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Mashpee, Dennis Port or Provincetown?

by Maggie
(Fairfax, VA)

Question: Hello! First of all, THANK YOU for this amazing website! I'm planning our first ever trip to the Cape and it's so overwhelming!! But your website has made it SO much easier! So many thanks :)

Ok so on to my question. We want to be in the Cape Cod area for the week of 4th of July. It will be my husband and I, and our 20 month old.

Are there any towns you recommend? I'm torn between Mashpee, Dennis Port and Provincetown. I've heard Ptown gets pretty wild, is that true?

And also, we'd love to be near the beach and some kind of a downtown area with lots of restaurants.

Thank you so much in advance!! Really, really appreciate it!

Dee's Reply: Hi Maggie - Thank you so much for your kind works about my Cape Days guide. I'm so happy to know you're finding it helpful as you plan your family's Cape Cod vacation!

Now, on to your question ...

Where to Stay: Mashpee, Dennis Port, or Provincetown?

Of the three, I think Dennis Port would probably be the best fit.

I'm afraid you'd find Provincetown a little too busy and Mashpee a little too quiet. Plus, if you want to explore different areas of the Cape while you're here, you'll want to stay in a relatively central location on the Cape. That says "Dennis" to me!

If you do decide to go with Dennis Port, have a look at the area around Old Wharf Road.

From Old Wharf Road to Lower County Road to Main Street, within about 1 square mile, there are lots of nice neighborhood beaches, family friendly restaurants, a hot dog stand, ice cream shops, neat little gift shops, a wonderful bakery (Woolfie's - breakfast sandwiches and muffins, YUM!), and the village green where there's a small playground that your little one might enjoy.

Lodging in Dennis Port

Whatever you're looking for by way of lodging, it's there. Waterfront or within a short walk to the beach, there are oodles of adorable rental cottages, and nice, moderately priced (by Cape Cod in-season standards) hotels, motels and Cape Cod-style resorts.

(Here's a link to more Dennisport rentals. If you prefer to work with a rental agent, just let me know, and I'll get back to you with contact info for a reputable local agent who can help you find just what you're looking for.)

Dennisport Beaches

Dennis Port is on the Nantucket Sound (south) side of town. The sand on the Sound beaches is soft-ish and the waves (when there are any) are gentle, perfect for a 20-month-old to safely splash around on the shoreline - with adult supervision, of course. ;-)

One of the other great things about staying in Dennisport is that there are soooo many beaches within the town, and they're all covered by the same beach parking pass. If you'd like to visit a variety of Dennis beaches, you can do it without any additional expense.

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

Best Regards,


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