When planning a Cape Cod day trip remember that the Cape has so much to do and offer that it’s impossible to do and see everything in one day. However, if you are looking for a quick getaway from Boston, Providence, New Haven, or Worcester, there are several great options for Cape Cod day trips for every age group and interest.
Three of the most popular Cape Cod day trips include:
- Having a beach day
- Exploring the streets of Provincetown
- Biking the Shining Sea Bikeway
In this article, we will cover all of the details of having the perfect Cape Cod day trip. This way you can make the most of your time on the Cape and be back in your own bed for a good night’s rest.
Getting to Cape Cod for a Day Trip
The last thing you want to do on a day trip is spending the majority of your time driving. Especially in the summer months, driving into Cape Cod can be a nightmare.
One of the easiest ways to get to Cape Cod from Boston is via ferry. The Bay State Cruise Company has a fast ferry that runs from Boston to Provincetown from May 16th through October 10th. The ferry leaves for Provincetown as early as 8:30 am and the last boat back to Boston departs at 7:30 PM.
Round trip tickets cost about $90 for adults. The trip takes around 90 minutes and will drop you off right in P-town.
If you’d rather take the bus, Plymouth & Brockton Bus Company and Peter Pan Bus Lines both offer round-trip bus trips from Logan Airport and South Station.
It depends where in Cape Cod you want to go, but round-trip tickets cost about $40. The trip takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic.
CapeFlyer also offers train service from South Station to Cape Cod from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes and round-trip tickets cost $35.
Planning a Cape Cod Day Trip for a Beach Day
Nothing beats a sunny afternoon spent lounging around on a beach in Cape Cod. Thanks to the multitude of options for transportation, taking a day trip to spend a day at the beach in Cape Cod has never been easier.
There are a ton of beaches in Cape Cod. We’ve highlighted a few of the more popular ones for a Cape Cod day trip, but for a complete list of beaches check out our article on Cape Cod Beaches.
Coast Guard Beach
Located in Eastham, Coast Guard Beach has been named one of the top 10 beaches in the United States. While it’s not the easiest to access via public transportation, it’s well worth the trip.
It’s a beautiful place to swim in the summer and is known as the start of “The Great Beach.” If you need some more activity while sitting at the beach you can head over to the nearby Nauset Marsh where there are walking paths with tons of wildlife to explore.
Race Point Beach
If you end up taking the ferry from Boston to Provincetown, Race Point Beach is a great place to go. Accessible by shuttle bus from Provincetown, Race Point is easily accessible to those without a car or not wanting to pay for a taxi.
If you like to dive, you can access the site of several different shipwrecks from the shore of Race Point Beach or via boat. However, dive and swim with caution as the water at Race Point beach can get a little rough.
Herring Cove Beach
Herring Cove Beach is also accessible by shuttle from Provincetown. It’s protected from the Atlantic Ocean, making the waters a little calmer and more family friendly.
The beach can get very busy in the Summer so make sure to get there early. There’s a snack bar on the beach and they even have outdoor concerts in July and August.
Spend the Day Walking Around Provincetown
If spending a day at the beach isn’t your cup of tea, try spending a day walking around the quirky streets of Provincetown. This town has become a haven for the LGBTQ community, artists, and families alike. It’s perfectly normal to see a family of four heading to the beach passing by a drag queen dressed to the nines.
You can easily spend a day walking in and out of the shops along the main drag. The streets are lined with art galleries and the Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley is definitely an interesting place to wander down.
If you get hungry during your stroll thru Provincetown, there are some notable places to eat including:
- The Lobster Pot
- The Canteen
- Box Lunch
- Provincetown Portuguese Bakery
Of course, a trip to Provincetown couldn’t be complete without stopping for an ice cream cone at Lewis Brother’s Homemade Ice Cream.
While eating and shopping can be a full-day activity, you can break up the day by visiting the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. The $14 entry fee is well worth it to learn all about the history of the town and to access the views from the 252-foot-tall tower.
Also worth a visit is the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. For a $12.50 entry fee you can experience works from their continually evolving exhibitions.
It’s also possible to pair a half-day walking around Provincetown with a visit to Race Point Beach or Herring Cove Beach. Just make sure you don’t miss the ferry, train, or bus back to Boston!
Take a Cape Cod Day Trip to Visit and Bike the Shining Sea Trail
If you live a more active lifestyle, try spending a day biking the Shining Sea Bikeway. This 10.7- mile bike path is a fairly flat path that runs from Woods Hole to North Falmouth. You’ll come across spectacular views of the water, woods, salt marshes, and wildlife while peddling along.
Some of the more notable spots along the path include:
- Woods Hole – Try checking out Pie in the Sky Bakery for a pre-bike coffee or breakfast.
- Surf Drive Beach – Offers views of Martha’s Vineyard on a clear day. Additionally, you can see salt marshes and oyster ponds here.
- Falmouth Village – Check out Mainstreet to grab some lunch at a local restaurant or a quick ice cream cone from Ghelfi’s.
- Cranberry Bogs – Toward the end of the trail you’ll pass through a privately owned cranberry bog.
If you rent bikes , it actually could be cheaper than bringing your own bike depending on what form of transportation you used to get to the trail.
Other Cape Cod Day Trip Ideas
To see all that Cape Cod has to offer check out any of our other articles about activities around the Cape. With so much to do, you can come back again and again and still find a new experience for you and your family.