Cape Cod, Massachusetts Attractions
South-east of Boston the Cape Cod peninsula reaches out into the Atlantic like a gigantic crab's claw. Its western end is an outlier of a range of hills belonging to the Appalachian system; the central part consists of an Ice Age terminal moraine and associated glacial drift; and the eastern section, curling round to the north, is made up of narrow spits of land and dunes. The gently undulating landscape of sandy and gravel soil, once covered with forests of oak and pine, has long been an area of small farms specialising in the growing of cranberries. With its beautiful sandy beaches Cape Cod is now also a popular holiday area for the people of nearby Boston and New York.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Almost the whole of the East coast of Cape Cod is under protection as Cape Cod National Seashore. Its marvelous beaches, beautiful coniferous woodland (particularly Atlantic white cedar) and many attractive hiking trails draw thousands of visitors, particularly during the summer months. Information about the area can be obtained at the Salt Pond and Provincetown Visitor Centers.
Official site: www.nps.gov/caco/
Address: 99 Marconi Station Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667, United States
Aptucxet Trading Post Museum, Bourne, Massachusetts
Aptucxet Trading Post Museum is a re-creation of the 1627 trading post built by the pilgrims to encourage trade with the Dutch of New Amsterdam and with the Wampanoag Indians. Some of the items traded between the three groups include sugar, tobacco, textiles and furs. Items were bartered or bought using the Indian shell currency called wampum at the Aptucxet Trading Post. There are 17th century furnishings as well as a 1000 year old rune stone with the inscription "God Gives Us Light Abundantly".
Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotiut, Massachusetts
The Cahoon Museum of American Art is housed in a 1775 Georgian style house; the former home and studio of artist Ralph Cahoon. The primary focus of the gallery is the works of Ralph and Martha Cahoon but also features other permanent and changing exhibits such as Ralph Blakelock, William Bradford, James Buttersworth, Alvan Fisher, and Levi Wells Prentice.
Cape Cod Canal
Built between 1909 and 1914 to shave off around 135 miles of traveling distance, the Cape Cod Canal divides the peninsula from the mainland. It is 17.5 miles (28 km) long, 500 feet (152 meters) wide and has a minimum depth of 30 feet (9 meters). There is a recreational area near the canal with paved biking and walking trails.
Harwich combined with North, South, East, and West Harwich, as well as Harwich Port and Pleasant Lake, make up the area known as the Harwiches. The town is a popular tourist destination offering recreational opportunities such as fishing, scuba diving, and other water activities.
Popular bathing beaches on Cape Cod are Scusset Beach, at the north entrance to Cape Cod Canal; Old Silver Beach on the south-west coast (Buzzard's Bay); Craigville Beach and West Dennis Beach on the south.
Bourne is a gateway community to Cape Cod, first settled in 1640 and incorporated in 1884. The Cape Cod Canal runs through the center of the town and is a popular fishing area.
The Briggs-McDermott House is a Greek Revival style home, built in 1802 and furnished in the 1840 - 1910 period. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Briggs-McDermott House was used as a blacksmith shop and shoed horses such as President Grover Cleveland's.
Official site: bournehistoricalsociety.org/historical_center.html
Address: 20 Sandwich Road, Bourne, MA 02532-3609, United States
West Barnstable, Massachusetts
West Barnstable is home to the oldest Church meeting building, built in 1717.
Nye Family of America Homestead, East Sandwich, Massachusetts
The Nye Family Homestead was built by Benjamin Nye in 1669. The original house was a small structure but several additions made it the saltbox shape that stands today. On display in the house are many antique items and period furnishings. Hand woven sheets, a Revolutionary period gun and spinning wheels are some of the items in the Nye Family Homestead that allow a glimpse into the past.
Chatham is a small village on the southeast tip of Cape Cod with a scenic beach opposite a lighthouse. The town offers fishing opportunities. The old rail depot has been transformed into a simple rail museum.
Atwood House Museum
The Atwood house was built in 1752 and occupied by the Atwood family until 1926. The house remains virtually unchanged and is furnished with collections of furniture, paintings, glassware, china, tools, manuscripts and other artifacts from the 18th and 19th century.
Official site: www.chathamhistoricalsociety.org
Address: 347 Stage Harbor Road, Chatham, MA 02633-2229, United States
Sightseeing boats offer visitors an opportunity to see seals in their natural habitat.
