23 Beautiful Spots to Visit on Cape Cod in 2023

spots to visit on cape cod

A great New Year’s resolution is to explore your own backyard or start planning for your 2023 vacation on the Cape. To help you reach this goal we have chosen checklist of 23 beautiful spots to visit on Cape Cod and the islands. These spots ranging from the iconic to esoteric, in total add up to what makes the Cape and the islands so unique.

23 Beautiful Spots to Visit on Cape Cod :

Below are 23 beautiful spots on Cape Cod and the islands. They are do-not-miss locations.

1. Cape Cod National Seashore

23 Spots to Visit on Cape Cod in 2023 John F. Kennedy considered the Cape Cod National Seashore one of the most beautiful spots in Cape Cod you should visit so he designated it a national park in 1961. The 40-mile coastline includes many notable beaches like Race Point, Nauset Beach, Herring Cove, and Marconi Beach.

You can hike, bike, and explore the entire area. Be sure to stay until sunset when the sky comes alive with brilliant colors. You should also stop at one of the visitor centers which are filled with interesting information about the area.

The Cape Cod National Seashore is open year-round, but you can only park in the parking lots from 6 a.m. to midnight.

2. Heritage Museums & Gardens

The Heritage Museums & Gardens is home to 100 lush gardens that attract nature lovers from around the world. In the spring, the gardens are afire with blooming rhododendrons. If you have children, then you’ll want to stop at the two-acre Hidden Hollow which is home to a sensory garden and other fun kid stuff. The Antique Automobile Collection is a must-see for any car enthusiast. In addition, the museum is also home to American Folk and a lovely antique carousel that was entirely hand carved.

3. Cape Cod Rail Trail

If you enjoy horseback riding, rollerblading, or biking then you’ll want to check out the 25 miles of paved trail at Cape Cod Rail Trail. It runs through the Lower Cape’s ecosystem and is home to beaches, ponds, and wildlife. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of places to grab lunch or a snack. You can also take the time to explore smaller Cape villages along the way.

4. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

23 Spots to Visit on Cape Cod in 2023 There are 7,600 acres of protected dunes, a lighthouse, and salt/freshwater marshes that are home to an abundance of wildlife and migratory seabirds. The harbor has an outstanding grey seal population. The seals regularly play, mate, and lounge around the shoreline. You can enjoy a guided tour, pick up a self-guided map or simply explore the beach on your own. If you have any questions, the staff at the welcome center are always happy to answer your queries.

5. Edward Gorey House

Edward Gorey’s drawings are famous and include the illustrated T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” His home in Yarmouth Port sits along the Mid Cape and is lovely. The onsite museum contains many personal items of the artist.

6. Cahoon Hollow Beach

If you love rolling landscapes, then Cahoon Hollow Beach is one of the most beautiful spots in Cape Cod. The beach is located on the Outer Cape. The waves are a favorite for boogie board riders and surfers. If you have children, then they will love making sandcastles in the soft sand. Stop by the Beachcomber Restaurant to enjoy fresh seafood and live music. During the night hours, you are allowed to build bonfires on the beach, but you will need a permit.

7. Downtown Provincetown

23 Spots to Visit on Cape Cod in 2023 Part of the charm of Cape Cod is the communities that provide opportunities for shopping and dining. Downtown Provincetown is not only filled with boutiques and restaurants but also one of the most beautiful spots in Cape Cod. Iconic trolleys run along the roadway and the streets are decked out with fluttering rainbow flags that embrace the town’s large LGBTQ population. The side streets are filled with quaint cottages and bed and breakfasts. You can explore the pier and check out the many stands put in place by local artisans.

8. Downtown Chatham

Another lovely spot to visit in Cape Cod is downtown Nantucket with its many antique stores, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Shop the main street, grab a bite of fresh sushi at Bluefins and enjoy a seafood feast at Del Mar Bar & Bistro. Don’t forget to stop by the Chatham Pier Fish Market where you can pick up the fresh catch of the day.

9. Race Point Beach in Provincetown

Race Point Beach in Provincetown provides picturesque views of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. There are miles of shoreline to explore. On occasion, you can see whales in the distance. If you enjoy biking, then take a bike ride along the Province Lands Bike Trail which leads to Herring Cove. The iconic Race Point Lighthouse is also available for over night stays.

10. Truro Vineyards

Truro Vineyards is a lovely vineyard where you can enjoy a picnic on the outstandingly manicured grounds, take a tour, and enjoy tastings. There is also an onsite gift shop where you can purchase wines and gourmet foods. Choose from Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cayuga, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Zinfandel.

11. Sandwich Glass Museum

sandwich glass museumSandwich is the oldest town in Cape Cod, and it is well known as a hub for glass making. The Sandwich Glass Museum is one of the most beautiful spots in Cape Cod. It is housed in a darling red brick building located in the heart of Main Street. The company’s history dates to 1825 and the company were in operation until 1888. Today, the museum is filled with over 6,000 glass items such as candlesticks, perfume bottles, vases, tableware, and lamps.

