7 Cape Cod Museums You Must Visit This Summer

An overlooked aspect of Cape Cod: all of its fascinating museums.

It is perfectly understandable that visitors and locals alike would get lost in the waves, sunsets, food and other amenities the area is marked for. But it also has a booming cultural scene, one that brings in many thousands per year.

And, like with every other hobby found on this arm-shaped sandbar, the diversity of museums here is striking. Literary, manufacturing, seafaring, presidential, historical and other sorts of institutions can all be found here.

Check out these 9 museums you have to visit while you’re here.



Cape Cod Museum of Natural History – Brewster

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History preserves, exhibits, and interprets their own collections of natural history artifacts. The museum also collaborates with local and regional organizations on co-sponsored exhibits. Children and adults are engaged in high-quality programs, classes, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films, walks, field trips, traditions and interactive exhibits that reveal the many facets of the natural world and the reciprocal impacts that humans and nature exert on each other.

869 Main St, Brewster

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Exhibit Center – Woods Hole

Visitors to WHOI’s Ocean Science Exhibit Center will learn about the Institution’s famed ocean science research and the vessels developed by WHOI for use in that research. Explore a full-sized model of the Alvin personnel sphere, featuring control panels and other technology the craft has used over the years. Titanic buffs will get a kick out of a dedicated Titanic research room.

15 School St, Woods Hole

KA_dennis_cape cod museum of art_122315105Cape Cod Museum of Art – Dennis

The Cape Cod Museum of Art’s mission is to collect, study, interpret and exhibit works by outstanding artists with a regional association. The museum’s collections and exhibitions include works drawn from a broader context, providing a more comprehensive understanding of our regional artistic heritage. Their permanent collection includes works by Thomas Hart Benton, Red Grooms and John James Audubon, as well as many more obscure names.

60 Hope Ln, Dennis

KA_Hyannis_JFK museum2_11315John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation preserves and promotes the legacy of President Kennedy, his family, and their deep connection to Cape Cod. Each year, a new special exhibit, focusing on a period of the Kennedy family’s longtime history with the Cape, opens to thousands of visitors. In 2015 alone, the museum brought in close to 60,000 people.

397 Main St, Hyannis

KA_Provincetown_Ptown_pilgrim monument_11315Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum – Provincetown

Whether you arrive by land, sea or sky, the Pilgrim Monument is the first thing you see when you approach Provincetown. Standing at 252 feet, the Monument commemorates the first landing spot of the Pilgrims (before they moved on to Plymouth). It’s the tallest all-granite structure in the United States. The Provincetown Museum, at the base of the Pilgrim Monument, features a unique collection of exhibits that depict important events and people in both Provincetown’s and our nation’s history.

1 High Pole Hill Rd

Heritage Museums and Gardens – Sandwich

Heritage Museums & Gardens is comprised of three galleries and expansive gardens located in historic Sandwich, Massachusetts. It includes galleries of American Folk Art, a vintage carousel, automobiles, travelling exhibitions and even a zipline adventure park.

67 Grove St, Sandwich

Edward Gorey House – Yarmouth Port

Celebrated author, illustrator and playwright Edward Gorey was well known for his works The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Unstrung Harp and his sometimes sardonic illustrations. He bought a Cape Cod home in the late 70s and lived there until his passing in 2000. Now, his home is a museum dedicated to upholding his legacy through his art, books and memorabilia.

8 Strawberry Lane, Yarmouth Port


  1. Mary Cote says:

    The Whydah Museum, which is fairly new, is a must see! It’s in West Yarmouth on route 28.

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