Touring Cape Cod in September
Highland Light on the Cape Cod National Seashore
Question: We are going to Cape Cod for our Honeymoon in early September.
We are staying in Hyannis but hope to tour all of the Cape - any suggestions of where to go ?
You've picked the perfect time of year to visit Cape Cod!
In early September, it's more quiet here than during the height of summer. Yet, all the activities and attractions are still up and running - just at a more laid-back pace.
You didn't mention how long you'll be here or what you most enjoy doing while on holiday. So I'll give you a few recommendations, and then please feel free to post back again if you'd like more ideas.
Two things I always recommend for first-time visitors to Cape Cod are:
1. A day (or more) at the Cape Cod National Seashore, and
2. A drive along Route 6A on the north side of the Cape.
Cape Cod National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the USA, in my opinion.
The National Seashore beaches are long and wide, with ocean waves, imposing sand dunes and great seal-watching from shore most years.
Lighthouses dot the National Seashore coastlline. Highland Light in Truro is my favorite. It'll be open for touring while you're here. Hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $4.
Historic sites are everywhere, too. The Marconi site in Wellfleet is where Guigliemo Marconi sent the first trans-Atlantic wireless message from the US to England in 1903. The overlook at the Marconi site has a wonderful view!
A little farther north in Provincetown is the Pilgrim Monument - the tallest all-granite structure in the US. It commemorates the history
of the Mayflower Pilgrims, their arrival and stay in Provincetown Harbor, and the signing of the Mayflower Compact.
If you have the stamina to climb to the top of the Monument, you can see all the way to Boston on a clear day. It's open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until Sept. 12th, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. thereafter until early December. Adult admission $7.
The Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham is the best place to begin when visiting the National Seashore. (It'll take you about 40 minutes to drive there from Hyannis if you go on a weekday. Traffic will be heavier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; so I'd recommend you go mid-week.)
At the Visitors Center there's a great little museum with fascinating artifacts and memorabilia about the history of Cape Cod, those who settled here, and our maritime heritage.
There's also a small theater that shows short films (12 minutes long) about our area. My two favorites are "The Sands of Time" - about how Cape Cod was formed by Mother Nature, and "Wooden Ships and Men of Iron" - about the Cape's maritime history. Well worth seeing!
The National Seashore is also a fantastic area for nature walks and bike rides on some of the most beautiful trails you can imagine.
There's so much to see and do around the National Seashore that I can't even begin to suggest a day's itinerary for you. The Park Rangers at the Visitors Center are super helpful in providing information and recommendations along with maps and directions to the sites you'd like to visit.
Here's a link to the Cape Cod National Seashore website.
Drive Along Route 6A, the "Olde Kings Highway"
As I said above, I think this is a "must-do" for all first-time visitors to Cape Cod - especially for those who are making Hyannis their home base.
Hyannis is a fun place with lots going on.
Hyannis Harbor is a hub of seaside activities including harbor cruises, sailboat charters, fishing charters, waterfront restaurants, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, and piers for the ferries to the nearby islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
Main Street in Hyannis has tons of shopping and restaurants. The John F. Kennedy Museum is there. too. It's an interesting place to spend a little time learning about the late President Kennedy's time on Cape Cod!
That said, Hyannis is located on the more commercial south side of the Cape, along Rt. 28.
The north side, along Route 6A, is entirely different. It's more peaceful, historic, and decidedly more rural feeling.
Driving along Rt. 6A you'll find art galleries, antiques shops, small farm stands, museums, open fields and cranberry bogs, stately sea captains' mansions, and Colonial taverns and inns.
Anywhere between Sandwich and Brewster, turn off Rt. 6A to the north and you'll find salt marshes, creeks and inlets to Cape Cod Bay.
The Bay is entirely different experience from Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, with a distinct ambiance to its beaches.
Here's a link to my Cape Cod Beaches page that'll give you lots of good information about Cape Cod's Ocean, Bay and Sound beaches.
From Hyannis, you'll only be about a 15 minute drive from Rt. 6A. It's well worth taking an afternoon to explore!
So ... I hope this gives you a good start on your honeymoon planning.
Feel free to post back again with more info about your interests and what you'd like to see while you're here.
Perhaps some other visitors to this page will add comments and suggestions for you, too!