12. Lobster Roll Cruise

Seeing Cape Cod from the water is necessary to truly appreciate the beauty of the area. A Lobster Roll Cruise sets sale from Jesuit Harbor in Dennis. You’ll get to enjoy the lovely scenery, see the sunset, and dine on a New England lobster.

13. Pilgrim Monument

The Pilgrim Monument was built from 1907 to 1910 and is the tallest granite structure in the United States. It consists of 116 steps that rise to 252 feet in the air. The monolith gives you outstanding views of Provincetown and the surrounding region. At the base, you can explore the Pilgrim Monument Museum.

14. John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

john f kennedy hyannis museum 3The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is a lovely historical museum that holds photographs texts and artifacts of John F. Kennedy. At the Museum Store, you’ll find many Kennedy souvenirs.

15. Vincent House

Built in the 1670s, Vincent House in Edgartown is one of the most beautiful spots in Cape Cod if you appreciate historic architecture. The house was built entirely by using medieval England building techniques and designs. Throughout the centuries the home has remained unaltered. It’s a 45-minute ferry ride and you’ll learn what life was like on the island in the last 1600s.

16. Hoxis House

The Hoxis House has the reputation of being one of the oldest Cape Cod homes. It was built during the 1600s. Immediately you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. Originally the home was occupied by a local pastor and his wife. They had 13 children. While exploring the house, you’ll learn about the history of Massachusetts.

17. Cape Playhouse

The Cape Playhouse is a professional playhouse that has been in operation since 1927. Humphrey Bogart once took the stage in Cape Playhouse. Nowadays, the darling theater is known as, “America’s Most Famous Summer Theatre.” Many actors have performed at the playhouse such as Ginger Rogers, Julie Andrews, Betty White, and Bernadette Peters.

18. Nantucket Whaling Museum

23 beautiful 4The Nantucket Whaling Museum includes permanent and rotating exhibits, nine galleries, a range of artifacts, works of art, and treasures spanning four centuries of the island’s history. Visitors can’t miss the shining Fresnel lens which glitters in the entryway to the Nantucket Whaling Museum.

As visitors walk through the Nantucket Whaling Museum, they’re sure to enjoy the fascinating exhibits detailing the timeline of whaling and in concert the development of Nantucket. Gosnell Hall is unmissable with the looming skeleton of a sperm whale hanging from the ceiling, and features mock sections of notable whaling ships including the Essex and the Georgia.As you proceed through the museum you’ll spot the restored 1847 Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory, featuring the impressive two-story beam press used to extract oil. There’s also lots of fascinating information on the island’s other industries, from cranberries and wind powered grist mills to straw hat works and baskets woven by men stationed aboard light ships!

19. Coast Guard Beach

Eastham’s Coast Guard Beach is located on the Outer Cape. You can not only enjoy the lovely but also explore the beautiful former coast guard station and explore the historical building and grounds. The region is also home to a wide assortment of birds and perfect for birdwatching on Cape Cod.

20. Lighthouses

There are 16 lighthouses in the area but only a few are open to the public. Each one is open to the public and picture-perfect. Explore the lighthouses at Nobska Point, Chatham, Nauset, and Race Point. If you are looking for one of the most beautiful spots in Cape cod, then these lighthouses fit the description.

21. Cahoon Museum

If you are a fan of American art then you’ll want to head to the village of Cotuit on Cape Cod to check out the Cahoon Museum of American Art. At the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to see inspiring art exhibitions both inside and outside the museum. The museum is home to a vast collection of American art that dates from the 18th century to contemporary art.

This unique museum was originally the home and studio of Cape Cod folk artists Ralph and Martha Cahoon. In 1945 the Cahoons purchased and restored the 1782 Crocker homestead which is now the home of the Cahoon Museum.

22. Dinner Train

The train provides a first-class dining experience with an extensive menu of options, including a fresh five-course gourmet meal that varies according to the season.

Besides, it’s designed in an old-style way with high ceilings and leather seats. So, it’s perfect for any romantic occasion or just to get away from the hustle-bustle of your daily life!

23. MV Gingerbread Houses

23 Spots to Visit on Cape Cod in 2023These fairytale-like cottages are one of the most famous architectural sites on the island. Brightly colored, these Victorian cottages stand as reminiscent of the candy and gingerbread house in the story of “Hansel and Gretel.”

And you will be surprised to know; these cottages have a very humble origin. Back in the 1800s, the area around Oaks Bluffs was used for annual religious meetings and retreats by a group of Methodists.

Initially, the group slept in tents. But, over time, when the meetings became more frequent and widespread, they wanted permanent houses to support them.

Due to this need, 500 charming cottages in the architectural style of “Carpenter’s Gothic” was built. Today, only 300 gingerbread cottages remain in the campground, but they are still as magical as before.

This may be the most enjoyable New Year’s resolution that you’ve ever kept. With miles of beaches, boutiques, restaurants, museums, art galleries, and more, you’ll find plenty of amazing places to visit on Cape Cod, to keep you busy when vacationing at New England’s premier destination.

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