Cape Cod Vacation – My Picks

There are so many places to go and so many things to do in Cape Cod.

To help you plan your trip, here are my picks that I think would make a good Cape Cod experience……

If going with kids, these places are free to go…

Hope you would enjoy Cape Cod as much as we do 🙂



Cape Cod Vacation – Chatham, Eastham, Wellfleet, Provincetown

Cape Cod vacation continues…



Chatham is one of the wealthiest towns in Cape Cod. It is also the best place to see seals in the Cape.


After seals watching, you can drive to Chatham Lighthouse Beach. It has a nice view there with the lighthouse in the back.




2 of the 6 Cape Cod National Seashore beaches are in Eastham.

  • Coast Guard Beach
  • Nauset Light Beach

August 25 is the National Park Birthday, so the entrance fee is waived on that day


First we drove to the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor Center in Wellfleet. Then we planned to check out Coast Guard Beach. Unfortunately, the parking lot was FULL. So we drove down to Nauset Light Beach. From there, you can see the Nauset Lighthouse, which is also the logo of Cape Cod Potato Chips!



  • Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar

This is a super popular seafood place. If you are in the area, you should check out this place.





  • Wellfleet Drive-in Theater

It is just fun to be in a drive-in theater. It is old school, but a great experience! You pay one price for 2 movies too! Be sure to check their movie schedules on their website. It is not the same every day.


Got some seafood for dinner from Arnold’s


  • Laura & Tony’s Kitchen

This is not an ordinary breakfast buffet place. Food is made fresh and prepared in small batches. I wanted to try this place but then we did not end up staying overnight to have a breakfast on that trip.




Provincetown is also called Ptown, which is an hour drive from Hyannis. It is a popular gay & lesbian tourist destination 🙂 Everyone is so friendly and cheerful there. I really like the environment in this town. It is probably the second busiest town in Cape Cod after Hyannis. You can also take the ferry from Boston to Ptown.



Cape Cod National Seashore beaches

  • Herring Cove Beach
  • Race Point Beach

To me, they are very typical Cape Cod beaches…. but I wouldn’t go all the way to Ptown to go to these beaches ^^” My favorite is still Old Silver Beach in Falmouth

Cape Cod Vacation – Hyannis

Cape Cod vacation continues…



Hyannis is in mid-Cape. I would consider it the main town in Cape Cod. There are buses going to Hyannis from South Station, Boston. From the bus stop, you can walk 10 min to the ferry terminal to take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Things to do

  • Veterans Park Beach

This is a park where you can picnic or barbeque by the beach. You can see the ferry coming in and out from there. The water was warm enough to be in it. But there is a yacht club next to the beach and also the ferry so close by, so there is some traffic in the water that you better not go too far out. There’s an entrance fee during beach hours.



  • Kalmus Beach

It is just around the corner of Veterans Park Beach. It shares similar view as the Veterans Park Beach. But at its farthest point, you can get really close when an island ferry passes by. It does get a bit quiet after the beach hour.


  • Bayview Beach

A small beach with free parking. Close to the busy area in Hyannis. You can watch the boats going in and out of the harbor. Other than these, it is just a small, but convenient beach.



  • Main Street in Hyannis

There are many interesting shops and restaurants on Main Street. It is touristy but vibrant. I love walking on Main Street every time I go to Hyannis. Everyone there is vacationing and it makes it really cheerful and enjoyable to just stroll around the street.


  • Cape Cod Potato Chips Free Tour

They provide a free, self guided tour in the factory. You can spend as much time as you want, but it will probably just take you half an hour for the whole stay. At the end of the tour, there is a small shop where you can buy different flavors of Cape Cod chips. It is nice to go there during the hottest time of the day as it has A.C. 🙂


  • Cape Codder Resort & Spa

We stayed here once with a group of friends in a suite room with a jacuzzi. This hotel has an indoor wave pool like a little water park. It would be a nice place to stay with kids, especially during winter time when you don’t want to go outside.


Places to eat

  • Brazilian Grill

Food was absolutely delicious! It became our must go place every time we go down to the Cape. I especially like their grilled sirloin! It was very flavorful and tender. I also like their brazilian food section. Love their cheese balls and fried plantain!!! This place is always packed. I suggest making reservation. I would recommend going there for lunch on weekdays as it is cheaper but still a large selection. It’s a buffet but you can also get it take out in a box for a flat rate.



A cute french bakery in day time and a cozy and romantic bistro in night time. They have indoor and outdoor seatings. Lunch sandwiches were very good, so was the food at dinner.  At night, it is a totally different ambience. We love sitting outside at night feeling the summer breeze. They actually offered us loafs of bread to take home after dinner. A very nice gesture.


