Nestled along the scenic coast of Massachusetts, Cape Cod is a treasure trove of history, culture, and artistic expression. From maritime heritage to art exhibitions, the region boasts an impressive array of museums on Cape Cod that cater to diverse interests.
Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply curious about the past, these 32 museums on Cape Cod are bound to captivate your imagination.
Exploring the Fascinating Museums on Cape Cod
1. Aptucxet Trading Post Museum
Address: 6 Aptucxet Rd, Bourne
Phone: (508) 759-8167
A small open-air historical museum, the Aptucxet Trading Post is a replica of its former self, which was built by the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony to exchange goods with the Wampanoag Indians and the Dutch. The museum also features a replica of a 19th-century saltworks, the relocated 19th-century Gray Gables Railroad Station, and a wooden smock windmill.
Learn more about the Aptucxet Trading Post.
2. Atwood House & Museum
Address: 347 Stage Harbor Rd, Chatham, MA 02633
Step back in time at the Atwood House & Museum in Chatham. This museum displays the town’s history through an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia. From the whaling era to Chatham’s role in World War II, visitors gain insights into the local community’s evolution.
Learn more about the Atwood House.
3. Barnstable Historical Society Museum
Address: 3087 Main Street, Barnstable, MA 02630
Phone: (508) 362-2982
Barnstable Village is an institution dedicated to nurturing interest in the cultural heritage and maritime history of the seven villages of Barnstable County. The museum features an enormous collection of maritime relics, including portraits of local sea captains, as well as exhibits on the area’s other early industries. The Historical Society also manages the Old Jail and the Blacksmith Shop in Barnstable.
Learn more about the Barnstable Historical Society Museum.
4. Brooks Academy Museum
Address: 80 Parallel St, Harwich, MA 02645
Phone: (508) 432-8089
The Harwich Historical Society works to preserve, collect, and interpret Harwich history through exhibitions, education programs, active collecting, and research. It is housed in the historic Brooks Academy, built in 1844. Founded in 1953, the Harwich Historical Society has been operating for 67 years.
5. Cahoon Museum of American Art
Address: 4676 Falmouth Rd, Cotuit, MA 02635
Phone: 508- 428-7581
Celebrate the beauty of American art at the Cahoon Museum. The museum features an impressive collection of folk art, contemporary paintings, and sculptures that reflect the nation’s diverse artistic traditions. The peaceful surroundings and thoughtfully curated exhibitions make it a haven for art enthusiasts.
Learn more about the Cahoon Museum of American Art.
6. Cape Cod Children’s Museum
Address: 577 Great Neck Rd S, Mashpee, MA 02649
Enrich young minds with interactive learning at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum. This family-friendly destination features hands-on exhibits that encourage children’s creativity, curiosity, and exploration. From science to art, the museum offers a safe and engaging environment for kids to learn and play. Each year over 50,000 visitors visit the museum. The museum is ideal for children aged six months to eight years old.
Learn more about the Cape Cod Children’s Museum.
7. Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Address: 135 South St, Hyannis, MA 02601
Sail into the maritime history of Cape Cod at this captivating museum. Explore exhibits on shipbuilding, navigation, and the sea’s influence on the region’s development. From historic boats to interactive displays, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum offers a captivating journey into the nautical past.
Learn more about the Cape Cod Maritime Museum
8. Cape Cod Museum of Art
Address: 60 Hope Ln, Dennis, MA 02638
Phone: (508) 385-4477
The Cape Cod Museum features the finest artwork from Cape Cod and the surrounding region. It has art collections from past and present artists and delivers diverse programming to educate, and inspire imagination, whilst supporting the Cape’s communities. Visitors can visit any of the seven galleries, the sculpture garden, museum shop and film screening room.
Learn more about the Cape Cod Museum Of Art .
“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of
human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
9. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Address: 869 Main St, Brewster, MA 02631
Phone: 508- 896-3867
Discover the natural wonders of Cape Cod at this educational gem. The museum features interactive exhibits, nature trails, and guided tours that explain the region’s unique ecosystems. It spans 80 acres, from salt marshes to woodlands, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers insights into the area’s biodiversity and environmental conservation efforts. You will have the opportunity to learn about whales, birds, turtles, shellfish, frogs, and more. There are also archeological exhibits.
Learn more about the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
10. Captain Bangs Hallet House
Address: 11 Strawberry Ln, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675
Phone: (508) 362-3021
A sea captain’s home with period décor and furniture to provide an intimate look into 19th century family life. It includes a maritime exhibit and offers guided tours.
Learn more about the Captain Bangs Hallet House.
