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First time going to Cape Cod

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Highland, Michigan
posts: 19
First time going to Cape Cod

Which town on the cape would you recommend? We want to relax on the beach, and have a nice town to walk to for shopping. Any suggestions? Thanks

39 replies to this topic
Canada
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
posts: 7,926
reviews: 3
1. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

Take a look at the column to the right of this page. Lots of info on which town to choose. Come back with any questions after you have narrowed it down a bit.

cape cod
posts: 966
2. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

Many! Falmouth, Hyannis, Dennis, Harwich, Chatham, Orleans and more. Let us know some particulars of what you're interested in seeing and doing, to narrow it down.

Kent, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Provincetown, Wellfleet
posts: 1,848
reviews: 111
3. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

The towns on the Cape can be quite different. Many people will stay in one and then visit others. Don't limit yourself to just the one town you are going to stay in, but explore others.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 10,970
reviews: 40
4. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

You are going to hate us. No good answer can be provided because you have described t the entire cape. If you search"first time" there are 157+ pages of posts asking the exact same question. When you get here, you will find that so long as you rent or stay in a place you like, the rest will just work out.

To my fellow regulars, maybe if we set up a system where we recommend each town starting alphabetically, then we can help balance the tourist population. :-)

Canada
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
posts: 7,926
reviews: 3
5. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

I remember the first year we went to the Cape. I sent away for some brochures, picked out a cottage rental which had the right number of bedrooms and was affordable in Harwichport and just went!!! We knew nothing about the Cape, or almost nothing. It didn't take us long to find our way around. In those days, with three small chidren we couldn't afford to eat out much and there were a limited number of restaurants anyway. So our vacation was pretty simple and remained so for a number of years even after we moved over into Orleans. The beach, time spent on the property where we staying, lots of room for the children to play. Occasional excursions into various towns. Visits to the National Seashore beaches. Go-carts in Harwich once or twice during the vacation. Our children never seemed to need entertaining, played board and card games in the evenings with the children of our friends who stayed in the same group of very basic cottages.

Now, of course we are looking for two bathrooms, more than one TV etc. and there are only two of us!! So, people, what I'm saying is that you can be happy almost anywhere on the Cape, just go with it and don't spend too much time fretting over whether it's the right place.

Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
posts: 4,919
reviews: 101
6. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

All towns on the Cape have beaches, all are quaint, all are family friendly.

*Places with walkable town centers: Hyannis, Falmouth, Orleans, Chatham; Harwich; Provincetown.

*Towns with beaches on both ocean & bay sides: Falmouth (Buzzard's Bay) Dennis, Yarmouth, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown.

Towns where you can walk to the beach & shops, restaurants: Harwichport; Wellfleet; P'town

*Bay beaches are good for small kids, and long walks when tides are out

* Towns with National Seashore Beaches: Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown

* Nat'l seashore beaches: beautiful views, big waves, great for surfing/boogie-boarding

*Towns with ferries to the Island - Woods Hole - (Village of Falmouth) to Martha's Vineyard; Falmouth to MV; Hyannis to MV & Nantucket; Harwich to Nantucket (seasonal)

*Inter-island ferries are seasonal and are not scheduled to allow for visiting both islands in one day.

Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
posts: 4,919
reviews: 101
7. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

*The most convenient way to see the Cape is with a car; however, there is public transportation.

*Town beaches are free, but parking at town beaches requires a paid sticker. Check with your lodging for info on how to get a parking sticker.

*Upscale resorts on the beach: Wequasset, Chatham Bars Inn, Ocean Edge, Winstead Inn & Resort, Seacrest Beach Hotel

*Other on the beach locations, various prices Three Seasons; Colony Beach; Red Jacket Inns; Chatham Tides; Nauset Knoll;

(I am going to make this a Top Question, so if anyone has anything to add, please jump in)

Kent, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Provincetown, Wellfleet
posts: 1,848
reviews: 111
8. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

Kendrick, you say that town beaches are free, but require a paid sticker. Since you have to pay for the sticker they are not truly free (unless you walk in).

Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard
posts: 4,919
reviews: 101
9. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

That is correct, Howland_Owl. If you walk or bike on or get dropped off, they are free. If you park, you pay.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
posts: 8,646
reviews: 20
10. Re: First time going to Cape Cod

It sounds like you will have a car which means you don't have to have the best 'downtown' shopping right next to the best Cape beach....which doesn't exist. That being the case, for a good variety and large quantity of unique shops you just can't beat Chatham. You can shop til you drop one day there or you can deeply explore Main St. over several days. And although the beach below the Lighthouse is magnificent and not to be missed, it is inconvenient for many reasons and the other Chatham beaches are not near Main St.

On the other hand lots of folks buy a one week parking sticker for the Dennis beaches. There are 16 beautiful beaches from the warmer Nantucket Sound strands for long walks (including two unique walk in beachfront restaurants) to the gorgeous Mayflower beach as well as other Bay beaches on Cape Cod Bay and even a couple of fresh water beaches. These beaches are as convenient as they are beautiful many with full facilities available.

On the Cape you are never far from a beach. As mentioned earlier, don't fret, wherever you choose to stay you will be on the Cape and that is all that matters.

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