*** These 2 restaruants are the ones that we would definitely go back when we go to the Cape.***


  • Bangkok Kitchen

Their thai food was not as good as those in Boston, but it is ok to go if you crave for asian food.



Cape Cod Vacation – Sandwich, Falmouth

Over these years living in Boston, I could not count how many times I have been to the Cape, either a day trip or a short staycation, with a group of friends or as a couple. To me, Cape Cod is like Cheung Chau (長洲) or Lamma Island (南丫島) in Hong Kong, where you can get away from the city and be closer to the nature, and most importantly to relax from the busy city life, yet it’s still close to home and does not break the bank.

One of my life dreams is to have a vacation home in the Cape. It was a distant dream because I did not think that I could do it all by myself. After I met D, now my husband, it became one of our life goals. It started when we went to the Cape together for the first time for his friend’s wedding. He asked me how come we never thought of doing a trip in the Cape. I told him I suggested it before but he never really responded to my question =.= Since then we go to the Cape every summer. He also liked the idea of having a vacation home. So every year, I tried to plan to stay in a different town to see if it can be potentially the location of our future vacation home 😀

Since I have been there so many times, here I’m trying to put together what to do or where to eat, or what I think about each town. These are all solely my own experience. There would be places or restaurants that are good that I don’t know of. So I can only recommend what I have done or have researched, so that my friends can plan their trips with some help and with my personal experience.


First, about the beaches in Cape Cod……

There is no free parking! Most of the beaches in Cape Cod require you to pay an entrance fee. They also have daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal passes. Prices and rules are different in each town. Some of the beaches have “beach hours”, and you can park in the lot for free outside the beach hours. To take advantage of it, I like to go to the Old Silver Beach in Falmouth after 5pm to see the sunset 🙂

August 25 is National Park Service Birthday, so entrance fee is waived at 6 of the national seashore beaches.

Here you can find some free parking beaches in the Cape.



Warm water beaches are the ones facing south/Nantucket Sound, including the ones in Falmouth.

Beaches facing north have freezing cold water!

I always avoid going to the ones facing north!


Buzzards Bay


It is a good stopping point before crossing the bridges to the Cape. We went there a few times either for fishing or just to watch the boats going by on the Cape Cod Canal. It is nice to take a stroll along the paved bike path with a view of the gorgeous Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge. There is also public bathroom if there is too much traffic crossing the Sagamore Bridge :p



Sandwich is probaly the first town that you pass by after crossing the Sagamore Bridge. We have stayed there once. What I like about staying in Sandwich is that it is relatively closer to Boston, thus a shorter drive. It still has what Cape Cod has offered, like the sereneness and the beaches, yet you don’t have to drive 30min or 15 miles more to Hyannis, especially traffic is bad during summer.

That time that we stayed in Sandwich was because I wanted to visit Falmouth, and it was still easy to drive to Hyannis for more actions and restaurants.

Things to do

Sandwich has Broadwalk Beach and near the border of Barnstable has Sandy Neck Beach. Both require entrance fee. We went to Sandy Neck Beach once. Water was freezing cold though, and the beach was a bit rocky.


  • Sandwich Fish Hatchery

They have different kinds and sizes of trouts. Bring quarters so you can buy some fish pellets to feed the fishes. Kids would love it!


Places to eat

  • Cafe Chew

It is a nice cafe in a plaza where there is outdoor seating. The sandwiches were pretty good. We had the best pancake there for breakfast. So buttery yet so fluffy! Highly recommend this place! There we saw an old lady reading her book. We overheard that she retired and lived in Sandwich, and she came to this cafe for breakfast every morning. D felt that it’s kinda like a dream retirement….

It is an average seafood place. I just like their outdoor seating deck a lot as it is overlooking the Cape Cod Canal. It feels very relaxing while you enjoy your meal with sea breeze brushing your face.





Falmouth is not close to the main highway. It is 40mins drive to Hyannis. So if you want to explore other parts of the Cape, I don’t recommend staying in Falmouth. However, Falmouth has the best beach (to me)!

Things to do

My favorite beach in the Cape is in Falmouth! I loveeee Old Silver Beach. It has really fine sand and warm water. It faces west so it is a good place to see sunset. Every time people ask me which beach to go in Cape Cod,  I alway tell them Old Silver Beach it is! No entrance fee after 5pm. There is a hotel right on the beach which has their own private section of Old Silver Beach. It has a really nice location but of course it is pricey.