11. Chatham Marconi Maritime Center
Address: 847 Orleans Rd, North Chatham, MA 02650
Phone: 508- 945-8889
Uncover the fascinating history of communication and technology at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center. This museum honors the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station, which played a pivotal role in transatlantic communication. Engaging exhibits highlight the evolution of telecommunication and its impact on society. The museum offers guided tours.
Learn more about the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center.
12. Chatham Railroad Museum
Address: 153 Depot Rd, Chatham, MA 02633
Phone: (508) 945-5100
Located in a restored 1887 railroad depot, the Chatham Railroad Museum contains hundreds of exhibits, and the New York Central model locomotives used at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The museum includes a 1910 restored wood caboose for children and adults to explore. This former railroad station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Learn more about the Chatham Railroad Museum.
13. Coast Guard Heritage Museum
Address: 3353 Main St, Barnstable, MA 02630
Phone: (508) 362-8521
Description: Located in the United States Customhouse in Barnstable Village, this historic building, which operated as a post office and customs house between 1855 and 1913, now houses an extensive collection of nineteenth- and twentieth- century maritime relics. The museum documents more than two centuries of Coast Guard history with ship models, video and sound recordings, and other mediums.
Learn more about the Coast Guard Heritage Museum.
14. Cobb House Museum
Address: 739 Lower Rd, Brewster, MA 02631
Phone: (508) 896-9521
The Captain Elijah Cobb House serves as the home of the Brewster Historical Society and museum. Its main building houses four permanent galleries, and a special exhibition gallery detailing the adventures of one of Brewster’s most famous sea captains.
Learn more about the Cobb House Museum.
15. Dottridge Homestead & Kitchen Gardens
Address: 1148 Main St (Cotuit), Barnstable, MA 02635
Phone: (508) 428-0461
Dottridge Homestead & Kitchen Gardens is the nineteenth-century home of Samuel Dottridge, a local carpenter. Dottridge, who had immigrated from London to Cape Cod to work as an indentured servant, eventually became a prominent local carpenter and salt works owner. The Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit maintains the homestead as it looked in the 1840s, when Dottridge lived in the home with his family. While visiting, you can also check out the Cotuit Museum and the Rothwell Icehouse.
Learn more about the Dotteridge Homestead & Kitchen Gardens
16. Falmouth Museums on the Green
Address: 55-65 Palmer Ave, Falmouth, MA 02540
Step into a world of history and culture at the Falmouth Museums on the Green. This campus features two 18th-century houses that highlight Falmouth’s colonial heritage. Through guided tours, exhibits, and events, visitors gain insight into the town’s evolution from a colonial settlement to a vibrant community.
Learn more about the Falmouth Museums on the Green.
17. French Cable Station Museum
Address: 41 S Orleans Rd, Orleans, MA 02653
Phone: (508) 240-1735
Take a tour of this historic station built in 1891 by the French Cable Company. The French Cable Station Museum highlights the progression of communication technology from the latter part of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st Century.
Learn more about the French Cable Station Museum.
18. Heritage Museums & Gardens
Address: 67 Grove St, Sandwich, MA 02563
Immerse yourself in a world of horticulture, art, and history at Heritage Museums & Gardens. Wander through meticulously designed gardens, admire antique cars, and explore art exhibitions that celebrate American creativity. This museum offers a multisensory experience that appeals to nature lovers and art enthusiasts alike.
Learn more about the Heritage Museums & Gardens.
19. John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
Address: 397 Main St, Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: (508) 790-3077
A historical museum dedicated to John F. Kennedy and his family. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour on the 1.6-mile Kennedy Legacy Trail that begins at the JFK Hyannis Museum.
Learn more about the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
20. Mashpee Wampanoag Museum
Address: 414 Main Street, Mashpee, MA 02649
Phone: (508) 477-9339
The Mashpee Wampanoag Museum is the only one in existence devoted exclusively to Wampanoag history and culture from the Stone Age to the present. A range of exhibits display ancient artifacts and other Native American heirlooms including a variety of tools, baskets, hunting and fishing implements, weapons, and domestic utensils. A large diorama depicting a typical scene from an early Wampanoag settlement is the focal point in the exhibits.
Learn more about the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum
21. Orleans Historical Society Meetinghouse & Museum
Address: 3 River Rd, Orleans, MA 02653
Phone: (508) 240-1329
Dedicated to preserving the heritage, history and culture of Orleans, the Meeting House Museum has special exhibits and cultural programs. Built in 1834, the Meeting House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Learn more about the Orleans Historical Society Museum.
