One of the best ways to relish your vacation time is to enjoy the scenic drive from Maine to Cape Cod. You will enjoy the incredible scenery along the way, from the fantastic beaches to the quaint coastal towns and otheir landmarks.
The scenic drive from Maine to Cape Cod is 179 miles long. It would barely last 3 hours if you drove non-stop. But you can stop at Kennebunkport, Wells Beach, Salem, Plymouth, and Hyannis to explore the history and attractions like art galleries, monuments, and museums.
Are you wondering what it takes to have a scenic drive from Maine to Cape Cod? Do you wish to get the most from your drive? Then read this guide describing the drive and some good stop points along the way.
Excellent Sightseeing Stops on Scenic Drive
On your way from Maine to Cape Cod stop and explore the art galleries in Kennebunkport, beaches in Wells and York, the haunted House of the Seven Gables in Salem, the Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth, and John F Kennedy Museum in Hyannis.
Let’s explore these stop points!
1. Kennebunkport, Maine – Art Galleries
Kennebunkport is a popular coastal town in the southern part of Maine. Stop here to explore historical buildings, art galleries, and souvenir shops. The town is also famous for its numerous beaches including the long sandy Goose Rocks Beach and the smaller Arundel beach.
2. Wells, Maine – Wells Beach
Wells is a good place to take a nature walk and relax before resuming your drive to Cape Cod. It is home to four beautiful beaches, including Moody Beach, Wells Beach, Crescent Beach, and Drake’s Island Beach. These attractive beaches are located on the Southern Maine Coast.
Aside from the fine shiny sands, explore the forests, wildlife, and all the rocky coast has to offer. Visit the antique shops for a keepsake!
3. York Beach, Maine
York’s alluring beaches remain one of the most significant points of attraction. They are famous hot spots for families going on vacation during summertime.
York, Maine, hosts three beaches which are among the most beautiful in the area, including, Short Sand Beach, Long Sand Beach, and Harbor Beach.
You can sightsee one or all these beaches, depending on how much time you can spare. Either way, you will be exploring one of the most fascinating spots en route from Maine to Cape Cod.
4. Portsmouth African Burying Ground
Upon departing York, consider stopping at the next major city to soak in some history – The Portsmouth African Burying Ground which was set aside by the Langdon’s family for their enslaved people. You may notice that some graves are marked with small uninscribed stones, while the white Langdon’s family stones are inscribed with their respective names.
5. The House of the Seven Gables in Salem
On your way to Cape Cod, take a 60-minute guided tour in the house of the Seven Gables set in the breathtaking grounds of Salem, Massachusetts. The place is famous for its haunted history of the 1962 witch trials, the secret staircase, and the beautiful garden.
6. Plymouth, Massachusetts – Pilgrim Memorial State Park
Stop at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park for a quick breather. Here you will view the historical Plymouth Rock and the National Monument to the Forefathers. A park ranger will narrate the rock’s history and significance.
For more Pilgrim history, drive to the Pilgrim Hall Museum at 75 Court Street. It’s 3 minutes from the state park.
7. Hyannis – John F Kennedy Museum
If you are looking forward to a sightseeing spot once you get to Cape Cod, Hyannis is good choice.
Aside from being one of the largest towns in this area, Hyannis is also home to some of the best beaches, including the Hyannis Port and the wide Kalmus Park Beach. It also has the private compound of J.F Kennedy and the John F Kennedy Museum.
How long is the scenic drive from Maine to Cape Cod?
Time is an essential factor when you are out on vacation. You might consider scheduling your time for various activities.
This trip begins in Portland, Maine, and ends in Cape Cod. The total driving distance between these two points is 179 miles. If you drive at 62mph without making any stops, it will require only 2 hours 53 minutes to complete the journey.
The time and duration might vary slightly or significantly, depending on several factors. One of the significant factors is the number of stops you have and the time you spend at each stop.
The time of travel is also crucial because it will determine the traffic and parking. The weather condition during your journey is also another significant factor.
What is the best time to drive to Cape Cod?
Even though the distance is constant, other factors influence your drive. One of these factors is the time you choose to drive. Traffic, parking, and weather are major influences, and they are dependent on the time you decide to make your journey.
The best time to drive to Cape Cod include:
- Saturdays before 8 am or after 2 pm
- Sunday through Thursday
- Fridays before 2 pm or after 9 pm
Traffic conditions during these periods are minimal, and you will enjoy a smooth ride. Most people are at the peak of their vacation, so they barely move around. This period offers you a perfect time to sneak in with a smooth ride.
The day after Labor Day is another day to travel. On this day, it feels as though someone waved a magic stick, and the traffic disappears.
If you want to avoid the clumsy season altogether, avoid visitation during weekends in the summertime.
Traffic conditions during summertime, particularly on weekends, are usually clumsy. There are usually too many people trying to come in for vacation.
Other times to avoid include:
- From 1 pm to 9 pm all days of the week and during popular holidays.
- Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm
- Fridays 2 pm to 9 pm
Maine To Cape Cod scenic drive itinerary
As you plan your scenic drive from Maine to Cape Cod, here is a sample itinerary.
You will have to drive past many towns before arriving at Cape Cod, about 288km (179 miles) from Portland, Maine.
Once you take off at Portland, Maine, it will only take 35 minutes to arrive at Kennebunkport.
The next major town is Portsmouth, in New Hampshire which is only 39 minutes from Kennebunkport.
The next stop from Portsmouth is Salem, Massachusetts, which is only 55 minutes away. Then drive to Plymouth.
The longest distance you would experience is between Salem and Plymouth, which is about an hour.
From Plymouth, the next stop is Hyannis, which is about 40 minutes apart.
The shortest distance on this trip is between Hyannis and Cape Cod, which is about 12 minutes.
Note: The time above are estimates, which include stops and slows. You can decide on the number of stops you want to have and the time to spend at each duration.
If you want to calculate the probable cost, it is best to consider the local gas cost. You also need consider your car’s gas mileage.
Collect Memories at Every Stop
If you choose to drive non-stop from Maine to Cape Cod, the scenic drive will last for about 3 hours, depending on the traffic.
But the 179-mile-long drive can be fun and memory-filled when you spot the right stops.
You can visit an art gallery in Kennebunkport, stretch your legs in Wells Beach, then take a guided tour of the haunted House of the Seven Gables in Salem.
Proceed to Cape Cod, then stop at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth for a quick breather.
Drive on to Hyannis and stop by the John F Kennedy Museum. Finish your scenic drive at Cape Cod and explore all that Cape Cod has to offer.
To avoid traffic, the best times to drive to Cape Code are Saturdays before 8 am or after 2 pm, Sundays through Thursdays, and Fridays before 2 pm or after 9 pm.
There are lots of things awaiting your exploration en route to Cape Cod; just get started!