In Travel

Cape Cod Is A Lesson In Quintessential US East Coast Living

You’ve done The Hamptons and Montauk and are looking for a new place to explore on the US East Coast. Enter Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A little under five hours from New York City, Cape Cod is a hook-shaped peninsula consisting of 15 charming towns and four distinct regions: Upper-Cape, Mid-Cape, Lower-Cape and Outer-Cape. Here, picturesque lighthouses dot rugged coastlines and quaint lobster shacks line beautiful beaches and bays.

Convinced, and ready to visit? Here’s your guide to 48 hours in the Cape.

Saturday

12pm: Grab lunch in Falmouth

Falmouth is a sleepy town on the Cape Cod peninsula, famous for its long stretches of beach.

After your long drive from the city, pull into the seaside spot to enjoy a relaxed bite at Water Street Kitchen. Sample some of Massachusetts’ renowned seafood from the restaurant’s seasonal menu as you soak up your early afternoon view of the water.

2pm: Visit Nobska Lighthouse

Nobska Lighthouse is next on your destination list. A short drive from your lunch venue, it’s one of Cape Cod’s most famous lighthouses.

Take a stroll up to it to discover striking water views and an excellent photo opportunity. Parking can be difficult in the area, so do try to allow time for this.

3:30pm: Take an afternoon dip

cape cod

Image: Stephanie Nuzzo

Falmouth’s Old Silver Beach is an ideal spot for a swim on a warm afternoon. The waters are temperate, and the sand is smooth. It’s quite easy to spend a few hours here just kicking back by the sea.

If you happen to be in the area on a Thursday, however, it’s worth dropping in to the weekly Falmouth Farmers’ Market. Located at Falmouth Marine Park, the market is made up of local vendors selling freshly made jams, juices and pastries.

5:30pm: Make your way to Provincetown

After your dip or shop, hop back into the car and set course for Provincetown. The trip should take you between an hour and a half and two hours (the Cod is larger than you’d think), but the trek is certainly worth it.

Provincetown is a New England gem; boasting a prominent art scene, wide-stretching beaches and vibrant nightlife. It’s also grown to become known for being a particularly LGBTQ+ friendly destination.

7:30 pm: Check-in to your hotel

Luckily you won’t need to travel too far to get to your hotel, Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa. The restored inn is in the heart of Provincetown.

Once you’ve checked-in and maybe managed to squeeze in time to use its outdoor spa, head over to on-site restaurant, The Pointe, to dine on local specialties including clam chowder, cod and lobster as you gaze at views of the town. In winter, a charming fitted fireplace warms up the venue.

After dinner, retire to your room. The hotel has a history dating back to the 19th Century, and each of its rooms have been designed in a manner that imbues the cosy coastal feel of the town.

Sunday

8am: Breakfast and people-watch 

Start your day early at Café Heaven, just a few minutes from your hotel. The café is on a busy commercial street and is in a prime spot for people-watching. More than just an eatery, Café Heaven is also a beautiful location in its own right – its walls are filled with colourful pieces of art.

As with many Massachusetts eateries, you’ll find a variety of lobster-infused dishes – like lobster hash or lobster benedict – as well as classic breakfast options like lemon ricotta pancakes.

10am: Learn about Cape Cod’s history

Post-breakfast, wander the streets of Provincetown, soaking up the American seaside culture, eventually making your way over to Pilgrim Monument.

The granite tower is the tallest of its kind in the country, and a 10-minute climb to the top promises sweeping views of the town and bay. Admission is approximately $20AUD for adults and also includes access to the Provincetown Museum.

11 am: Enjoy an early lunch

cape cod

Image: The Canteen / Facebook

Casual eatery The Canteen may seem ordinary at first glance, but its food is fresh and a great example of New England fare. Its menu features Cape Cod dish classics, and most of it is made from scratch.

If you’re not lobstered-out at this point, opt for a classic lobster roll. Alternatively, you can dig into a fresh seafood banh mi or perhaps some fresh local oysters.

12:30 pm: Catch a glimpse of the local whales

cape cod

Image: Georgina Whittome

No visit to Cape Cod is complete without a whale-watching experience so before your drive back to the city, book a tour.

Three-to-four boat trips departing from Provincetown harbour promise solid opportunities to spot humpback whales. Finback whales, minke whales, sei whales, North Atlantic right whales and Atlantic white-sided dolphins are occasionally spotted too. Expect to pay around $76AUD, and come in summer (June to September) for your best chance at spotting whales.

After a relaxing two days in tranquil fishing towns with the sea breeze in your hair, jump back in the car and make your way back to the bright lights of New York City.

(Lead image: Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa / supplied) 

Published 19 August, 2019