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Driving from Boston Logan Airport
to Cape Cod

by Ruby

Question: Your Cape Cod traffic information is VERY helpful.

If we want to avoid traffic altogether on Saturdays and drive into the Cape on a Friday, what's that traffic like?

What would be the best time to drive on a Friday? We'd be coming down from the Boston Logan airport.

Dee's Reply:

Hi Ruby -

Glad to hear my traffic information is helpful!

On a "normal" Friday during the summer, the drive from Boston to Cape Cod takes about 90 minutes, more or less.

When you're planning your drive, you'll have two things to be concerned with: (1) commuter traffic in and around Boston, and (2) commuter/vacationer traffic at the Sagamore Bridge coming onto the Cape.

To give yourself the best chance of avoiding traffic tie-ups in either place, I'd suggest that you leave Boston by 1:00 p.m. at the latest, if possible.

If you can do that, you'll miss the bulk of the afternoon commuter traffic in and around Boston. And barring any unusual traffic tie-ups on your route to Cape Cod, you should be at the Sagamore Bridge by around 2:30 p.m.

If it's not possible for you to leave Boston by very early afternoon, then your best option is probably to get on the road and out of the city as soon as you can, and head south.

(FYI: You could stay in Boston until early evening, have dinner there, and then drive to the Cape later in the evening. But if you have a rental car, hanging around in Boston might be more hassle than it's worth. Driving in downtown Boston can be challenging if you don't know the city well, and parking is expensive. That's why I prefer the option of getting out of the city and making your way here as soon as you can.)

Anyway ... if you'll be leaving Boston any time between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., you might want to take the "scenic route" (Rt. 3A) south to Cape Cod and do a little sightseeing along the way. That way, you won't be arriving at the Sagamore bridge at the heaviest traffic time (i.e., between 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.).

Rt. 3A is the coastal route, and it goes through some gorgeous little seaside towns, including the historic town of Plymouth. Stop, see the sights, have some dinner, then get back on the road to the Cape around 8:30 p.m. By then, you should be okay with bridge traffic.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Best Regards,


Comments for Driving from Boston Logan Airport
to Cape Cod

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Sunday Side Trip
by: Sherie

We are heading up to Boston for a vacation and to pick up a kiddo from camp. I'd love to take a side day trip to the cape. We only have a Sunday free to make this trip. As you mentioned a scenic drive on 3A, we are going to head out to Plymouth for the morning. I was going to continue down to the Cape via 3A and stay until about 7pm before heading back to Boston. I'm hoping that the worst of the traffic back to the city will have subsided by then, and we can have a relatively hassle free drive back to the city. Thoughts or advice? I want to thank you for your site- it is great and so informative!!

Reply to Sherie
by: Dee

Hi Sherie - First, I want to thank you for your kind words about my site. I'm so glad you're finding it helpful!

Will off-Cape traffic have subsided substantially by 7 p.m. on a Sunday evening? Probably. Will it be a traffic-free drive from Cape Cod back to Boston? I doubt it.

If you can push your departure back a little bit - say, to 8 p.m. or after - you'll likely have an easier go of it. Plus, the extra hour will give you that much more time to explore our little slice of paradise. ;-) Enjoy!!

Driving on a Saturday
by: Jane


Your tips are really helpful. Thank you.

I will be driving from Logan to Hyannis late July on a Saturday. Would you suggest a flight to land at 11.30 or 2 pm? Having been snarled in traffic coming out of Vegas last year, I would like to not repeat the mistake getting to Cape Cod this year!

Many thanks


Reply to Jane
by: Dee

That's a great question, Jane!

My general rule for driving to the Cape on a summer Saturday is: "Earlier or later is better".

Since you won't have the option to get here early (meaning, over the bridge and onto the Mid-Cape Highway/Rt. 6 before 8-8:30 a.m.), then you'll no doubt be better off waiting until later in the day to make the drive.

Check the local traffic report before you leave Boston.

If any major delays are reported en route to Hyannis, then plan to stop somewhere along the way for a bite to eat or take Rt. 3A and do a little sightseeing. Those are great ways to kill some time until the traffic situation improves.