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  • Woods Hole Science Aquarium

It is an excellent place for kids to learn about sea life in Cape Cod area. They have a touch tank and also twice a day, they feed the seals in an outdoor area in the aquarium. Admission is free and donation is accepted.



  • Nobska Point Lighthouse

Picturesque and nice view of the ocean on a clear day.


Place to eat

  • Pie In The Sky – nice bakery to stop by to have some coffee or snack.

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Embargo Tapas Restaurant in Hyannis, Cape Cod

our last dinner in the Cape before heading back to Boston!

Embargo is on the Main Street in Hyannis. there’re just so many restaurants, n a lot of shops to walk around.

i picked this restaurant mostly for their Happy Hour deals! all tapas are half off and $1 oyster daily from 4:30pm to 6pm!

turned out only half of the food was good.

my white sangria was good! and the scallops was the best!!! the rice with it was so yummy!

the oysters and the kobe sliders were good. and all others… i wish i had never ordered them.

the chipotle mahi mahi taco was soooo salty that it was not edible. even though by that time we were all full.

they have live jazz starting from 6:30pm, so we ordered a creme brulee just so we could enjoy the music longer. the band was great, especially the pianist! he was so into his music!





after dinner, we were so full that we had to walk it off… and then i found a creperie cafe just a block from Embargo!! wish i had enough room for more dessert…  next time!

Old Silver Beach in Falmouth, Cape Cod

Old Silver Beach is my favorite beach in the New England!!!

a few years ago when my friends and i passed by this beach in an evening, we just couldn’t help but stopped by to walk on the beach.  it was a big surprise that the sand was so soft and fine, and the water was so calm and warm!! we were not ready for beach but we ended up dipping in the water in our shirts and shorts.

i was so looking forward to coming back to this beach. finally we did this time. the beach didn’t disappoint. the water was a little cold but still warmer than the other beaches in the Cape, because it’s in the Buzzard Bay. it was around 2:30pm and the parking lot was full, so we had to detour to grab some ice cream before coming back to check. parking was $20. they have a resident parking lot too, but still cars were waiting in line to get in.

gotta check the tide times. when it’s high tide, water can get as high as in this picture!

Cape Cod Chatham Seal Watching

such a great weather during our stay in the Cape!

Sheryl recommended me to come to the Chatham Pier to watch seals… since there were some shark sighting in the Cape recently… it just got me interested to come here to see some seals, hopefully to see some sharks too =p

at the pier, we did see people unloading buckets of lobsters from the boat to the fish market. if we were not gonna have early dinner before we head back to Boston, i would have tried their lobster roll or some fried seafood!

from Hyannis to Chatham, it’s actually a good half an hour drive either on route 6 or route 28

Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis, Cape Cod

[click on pictures to enlarge]

Pain D’Avignon is a bakery in day time and a French restaurant in night time.

i read many good reviews on Yelp about this restaurant, so it was my first choice to try for dinner.

we got there at 9pm, good thing they closed at 12am.

it’s a nice & breezy midsummer night, so we picked to be seated outside.

midsummer night 仲夏夜 … i like it!

i had grilled octopus for appetizer, somehow it’s not chewy at all but soft and tender, which is weird for octopus. D had french onion soup.  he said he wouldn’t want to have it at Panera Bread anymore =p

since we both love risotto so D got the grilled shrimp risotto, while i got the special, the grilled stripe bass with summer vegetables. i like the shrimp risotto better. the stripe bass was not bad, it was moist but the veggies wasn’t standing out. the risotto just had so much flavors in it ^^”

the bill was close to $100 after tips, but we think the food was worth the money =]

before we left, they gave us a loaf of focaccia bread and baguette bread to take home. what a nice treat!

but i really wanna try their croissant or sandwiches for breakfast! maybe next time!

Seafood Sam’s in Sandwich. First Meal in the Cape 2012.


we drove for a little over an hour from Boston to Sandwich, Cape Cod on a midsummer day in August. after yelping about seafood restaurants in Sandwich [where our lodge was], i picked Seafood Sam’s for some fried seafood.

we ordered the food and sat at the deck overseeing the Cape Cod Canal. feeling the summer breeze while enjoying the seafood, it was my first moment of feeling “being” in this summer getaway… the moment that you want to feel in every second…

so we ordered the 16oz lobster bisque, crabster roll [lobster+crab meat] and steamers, which costed around $40. the steamers were good. D said it’s better than the one at Tony’s in Wollaston Beach. the crabster was ok… i couldn’t really taste the crab. the lobster bisque was creamy and had chunks of lobster meat in it. we finished everything.

we also checked out Sandy Neck Beach in Sandwich. it’s not sandy at all! the water was cold too!

parking was $15 before 3pm.