Cape Cod is one of the most popular summer destinations in Massachusetts. It’s a destination awash with historical family holiday homes, dozens of seafood shacks and some breathtaking views.
A hooked-shaped peninsula is a great place for adventure. From food and wine to hiking and sailing, Cape Cod is an exciting and vibrant destination.
Being a popular spot for holidaymakers, Cape Cod is well-prepared for travelers of every kind. Families will find countless hotels catering to the needs of the whole group; couples are bound to find their new favorite lover’s hideaway – whatever your travel style, you will make a heap of wonderful memories in Cape Cod.
Although most busy during the summer period, Cape Cod is a year-round destination. In fact, during the autumnal, off-season months, Cape Cod is arguably even more photogenic. There is something invigorating about feeling the coastal breeze in your hair on a blustery October morning.
Cape Cod was once a big whaling community but since the 19th Century tourism has been the area’s biggest earner.
With so much history to explore, Cape Cod captures the hearts of visitors from the moment they arrive.
Let’s explore where to stay in Cape Cod:
Sitting at the northernmost tip of Cape Cod is the iconic town of Provincetown.
Also known as P-Town to locals, Provincetown is home to a proud LGQBT community and is one of the brightest and most welcoming places along Cape Cod.
Provincetown is the perfect place to stay in Cape Cod for lovers of the arts. It is no secret that Provincetown is something of a haven for artists and when you visit you will surely see why; Provincetown is brimming with character and charm. It is hard to be uninspired in such a charismatic environment.
Provincetown has a historical significance too; it’s the site of the landing of the famous ship, The Mayflower. In the center of town sits the Pilgrim Monument that commemorates the landing of the Pilgrims in 1620.
From the galleries and museums of the daytime to the nightclubs and cabarets of the evenings, Provincetown is a must visit destination in Cape Cod.
Good For: Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Budding Historians, Beach Bums, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Sightseers, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Pilgrim Monument, Race Point Lighthouse, Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown Harbor, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Long Point, Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, Provincetown Public Library, Whaler’s Wharf, Cortile Gallery, Cape Cod National Seashore, Rice Polak Gallery, Provincetown Marina, The Church of St Mary of the Harbor
- The Masthead Resort – The Masthead Resort is a one-minute walk from the beach. With compact but bright rooms, it is a top pick. The Masthead Resort’s location could not be better. All rooms feature a microwave for preparing light meals and a seating area. There is free WiFi and free parking too.
- The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s – The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s is a superb hotel on Bradford Street, just 300-yards from the Pilgrim Monument. The whole hotel oozes charm and the rooms are spacious yet cozy. Many rooms feature an open fireplace. There are warm tones and elegant furniture throughout. Parking is available on the property.
- White Porch Inn – White Porch Inn is an exceptional hotel in Provincetown. Many rooms offer views of Cape Cod and excellent sunset viewing. There is free WiFi available throughout the hotel and breakfast is included in most room rates. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom and most of them feature a bathtub.
The village of Hyannis is a bit of a hidden gem. Hyannis can be found on the southern edge of the Cape Cod peninsula and is just a stone’s throw away from Barnstaple. For travelers who want to experience the resort island of Nantucket, Hyannis is a great place to use as a base. There is a ferry that sails to and from the mainland over ten times a day.
Hyannis is most famous for its windswept beaches. Come rain or shine, Kalmus Beach is a gorgeous spot for a coastal walk. Craigville Beach to the west of the main village is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts. Kitesurfing is the water sport of choice and Craigville Beach is one of the best spots for this on the peninsula.
For those who don’t fancy working up a sweat during their visit to Cape Cod, there is still plenty to do. The John F Kennedy Hyannis Museum shares some fascinating insights into the former president’s family life.
Good For: Active Travelers, Budding Historians, Beach Bums, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Like a Local Travelers, Off the Beaten Track Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: John F Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Kalmus Beach, Craigville Beach, Dunbar Beach, Veterans Park Beach, Keyes Memorial Beach, John F Kennedy’s House, Joseph P. Kennedy’s House, Skunknett River Wildlife Sanctuary, Cape Cod Mall, Cape Cod Melody Trust, Hyannisport Club, Wild Animal Lagoon Crazy Golf, Colonial Acres Beach
- Sea Breeze Inn – Sea Breeze Inn is a very good hotel in Hyannis. Each room features a unique design and the Inn is locally owned and managed. The rooftop terrace is the standout feature of Sea Breeze Inn and is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or two of an evening.
- The Heritage House Hotel – Set in a great location, within a short walk from the beach, The Heritage House Hotel is a top pick in Cape Cod. Guests have access to a swimming pool and there is a restaurant and bar in-house. The rooms are generous and all feature an ensuite bathroom.
- Anchor In Distinctive Waterfront Lodging – Offering an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi, Anchor In Distinctive Waterfront Lodging is a top pick in Hyannis. Ideal for couples or solo travelers, there is a shared lounge and games room where guests can interact and relax. The rooms are charming and some have basic kitchen facilities.
Historic Plymouth is one of the most popular places to visit on Cape Cod. The site of the first Pilgrim settlement in 1620, there is so much to discover in Massachusetts’ Plymouth.
Visitors can stand in the exact spot where it is thought the pilgrims landed on the shore of the United States of America. Sitting anchored at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park is a full-sized replica of The Mayflower.
The best way to get to grips with the history and heritage of Plymouth is to take a tour of Plymouth Plantation. As a living museum, visitors have a fully immersive and interactive experience as they stroll around the recreated village of 1627. It takes just an hour and a half to cover the whole of the living village, although many travelers choose to spend the whole day there. There is so much to see and learn.
For those traveling with children, the Water Wizz of Cape Cod waterpark is a must visit.
