swimming and sailing lessons.

Real Pirate History and the Loot to Go With It

The Whydah Pirate Museum, opening June 2016 at 674 MA-28 in West Yarmouth, is a 12,000-square-foot treasure house, so to speak, of pirate history and pirate lore. The brand-new interactive science museum welcomes people to see, touch, and handle authenticated pirate treasure, discovered in 1984 off the coast of Wellfleet. The Whydah was a fully-rigged British ship that traveled between Africa, the Caribbean, and Great Britain. In 1717, it was captured by the pirate Samuel Bellamy and used over the next year to board 53 vessels, collecting their riches and treasures. During a storm off the coast of Wellfleet the Whydah ship sunk in 1717. The Whydah Pirate Museum provides an interactive and fun learning experience for children and adults. Open daily.

Wet Paint All Winter at Dyer’s

Does life stand still in Provincetown during winter? Summer visitors might think so, but, no, it does not. Many lodgings close down, but Dyer’s Beach House in Provincetown landed on the brilliant idea of inviting an artist to live and work at the guest house all winter. The artist’s work is displayed in guest rooms and sold at the guest house the following summer. In 2017, come enjoy the work of guest artist Peg Reynolds. Provincetown has a long history of innovative art. 508-487-2061.

Who Loves a Riddle?

Escape from screens and virtual life and lock yourself and a group of friends into Cape Cod’s only escape room, Riddle , at 61 Market Street in Mashpee. Riddle offers six different games; players are locked in a room and have 60 minutes to complete a mission by solving a series of puzzles, riddles and connecting clues. Riddle games all have their own theme, and puzzles work with the story line. Spark up your creativity and problem-solving skills to flow through the game. Who’s the brain in your huddle? 508-648-7664.

In the Footsteps of Pilgrims

Pilgrim Spring Trail and Small's Swamp Trail , part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, are easy loop trails about one mile long, accessible off Route 6 at the Pilgrim Heights area sign in North Truro. The trails wind around a kettle swamp and marsh and offer wonderful views of Pilgrim Lake, sand dunes, the salt meadow, and the Atlantic Ocean. A stone marker identifies the site of the first fresh water the Pilgrims found. Trails are marked with information about local history and nature. This is a fine, easy walk for people of all ages, with views of typical Cape Cod landforms and living creatures.

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum

The Pilgrim Monument, a granite obelisk dedicated in 1910, is a visual icon of the Provincetown waterfront, visible from land and sea. The Monument, on High Pole Hill road, commemorates the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims, who landed at Provincetown before moving on to Plymouth. From May through October, visitors can climb to the top for a glorious view of the sweeping curve of the coastline. The adjoining Provincetown Museum describes the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims, the town’s maritime history, the early days of American theater in Provincetown, and the building of the monument. There’s a re-creation of a 19th century sea captain’s parlor at home and his quarters at sea and a scale model of the first theater of the Provincetown Players. 508-487-1310.

Dune and Beach Walks Near Provincetown

Never dismiss the Outer Cape as a romantic winter destination. Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet all have a core group of restaurants and bars dishing up warmth and sustenance. You will be looking for both after a vigorous walk onto the Province Lands, north of Provincetown. On a bright winter day, the views are glorious. Start at the Province Lands Visitor Center on Race Point Road, off Route 6. Walking routes can be adjusted for shorter and longer distances, with wonderful views of the Province Lands, Race Point Lighthouse, the Coast Guard Station, and more.

Contra Dance at the Tip of Cape Cod

Come and join the contra dance , happening the third Friday of every month, at different locations around the Outer Cape, like Wellfleet and nearby towns. If you can walk you can dance, or alternately, sit on the sidelines and just enjoy the music. You don’t need to bring a dance partner; everyone mixes around the group. There is a community potluck beforehand at 6:30 p.m. and dancing starts at 7:30 p.m. Contra dancing is the old time dance of New England; music – performed by live musicians -- is exuberant reels and jigs from the traditional repertoires of the British Isles, Canada and America. Everyone is welcome, including children. This is an alcohol-free event.

In 1928, Rose and Joseph Kennedy, Sr. purchased their Hyannis Port summer home, less than three miles from Hyannis. It became a summer playground for generations of that star-crossed family. In 2017, the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth, come walk the 1.6-mile, self-guided Kennedy Legacy Trail of 10 sites that were important to the Kennedys. At each site a sign and links to video and audio tells the stories and history about the Kennedys on Cape Cod. Brochures with a map of the sites are available at the JFK Hyannis Museum at 397 Main Street, Hyannis.

Old-Time General Store is a Cape Cod Favorite

The Brewster Store on Route 6A in Brewster was built as a church in 1852 and converted to a general store in 1866. It has served residents and visitors to Cape Cod for more than 140 years. The Brewster Store features a broad assortment of merchandise: coffee, pastries and morning newspapers, penny candy, t-shirts and sweatshirts, toys, lamp parts, kitchen gadgets, original Coke in glass bottles, books, greeting cards and many unusual gifts. Put a quarter in the old nickelodeon to hear an old time tune, enjoy the roasted peanuts, or just sit on the benches and watch the world go by. Phone: 508-896-3744.