24 Hours on the Cape: Here is What To Do!

Cape Cod is 1,306 square miles of enticing beauty, rolling sand dunes leading to pristine beaches.  It is dotted with sites of immense historical significance, places that are not only important to the Cape but the country as well.  It is food and fun, shopping and swimming, bike riding and whale watching.  It is everything a person could possibly want to see which is why so many people come to visit during this time of year.  These people come for a weekend, a week, or more, and even that amount of time is not enough to take in all Cape Cod has to offer.  However, what if you only had 24 hours?  What if there was only time for a day trip?  What are the absolute essentials that a visitor to Cape Cod should seek out to make the most of their limited time on these shores?  What follows is a greatest hits of Cape Cod living for anyone looking to take a short trip to paradise.
KA_Sunrise_Wellfleet_LeCount Hollow_Winter_010716072 Sunrise

Wherever one is coming from make it an early start.  There are few things more spectacular than a good sunrise, one such thing is a Cape Cod sunrise.  There are many great spots for the sunrise, they include: Lighthouse Beach in Chatham; Fort Hill in Eastham, Highland Lighthouse in Truro, Race Point Beach in Provincetown.


After sunrise it is time to eat.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and luckily there are many tantalizing options to be had.  Whether wanting something light or filling, sweet or salty, any craving will be satisfied.  Some of the best Cape Cod breakfasts include: Laura & Tony’s Kitchen in Eastham; The Hole In One in Orleans; Jack’s Outback II in Yarmouth Port; The Red Cottage in South Dennis.


Clocking in with 559.6 miles of shoreline it is still possible to find a relatively quiet spot on the sand somewhere.  However the beaches that are always packed are that way for a reason, they are simply spectacular. Relax for a bit but don’t fall asleep, with only 24 hours on the Cape there is a lot that needs to be seen and done.  Some of the prime beaches include: Chapin Beach in Dennis; Nauset Beach in Orleans; Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable; West Dennis Beach.


24 hours on the Cape would not be complete without sampling a legendary lobster roll.  Even if lobster is not on the menu there are many tremendous choices for hearty or lighter fare, they include: Sesuit Harbor Café in East Dennis; The Corner Store in Chatham; Winslow’s Tavern in Wellfleet; Café Chew in Sandwich.

Afternoon Drive

While lunch settles why not take a beautiful scenic drive along one of the picturesque roads traversing the Cape?  It is a necessary sight-seeing trip capturing the heart and soul and history of this area while also keeping the A/C running.  Some beautiful scenic drives include: Rt. 6A Sandwich into Orleans; Rt. 28A Falmouth into Bourne; Chequessett Neck Rd. in Wellfleet; Province Lands Rd. in Provincetown.

KA_Ptown Commercial Street_Provincetown_night_summer_005A Little Shopping

There are hundreds of unique stores located all over Cape Cod.  These are essential to the local economy and should be checked out.  However the shopping is made even more of an experience when done on one of the scenic Cape Cod Main Streets.  These hotbeds of business are dotted with book stores, clothing stores, toy stores, gift shops, boutiques, and restaurants.  Some fabulous Main Streets include: Main Street in Chatham; Main Street in Wellfleet; Commercial Street in Provincetown; Main Street in Falmouth.


With the shopping finished it is time for dinner.  A meal with a view is always recommended and luckily the Cape has a plethora of spectacular locations on the water.  Some of the best of the best for scenic dinners include: Baxter’s, Hyannis; Summer Shanty, West Dennis; The Lobster Pot, Provincetown; The Skipper, South Yarmouth

IceCreamIce Cream and Sunset

These two are great paired together.  Find one of the many delectable ice cream shops on the Cape, get your favorite and head on down to the nearest beach to catch a wondrous Cape Cod sunset.  The kids can run around and enjoy the sand and surf a little more while adults can catch their breath after a spectacular day in paradise.  Some great ice cream and sunset combos include: Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville paired with Craigville Beach; Cape Cod Creamery in South Yarmouth paired with Smuggler’s (Bass River) Beach; The Local Scoop in Orleans paired with Rock Harbor; Sundae School in Harwich Port paired with Bank Street Beach.

A Drink Under the Stars

For the adults the fun on Cape Cod does not stop when the moon rises.  A perfect way to end 24 hours on the Cape is by sitting under the stars with your favorite drink.  Lounge chairs, fire pits, rolling waves, live music, it is all part of the after dark scene.  A magical end to a wonderful day can be had at places like: The Ocean House in Dennis Port; Pleasant Bay Terrace at Wequassett in Harwich; The Beachcomber in Wellfleet; The Chart Room in Cataumet.

By Christopher Setterlund

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