Good For: Active Travelers, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Sightseers, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Plymouth Rock, Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Harbor, Myles Standish State First, National Monument of the Forefathers, Water Wizz of Cape Cod, Edaville Family Theme Park, Pilgrim Hall Museum, The Plymouth Grist Mill, Brewster Garden, 1809 Hedge House Museum, Howland House, Onset Beach, Duxbury Beach Park, Coles Hill Burial Ground
- John Carver Inn & Spa – John Carver Inn & Spa is a large hotel only a 12-minute walk from the beach. The historic Downton of Plymouth is a short walk from John Carver Inn & Spa. The hotel features a mix of modern and colonial design elements that make for a comfortable and authentic stay.
- Best Western Plus Cold Spring – Best Western Plus Cold Spring is a popular hotel in Plymouth. All rooms feature a seating area and an ensuite bathroom. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel and there is free parking too. Breakfast is included in some room rates and is a great start to the day, the coffee is very good.
- Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor – Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor, as its name suggests, is close to the historic harbor – set just across the road. The hotel has some excellent facilities, including a heated indoor swimming pool and a fitness center. All rooms have a coffee maker and a television with access to cable channels.
Martha’s Vineyard is a very popular destination along Cape Cod for both day-trippers and longer holidaymakers. Much like the rest of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard has its fair share of history to discover. There are lighthouses and colonial cottages aplenty to explore.
Gay Head Lighthouse is the most famous lighthouse on the island and is open during the summer for tours. Constructed in 1799, Gay Head Lighthouse is actually the oldest lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard.
Many people will recognize the scenery of Martha’s Vineyard – it was used as the backdrop for some scenes in the famous movie ‘Jaws’ in 1974.
For travelers looking for a relaxed and refined place to stay in Cape Cod, it doesn’t get much better than Martha’s Vineyard. There are dozens of outstanding restaurants on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Lighthouse Grill is a popular choice and Dock Street Coffee Shop is a great spot for a lazy breakfast.
Good For: Active Travelers, Beach Bums, Budding Historians, Country Bumpkins Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Sightseers, Luxury Travelers, Older Travelers, Outdoors Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Gay Head Lighthouse, Flying Horses, Cuttyhunk Island, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Cape Pole Wildlife Refuge, Mytoi Japanese Garden, East Chop Lighthouse, Wasque Point, Menemsha Hills, Eisenhauer Gallery, Polly Hill Arboretum, Manuel F Correllus State Forest, Lambert’s Cove Beach, Dock Street Coffee Shop, Lighthouse Grill
- Clarion Inn Martha’s Vineyard – Set in one of the most photogenic parts of Martha’s Vineyard, the Clarion Inn is a top pick on the island. The rooms are spacious and bright and there are family rooms available to sleep up to four people. The breakfast served up by the Clarion Inn team is excellent.
- Mansion House Inn – Mansion House Inn is just a 9-minute walk from the beach. The hotel offers guests access to the well-equipped fitness center and there is a luxurious spa in-house too. All rooms have WiFi access and an ensuite. Some premium rooms offer a balcony with views of the water.
- Ashley Inn – Ashley Inn is a fabulous hotel on Martha’s Vineyard and a very popular choice in Cape Cod. There is a cottage-like feel to Ashely Inn and it is run by a local team of staff. The Edgartown Lighthouse is just 600-meters away. Breakfast is included during the high summer season.
Sitting 30-kilometers to the south of the Cape Cod peninsula is the gorgeous island of Nantucket. Featuring high sand dunes and plenty of lighthouses, Nantucket is a little gem.
Much like the rest of the cape, Nantucket has a history of whaling, although nowadays the island’s main source of income is tourism. At the Whaling Museum of Nantucket, travelers can learn about the history of whaling and what life was like on the remote island during the early 19th Century. The focal point of the museum is the real whale skeleton. It serves as an educational tool – perfect for youngsters – and is an impressive sight.
Keen photographers will definitely enjoy Nantucket. The stark landscapes dotted with proud lighthouses make for some wonderful shots. Sankaty Head Light is one of the most photogenic on the island; the iconic red and white stripes can be seen for miles around. Built in 1850, it is still a functioning lighthouse that serves an important purpose.
Good For: Active Travelers, Beach Bums, Budding Historians, Country Bumpkins Couples, Culture Vultures, Keen Photographers, Families, Foodies, Sightseers, Luxury Travelers, Older Travelers, Outdoors Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Whaling Museum, Brant Point Lighthouse, Sankaty Head Light, Great Point Lighthouse, Nantucket Downtown Historic District, Jethro Coffin House, Cisco Beach, Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum, Nantucket Life Saving Museum, Dionis Beach, ‘Sconset Bluff Walk, Old Mill, Liones Observatory, Miacoment Beach
- Brass Lantern Inn – Brass Lantern Inn is a superb hotel in Nantucket. Just a 4-minute walk from the beach, Brass Lantern Inn is a popular choice, with good reason, The rooms are stylish in design and offer high levels of comfort. All rooms offer a spa robe, luxury toiletries and complimentary bottles of water.
- 21 Broad – 21 Broad is a modern and bright hotel on Broad Street. Ideal for travelers seeking a refreshing place to stay in Nantucket, 21 Broad offers an iPad, iPod docking station and flat-screen TV in every room. There is a vitamin C shower in every room. This is a fantastically luxurious hotel.
- The Veranda House Hotel Collection – The Veranda House Hotel Collection is a superb hotel in Nantucket. Breakfast is included in the room rate and is served in continental style. The historic downtown of Nantucket is just a 5-minute walk away. The gardens of The Veranda House are gorgeous and guests can enjoy ocean views from the outdoor terrace.