Unwind with Leisure Activities in Cape Cod and the Islands

It seems that everyone has a different idea of what “leisure” is, but in the end, it is whatever you choose to do to relax, exercise, or even entertain yourself in your free time. While Cape Cod and the Islands are well known for its harbors and marine activities, area businesses and organizations also provide for all the assorted leisure activities you could possibly want to pursue. Whether it’s a competitive sport or a solitary adventure, you’re sure to find an activity that satisfies your definition of leisure.

For a stroll in open air, look to the miles of trails in the area. There are trails suited for a relaxing walk, others more challenging hikes, and many are open to bicycles and/or horseback riding. A favorite easy walking trail is found at the Long Point Wildlife Refuge Area where you can mix in some birdwatching and may see a variety of Cape Cod’s plants and animals. Or, head to Nantucket for a more challenging hike through the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge to see the Great Point Light historic lighthouse. Other trails, like the 25 miles of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, are ideal for cyclists who want to make a day of it, and you can even rent a bicycle at one of several shops right on the trail. If you prefer horseback riding, many farms board and lease horses near state parks and other horse-friendly locations like Crane Wildlife Management Area where the 10,000 acres of grass trails are ideal for relaxing trail rides.

If healthy competition is more aligned with your version of leisure, look to the golf courses, tennis courts, and bowling alleys. Golf and tennis both offer a chance to practice your skills, challenge your opponents, and still soak in the beauty of the great outdoors. Cape Cod Country Club in East Falmouth is a spectacular 18-hole public golf course on the edge of Coonamessett Pond with undulating fairways and gently sloping greens.

For Tennis, Olivers’ Red Clay Tennis in Wellfleet, owned and operated by a local family, offers eight well-maintained courts surrounded by lush trees giving you privacy unrivaled by other public courts and allowing you to enjoy nature while you play. Bowling, on the other hand, is an ideal diversion for a rainy day or when you just need a break from all that breathtaking scenery. Both 10-pin and candlestick lanes are available, and many bowling alleys also have arcades, pool tables, dart boards, and even bocce ball. Some have restaurants that are worth the visit on their own. The Alley Bowling and BBQ in Orleans, for example, serves “real” smoked BBQ plus handmade veggie burgers and homemade desserts, all with lane-side service or in the separate dining room. If you have a birthday or special event to celebrate, Cape Cod’s bowling alleys offer everything from side-by-side lane reservations to the VIP bowling room with private lanes and a private bar found at Ryan’s Ten Pin Eatery & Arcade in Barnstable.

Or, if trails and sports don’t suit your fancy, then check out the skating rinks. Alone or with friends and family, ice skating is a fun way to exercise and build focus, strength, and skill. Indoor skating rinks at arenas like Charles Moore Arena in Orleans have designated public skate times while they also offer lessons for beginners and provide space for figure skating and hockey activities. Outdoor rinks, like Brewster Community Ice Rink are operated by the town and open seasonally (weather permitting), giving you the opportunity to experience gliding on ice through fluffy white snowfall.

Between the trails and indoor or outdoor sporting activities, you are sure to find on outlet for your preferred leisure activity or a chance to try something new!

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