A Comprehensive Listing of Cape Cod Museums

Cape Cod has plenty of fascinating museums for visitors and locals to enjoy. Whether it’s a rainy day or if you are just looking to get out of the sunshine for a while, there are tons to explore.

Step back in time to learn more about the region’s history with various exhibits. See exhibits from the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing in Provincetown, the Wampanoags, sea captains, the glass industry, JFK, and the region’s maritime roots.

Some sites offer insights into the region’s art history and cultural significance. Other sites showing off unique collections, be it of antique cars or rhododendron varieties! Many museums are great for kids, who will love playing and learning!

Here are some of the great museums worth a visit on Cape Cod:

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Falmouth (Upper Cape)

This is a research center and higher education facility dedicated to the study of marine science. The institution looks at marine plants, animals, and microbes, as well as the changing geology and climate of the ocean. In the museum’s discovery center, visitors can listen to recordings of marine mammals, learn about the unique aquatic.

Ecosystem that forms around hydrothermal vents and examine a sediment core from the ocean floor.

Days and Hours of Operations:
WHOI Ocean Science Discovery Center closed until further notice due to COVID-19

Windmill Village
Town of Brewster (Lower Cape)

It includes the Old Higgins Farm Windmill, the Harris-Black House, and Hopkins Blacksmith Shop. The windmill operated for more than a century, from about 1795 to 1900, before it became a historical site. The village’s “smock”-style house, too, has been on Cape Cod since about 1795. Today, visitors can still watch live demonstrations in the blacksmith shop, which dates back to about 1867.

Days and Hours of Operations:
June 18 – September 4
Friday & Saturday: 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Wednesday: 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

West Dennis Graded School
Town of Dennis (Mid Cape)

This was a schoolhouse for the area’s children in the nineteenth century. Today, this historical building contains a maritime museum with exhibits on the area’s lighthouse keepers and sea captains, as well as the technology they used to do their jobs. The museum also features a restored classroom, where visitors can see what it was like to attend school on Cape Cod in the mid-1800s.

Days and Hours of Operations:
June 19 – October 25
Wednesday: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Friday: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Toad Hall Classic Car Museum
Town of Hyannis

This Classic Car Museum is the private antique car collection of Bill Putman, innkeeper at Simmons Homestead Inn. The collection includes more than 50 sports cars, produced by companies like Lotus, MG, Triumph, Jaguar, Austin-Healeys, TVR, Datsun, and Ferrari between 1950 and 1990. Every car is red.

Days and Hours of Operations:
Open Daily: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM (year round)

Admission Fees:
Adults: $8
Big Kids (10-16): $4
Kids (10& under): Free
Bored Spouses: $4

Stony Brook Grist Mill & Museum
Town of Brewster (Lower Cape)

This was the first water-powered grist and woolen mill in the United States. Today, the grist mill is the only remaining part of Brewster’s Factory Village on Stony Brook, which was the area’s most productive industrial center for two centuries. The museum features a functioning water wheel, a working loom, and other reminders of the town’s industrial past.

Days and Hours of Operations:
July – August
Saturdays: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Admission Fees:
Free, with cornbread for purchase!

Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum
Town of Provincetown (Outer Cape)

This structure is a 252-foot stone tower that commemorates the Mayflower’s first landing on Cape Cod. In the Provincetown Museum at the base of the tower, visitors can learn about the arrival of the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor, the maritime history of Provincetown, the construction of the monument, and the famous Provincetown Players theater group.

Days and Hours of Operations:
Opening May 15

Admission Fees:
Not known

Jonathan Bourne Historical Center
Town of Bourne (Upper Cape)

(Bourne) is dedicated to the legacy of Jonathan Bourne, the whaling magnate who gave his name to the town. Originally, the historical center was a library donated to the town by Bourne’s daughter in 1897. Today, the historic library is home to the town archives and to exhibits sponsored by the Bourne Historical Society.

Days and Hours of Operations:
Closed until further notice due to COVID

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
Town of Hyannis

The museum tells the story of President John F. Kennedy, who ran a successful 1960 presidential campaign from his summer house in Hyannis Port. The museum, which hopes to inspire attendees to pursue civic commitment, features exhibits dedicated to politics, civil rights, and the “Camelot” legend of the Kennedy presidency.

Days and Hours of Operations:
April 29 – May 20
Thursday – Saturday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

May 31 – September 3
Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Admission Fees:
Adults (18-61): $13
Seniors (62+): $11
Youth (6-17): $7
Children (5 & under): Free
Students (with ID): $7
Free for Massachusetts teachers and active military (with 5 guests)

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