The United States is filled with unique places that simply demand to be visited, and Cape Cod is a prime example. This one of a kind cape extends out into the Atlantic Ocean just off the south-east corner of Massachusetts. It's a very historic location, home to some of the oldest European settlements in the entire United States.
It was one of the first locations to be settled by the English back in the 17th century, so is particularly popular with history buffs, but is also renowned for its beautiful beaches, charming coastal villages, and super seafood restaurants, so it’s a great place for a vacation with family or friends as well.
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Cape Cod is the sort of place that you need a good amount of time to fully explore and appreciate, but it’s a perfect location for a day trip too. Especially if you’re living in a nearby big city like Boston and just want to enjoy a day at the beach, heading down to Cape Cod is an excellent idea. Here’s how to plan the perfect day trip to Cape Cod.
Getting to Cape Cod
One of the best things about planning a day trip to Cape Cod is that this area is very accessible from a lot of different locations. Many people choose to travel to Cape Cod from Boston, but you can get there from several other cities and towns all over New England, and even people in New York City can actually get to Cape Cod for a day trip too. When traveling to Cape Cod for your day trip, you can travel via car, plane, train, ferry, and bus.
Getting to Cape Cod by Car
Driving to Cape Cod is one of the best options for those in and around nearby big cities like Boston and Providence. You can drive from Boston to Cape Cod in a little over an our, and the journey time is about the same for those coming from Providence. The advantage of taking a car to Cape Cod is that you have the freedom to start and end your day trip whenever you like, as well as the option to drive further along the cape and visit different towns and beaches.
Getting to Cape Cod by Plane
It's actually quite quick and convenient to get to Cape Cod on a plane. The cape is served by Banrstable Municipal Airport, which is quite a modern facility, and you can get direct flights to Cape Cod from New York, Providence, and Boston. Those in Providence and Boston are better off driving, but if you're in NYC, taking a flight is the best option for a Cape Cod day trip. The flight only takes a little over an hour, so even when you factor in the time needed to get to JFK and through the security lines, it’s still possible to enjoy a relatively full day at the cape.
Getting to Cape Cod by Train
Those traveling out of Boston to Cape Cod for a day trip might choose to travel on the train. The CapeFLYER service exists for this very purpose and offers speedy, scenic, seasonal service direct from Boston into Cape Cod. You'll get free Wi-Fi and comfortable seats on board, plus the opportunity to enjoy some amazing views along the way. The journey from Boston to Hyannis on the CapeFLYER takes around two and a half hours and is quite affordable when booked in advance.
Getting to Cape Cod by Ferry
There's also a full ferry service from Boston around to Provincetown, as well as options to take the ferry to nearby islands like Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. Taking the ferry is a thrilling and unique way to travel to Cape Cod for your day trip. It can be quite a slow ride, so you won't get as much time to explore the area as you would if you traveled by car or train, but it's still a nice way to see Cape Cod from a different angle and enjoy a day at sea.
Getting to Cape Cod by Bus
Bus services also connect various New England locations with Cape Cod. You can catch a direct bus from Logan International Airport in Boston, for example, straight to Cape Cod. Once you get there, you can transfer over to the local Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority buses to get around. The bus can be a little slower than a car but is very affordable and relaxing too.
Important Information and Things to Do in Cape Cod
- Getting Around Cape Cod - Cape Cod has its own bus system with routes operating between many of the various cape towns. There are also plenty of bike paths and roads, so you can drive or cycle around with ease, but for the purposes of a day trip, it makes sense to choose one town or area of the cape and stay there for the whole of your day. Trying to explore too much of Cape Cod during a day trip could lead to a lot of wasted time.
- Best Time to Visit Cape Cod - Cape Cod is an amazing place, offering breathtaking views and charming coastal experiences at any time of year, but it gets very busy in the summer. As with most locations around the United States, the best times to visit Cape Cod are generally considered to be the 'shoulder months' just on either side of the summer (April, May, September, and October). You'll still get decent weather in these months but won't have to deal with the big crowds of tourists.
- Things to Do - Cape Cod is quite a large place with a long list of things to do, and the activities you choose for your Cape Cod day trip will depend on what you’re looking for and what you enjoy doing the most. Many people visit Cape Cod just to spend time on the beaches, while others go in search of seafood meals and town exploration. There are lots of great hiking trails to be found around Cape Cod too, as well as some good wildlife watching spots and photography locations.