The Cape Cod museums are the perfect choice for someone’s winter travel itinerary. Admittedly, most of Cape Cod is dedicated to warm-weather activities, but the Cape doesn’t roll up its sidewalks and locks its doors when the first snow arrives. Tourism is still alive, and there are plenty of Cape Cod museums open to draw interest.
Let’s look at some of the museum visitation opportunities on Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Cape Cod itself and their costs.
Museum of Natural History
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History located in the quaint town of Brewster, Massachusetts. It is a smaller museum with extensive activities. Follow the travels of the largest space telescope ever built, the James Webb Space Telescope, as it travels into space.
This natural history collection has gone to great lengths to create a collection of fresh and saltwater species. Visitors can get up close and personal with fish and reptiles that swim on the Cape Cod coast and in its tide pools. Honeybees have a hive within the museum walls, and everyone can see the queen with the colored dot on her back. Plenty of interactive exhibits for young and old alike. Admission Prices: Adults $12.00, Seniors $10.00, Children 3-12 $6.00 Two Years and Under $2.00.
Cape Cod Maritime Museum
Cape Cod Maritime Museum is for anyone who enjoys boats and sailing. Located in Hyannis, the museum explores Cape Cod’s contribution to Maritime history, shipbuilding, sailing, and yachting. For those who are hands-on, there is the Cook Boat Shop. Drop by and see boats being built along with older boats being repaired.
Cape Cod Museum for Children
If you have children who need a place to blow off some steam, the Cape Cod Children’s Museum encourages kids to be kids. The museum was founded in 1990 by a group of moms that wanted children to have a safe place to learn and explore. Interactive exhibits inspire parents and their children to play together and have fun. This is simply a must-see destination for everyone with children. The museum can also be rented for private functions when it is not open to the public. Admission during regular hours is $12 per person.
John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
If you live on the cape you have heard of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. This museum is a legacy of JFK and his deep connection with Cape Cod. Hyannis is where he and his family came to escape the pressures of politics. Swimming, sailing, and enjoying the sun were all part of his getaway. For those who remember JFK’s presidency and his contributions to the country, this is not to be missed.Toad Hall Classic Car Museum
The Toad Hall Classic Car Museum
Do you know anyone who is crazy about cars? Toad Hall Classic Car Museum will keep the car enthusiast captivated for hours. Located in Hyannis Port, it started small, and, within the year, it has been open has already outgrown its buildings. All the cars are sports car classics, red and beautifully restored. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for big kids, (7-16) and free for little kids accompanied by an adult.
The Whydah Pirate Museum
Cape Cod is lucky enough to have the largest collection of pirate artifacts from a single shipwreck. The Whydah was built for the slave trade but was taken over by pirates in the 18th century. This museum tells her story and those who lived aboard her. The Whydah also provides STEM Education programs, field trips, and curriculum materials for teachers and home-schooled students. The Shipwreck Center conducts podcasts for students of all ages. These podcasts show students how the pirates navigated by the stars, discuss Ocean and Pirate folklore, and How Climate Change affect the oceans. This museum ignites the imagination of young and old alike. Admission: $18.95 for adults.
Nantucket Whaling Museum
It was whaling that put Nantucket on the map. Of all the museums on Nantucket, The Nantucket Whaling Museum is the most fascinating. A life-size whale skeleton greets you as you enter. Compare the size of a whaling boat to the size of a whale. Enjoy seeing all the artwork whalers made from the teeth and bones of whales. See the Fresnel Lens that guided ships and kept them from running aground. Take some time to tour the candle factory and see displays of various boats used in whaling. Admission for adults is $20, Seniors and Students $18, ages 6-17 $5, 6 and under are free. The museum is closed in January, allowing for maintenance and update of exhibits.
Great Point Light House
Located on the northernmost point of Nantucket Island is the Great Point Lighthouse or better known as the Nantucket Lighthouse. This is one venue that is difficult to pass up. Free to all foot traffic, year-round, this Lighthouse is located within the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve. The Lighthouse is still in operation, guiding vessels around the island. There are beautiful beaches and hiking trails where dogs are allowed on a leash. Make this a must-stop and see the attraction.
The Martha’s Vineyard Museum
See the entire history of Martha’s Vineyard with one visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. This museum is open year-round for anyone curious about Martha’s Vineyard’s past and current events. Children will love learning when they visit the museum’s Hands-on History exhibit. This exhibit has many ‘do touch’ stations that helps children of all ages learn about the island. A variety of teaching programs are offered throughout the year. A must-see for all the members of the family.
The Vincent House and Gardens
For history buffs, the Vincent House and Gardens have the history of Martha’s Vineyard all in one place. The vast collection of original homes, churches, and expansive gardens are protected and maintained by Vineyard Preservation Trust. The members of this trust have put forth extraordinary efforts to return all the buildings to their former glory. The entire museum property located on the Eastern part of the island and is easily accessible by car or taxi.
Located in Edgartown, the Vincent House and Gardens welcome all visitors with walking tours lasting 60-90 minutes. It is advisable to contact the House and Gardens a few weeks prior to secure a tour. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children.
Getting to any of these remarkable museums is easy. If you are coming by ferry, there will be taxis ready to take you to where you want to go. The collection of Cape Cod Museums has something for everyone. Many of them have programs for children and lectures for adults. While Cape Cod is famous for beaches, watersports, and summertime fun, Cape Cod Museums are just as appealing all year around.