Another option is to take the bus from Logan Airport to Hyannis. Then rent a car in Hyannis to use while you're here.

Sure, the bus might get hung up in traffic just as you might. But on the bus, at least you'd be able to read or take a snooze while the driver deals with the traffic.

I hope this information is helpful for you.

Safe travels, and enjoy your visit to Cape Cod!

Weekend vs Weekdays?
by: Anonymous

Hi! I am learning so much from your sites. Thanks for lots of useful information!!
I am traveling to Boston in September and planning to make a two-day excursion to Cape Cod either at the beginning or the end of my trip. It is a week after Labor Day weekend. My options are either 9/8-9 or 9/11-12.
Which will be the better choice??? Shall I still avoid weekend?
Traffic info gives me longer driving hours for weekdays, especially for the return trip from Cape to Boston.
I need to be at the airport by 11am on 9/12. Will it give us enough time if I leave Provincetown by 7am???
Your advice will be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you.

Reply from Dee:

Thanks so much for your thoughtful words about my Cape Days guide. I'm glad to know you're finding it helpful!

Because traffic tie-ups between the Cape and Boston are always so difficult to predict, I'd recommend you do the Cape Cod leg of your visit at the front end of your time here. That way, you won't have to worry about traffic between Provincetown and Boston possibly causing you to miss your flight.

Might you get into traffic tie-ups coming and going on the weekend? Yep, that's possible. September weekends on the Cape can still be a bit busy - especially if beautiful beach weather is forecasted. But weekends after Labor Day are nowhere near as busy as in-season weekends.

Just keep your eye on the real-time traffic reports. If you see a tie-up ahead, pop off onto a side road, and do some exploring. Since you won't have to be anywhere at a specific time, you'll have the flexibility you need to avoid the traffic. And there's a wealth of beautiful scenery and cool little towns to explore between Boston and Provincetown.

I hope this helps! If you have more questions, feel free to ask!!


Driving to The Cape from Boston
by: Anonymous

Given the parameters you describe, Boston must be a pretty crappy place to live. How can they STILL after hundreds of years- have 1 bridge onto the island that is heavy traffic for FIVE HOURS??? from 3- 8?
Man, I am dreading my drive for my vacation.
We live in North Carolina and NEVER experience anything like that to go on a beach vacation. Sounds positively miserable. And you can't even swim in the frigid ocean in July.
This will probably be the first and last time we visit!

Reply from Dee:

Geez, Anonymous. I'm not sure where to begin with my reply. But I'll give it a whirl anyway. Here goes ...

First, Boston is a wonderful city! Personally, though, I can't offer my opinion on the "crappy"-ness of residing in Boston because I've never lived there. I live on Cape Cod - the place you'll be visiting. (I do have that right, don't I? You'll be vacationing on the Cape???) What I can tell you is that I know quite a few people who live in the city and love it.

Second, I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say there's "only 1 bridge onto the island". There are two bridges from the mainland onto the Cape: the Bourne Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge. There's also a railroad bridge, but that's irrelevant since you'll be making that dreaded drive rather than taking the train.

Heavy traffic for 5 hours on a Friday afternoon/evening in the summer? Yep, that's right. But the good news is, it's easy enough to avoid the nasty part ... IF you're a little flexible and plan your drive time accordingly.

Third, about that frigid water thing: we're talking about the Atlantic Ocean, in New England, 700 hundred of miles (give or take) north of North Carolina. Do the math. ;-)

But wait! There's good news on this topic, too!!

The Atlantic Ocean is not the only place to swim here. We have 4 other bodies of salt water for your swimming pleasure: Cape Cod Bay, Nantucket Sound, Vineyard Sound, and Buzzards Bay. The water in the Bays and Sounds is significantly warmer than the Atlantic Ocean. So, if you're a cold-water woosie like I am, go warm!

And last but not least, about your "first and last visit" prediction: I'm truly sorry you feel that way. Maybe, just maybe, once you've been here and experienced the charms of the Cape first-hand, you'll see why I and so many others absolutely love Cape Cod.

~ Dee

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