Dennis offers a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast, with fishing, whale watching, beachcombing, golf and other outdoor sports. Dennis is also home to the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
Cape Cod Museum of Art
The Cape Cod Museum of Art focuses on artists with an interest in the Cape Cod area. Some of the artists featured include Charles Hawthorne, Thomas Hart Benton, Childe Hassam, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Pauline Palmer, Franz Kline, Allen Whiting, Jan Collins Selman, and Red Grooms. The seven galleries house changing exhibits while the sculpture garden is available to visitors as well.
Official site: www.ccmoa.org
Address: 60 Hope Lane, Dennis, MA 02638-1928, United States
Cape Cod Discovery Museum
The interactive, hands-on exhibits at Cape Cod Discovery Museum concentrates on science, history, and the arts geared towards early to elementary school aged children. Programs include native and exotic wildlife presentations, creative art activities, hands-on experiments, and outdoor exploration.
Address: 444 Main Street, Dennis, MA 02639-1319, United States
Settled in 1661 by Quakers, Falmouth is now a popular beach resort. Cultural enthusiasts will enjoy the music, art and theatre. Fans of the outdoors will enjoy sailing, whale watching, golfing, kayaking, and cycling.
Historical Society Museum
The Falmouth Historical Society Museum is contained in two restored 18th century houses with displays of art, glass, china, period furniture, and a whaling exhibit. The vintage clothing display features a "laundry room" filled with Victorian underwear. The reconstructed Hallett Barn is located on the grounds of the Falmouth Historical Society Museum. The barn houses hands-on exhibits from Colonial and Victorian times.
Official site: www.falmouthhistoricalsociety.org
Address: 55 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth, MA 02540-2857, United States
College Light Opera Company
The College Light Opera Company offers musical productions during the summer months at Highfield Theatre in Falmouth. The performers are made up of college and university students from across the United States.
Official site: www.collegelightoperacompany.com
Address: Depot Avenue, Falmouth, MA 02540, United States
Cape Cod Children's Museum, Mashpee, Massachusetts
The Cape Cod Children's Museum is an interactive museum with hands-on exhibits geared to children. There is an indoor planetarium, a pirate ship, a puppet theater and a toddler play area.
Orleans was first settled in 1693 by Pilgrims. The early industry in the area revolved around fishing, whaling and agriculture. The town of Orleans offers recreational water activities and fishing to tourists.
French Cable Station Museum
The French Cable Station Museum houses some of the original equipment used to lay the transatlantic cable which allowed for telegraph communication between North America and Europe. Other exhibits include equipment used for communication and maintenance.
Official site: www.frenchcablestationmuseum.org
Address: 41 South Orleans Road, Orleans, MA 02653-2422, United States
Meeting House and Museum
The Meeting House and Museum was formerly the location of the Universalist Church of Orleans. The Greek Revival style building was built in 1833 and is registered on the National Register of Historic Places . The museum collections include local historical artifacts, photographs, paintings, china, clothing, and toys.
Official site: www.orleanshistoricalsociety.org
Address: 3 River Road, Orleans, MA 02653-2442, United States
Settled in 1639, Barnstable became a coastal trade center and is now a popular resort area.
Cape Cod North Shore
Also known as the Bay Side because it overlooks Cape Cod Bay, this shore features several small hamlets and out ports that were once prosperous fishing communities.
Cape Cod South Shore
Centerville, on Nantucket Sound, offers boating, beachcombing and swimming opportunities.
The Centerville Historical Museum, begun in 1952, features permanent and changing exhibits related to the history of the area. The house was built in 1840 and houses 14 rooms of exhibits that include costumes, maritime artifacts, toys and dolls as well as decorative arts and quilts.
Official site: www.centervillehistoricalmuseum.org
Address: 513 Main Street, Centerville, MA 02632-2913, United States
East Sandwich, Massachusetts
East Sandwich is the site of one of the largest glass factories during the 19th century.
South Wellfleet, Massachusetts
This small town, South Wellfleet, has a 1,000 acre nature preserve that is home to a wildlife sanctuary. There are many hiking trails, cruises and guided tours.
Wellfleet was once a leading oyster producing port in New England, now a quiet summer retreat.
Zooquarium, West Yarmouth, Massachusetts
The Zooquarium features a petting zoo and aquarium, with a small collection of domestic animals.
Truro is a popular fishing area and stop-off for those traveling U.S. 6.
Highland House Museum
The Highland House is home to the Truro Historical Society Museum. Items on display in the house include local historical artifacts, farming equipment, whaling gear and a pirate's chest.
Official site: www.trurohistorical.org
Address: Highland Road, North Truro, MA 02652, United States
West Yarmouth, Massachusetts
The Zooquarium is located in West Yarmouth.
Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Woods Hole is a center for oceanographic research.
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