22. Osterville Historical Museum
Address: 155 West Bay Rd, Osterville, MA 02655
Discover the quaint village of Osterville through its history at the Osterville Historical Museum. From colonial times to the present day, the museum’s exhibits capture the essence of this coastal town. Stroll through beautifully preserved buildings and gardens while learning about Osterville’s past.
Learn more about the Osterville Historical Museum.
“Preservation of one’s own culture does not require
contempt or disrespect for other cultures.”
– Cesar Chavez
23. Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
Address: 1 High Pole Hill Rd, Provincetown, MA 02657
Climb to new heights of knowledge at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Learn about the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in Provincetown and their journey to establishing Plymouth Colony. The monument offers panoramic views of the Cape, while the museum sheds light on the Pilgrims’ impact on American history.
Learn more about the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.
24. Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM)
Address: 460 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657
Phone: 508- 487-1750
Provincetown’s rich artistic heritage comes to life at PAAM. This museum showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and historic artworks, reflecting the town’s status as an artist’s haven. The museum’s exhibitions and educational programs celebrate the intersection of culture, creativity, and community.
Learn more about the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM).
25. Sandwich Glass Museum
Address: 129 Main St, Sandwich, MA 02563
Delve into the artistry of glassmaking at the Sandwich Glass Museum. Explore the history of glass production in Sandwich, known as the “Glass Town,” and witness live demonstrations of glassblowing on a glass furnace. The museum’s collection spans exquisite glassware from the 19th and 20th centuries, displaying the craftsmanship that defined the region.
Learn more about the Sandwich Glass Museum
“Men, in general, are quick to believe that which they
wish to be true.”
– Julius Caesar
26. AWSC Shark Center
Address: 235 Orleans Rd, Chatham, MA 02650
Phone: (508) 348-5901
The AWSC Shark Center offers interactive exhibits, videos, displays, and virtual reality experiences, for an in-depth look at Atlantic White Sharks. This museum is open year-round but the Atlantic White Shark Conservany also operates a second Shark Center in Provincetown on MacMillian Pier that is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
Learn more about the AWSC Shark Center.
27. Toad Hall Classic Car Museum
Address: 288 Scudder Ave, Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: (508) 778-4934
A unique classic car museum featuring over 50 classic sport cars. The cars, from England, are mainly red from the 1950s to the 1980s era.
Learn more about the Toad Hall Classic Car Museum.
28. Whydah Pirate Museum
Address: 674 MA-28, West Yarmouth, MA 02673
Uncover the mysteries of piracy at the Whydah Pirate Museum. This interactive museum showcases artifacts recovered from the shipwreck of the pirate ship Whydah. Dive into the world of Black Sam Bellamy and his crew and learn about the golden age of piracy along the Atlantic coast.
Learn more about the Whydah Pirate Museum.
29. Wing Fort House
Address: 69 Spring Hill Rd, Sandwich 02537
Phone: (508) 833-1540
The Wing Fort House, built in 1641, was continuously owned by the same family and recognized as the oldest home in New England. It is furnished almost entirely with Wing family antiques showing the different periods of its long history. The Wing Fort House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Learn more about the Wing Fort House.
30. Woods Hole Historical Museum
Address: 579 Woods Hole Rd, Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508- 548-7270
Journey through time in the charming village of Woods Hole at the Woods Hole Historical Museum. Delve into the maritime heritage, science, and art that define this coastal community. The museum’s diverse exhibits shed light on Woods Hole’s evolution from a bustling port to a hub of scientific research.
Learn more about the Woods Hole Historical Museum.
31. Woods Hole Ocean Science Discovery Center
Address: 15 School St. MS#45, Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: (508) 289-2663
Every year, throughout the months of July and August, WHOI hosts public talks by scientists and engineers in the Discovery Center Auditorium. These “Know Your Ocean” Science Chats give visitors the opportunity to learn more about marine science topics, stay up to date on the institute’s current research, and have their questions about the ocean answered by marine experts.
Learn more about the Woods Hole Ocean Science Discovery Center.
32. Zion Union Heritage Museum
Address: 276 North St, Hyannis, MA 02601
Explore the African American history and heritage of Cape Cod at the Zion Union Heritage Museum. Through exhibits, artifacts, and storytelling, the museum preserves the contributions of African Americans to the region’s culture, arts, and civil rights movements.
Learn more about the Zion Union Heritage Museum.
Cape Cod History at its Best
Museums on Cape Cod offer a captivating blend of history, art, and culture that reflect the region’s rich tapestry. Whether you are drawn to maritime exploration, artistic expression, or local heritage, these museums provide immersive experiences that highlight the unique character of Cape Cod.
Embark on a journey of discovery and appreciation as you explore the stories and treasures that make each of the museums on Cape Cod a cherished destination on this picturesque peninsula.